A few months ago I had the opportunity to sit down with a group of REALTORS® who have been using the iPad as a tool for their real estate business for a few months now. We had a great discussion about how they are using their iPads and we came up with this list of practical apps that these active REALTORS® are finding useful and are using on a daily basis.
Finding and searching for homes
MLS – by using the 3G service built into many ipads, the agents are able to search the mls online live with clients anywhere they go. The agents love providing clients with more information about homes while hosting open houses or showing homes.
Zillow & Trulia – Both of these apps can identify your current location and show you details about homes in the nearby area. You can easily pan around the map to find other homes with features your client is looking for. The mapping system on both these aps also let you turn the satelitte view on for easier viewing.
Document and Contract Managment
Dropbox – If you don’t have Dropbox yet, this is a must have app. It allows you to share documents between your home computer, your laptop, your iPad and your smartphone. Simply put your documents, pdfs, photos, music files, etc. into the Dropbox folder on your computer and these documents are now easily accessible on your iPad.
OnLive Desktop – Want an even more powerful app to edit and view your Microsoft Office documents? OnLive Desktop is that app. Surprising this app is FREE, but a little more complicated to use. The secret is once the app is installed on your iPad, you must login to the website on your computer. From your computer, you upload any of your Microsoft Office documents to the system so they can be viewed and edited on the iPad.
PDF Expert – After some experiementing with a few PDF apps, this was our favorite. This app allows you to open files from your Dropbox or Google Docs accounts, or directly from your email in to the program, Once open you can add text directly to the document, write on with the pen tool, complete fillable PDF’s, and even add your signature, or have your clients initial or sign the documents right on the iPad.
TIP – If you prepare your contract as a PDF with fillable blanks you can easily fill in all the blanks when writing a contract, then have the clients intial and sign. You can then immediately email the contract directly to the co-op agent plus a copy to the client at the same time.
TIP – Some of the agents are reducing the paper clutter when showing homes. They are saving the property information sheets for their showings as a PDF then placing the PDF in their Dropbox account. They can open the property info sheets in PDF Expert to share the details of the property with the client while touring the properties, make notes for the clients on each sheet, then email the clients the property sheets with notes included when the showings are complete.
Printing with the iPad
Print N Share – Once this app is added to your iPad, you can easily print to any printer on your network. It does require a small program to be installed and running on a computer on the network which acts as the print server. Your iPad will find be able to print to any printer the computer would be able to print to.
Buy an EPrint ready Printer – For the home, I bought a Printer that has the EPrint feature. This was specialy designed for iPad and iPhones for easy printing from these iOS devices. The HP printer I bought was under $140 and required no setup or special apps on my iPad. This is the printer I have.
Miscellanous apps and accessories
Talkatone – Have you ever wished you could make phone calls with your iPad? This is the app for you. You must have a Google Voice account already setup, but once setup, it works very similar to iPhone’s phone system.
PocketCloud Pro – This app allows me to access you to access your computer from your iPad. See your desktop, access your files, email things from your computer into your ipad email from anywhere.
My wife loves taking photos with her camera, but was having difficulty getting the photos to her iPad or iphone without going through the whole iTunes syncing process. She found this great accessory which allows you to take your photos directly from your SD card or camera to your iPad.
I hope this list of iPad apps these active REALTORS® are currently using daily gives you some praticle tips for how you can use your iPad more efficiently for your real estate business.
What apps are you finding useful in your business?
Tell us what you think!
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