Using the iPad in Real Estate

If you own (or need an excuse to buy) an iPad, you’re likely always looking for ways to use it in real estate. I’ve had the iPad for a little while now, and I thought I’d review a few of the ways I’ve found it handy.

If you own (or need an excuse to buy) an iPad, you’re likely always looking for ways to use it in real estate. When it first came out, I wrote a post about uses for the iPad in Real Estate.  I’ve had the iPad  for a little while now, and I thought I’d review a few of the ways I’ve found it handy.

First of all, I only have the Wi-Fi version, and so far I’ve been pretty bummed about the general lack of usability when I’m not connected to the internet.  I’m sure there are many of you who think it’s totally pointless to purchase the Wi-Fi only version, but I have my reasons:

  • The $499 price point is the main reason I justified fitting it into my budget. Anything more than that, and I probably wouldn’t have gotten it at all.
  • I didn’t get it for always-on connectivity; I have my iPhone for that. I got it to bring places where my laptop is overkill, but where it would be great to have a bigger screen than my iPhone.
  • Perhaps foolishly, I assumed there would be more apps that would be functional when not actively connected to the internet. Seriously Netflix, you couldn’t let me cache a copy of a movie for 24 hours?

Saving Paper

Let’s face it, real estate generates a ton of paper.  Electronic signatures have been huge in helping me save trees, but I still find myself generate reams of mls printouts, sales comparables, etc.  Recently I’ve started importing the pdfs into my iPad, then taking that with me on the road. This has been great for things like physically reviewing sales comparables.

Presentations

This is one area the iPad has really shined: presenting things to clients. The screen is way better than my laptop, with a much wider viewing angle.  I can show clients comparables in full color, and I can combine that with maps and a ton of other information.  Because I’m not printing color pages that I’ll likely be throwing away in an hour, I’m also a lot more comfortable bringing extra information. I’m hoping to make a solid listing presentation and new buyer presentation on Keynote (Apples version of PowerPoint).

Showings

This is one area where I could potentially save a ton of paper, but I haven’t quite figured out the best system. In theory, I could save a pdf of all the properties we’re going to see, then make notes on each page.  I’m still stuck in my current system of scribbling on the mls printout, but I’m actively looking for a good app for this.  What’s mostly holding me back is that I’m just not that fast of a typer on the iPad, especially if I’m standing up holding it.  This is where a stylus of some sort would be great.

“Leisure Searching”

I’m well aware of the whole “work hard, play hard” philosophy. But real estate is not just a job for me, it’s something I’m actively interested in. So, there are times when I’m not working, but I still want to read up on or poke around the local real estate market. Zillow’s iPad App has been great for this. The map based search is my favorite for seeing properties in their most important context, location, and the app is a pleasure to use. I can skim and swipe my way through dozens of properties dramatically faster than I ever could on the local MLS.  If and when the day comes that they ever have the full inventory and private agent comments, I may just take it from leisure searching to my main tool.