Tips for using the iPad for Real Estate

  • As most of you know by now, I am a HUGE fan of the iPad!

    When I first heard of the iPad, I was sure that it would be a monumental disappointment. As I began reading the blogs though… I got sucked in (like sitting on the sofa as my wife is watching The Bachelorette). After much deliberation I decided that the iPad would be a tremendous investment, if only for the “Buzz Factor.” The amount of press that this device received in recent months, how could it not be a conversation piece? I wouldn’t really have to do much on it, the mere fact of owning one would cause people to start a conversation with me! So, I bought one, and….

    I was right!

    No matter where I am people are asking “Is that the iPad?”, “I have never seen one up close!”, “Do you like it?” Buzz Factor accomplished.

    I knew this would be a great device to create a buzz, but how would it hold up to actual real world application for real estate? While some things (honestly) are still to come, I have compiled a quick list of must have apps to make your iPad really work for your real estate business. You get the advantage of me spending an enormous amount of time and a small fortune on Apps only to delete most of them.

    So here are the Top 10 Apps that I would recommend for the iPad:

    1. Keynote – This is Apple’s version of PowerPoint.  I love Keynote and this is the perfect app to “wow” your clients with a slick Buyer Consultation or Listing Presentation.
    2. DocsToGo – This great app allows you to access and edit your documents that are stored on your iPad or on “The Cloud.”  So if you are using Google Docs, SugarSync, DropBox and more, this app will access them all.  Not only can you view them, but you can also email them on the spot!
    3. SugarSync – This is one of my favorite apps!!  This program will sync your document folders between multiple computers, your smart phone and your iPad.  Simply amazing!
    4. Evernote – Ever have those ideas while you are out and about and before you can get a chance to write it down, you have forgotten it?  In comes Evernote!  This app will allow you to type or record a voice note.  If you use a smartphone with a camera, you can also create notes from photos.  Again, this app syncs your notes online so they are accessible everywhere (phone, computer, iPad).
    5. Hootsuite – while this app is still in iPhone only flavor (iPhone apps do work on the iPad, they just don’t look as pretty), it allows you to manage multiple facebook profiles, pages and twitter accounts.  My favorite feature is the ability to schedule posts and tweets for later!  This way you can be focused during your social networking as opposed to what most would think of someone posting to Facebook all day long.
    6. Analytics HD – This app syncs to your Google Analytics account.  This way you can track how your sites are doing while on the go.  See if a new blog post or tweet is driving traffic to your real estate site.  After all, without the data how do you improve your results?  Google Analytics is FREE too!  Imagine showing your clients the traffic on their listing page real time from your iPad!
    7. Beejive IM for iPad – This is the best Instant Message/Chat client around!  You can log in to pretty much any chat client available with this one application.  It also has push notifications, so if someone wants to IM you while you are on the go… They can… and you won’t miss it!
    8. iAnnotate PDF - This app allows you to actually sign a PDF file, and it doesn’t just drop the signature “on top” of the pdf, it actually adds it into the pdf!  So, yes, you can sign documents on the iPad!  And for those of you that can’t handle signing with your finger… check this out – Pogo Sketch
    9. NewsRack RSS – As the world gets smaller it becomes increasingly more difficult to sift through everything to find the news and stories that I want to see.  Thanks to RSS feeds (Really Simple Syndication) we can now only listen to what we care about!  I use NewsRack RSS because it syncs to my Google Reader account, so no matter where I read my feeds, it will be up to date on all my devices!
    10. LogMeIn Ignition – Ok, this is the pricey one!  And I debated long and hard before I bought it.  Wouldn’t you know that the day I did it came in handy.  This app allow you to access any computer remotely.  So if you are out and about and there is that one thing you need off of your office computer, this app can be a life saver.

    So there you have it, my must have apps for real estate.  As the iPad matures I can say with complete confidence that I will be coming out with another list with even better apps, and for now this should get you going in a HUGE way.

    If you have a favorite, I would love to know about it.  Also, I will be making a post on some of my favorite apps for the iPhone and iPad real estate or otherwise.  Not only do these devices allow me to be more mobile, they also show that I am on the bleeding edge of technology.  This is not a bad thing when technology and real estate go hand in hand in our clients eyes.

    Enjoy!


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33 Responses and Counting...

  • Carmen Isais 07.05.2010

    Thank you Patrick for your “Top 10″ real state apps. Important to note, that for those of us who have yet to join the ranks as iPad owners, LogMeIn Ignition is available for the iPhone as well– and YES, is a life saver. Another goodie I used just today, JotNot Scanner Pro. Turns an image into a fax/pdf and can be mailed directly to clients, agents, banks, and the like. Nice!

