Laptop Shopping List for Realtors

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Real Estate Web Trainer, LLC.

Laptop Shopping List

A few Things REALTORs should keep in mind
By Key Yessaad - Real Estate Trainer - Updated 11/8/2008
PDF version: Realtor-Laptop-Shopping-List.pdf

Laptop Shopping ListReal 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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...
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.)
  9. 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!
  10. Ask for Windows Vista Home Premium at a minimum - Vista Home Basic is absolutely NOT adequate.
  11. 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.
  12. 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).
  13. 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.
  14. Spend an extra $50 and buy a Wireless Mouse - it will make your life easy.
  15. 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.


Key Yessaad - Real Estate Web Trainer

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.

Comments (9)

Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

great post and for me great info as I am looking at laptops. Thanks for the post and the info

Jan 18, 2009 11:38 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks for the advice Key.  Lately, I've been thinking of getting a netbook for tooling around town and not being near any of my regular computers.  I know they have small screens, but lots of my apps are web based and combining with an air card or tethered phone, it might do the trick.  Light and easy to carry always.

Jan 19, 2009 12:03 AM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Hmm...agree and disagree,,,this laptop has Vista and our home office PC's have us,  and our computer guru, the jury is still out on Vista...and as far as which one...depends on how much you use it your only computer at your home office ...does it need to be a workhorse or does it get to graze a lot ?  Lots of  questions...answers are different for different uses....have a happy new year.

Jan 19, 2009 12:21 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Key, very good advice for purchasing a laptop. When I purchased my laptop it came with Vista. I took it off and replaced it with XP. I also like your idea about going inexpensive when purchasing. I didn't the last time, but I will on my next purchase. I haven't had one yet that has lasted more than three or four years. Thanks.

Jan 19, 2009 12:52 AM
Leslie Stewart
Oregon Licensed Broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Professionals - Stayton, OR
Realtor, ABR, CRS, Oregon Licensed Broker

Thanks, I am actually shopping for a new laptop.  This one is 6 years old and I have babied it as much as I can. 

Jan 19, 2009 04:40 AM
Samantha Mitchell
TCP Real Estate - Austin, TX

I think you hit the nail on the head.  Perfect post.  I agree about MACS.  Nothing is user friendly for Realtors when using one. 

Apr 13, 2009 12:06 PM
Juliet Johnson
Vizzitopia - St Johns, FL
Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing

Key,  would you say the same today?  About to purchase a new laptop.  I thought the Acer would do it, but I hate it and will now sell it - after only 2 months.  Too, too, small.

Oct 31, 2009 07:23 AM
Louise Knight

Great information! My laptop is 4 years old and the screen just died. Replaced a part and it died again after 2 days. We are exchanging the part to see if it was defective but my gut tells me my laptop has other issues. Thanks so much for the post!

Nov 30, 2009 02:32 AM

Thank you for the advice so I guess the IPad would be of NO use to me being in the real estate market, right? I am just looking for something that is light weight, and I can have wireless features anywhere I go without using my cheap Sprint wirelss card, which is so slow and useless!!


May 26, 2011 09:40 AM