I will admit it, I am a Mac fan. I own a Mac computer (two actually–a desktop and a laptop), and I have an iPhone (which I can honestly say revolutionized my productivity…really). So, when a few of my colleagues told me I “had” to get an iPad, I was a bit skeptical.
Then I read a few blogs on how agents use their iPads for listing presentations, and I was convinced I needed to add this technology to my arsenal. $800 later (and after many questions from my husband about why I couldn’t just use the laptop, why I needed the iPad, etc…by the way, he just bought one for himself; I didn’t use the word “hypocrite”) I am thrilled with my new toy and what it is doing for me. Still not convinced yet?
There are two main reasons you need an iPad. One, there is nothing better when you have a listing presentation. You can create an entire presentation to show your client…no need to bring anything else (more in a minute). Second, when you are out showing property you can pull up listings on the MLS on a screen your clients can actually see without having to squint, among many other cool apps you can use to show them about the neighborhood and town you are in. Here are some of the iPad apps that will truly change the way you do business.
Keynote: Here is where you can create your entire listing presentation. It’s a bit like a power point presentation but even better and easy to use. You can incorporate photos, statistics, graphs, marketing examples, neighborhood information, etc. This is what you will create before going on your listing presentation. Think about it: instead of telling your clients about how you will market their home, you will show them. Mock up a beautiful flyer of their home, show them some of the sites on which you will market the property…the possibilities are endless. Pretty powerful. If you think all this is too difficult, trust me–it isn’t. If you think you should skip it, trust me again, you shouldn’t.
iAnnotate: Okay, this is the future of real estate, everyone. iAnnotate allows you to upload contracts and other documents. Then you purchase a $10 “pen” at the Apple store and Voila! Your clients can “sign” docs immediately. If you show a house they love, you can write an offer on the spot. Listing presentation? Sign that listing agreement right there. Then just click on your email and email them a copy, send one to your broker, another agent, your title rep…you get the idea.
PaperDesk: This application allows you to make notes. You create a new notebook for each topic (or client). Then, as you walk around property you are showing, or walk around a home you are hoping to list, you can make notes. Since the iPad is so lightweight you can take it into properties with you…it helps so you don’t have to scribble down notes later, or worse, try to remember after you have shown 5 or 6 houses what their responses were to each.
GoodReader and other desktop access apps: One thing the iPad can do that is phenomenal is to access your home or office computer while you are on the go. If you forgot to take along a document to a meeting with a client, no worries. Depending on what kind of system you have and what type of file you need to access (document, video, etc.), there are a few apps that will allow you to do so. Since I have a Mac desktop in my home office, where I store all work and client information, I use the GoodReader app. It allows me to connect to and access all kinds of files through file servers, which I can then open and display on my iPad. There are also apps that allow you to control your entire desktop.
Wikihood: I discussed this in my last blog on must-have real estate apps for smart phones. If you have not downloaded it yet on your phone, and even if you have, you should have it on your iPad as well. It basically allows you to show your clients everything, and I mean everything, in the surrounding area, from information on the exact neighborhood you are in, to local places to visit, places of worship, colleges, museums, airports, theme parks, resorts, beaches, places to walk and hike…it is simply an incredible application, and for those out of area clients it is priceless. You can use it to put in your listing presentation, or to create a file to present your client at your first meeting to go view properties. It will definitely “wow” your buyers.
Social Networking Apps: You definitely should have these on your iPad too–sites like Trulia, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. You can use these to show your clients–buyers and sellers–how in tune you are to social media, and how you use it to promote their properties, get access to the latest real estate information, and to show them that you are an all-around “in the know” agent. Plus, remember you are constantly uploading your blogs to these sites (or links to your blog site through these sites, which I prefer), so you will look great in their eyes.
OpenHomePro: This free app replaces the old school sign in sheets at open houses. It allows you to collect visitor information in a technologically savvy way, showing potential clients that you are up to date on the technological evolution of real estate. Then, when the traffic dies down and you are sitting there alone for a few moments, you can search the MLS and email properties to the people you just met. You can also use Wikihood to send them more information on the area! Or, you can use the iPad map feature (comes standard with your iPad) to pull up maps of the area, point them toward other neighborhoods, etc! Or…you can post an open house invitation on Facebook, or…ok, you get the idea.
MLS applications: Obviously you need to have access to your local MLS on your iPad. I also have Realtor.com, Trulia.com and a few others on there. Many clients are used to these sites.
Real Estate Calculator Apps: There are several calculator apps to show potential clients their mortgage possibilities. Great for using before you write that offer.
PrintCentral for iPad: This is a great app that allows you to print directly to all printers without additional software, and to transfer docs and files via iTunes.
Here are a few more good ones if you want to really have fun:
BrokersHelper: This free app allows you to use your BrokesHelper.com contact database. I do not use this one because I do not have my client database with BrokersHelper.com. I believe it is a $49.95 fee to join, but if you do not have a good database I suggest using this one, as the app allows you to view clients, notes, listings and listing notes, and to be able to access this from anywhere via your iPad.
Property Evaluator: This app is great for your real estate investment buyers. It allows you to pull up performance projections for properties, and to compare them against other properties. You can also email a PDF of the projections to your clients, making you a star.
Please visit my personal website for more blogs on real estate and technology, among other real estate-related topics, and please let me know if you use any of these apps and what you think, or if you discover others that are terrific. Finally, don’t forget to make your logo the main screen of the iPad, so you look even more professional when you open it up! If you simply cannot splurge on the iPad right now, make it a goal this year to save up for one.