  • I am a PC gal most probably because I don’t know much about MAC or Ipad or such, will I be able to transition? Will I be able to access my PC , integrate it with the IPAD? What about the learning curve?!!! I want to, but …did you go from PC straight to IPAD?

  • Patrick:
    Great article about the I-pad. I have been thinking about getting one and this article has been a great help.

  • Hi Patrick…thanks for the list. I have been leary about purchasing Iannotate. I am looking for an app that will allow me to edit a Pdf file and then email to a client or load to docusign to get signed. Does Iannotate give that ability and if not do you know of one that does?

  • I agree. I really don’t understand the pundits who say there is no place for it because it doesn’t have all of the same capabilities as a laptop or netbook. It is far more convenient for presentations and looking up a listing on the fly. We also really like the mapping. You can quickly show a client where you are, how far the house is from other locales, major roads nearby, etc. I think it is a winner, especially in real estate.

  • Great article! You really hit the nail on the head with useing the ipad for real estate (beyond updating Twitter)!

    I know you mentioned this, and seem to prefer sugarsync- but I just want to add Dropbox to the list because I’ve used it in a number of RE transactions so far. It not only keeps my files sync’d between my desktop and laptop, but I can access documents on my phone (and soon ipad) and i refer it to my clients so I can share files with them. It cuts down on multiple attachments and makes sure they have updated versions of signed docs. At closing I have eveything I need right there. This also helps of there are other agents involved or assistents. (they provide 2 gigs free)

    thanks for the great advice, I’ll be sure to check these apps out!

    Sean

  • I love dropbox too! I chose sugarsync simply because I can sync specific folders on different computers, as opposed to having one folder to drop everything. Both have an app for iPhone and iPad that are very easy to use! Both also allow you to share files or even folders with anyone. This is also why I love docs to go. Because it syncs with sugarsync, dropbox, google docs, and mobile me. Great comment!

  • I couldn’t agree more! And at the very least it is a conversation starter. I could sit in a starbucks with my iPad and people will start a conversation with me about it. Lead generation couldn’t be any easier! ;-)

  • I was always a PC guy. In fact I made fun of the Mac community! I used to say mac’s weren’t computers for real business people. Now with everything being “cloud” based, there isn’t much that I cannot do on my Mac. That said the iPad, iPhone, iWhatever all play nicely with PC’s. I would say this would be a great first start to see if you like the apple format. Besides, who likes having to wait for their laptop to boot up just to read email or look something up on the web? With the iPad, it is only one click away!

  • Carmen, i will absolutely have to check that out! The other apps that I have heard great things about for iPhone are Mobile Receipt, and Mobile Phax. Both use your camera to track expenses and send docs. Thanks for the comment!

  • Thank you for sharing the information on the iPad and on the other useful apps.

    I don’t have an iPad as I wasn’t sure if it was really going to benefit me and I can see it will.

    One quick question if you don’t mind as I am learning so much in this computer world what did you mean by “Cloud” based is it an app.

    Thank you for your time.

  • Thanks for the tips. I’m a total Mac fan and just had to have the iPad. I’m still trying to justify using it for real estate. I have a found it’s wonderful for getting to online applications quickly no waiting for boot up. You mentioned drop box and the file system, I sort my files to folders so they are easy navigate when looking for something.
    I use a 2.99 app call touch fill go for PDF signatures I wanted to go paperless if I could or at least until the finial contract was written. I’m still not 100% sold this was a must have purchase. I can tell you it was a cool purchase.

  • Patrick, Thank you for the article on the IPad app’s. It couldn’t have come in timelier for me as I have been trying to research RE usages. But, am I missing something? I see above that others have been able to look up listings on the fly but I have been unsuccessful on my IPad with our MLS system, ntreis, in north Texas. When I spoke to our tech department I was told that the reason it won’t work is because the IPad doesn’t have a fully integrated web browser. Even when I logged in to the mobile site, I can’t pull up listings with the IPad. Any suggestions here? Is there a more integrated browser app that can be purchased for increased functionality in this regard? This was the main reason for purchasing it and I thought what a great tool this is going to be for us in the real estate industry. Thanks again!

  • Thanx for the iPad Top 10! I have been on the fence about acquiring the device but with your information I will have it ordered this week and hopefully it will be here about the same time my new iPhone4 arrives.

    Keller Williams Heritage, San Antonio, TX

  • Hello, Patrick. I’m a KW agent in NC. I am a member of the ActiveRain online real estate community. I’d like permission to repost your blob post on there. It will be clearly identified as not my work but yours.

