The Apple iPad was introduced by Steve Jobs this week. During and immediately after his speech, Bloggers the world over were dropping their 2¢ into the blogosphere about the iPad's features, it's pro's and con's, the likelihood of it ousting Kindle from it's book reader throne, and so on. I'd like to talk about what the iPad could, can, and will do to reinvent the way Realtors practice Real Estate.
iPad is part of a new category of mobile device
It's something between a smartphone and a laptop. Here are the important stats...
- .5" thick
- 1.5 pounds
- 9.79" display
- 10 hours of battery life
- Wi-Fi & 3G connections
To make a long feature list short we'll just say that it is much like a large iPhone with Safari browser capability, iTunes, Video, Mail, the App Store, etc. It's like a Netbook was supposed to be. It has the functionality of a laptop with the usability and portability of a smartphone, but probably better at doing both. It includes an accelerometer and a full touchscreen experience just like the iPhone. Here's how I think it can change things...<!--more-->
Reinventing the way Agents practice real estate
1. Agents now have a useful, more intimate version of the laptop
Most agents use laptops in their office. Some even use them for presentations. Almost no one uses a laptop when they are out showing clients properties. At any level. An agent can use the iPad to quickly and impressively deliver and present information to their clients. You're buyer wants to see the tax records on the house you're looking at right now? Pull them up immediately on your iPad. It's either in your hand or in your briefcase.
2. True mobility and paperless systems for all agents are within reach
There's no need to go back to the office to look up additional properties for buyers. You can access CMA's and listing statistics while previewing a seller's home. Stay fully up-to-date on your social networks and get full, simple access to email, documents, and your CRM on the go. Paperless has been touted for several years in real estate. The iPad could actually make it happen. Apps with your state's forms attached should begin popping up. Now just have your client sign with a flick of their finger and their contract is fully executed... email them a copy of the original document. *sniff* I just teared up thinking about it.
3. Video will be for everything, everywhere
Video is already a major player in the real estate industry. Still, very few agents are using it and even less are using it to truly differentiate themselves from their competitors. The iPad will skyrocket video use by agents, vendors, and consumers. Agents that do not utilize video will simply be left in the dust. Consumers better have access to your listing presentation, buyer presentation, video home tours, and neighborhood tours on your website, video sharing sites, iTunes, or all of the above. They'll be browsing homes and Realtors relaxing in their easy chair after dinner.
4. iPad will bring the use of technology and social media to the masses
Meaning, the masses of real estate agents that still aren't using today's systems to stay efficient and relevant. Imagine Realtors easily reachable by any electronic means through any media. Response time on followup, deals, and inquiries will drop to near zero as agents become masters of multitasking. List a property and send out a new list of condos to your buyers at the same time. Create a new craigslist ad while hosting an open house. Yes, people do this with laptops and smartphones. This device and future devices like it will alleviate the barriers that keep everyone from doing it.
5. Instant access means instant gratification
What if you could chat live with your Realtor any time of day? Realtors that use a product like iPad (as well as their counterpart homeowners) will be there to convert the IEC (Internet Empowered Consumer) to a client because NOW is better than tomorrow, in an hour, or after lunch. These are just a few ways that I see the iPad changing the inner workings of real estate for professionals. If the iPad holds true to its predecessors, it's price will drop significantly over the next couple of years from between $499-$829 down to nearly everyone's affordability levels of $199-$299. It will make instant, portable, usable access a thing of the present and subsequently change the way that Realtors provide services because of the way consumers find their information. What other ways could you see the iPad or a similar next generation device transforming the way we do business?
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Link to this article using this URL: http://theexitpro.com/2010/01/29/5-ways-ipad-will-reinvent-real-estate-for-agents-in-the-next-5-years/