10 Ways Real Estate Agents Could Use The Apple iPad

4 minute read

Will the recent launch of the Apple iPad mean the end of the Listing Presentation Folder or FlipChart style presentation? Will we see agents showing off their listings via the iPad? Or perhaps they’ll be using it to watch real estate training sessions or live streamed sales meetings? Either way, could it be a Game Changer?

Whilst a lot of these things I mentioned can already be done using a laptop, with the recent launch of the Apple iPad and the low entry price for their product, I can see that there will be a large number of potential uses for the iPad for real estate agents.

Just like a restaurant could use the iPad for taking orders or displaying their menu, real estate agents can use the iPad to demonstrate how professionally they can present a potential sellers home, show comparable sales and create a marketing campaign digitally.

The pricing of the iPad means that Apple have provided an affordable way that an agent can make their company appear more high tech out in the field.

Here’s 10 Ways That Real Estate Agents Could Use The iPad…

  • Use it for digital listing presentations
  • Show property photos and videos in high definition
  • Visit websites for doing CMA’s and show other related sites
  • Create a Demo Individual Property Website for a client right before their eyes
  • Instant database entry at open homes
  • Get directions
  • Show off real estate iPhone apps on a larger screen
  • Portable client management
  • Show details of current listings to buyers on the run
  • Checking email enquiries & setting appointments

The launch of the iPad also provides an insight into where Print Media is heading. The iPad is going to make it a better reading experience for people to get their news digitally, which will ultimately have an effect on the physical distribution of printed newspapers.

Local Press may not feel the same affect for a while, but it certainly could have an impact in the amount of physical printed local newspapers distributed long term.

My hope was that the introduction of digital readers like the Apple iPad and Amazon’s Kindle may help to bring the real estate print media prices down to a more affordable level for agents and sellers, but unfortunately it may actually increase.

With the iPad, the newspaper experience will become more engaging, plus the digital newspaper will help to drive more website traffic across to an agent’s website than the printed version ever has. Whilst physical distribution will be down, the electronic distribution of newspapers could explode via the iPad & advertising space will become more popular, hence more expensive.

Whilst I see some great uses for the iPad for real estate agents, there are some developers who feel that Apple could have gone a lot further with their development, eg here’s 8 Things That Suck About The iPad.

I’m sure Apple will include a number of these extra features to the iPad very quickly, just like they did with the iPhone.

But for now it looks like they have made something that is very appealing to the majority of people & have priced it affordably enough that the iPad should end up becoming just as popular as the iPod and the iPhone.

While agents will have to wait to get their hands onto an iPad, over the next few weeks there is a perfect opportunity for agents or franchise groups to prepare a digital listing presentation in time for its delivery.

If you can think of any other uses for the iPad I’d appreciate any other thoughts or ideas.

Disclaimer: I am the director of a company that provides Individual Property Websites for real estate agents.

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  • Ryan O'Grady
    Posted February 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm 0Likes

    Sorry guys, fixed now. Thanks for pointing it out Robert!

  • Peter
    Posted February 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm 0Likes

    In what way is this device affordable? Starting at $499 US with no 3G connection and no usb port to attach a 3G modem?

    A sub-$400 netbook offers infinitely more functionality than this oversized iPhone. It’s a good thing Apple has such a great marketing department to make up for the products they produce.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm 0Likes


    I also believe that the iPad will be a most valuable tool at open for inspections where purchasers can view similar properties that an agent has on their books at the time of inspecting. What a sensational opportunity for agents to showcase their respective portfolios. Can’t wait until they are available 🙂

  • Garry Thomas
    Posted February 4, 2010 at 4:51 pm 0Likes

    Imagine signing up home buyers on the spot to your property newsletter. Use an automatic email system to send a subscribe thank you email instantly.
    The buyer gets home and when they check their email, they see you have contacted them already to say thanks. Maybe some of those buyers are sellers too and will be impressed with your service. Food for thought?

  • Real Estate Community Great Moorestown
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 2:20 am 0Likes

    The game is changing all the time and your article gives great support to how the IPad could be used well. It is wise to keep an open mind on how technology can help ones industry.

  • Nick
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 9:55 am 0Likes

    Uhh didnt Microsoft do something like this back in 2001?
    They had tablet pcs which were essentially identical in functionality (in this context) to a iPad.

    No body used it back then, and my money is on no one using it now.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 10:39 am 0Likes


    You are right, the functionality in the iPad is no great leap like previous Apple products. It is certianly better than tablets of old, but no improvement on the current tablets models other than the operating system… There are tons of tablet manufactures that have failed to gain the consumer interest for nearly a decade. Retailers don’t stock them so the public does not get to play with them. This means that tablets have remained a niche product product primarily for business users.