    It’s a great post and there are a large number of agensts there that are wondering what they can do with an iPad.

  • enjoyed the article—i have wanted the ipad and am slightly bitter that my 12 year old received one from his grandparents before I did—the only thing stoppping me now is my contact management system–what do you Mac users use? i have top producer and I cannot believe that they are not MAC compatible—-my current laptop is ancient-so i am in between getting a new laptop or just using the IPAD—-if all i want it for is for being quickly able to pull listings up in front of my clients, open houses, etc. -the ipad seems to be the answer…

  • Thanks Patrick. Great info. What I like about the Ipad is that I ride a motorcycle and it fits snuggly and lightly into my backpack. I wrote a post called the Chicken or the Ipad on my blog: AliveInBaltimore.com and mentioned that Steve Jobs doesn’t try to figure out what device people need but instead, thinks of things that people don’t yet know they need and then, can’t live without. I thought that was a great principal for our business.

  • Bill brings up a good point about CRM. I like the program Bento (mainly because of the multiple Macs in my home) but its not a one-stop-shop like Top Producer. I’m thinking myredtools might be more friendlier for Mac, but I haven’t seen anything that works perfectly with the iPad.

  • The best App I’ve found is Sketch Me HD. $5 is a great value.
    Take a photo of the clients new house and sketch it in pencil, colored pencil or charcoal. Print Frame and it looks like a $200 gilt.

    Paul

  • Hi Patrick,
    Thanks for the tips! And thanks for being a leader in all things tech-groovy in our region!!! I get my ipad on July 29th, and then you can tutor me :)

  • Forget SugarSync if you have an iPad then you need to get into the “Cloud” maintaining data on desktop computers is dinosaur activity. Time to evolve and get dropbox and/or Google docs. If you have a mobileme account you can add more storage with an iDisk and if you are a Mac user with iWork 09 even more “Cloud” storage with iWork.com.

    Skype – when I am in a starbucks or other place with wifi I cut my cell minutes by making calls on my Skype account. I have my Skype account set to masquerade the caller ID to show as my cell phone.

    FeedlerRSS – easy and awesome newsreader

    PhotoPad – edit your jpgs on your ipad – great if you are going to write blog posts from your iPad

    ForeclosureRadar (if you subscribe to foreclosureradar.com)

    WordPress – write your blog posts from your iPad

  • Hey Ted! Love your additions.

    Lol! Sugarsync is on the “cloud.” I recommend sugarsync, knowing that there are alternatives. Sugarsync, dropbox, google docs, mobile me and many more store files so you can access them anywhere. The one thing I love about sugarsync is that I don’t have to move a file into a dropbox folder to have it sync to the cloud. I simply tell sugarsync which folders I want stored online and don’t have to change my desktop structure. So for me, just like dropbox, only it works for my style. Everyone has their preference and each have their pros and cons. I use most all of them and access them all from docs to go on my iPad.

    Have you seen that you can now use your google voice # on Skype? That was one of the coolest new developments. For the longest time GV wouldn’t let skype verify the #. Now you can truly have 1 #!!

  • Love this information. Only question I have right now is, which iPad size are you using, or recommending?
    thanks so much

  • I expected RealDirector to have made the list. After all YouTube is the second largest search engine.

  • [...] So there you have it, my must-have apps for real estate. As the iPad matures I can say with complete confidence that I will be coming out with another list with even better apps. For now, this list should keep your clients impressed and your business on the cutting edge of today’s hottest technology.Do you have a favorite app? Leave a note in the comments section on my blog. [...]

  • You must at Flipboard to this list….www.flipboard.com. It is going to change the social media landscape!

  • I agree. It looks like it can do some awesome stuff. Only challenge right for me is that it wasn’t out when I wrote the list and is by reservation only right now.

  • Patrick,
    great post thanks. I have always been a PC girl, hubby has a MAC and surprised me with a ipad last weekend. I have had it exactly one week tomorrow and have added many apps to use for WORK. Fave was TeamViewer. It was free and makes it where I can do everything I was doing from the PC and it was free.
    Have a great week!

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  • [...] So there you have it, my must-have apps for real estate. As the iPad matures I can say with complete confidence that I will be coming out with another list with even better apps. For now, this list should keep your clients impressed and your business on the cutting edge of today’s hottest technology.Do you have a favorite app? Leave a note in the comments section on my blog. [...]

  • [...] So there you have it, my must-have apps for real estate. As the iPad matures I can say with complete confidence that I will be coming out with another list with even better apps. For now, this list should keep your clients impressed and your business on the cutting edge of today’s hottest technology.Do you have a favorite app? Leave a note in the comments section on my blog. [...]

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