Real Estate Professionals ask me all the time... "What laptop should I get Key?" and I always tell them: The cheapest one you can get your hands on. That's Right!!! The cheapest as long as it combines some the basics I describe in this article are met. Consumers and Realtors overbuy their technology needs because a lot of flash trumps facts. There are a few things that will make you a Savvy Laptop Shopper - the good news is: competition is fierce and prices are great...
So what should you keep in mind before you buy your next Laptop:
- Think of your laptop as a disposal tool and don't expect it to last you more than 3 years. Buying an Extended Warranty is a waste for the most part - ask the experts.
- Shop around and avoid impulse buying - your budget should be between $500 and $700; and always give yourself 2 to 3 weeks (models go on sale all the time.) if you have a trusty IT in-house do consult with him or her. In fact take this list with you: he/she will have a nice chuckle!
- Remember I write for REALTORs: DO NOT GET A MAC!!! I can't believe I wrote that. I am a Mac-Geek and I love Apple. But if you want to become the coolest complainer about why certain features don't work properly with your MLS, your Forms Software, your GIS Software, etc... then get a Mac. PS: you will have to also increase your budget quite a bit - the cheapest acceptable MacBook is $1,300+ (PPS: the latest thin MacBook Air looks really cool!)
- Base Memory is what you need the most of: 2GB of RAM is the minimum. Most systems are sold with base memory of 512MB or 1GB - make sure you are upgraded to 2GB and for FREE; most will throw it in to make the sale. 3GB for Vista is what I recommend and most of the systems I have seen lately come with at least that much.
- Storage 60, 80, 120GB - it's all the same: You will not need more than that. Don't spend any more money to get more storage - unlike RAM very few of you will ever fill an 80GB HardDrive.
- A 15.4" Widescreen is the norm - I don't recommend 14" screens unless you are going for a sub-notebook and you want the lightest laptop. 17" would be nice but they tend to be too bulky and not easy to carry around...
- An Intel Celeron M or Intel Core 2 Duo of any flavor is fine - going for high speed in GHz will not make a difference in your day to day work. Buying GHz will mean nothing in your day-today operations - but RAM does (see #4.)
- CD/DVD Burner should be standard - Allows you to burn your documents to a CD or DVD on a monthly basis. (Remember backup your data regularly.)
- All Laptops come with a built-in Wireless Network Chip. You should not have to pay more for this. Make sure it is built-in!
- Ask for Windows Vista Home Premium at a minimum - Vista Home Basic is absolutely NOT adequate.
- You should not spend more than $800 for the aggregate. A good deal would be $600 or less; and yes you can find them. If you are patient and buy a laptop when you don't need you can find deals under $500.
- What brand should you get is a different story - you decide. I usually look for deals from Dell, HP, Toshiba, & even Sony (expensive for the most part).
- Don't share your computer with other people. If you keep your laptop focused on your Real Estate business you will have a tendency to have fewer risks of viruses and less conflicts due to change of settings. The less hands the better... if you have kids it is best to have a home computer for them that you monitor and have Parental Software on. Trust me when I say this - don't let your kids use your Real Estate Laptop - they will reconfigure the settings with their own tricks and it will drive you crazy.
- Spend an extra $50 and buy a Wireless Mouse - it will make your life easy.
- Adjust the above criteria if you plan to use this laptop for other endeavors besides Real Estate.
But Wait Key my Tech friend says I should not buy a Vista-based Laptop.
Vista does have some glitches, most of which occur when attempting to install legacy software... If you don't have to buy a laptop right away then wait... but if you are in the market most come pre-configured with Vista and so long as you don't install old software you will be fine. I prefer XP but unfortunately we live in the real world and we must use the tools we have at the ready to do the best we can for our customers.
Always defer to your local Tech/IT guy/gal - they really know a lot about this stuff. They sometimes get caught up in the Geeky Jargon - but forgive them; they really mean well!!!
PS: No Geek was harmed in the making of this Shopping List.
You are now ready - now let's sell some Real Estate!!!
|Web Link: Laptop Shopping List for Realtors|
"Wake up Intentional - The Universe will notice..."
Copyright (c) 2008 - Written by Key Yessaad, Web Trainer for Real Estate Web Trainer LLC.
About the Author: Key Yessaad - Real Estate Web Trainer. To train, inspire, and help Real Estate Professionals succeed is my passion. I have a niche area of expertise which is the combination of Real Estate Web Strategy, Consulting, and Systems Implementation... Inquire about the various Training Classes and Seminars by contacting Key at (910) 538-6610.