    Over the past 18 months the concept of a low powered internet tablet has started to gain momentum, particularly in overseas markets but overall it was really going nowhere…. but with Apple’s clout and reputation for being “cool” you can guarantee they are going to sell a bucketload of them. I would think the success of the iPad to a certain sales level is all but guaranteed. Behind it’s launch the other tablet manufacturers that have failed to garner the consumer support will rally and create a range of iPad clones and the retailers will fall over themselves to stock them.

    That my prediction anyway.. the other prediction.. the hot product for the past couple of years, the netbook, will lose traction as tablets steal their market.

    The tablet manufactures should pay Apple for making the slate form factor cool…. 🙂

  • Peter Fletcher
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 11:00 am 0Likes

    Property managers could use them for property condition reports, sales reps could use them for data entry at market appraisals. Both could be electronically submitted to members only areas of the agents web site. Limitless opportunities here.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 3:09 pm 0Likes

    Great ideas Peter & Garry, I especially like the idea of getting the newsletter subscription going on the spot. There are so many agents that lose data in transition.

    Also, it made me think that there could also be a great opportunity to connect with people on Facebook or Twitter straight away too. Or show them your Facebook fan page. Lots of people now access FB via their mobile so they may choose to become a Fan straight away if you gave them a compelling enough reason to want to join.

    Whilst, these things can be done on a laptop, notebook or tablet already, the seamlessness of the presentation on the iPad is the thing that will make it all work a lot better.

    Trying to do a sales presentation on a laptop is so difficult/cumbersome and there’s normally very limited opportunity for eye contact.

    During a laptop presentation, people normally end up sitting one way rather than across from each other in a comfortable discussion-style environment. (Have you ever sat in a lounge room full of chairs with 3 people sitting on the one lounge trying to converse? It just feels weird).

    Also, a laptop presentation can be very frustrating, especially if the person controlling the keyboard & mouse is trying to pitch to someone who can type at 100 words a minute. These type of clients will rarely enjoy a digital presentation on a laptop simply because they spend most of their time watching a 2 fingered typist trying to punch out a presentation & all they want to do is rip the keyboard off them and do the presentation themselves.

    Tapping the screen, sliding images around, expanding the presentation using your fingers or even getting the client to drive the presentation by selecting the marketing campaign they want somehow just seems like a much more interactive way to work a sales presentation.

    Glenn, I agree the Apple brand will push these out to sooo many more people just like they did with the iPod. (MP3 players were around before Apple launched the iPod, but they just got the marketing right & the rest is history).

  • Dan Mitchell
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 3:59 pm 0Likes

    I’m surprised nobody has yet said eDocuments. Imagine walking through listing with a buyer, the MLS info pulled up on the iPad, which you are holding one-handed resting in the crook of your left arm, with the answer to just about every question available at a glance. Your clients decide that they want to write an offer, so you drive to a coffee shop and walk your clients through the offer over a latte. As a buyer’s agent, can you get more high level than that? And talk about instant gratification.

    I also like the idea of being directed to a multimedia-rich presentation simply by taking a picture of a 2D barcode, but that would require a rear-facing camera, so maybe the iPad 2.0. Some disagree with that, call it unnecessary, but I’m all about easy.

    So what’s the easiest- A) calling an agent at the phone number on the sign? B) Going to a website and entering the home’s ‘ID’? C) Texting to get details texted back? D) Pulling it up on Zillow/Trulia using GPS to show you homes for sale near the current location? (What if the Listing Agent doesn’t syndicate their listings to those sites?) E) Grabbing a flyer from a tube hung under the for sale sign? OR F) walking up to the For Sale sign, taking a picture of a prominent barcode, and having that redirect you automatically to a website with all the details, pictures, videos, etc. in a format that’s much more user-friendly than the standard MLS printout?

    I don’t know about you, but from a buyer standpoint, I like F- easy, immersive, ‘sticky’ in internet terms.

    I could be crazy, but I think a true, useable tablet could be a professional agent’s new best friend.

    Now they just need to do something about the name…

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 1:03 pm 0Likes

    Dan, I agree that e-docs will play an important role as well. Using the intranet via the IPad will become a valuable part of its effectiveness.

    BTW you’re not crazy, I see that a phone application connected to an ‘in-car style’ set of headphones will become the norm for people talking on the phone via the iPad 2.0 and once the camera is included, the use of QR Codes via the iPad will become more & more popular.

