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How to Leverage the iPad in Your Real Estate Business

Pei-Lin-Huang-How-To-Use-iPad-in-Real-Estate-BusinessIf you aren’t using an iPad, you probably know someone in real estate who is. The latest National Association of REALTORS®’ Technology Survey Report reveals tablets are top of mind with real estate agents because they save time, keep agents connected and increase productivity by more than a third. Of course, it’s one thing to own an iPad and consume media on it. It’s quite another to tap into the personal tablet’s power to drive your everyday real estate business to new heights. Keller Williams agent Pei Lin Huang has tapped in and the Syracuse (N.Y.) market center associate, closed $8.5 million on 74 deals in 2012 and another $5 million in 2013.

Although Huang labels herself as a “late iPad implementer”– she purchased the tablet as a reward for her hard work – she was a quick study on the technology. In fact, she now uses the iPad exclusively while on the go.

Inking Deals at McDonald’s
“The iPad untethers real estate professionals from their computers and gives them complete mobility. It’s light, portable and possesses that ‘cool factor,’” says Huang, who launched her real estate career in 1987 at a national franchise before committing to Keller Williams in 2006.

“The iPad untethers real estate professionals from their computers and gives them complete mobility. It’s light, portable and possesses that ‘cool factor.’”

“Because I am 95 percent paperless, I save money on paper and ink. I also save money on time and gas because I no longer have to run around to have offers signed and delivered.” When working with a buyer client last summer, she discovered that the house had multiple offers on it. “We zipped to the local McDonald’s – with a playground to keep their young son occupied – and I wrote up the contract. They signed on the ‘Form Tools’ app and I emailed it to the listing agent. The offer was accepted all before leaving.” A happy meal, indeed!

Task-Based Approach
Huang does just about everything on her iPad: buyer and seller consultations, offers, file storage, Webinars, video conferencing with clients and her team, writing and signing contracts, email, writing contract addendum, showing comps to sellers, showing houses on the market to buyers, online banking and more. “Writing the contract addendum is particularly nice with ‘Pages’ and ‘iCloud,’” she adds.

“Whatever I do on one device gets automatically sent to my other Apple devices via iCloud.” She also uses an app called “QIK Video” to live stream, record house showings and deliver inspection problems. She also uses it to facilitate pre-closing walk-through issues to buyers, sellers and attorneys. “I have sold houses to out-of-town buyers this way.” Adopting the new technology wasn’t hard for Huang. “I was already mostly paperless so the transition made sense,” she explains. Her clients have also been open to the new format. “They see it and feel like it has that ‘cool factor.’” For agents new to the tablet world, her advice on getting started is simple: Don’t try to implement everything at once. She often tells agents to start by identifying a task, finding an app to help tackle that task, and then implementing that app.

“Apps are typically free, which makes it easy to try several to find the one that you like.” She tends to have several apps that do similar things, and, depending on the task, may choose to use one app over the other. “Definitely read the reviews in the iTunes App Store before you buy. And download the ‘AppsforFree’ app. When you’re buying a lot of apps it’s a great way to save money on something that may or may not work exactly how you thought it would.”

Posted in Technology
17 comments on “How to Leverage the iPad in Your Real Estate Business
  1. JuneDavenport says:

    Thanks for the info. I too have an iPad and have been looking for ways to incorporate it into my business. I would appreciate more tips and suggestions from someone successfully using technology.

  2. ChristinaHood says:

    Wow, what a great post! I appreciate the QIK Video tip. I just downloaded it and am figuring it will prove quite useful. Thanks. I am an iPad newbie with 6 months under my belt looking forward to being as mobile as Ms. Pei Lin Huang in the near future!

  3. Andrew Scherer says:

    Proud to be in business with such a talented, learning based leader.

  4. Helene Kelbaugh says:

    This is great! I love technology and what the iPad allows us to do! Happy to be in biz with you!

  5. Jason Maniecki says:

    Great article but light on the apps that are being used.
    I run a team of 10 and here are a list of apps I use for real estate. Before I share the apps I think we should address which ipad to get if you dont already have one.( I have the 64gb with Verizon wireless) before I bought mine I borrowed one that was only wifi. DO NOT BUY A WIFI ONLY ipad. Yes you can get wireless mifi’s etc but its yet another thing you need to charge and deal with. Get a 32gb with wireless at a minimum. Ideally get a 64gb or the new 128gb in a perfect world.

