iPad and the Commercial Real Estate Broker

by CoyDavidson on January 30, 2010

Will iBuy One?

I am sure unless you were under a rock this past week you heard something about Apple unveiling the iPad, their latest gadget which is a mobile device I would describe somewhere between the Smartphone and a laptop. Basically the iPad is a giant iPod touch/iPhone with a 9.7-inch screen.

While there are a lot of cool functions and the starting price is just $499, my first impression was I will probably purchase the iPad at some point because I am kind of a gadget geek, but I don’t really need one, after all I have an iPhone and don’t travel too many places without my laptop. However after further thought I began to ponder the use of the iPad in my commercial real estate practice and why the device would be a good tool.

Portability

This may be the single biggest selling point. A broker could easily slip the iPad into their briefcase, portfolio or bag. The sleek and thin size makes it simpler to transport than a traditional laptop. Also, operating on same technology as an iPhone getting on-line will be much faster than booting up your laptop. The ability to quickly get on-line or access data during a meeting or property tour would seem very convenient.

Applications

More and more of the computer applications we use daily are web based. Recently Loop Net launched an iPhone application and would imagine property database providers like CoStar, if not already working on it will certainly at some point make this application available in the future. As business continues to move towards mobile computing at amazing speed there is a new iPhone app coming out daily and almost every program you use on your personal computer is available on your iPhone and other smartphones. While your iPhone or Blackberry has all these capabilities, the reality is that the small screen is inconvenient to work with for any extended period of time.

Easy to learn and the “wow” factor

One thing I like about my iPhone and other touch-screen smartphones are how easy they are to learn and use. In addition, there is certainly the ‘wow factor – clients will certainly be impressed by their tech savvy broker; the ability to access real-time property information on the spot, a virtual property tour or an on-line sales presentation. The possibilities are endless. Granted you can do these things on a laptop, but who carries their laptop to every meeting or property tour.

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