Hello My Realtor Bretheren.
Well, I've had my iPad now for about 3-4 weeks and have been using it with many applications an dI have to say I'm as happy with the device as the day I first took it home.
Mine is a 3G version as I wanted all the bells of mobile GPS and so on and it does just great, when there's an AT&T signal to be found. It's getting better though as there are many new mobile cactus (mobile towers disguised as cactus) being placed around my area.
Here's the deal for those who may say "I don't get it?"
The advantage to the iPad is simply one thing for me "Instant On"
I can't tell you how cool it is to be able to read my email on the fly and respond to clients when I have 40 e mails to return requiring more than just a 10 word reply and I can do that typically in the time it takes to sit and eat a plate full of food while I watch the in box fill up with more e mails and responses from those I have sent, just like this picture shows (That's Fish & Chips for those of you who are more interested in the meal than the cute little iPad next to it)
I purchased a blue tooth key board because my typing speed was Wayyyyyy faster on the hard key board than the electronic typey thing included with the iPad. For on the fly replies it's fine, but for down and dirty super fast response the hard keyboard is the way to go and it's easier to make corrections and back space without having to drag your finger across the screen and tap, hen delete, the ... you get the idea. The keyboard is worth every bit of the 70 bucks and easy to take along. DO Not Buy The Docking Key board!
Why you ask? The docking key board is ok, but if you look at the picture you'll see I have it on it's side. A 4 buck small picture easel that folds away easily will do just great to hold the iPad in a more friendly position to read pages on a broader platform including e mails. I'm really surprised Apple did not think of having two docking slots.
Another thing I like is... if I need a quick signature I can use a program
made for the iPhone and being upgraded to an iPad version very soon. This
program allows me to upload (via email) all the approved real estate "blank" forms,
broker approved and required forms, other documents in general that may
need signatures and so on to Zosh
and have those there that I can open
up, enter in the text I need on the appropriate places in the form, have the client sign the form on the spot and send myself,
the client, the listing agent or selling agent, the title company and
anyone else needing that form straight from the iPad. Zosh
will even do
blue ink signatures.
You can also use the IPad to make keynote presentations which show splendidly on the iPads screen (Power Point for you Windows Users) and for you twitterer's out there you can down load Tweetdeck and twit away to all your incorporated social web sites at any time you wish.
A couple other different apps allow you to store documents in the iPad and will sync to your MAC and those would be Readdledocs or Connect and don't forget Mobile me or Google docs. Personally, I see no need to use these because I don't see the IPad like a lap top or like my MAC so although you can have these storage sites to save things you can grab if you need, I think the iPad serves a different purpose all together.
Theres a financial calculator app that comes in handy for calculating accurate amortized numbers or a better app yet is "Loancalc" that will give you a payment P&I when you enter in the loan amount, down, interest and term.
All of these apps can be found on the apple store either in iPaohe format or iPad format. Either will work.
Texting is particularly cool with an app called Text+ Especially with the key board.
the other advantage with the iPad vs a lap top is the battery life is incredible. Apple really thought this out and did very well with the iPad to make sure it has incredible battery life. something the iPhone could use a dose of. Perhaps when the 4g comes. We'll see...
I can hardly wait for the OS4 operating system allowing multi open apps. This will be a HUGE step forward for the iPhone and the iPad being able to have several applications open at the same time instead of closing one and opening another.
Another thing Realtors might find useful is Trulia and realtor.com searches. Trulia and realtor.com have live feed searches for homes active on the market. If you are out touring and showing homes and want to see if a property is listed and active and how much is is listed for, open up either application and search off the 3Gs to see what's active around you. that home if it is active will appear on the list of homes with all the data you will need. If you pulled it on the fly from a realtor sign then you'll have the phone number for the listing agent to contact so you don't need to look it up in the MLS, but you'll have INSTANT info... This to me being a buyers agent is HUGE.
another cool thing about the iPad is seminars and taking notes. This is KILER for that because you can pull out your blue tooth keyboard, open up the iPad, place it in the easel and open the"Notes" app and start typing in the notes clean and simple. If you type in a web address and save the notes you can open up the web page later straight from the notes app. If you sync the notes in iTunes you can open up the saved notes page on your mac to review and again access any info as a live link like a web address or e mail straight from the app.
I'm sure that as time goes on there will be a thousand other apps and functions for the iPad that will come to the surface. My biggest hope is for a better Browser that is more like using Safari on the MAC.
Also, I'm sure someone will write an flash app eventually that will allow users to open and watch flash stuff, but to this date I have not had any need for that at all, not once.
So that's it, my honest hands on experience so far of the iPad.
For me it's a big winner. For the rest of you Ill leave it up to you to decide if it will work for you.
If you wonder why you would want to start using one the question should be simple. Technology has always driven our Realtor market and a lack of understanding it and how to See and apply it in every day business will simply make us all antiques.
All The Best Out There!
Stew Keene - Home Smart Realty
Techie Realtor Guy That Loves Apple Products