The iPad is a phenomenal tool for Toronto real estate agents to use as part of their business. Aside from the amazing apps that will make an agent’s life easier and more productive, it is a device that still has ‘thud’ factor. When you pull it out with clients, it makes a statement.
At Sage Real Estate, we encourage our agents to pick up these devices. We have put together this post to walk you through the apps that we recommend and to demonstrate how our agents are using them as part of their business. We have also included towards the end a list of some great apps that may or may not have any business application, but which are just cool.
1) DropBox – This app allows you to share and back up files with ease. After you download the app, you’ll need to set up an account. A 2 GB account is free, and this is more than enough space to start. You then should install DropBox on your desktop, and any other devices with which you’ll want to be sharing files. When installed, it places a folder on your computer called ‘My DropBox’. You can treat this like any other folder on your computer. The main difference is that when you save a file in this folder, the file is automatically backed up on DropBox’s server and is also available through the DropBox app on your iPhone/iPad, or whichever other device on which you have installed DropBox. You can also share any of the folders in your DropBox with other DropBox users. This is where it comes in extremely handy for agents, as you can now create a Client X folder, dump in all related files, and and Client X can then access them.
2) iPad Tips – For both veterans and first-timers, there is a great app called iPad Tips. It will show you all kinds of shortcuts and tips that aren’t necessarily intuitive to someone who isn’t familiar with Apple products.
3) iWork Apps (Apple Keynote, Apple Numbers, Apple Pages) – These apps allow you to create Word documents, presentations, and spreadsheets on your iPad 2. They are cross-compatible with products of the same name for Mac users; for Microsoft users these are the equivalent to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
4) Perfect Browser – This app allows you to mirror any browser. If you mirror “Opera 10.5” it allows you to access Toronto MLS. You will have access to 95% of the site as if you were on a PC. The only drawback is that you cannot create an offer.
5) Opera Mini – This app also allows you to access Toronto MLS and as with Perfect Browser, you have 95% of functionality on the site.
6) Keynote – This is PowerPoint for the iPad 2 (and other Mac devices). It creates a much more impressive presentation with slicker functionality then PowerPoint. It is particularly powerful when used as part of an agent’s listing presentation because you can include live links which, when clicked on, will launch the webpages on the iPad 2. This can be a powerful way to walk a client through the digital marketing you’ll be doing for their listing by showing them live examples of what you’ve done for other listings.
7) Web Functionality – It’s not an app but a really cool aspect of the iPad 2.You can have up to 9 websites up at a time and easily surf between them. This can be used effectively during a listing presentation by preloading all of the websites that you want to walk through with your client. For instance, let’s say you want to do a live demonstration of all the digital marketing you do for a listing. You can pull up: the individual listing site, the YouTube video, the listing on the syndicated sites, the social media site – and show the client exactly what you do for your listings to ensure maximum exposure.
8) PDF Expert - This is an app that allows you to make and save handwritten notes on a PDF. This is great for when you’re out showing properties with a client. You download the PDFs of the listings you are going to see and save them in that client’s DropBox folder. Then during the showing open the PDF using PDF Expert and hand the iPad to your client along with a stylus (pen for the iPad) and they can make their own handwritten notes on the PDF. You then save the document and the client can access it through the shared DropBox folder when they get home.
9) PDF Typewriter LifeForms– This app allows you to type in the blanks on a pdf file. This comes in handy if you want to type up an offer on your iPad 2. What you would have to do is first download all of the relevant offer files in pdf and save them in your DropBox. You then can open them in LifeForms and fill them out then email them to yourself.
10) Realtor.ca – Get access to all the listings on Realtor.ca right off of your iPad 2. They have actually done a brilliant job with this app. When you are out and about with your clients you can use the map feature to see if there is anything else on the market nearby, and then book a showing with a couple of clicks. You should encourage your clients download this app and use the ‘My Agent’ feature, so that they can easily send you listings they want to see.
11) Wikihood – Open the app wherever you are, and your iPad will recognise what neighbourhood you’re in and pull up all the information from Wikipedia about that neighbourhood. Great tool if you are out with a client in a neighbourhood that you’re not familiar with
12) Measures HD – This app turns your iPad 2 into a level, ruler, plumb bob, seismometer, and stopwatch. So the next time you’re in a house with a client and they ask you if the floors feel slanted, you can pull out your iPad 2 and let them know exactly how off the floor is.