    Best part of my Ipad is when I’m out showing houses and I turn on the ipad and open app(can’t wait for the KW version), plug in their criteria(this is key so they don’t get overwhelmed with homes that don’t meet their criteria) and hand it to them as we drive to the next house. Huge Wow factor. If they see a house that isn’t on their list we look it up on zillow app or and confirm why it didn’t make the cut. If they want to see it, I instantly call the listing agent and can show them the home ASAP.( another huge wow factor)

    Now for the apps:

    Google drive- our whole team uses it. It’s cloud storage and all our files are accessible for anywhere not just the ipad. I was waiting in school pick up. Got a call from a buyer questioning the sqft of the home. I pulled out my ipad and while still on the phone I was able to access the property appraisal confirm the sqft of the home and send a copy of it to the buyer. Yes the buyer bought that house! Took me all of 30 sec!
    We pay $10/ for 200gb of cloud storage and every file we have is on there .

    Dropbox- similar to google drive but has advantages and disadvantages. Easier to share and more people already have it.

    Evernote is my favorite for taking notes with audio and awesome for sharing. Ps it’s Free.
    Docusign ink- allows you to get digital signature on your ipad.
    Logmein- favorite app to remotely access my desktop from anywhere!
    The list is much longer and there is some great training available form KWRI!

    • Darlene Gore says:

      Thanks Jason for share. I have the 64gb. This morning I went to Dropbox where I store all my files and I wanted to edit a lease that I saved in word however, it would not give me the option to edit. I had to get on my note box to edit and email the changes to my client. Does iCloud allow you to edit in word? I have the same problem with imputing MLS with pictures. Any feed back is Appreciated.

    • Martha Gardner says:

      Great information. I have a samsung Galaxy 3 with Verizon. Can I buy the IPad or what type of tablet should I buy?

      thanks for your suggestions


    • K Stocks says:

      What actual App of Evernote are you using? There are many diff ones. I do not have a iPad, just a iPhone, with a HP TouchPad tablet, which I am looking at converting or giving it a dual boot feature for the Android Operating system as well.

  6. Neal Shapiro says:

    Since I am just starting out, does anyone know if these apps will work on an android tablet while I wait to get an Ipad? I know Dropbox will but what about the docusign app? Are there other apps anyone would suggest for a newbie?

    • Bryon Morgan says:

      Docusign is available for Android. Jason Maniecki above has a list of good apps, Google those to see if they are also available in Android versions.

  7. Betsy Torres Mormile says:

    This was GREAT! Thank you. I just WON an iPad last week in a raffle at our office In West Cobb/GA last week. Just got it Friday night and had NO IDEA where to start. Very excited! Thank you!

  8. Wendy Bell says:

    I have an iPad and have my listing presentation on it in Keynote. I have also purchased a portable pocket projector which connects to my iPad, so I can display my listing presentation on a bare wall so everyone can see. Another great app is pdf Expert which allows the creation of pdfs, using forms that are imported into the app on the iPad. One neat thing that I learned at a recent real estate board course was to record notes right into the form in pdf Expert on iPad. For instance, if you are making notes as you take a new listing, if you have a form with each room listed on the form, an audio note done on each room section with measurements, features, etc., can make producing the listing on MLS and a feature sheet a lot easier. Just email the form to your assistant, etc., so they can listen to each room’s special features.

    Dropbox is the most useful app of all! I use it in business to share large files, Publisher docs etc., with my family to share photos, sending photos or docs to vendors etc. Free for the basic app, and if you refer someone you get more free space!

  9. susan gobrial says:

    Great discussion, Now I feel that I have to go shopping for an i
    pad today

  10. Donald Holbrook says:

    Thanks so much for the tips and ideas.

  11. Thank you for sharing the information. I am a fan of The Good Life Team, so I will be sure to check it out.

    • imraan ali says:

      It’s free to download on the Apple App Store. Available to Realtors who are members of the Austin, Houston and Corpus Christi Association of Realtors.

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