Contemplating IPADS for your Sales Team

April 4, 2013 by Shirleen Von Hoffmann Leave a reply »

The other night we had dinner at a small Italian restaurant in my neighborhood that seats about 250 people.  It is a small business that focuses on great food and wine.  On each table the owner now has an IPAD where you can scan the hundreds of bottles of wine as well as the menu.  This small business made the investment in 50 or so IPAD’s in order to facilitate the habits and needs of their customers.

Just a few years back, IPAD’s and tablets were foreign to Real Estate Agents and builders.  Many didn’t realize the huge opportunity that lie ahead in the future for changing the way an Agent does a presentation, follow up and business.  Even now, when I show a Builder the amazing opportunity that can be provided by having these little pads in their Agent’s hands, many don’t want to invest the dollars to provide them.

The purpose of this article is to cover some of the reasons why Agents should have IPAD’s and some of the things to pay attention to when purchasing them.

Understanding the Amazing Value

I do a seminar that covers 35 or so IPAD apps that are essential to real estate agents.  Most of which are real game changers.  Every day apps are being created that will change our lives.  Many real estate IPAD apps are much more efficient than going on your PC.  For instance Zip Realty, Zillow, Google Earth, Redfin,  as examples are all more efficient on an IPAD than on a normal PC.

When you can pull up something while you are in the field with your client, it’s very powerful.  During my IPAD training series I upload all of the builders handout items, via PDF, on the Agent’s IPAD’s so that the Agent can not only email the PDF’s of the floorplans, site maps, site plans, CC& R’s,  builder story and community facts to clients but they can pull them up while out on site.  This saves big money in brochure costs, time and resources.  It also gets you an opportunity and permission to obtain a real email from the prospect, thus starting the follow up process.

I love tying the client to the lot by using the IPAD to take photos or video of them on their lot or their favorite floorplan and emailing them directly with the photos or video before they arrive home.  I love utilizing apps that can send video emails and important things in the building process like floors going in, roofs going on, granite counters and cabinets being installed.  All things customers get excited about and want to share with their friends and family on Facebook and other social media sites.

Sometimes the simple things are the best!  I love utilizing “before and after” photos on the IPAD when you have a client comparing you to another, or comparing new to resale.  You can simply utilize an app that puts pictures side by side, so you can swipe back and forth to show a client the difference between your product and the competition.  Hard to do this on a PC.

Being able to utilize an IPAD for third party validation is an amazing thing.  For instance you are in the field talking about benefits of homeownership and how It be a tax deduction.  You can simply enter that into google and get all kinds of sites for the client to view that tells them about those benefits but it’s not you telling them, it’s various legal sites or tax companies! Keeps you from talking about something that could be considered legally binding and it’s a third party validation!

There are now companies doing registration cards on IPAD’s, hoping that if a client is using a tablet they will find it a more pleasant process, provide more information and even prequalification data can be entered directly by the prospect.  Having it already in the computer format makes transfer of the data easier by directly sending it into the builder database, saving thousands of dollars in time and energy.

There are just so many ways to utilize these tools, in amazing ways; it makes the investment seem small.

Understanding the Limitations

Now one of the biggest limitations that I see is you need internet coverage, if you are going to utilize this out in the field so that will be an added monthly cost.  An agent can either use their cell phone as a WIFI for the IPAD or pay to have the WIFI coverage.  Both options cost a little extra monthly.  While some agents may want to use their IPHONE for the same purposes we speak of in this article, the IPAD is much larger and easier to see for the prospect when utilizing it as a tool.

Understanding the Investment

While I mostly speak of the IPAD, there are many affordable tablets on the market.  I feel the IPAD and Google Nexus work best for Real Estate Professionals.  Apple remains the leading player in tablets and apps, providing over 800,000 apps but Nexus provides over 700 android apps and works well for Real Estate as well.

Buying an older version of the IPAD in bulk can save huge dollars when buying for a large sales team and for real estate purposes you may not notice a difference in the older version.

Having training to make sure you receive the biggest bang on your investment is essential.  The Agent must learn the value of these sales tools through training and sparking their imaginations to take the tool and utilize it in ways no one has dreamed, in the field.  This is easy to do, because once in hand the possibilities of these handheld devices become limitless!

I would recommend trying out various models at a store, with an IT professional prior to a large purchase.  Make sure to include a Real Estate Business Consultant like myself who teaches IPAD classes to real estate professionals when you execute the launch of the product.  That way you will be setting yourself up for amazing results thus providing new thought and ideas to your business and sales team.

Happy Sales

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3 Responses

  1. Tim Lally says:

    I would like to use portions of your article in one of our Blog’s. We are a Cloud based Project management service for Home Builders and try to impress upon them the significance of outfitting their field staff with iPad and like devices. I believe this allows for more to be done with fewer man hours.

    Thank you for your time.

    Tim Lally

  2. Sure just note give me credit for writing it and I don’t have a problem with that.

  3. Mike says:

    Great article! What do you think of also using tablets in the sales office or sales center to create interactive displays, info centers and kiosks? We’re starting to see more of this in a couple of industries including home building and consumer products/retail.

    You mentioned using the iPad to pull up PDFs of floorplans, site maps,etc. Some home builders are also using the iPad to show interactive versions of those.

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