13) Google Maps – Fantastic app in case you find yourself lost – it will tell you where you are and show you on a map. Enter the address of where you want to be and it will show you the way. You can also layer things like traffic over the map so you can see is the fastest-moving route. There are 1001 other GPS apps, but none are as effective as Google Maps, especially for those who are already used to using it.
14) Ustream Broadcaster – This app allows you to stream video live to your own Ustream channel using the camera on your iPad 2. Viewers can interact with you through a chat interface. This is a great tool for when you are working with a couple and one of them is not able to be at the showing in person. This tool can also be used to livestream an open house. You can walk viewers through the listing as if they were there with you.
15) Padfolio – This app is used to manage and display photos or PDFs. This is great to use during an open house to display the photos of a condo building’s amenities or the floor plans of other units in the building.
16) Open House Manager – This app is used to check people into your open house. It makes it easy to capture and manage their contact information.
17) Documents To Go – This is a great app to use in concert with DropBox. It allows you not only to view the files stored in DropBox, but to edit them as well.
18) Reel Director -This app allows you to edit the video you capture using your iPad 2. You can add captions, edit the sound add music…and then upload to your blog or YouTube once you’re done. It’s very handy for the video bloggers out there.
19) Evernote – Chances are, if you can see it or think of it, Evernote can help you remember it. Type a text note. Clip a web page. Snap a photo. Grab a screenshot. Evernote will keep it all safe.
20) Note Taker HD – So you’re not a fan of typing…check out this app as a way to write your notes with your finger or a stylus.
21) Skype – This app allows you to use Skype on your iPad. Using the forward-facing camera, you can even do video conferencing.
22) Zerofone – This app turns your iPad 2 into a mobile phone complete with its own phone number. It allows you to drastically reduce your long distance and roaming charges. This is a great app for those agents who go up to cottage country and need to stay in touch with the office but lament the long distance charges.
23) Social Networking apps – To be honest, you don’t need a Facebook or LinkedIn app – the iPad2 has such a great browser interface that it’s just as easy to access the full site.
24) Hootsuite – This is a useful app if you want to manage all your social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) in one place.
25) Foursquare- Build relationships, become mayor of locations and leave tips. This is a great way to demonstrate your neighbourhood expertise.
26) Google – Of course Google has a pretty cool app. Search by voice, picture and type…you can even translate a foreign language.
27) Yelp – Use this app to search for places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play, then read reviews from an active community of locals in the know, all from your iPad 2.
28) Tune In Radio or Pandora Radio – Listen to international radio by music type or station.
29) SoundHound- Hit “Listen”, and your device will recognise the song that’s playing and then give you a link to buy it through iTunes.
30) Kindle and iBooks- Readers can import Kindle purchases or download favourite books through iTunes and read them in iBook. The only consistent negative for this is that it is a hard device to use outdoors, so no reading on the beach unless you’ve got a cabana.
31) Epicurious- Incredible app for the cooks out there. What do you do when you have too much tofu in the fridge and you feel like Cajun food???? You go to the Search function, click “tofu” and “Cajun” and then pick your recipe. You also get a shopping list that you can email to your significant other so that they can pick up a few things on the way home.
32) YouTube – Watch YouTube videos conveniently from your iPad.
33) Netflix- For $8 a month you can stream movies and television shows from anywhere. The app will also pair with your Blu-Ray and CPU with one account.
34) Weather Channel – A convenient little app to keep you informed about what it going on with the weather.
35) Alarm Clock Pro – Just what it sounds like.
36) LED Light – Turn your iPad into a flashlight.
37) Angry Birds – One of the most popular iPad games of all time (all 1 1/2 years of time).
38) Find My iPhone – Use this to find your iPad2 if you happen to misplace it.
39) Mirror Zoom – Turn your iPad into a mirror.
40) Dragon Dictation – You talk and it takes notes.
41) WordPress - Blog while you are out and about.
If you think we missed a worthwhile app, please let us know and we’ll be happy to add it to our list.