What will the iPad mean for Real Estate in the DC Metro?

09 Feb
February 9, 2010

Last week, Apple announced its entry into the tablet race with its touch-device, the iPad. Besides having a questionable name, I am unsure about how effective of a tool this will be for Real Estate agents, and more specifically, Real Estate agents in the DC Metro area.

I admit it – when it was first announced, I was ecstatic at the possibilities. Paperless transactions. The ability to map out a route for tours, research the MLS for your clients, answer emails, write offers and submit contracts – all from one small device!

WOW.

And then I researched it. And came away unimpressed.

Don’t get me wrong, the iPad is a wonderful device, and has a lot of great uses for folks who want to do one thing, easily. But for Real Estate, I don’t think it is a good match, and here’s why:

  1. No support of Flash. And all of us here in the DC Metro require flash to upload our listings and data into Keystone.
  2. Does not multitask. No explanation needed here – have you ever met a good Real Estate agent who isn’t the master of multi-tasking? What if you need to access the MLS, send an email, and take notes for your client simultaneously? Impossible with the iPad.
  3. No camera. Again, how can any portable device be created in this day and age without a built-in camera? Big drawback again for Real Estate. Has a killer photo app pre-loaded, but how do you get the photos on the device? How do you take pictures of your listings with the device?
  4. No HDMI output. Not a big deal, but still would have been nice.
  5. No USB slots. BIG drawback – with no camera, how do you get photos loaded onto the device? Connect to a printer? Keyboard?
  6. Closed app interface.The iPad will only run apps from the iTunes store. How do you write contracts, integrate docusign? Impossible unless these companies create an app for these things.

With a slew of similar devices slated to be released in the coming months, the iPad is NOT a must-buy for Real Estate professionals. Hang tight as other similar devices are released by Microsoft…

…and others in the coming months. These devices will almost certainly have the outputs and functionality needed for a powerhouse Real Estate workhorse.

Search for Homes in the DC Metro: www.averyhess.com

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