    QR Codes are really big in Japan & lets face it anything that integrates well with mobile phone technology seems to be the way forward.

    For an insight into where QR Codes are headed, here’s a video about Google Favourite Places? – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuVSpG-ZdkU

  • Nick
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 11:39 am 0Likes

    Greg Vincent, I would think that a presentation of a iPad would be significantly worse than a laptop for one reason: it doesnt come with a stand.
    Its a good single user device, but its not for multiple people to see at once.

  • Bill Burdin
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 1:09 pm 0Likes

    I’ll play Nostradamus and predict in the near future every students bag will carry an ipad or clone. Every car will have an ipad container, every bedside table will have an ipad and every real estate agent/salesperson will carry one and have no choice if they want to survive.

    A couple of years ago I used to slug my laptop over my shoulder, but since the iphone appeared I rarely need to switch it on when I’m on the road. And soon the ipad will do what I wish the iphone could do.

    The tablet/ipad will make a mammoth leap to ubiquity when wireless internet becomes super fast. I can see the day when google give tablets away for free. They’ll manafacture them for peanuts, give them away and suck up a profit from each user clicking google ads displayed on the pad.

  • Mac
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm 0Likes

    I’m wondering why all you sheep, I mean soothsayers, didn’t buy or even try the Amazon ‘Kindle’? All this posturing smacks of sheep riding on the back of the iPod phenomenon to me i.e the iRiver, Sansa and others created and launched superior products to Apple and much earlier. Apple just sucked-in more users, sorry, I mean marketed, the iPod better. And now, despite the earlier Kindle and iPad, why wouldn’t students (and me visiting the coffee shop), prefer Sony’s flexible plastic sheet that can be rolled or folded-up (like a light but non-inky paper)? Personally, I’m sick of laptops, smart-phones (including iPhones that seem to me to be terrific for doing stuff other than being able to make ordinary phone calls!), Kindles and iPads. They’re all way too heavy and cumbersome. I want technology to fit-in with my life, not dominate it and demand my attention!

  • Adriaan
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 7:54 am 0Likes

    Everything you do with an Ipad you can do on a laptop….except you only use a mouse 🙂

  • Shane Dale
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 8:54 pm 0Likes

    Everyone is forgetting one major – in fact the most important thing.

    User acceptance. The reason Apple wins in many cases is because they make technology much more accessible and female friendly – less tech, more stylish and somehow more user friendly, and yes, of course – fashionable, cool even. Bearing in mind that women are 50% of the world population, and massively influential in property transactions, its worth noting. Facebook is a classic example – personally I find it difficult to navigate and a hassle, and annoying on some levels, despite this its wildly popular on a level that has never been seen before and cannot be ignored. I must remember to write them and express my indignation at them being successful in spite of my disdain for their interface design 😉

    These factors far outweigh other concerns. So, full marks for Apple at trying to get it right – and having a go. Lst time i checked, thats their role. Its by no means a guaranteed winner but its a far smarter effort than any previous tablet attempt.

    Lets compare with youtube – there is nothing new in the technology there – I have seen video on the web since 1996 with realplayer and others. Youtube appeared when the time was right – users were familiar with uploading files to social media sites and blogs, and everybody had broadband and digital video, plus of curse suitable web formats for video became available without a painful plugin – i.e flash solved that issue. Because its ubiquitous. Hey presto a winning FORMULA, not a unique technology.

    The same could be said of my old motorloa smart phone with a stylus from 3. The dummies there gave me 3G and prevented me from accessing the internet – unless through their portal. FAIL! We all know how motorola have fallen from grace when they had effectively an iphone right there for years. Getting it right isnt just technology.

    So we can see that timing is critical. I know thats not a new idea, but there is a real chance that the ipad has the timing right – for the convergence of usability, technology and acceptance, plus their brand factor. We shall see. Debating the technical aspects of how the ipad is nothing new is missing the point – even though its correct.

    On top of that – Apple offer a compelling environment – itunes, app store, superb product design and interface plus brand which means any product they launch starts with a working community to harness.

  • Shane Dale
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 9:05 pm 0Likes

    In addition, I personally will not buy one – I prefer my laptop, the good but not perfect macbook AIR.

  • Craig
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 7:09 am 0Likes

    Shane, I agree with you. People seem to forget that the iPhone was also dismissed by the boffins when announced due to failings like camera and 3G support. Not long afterwards people were lining up down the street to get one. The iPad may have some technical shortcomings but they won’t effect it’s success.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 8:19 am 0Likes

    Just because people have noticed and pointed out things about the iPad does not naturally mean they believe it to be a commercial flop. The iPad is the first Apple product I will probably buy.

  • Shane Dale
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 11:31 am 0Likes

    I dont think the ipad will have the success that the ipod and iphone have had by a wide margin, however its still a very interesting and useful product. In niche markets it will sizzle I suspect. Smart phones as a category is just such a huge huge market – I cant think of anything approaching that, and ipods – well thats a big market too. Tablets? alot smaller market. Smaller than laptop market I suspect but I can be wrong, its simply my guess.

    I wish i could dock my iphone to a larger monitor and screen – for me thats the future, using my iphone as a mobile wallet for everything i need. This interoperability is key ( without hassles) – hence Apple success. But they are not infallible – still so many shortcomings on the iphone and ipad.

    In fact – in Africa, its common to use Mpesa – a way of using mobile phone prepaid credit instead of an eftpos or credit card. Most people dont have an actual street address there or a laptop, but I can tell you – almost everybody has a mobile, and smart phones are rising fast, even with mobile internet. This is the frontier for global technology domination in volume – China, India and South America i suspect will be in similar boats.

  • Eddy Sydney Piddington
    Posted July 17, 2010 at 9:59 am 0Likes


    Great article.

    I have a 3G ipad and use it at every open home and listing presentation.

    Just last week I took a buyer through a property of mine at a private inspection. They fell in love with it. Offered $10,000 over the asking price at the open. I spoke to the vendor, had them agree on the offer. Next we sat down and he transferred the .25% deposit from my ipad. Signed a contract then we emailed the contract to him and his solicitor all from the lounge room of the apartment. Talk about easy.

    I have also created Keynotes on each property of mine. Remind me to show you next time i see you. This also gets sent to iWork for people to view and download as they like.

    Lovvve it


  • Greg Vincent
    Posted July 17, 2010 at 11:48 am 0Likes

    Eddy, I’ve just come back from presenting at Robert Bevan’s Best Practice Retreat and was interested to see that there were a few of attendees who now have the iPad.

    I think some agents will fumble through how they can use the iPad initially but once they get used to using it, most will end up wondering what they ever did without it.

    PS: It will be very interesting to see how many of the attendees will have an iPad this time next year.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted July 18, 2010 at 8:49 am 0Likes

    What will be interesting is to see how many will have the iDud.. the iPhone4

  • Brett Hunter
    Posted September 6, 2010 at 9:52 pm 0Likes

    Greg … property management will see massive opportunities in the iPad: inspection reports, tenancy applications, direct sync back to the property management system, on the road adjustment of your inspection path, direct download of the last property inspection etc …
    I cant wait for Rockend REST to really get hold of this

  • Peter Swan
    Posted September 14, 2010 at 1:19 pm 0Likes

    Great article,

    We have just started using our iPad for our Property Management team, for offices with a lot of data in Microsoft Office formats (eg Condition Reports) – I can reccomend Docs2Go and a Dropbox combination to get the ball rolling.



  • Mac
    Posted September 15, 2010 at 12:34 pm 0Likes

    If you must have a tablet of some type, try one that can handle Flash e.g. the new Toshiba., otherwise you won’t be able to access a *lot* of websites. (Legacy Flash sites will be around for at least a couple of years all you ‘But HTML5 will take care of that….’ iPad apologists out there).

  • Marty
    Posted September 15, 2010 at 11:22 pm 0Likes

    I think the main thing is its switched on and off in a heartbeat

  • Charles Wilson
    Posted November 30, 2010 at 4:15 pm 0Likes

    Hi Greg,
    Any idea if the NSW RT Bill be as comprehensive as the Act we have in Queensland?

  • Chris
    Posted December 4, 2010 at 4:08 am 0Likes

    The Ipad is a must have for any agent competing in todays real estate industry. I’m just saying…

  • Matthew N
    Posted January 23, 2011 at 10:12 pm 0Likes

    I just want it for inputting data at Open Homes and have them already fed into our DB automatically.. to be able to know where a buyer has been going and track their movements between the team would be awesome.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted January 24, 2011 at 12:44 am 0Likes

    Matthew have you tried the new MyDesktop iPad App?

  • Matthew N
    Posted January 24, 2011 at 8:12 am 0Likes

    Hey mate just checked it out but we are on CD so no dice unfortunately

  • Joe
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm 0Likes

    For doing Property Inspections and Property Condition Reports we have found the iPad app PIM (www.propertyinspectionmanager.com) invaluable!

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