Apple iPad for Realtors and Real Estate in general

I’ve been looking lustfully at the rumoured Apple tablet for months, wondering about the possibilities. As of Wednesday, Steve Jobs and his team have finally put to rest most of those rumours and have released to the masses the iPad, Apple’s first stab at the tablet market.

There’s much to be said about the iPad, some good and some bad. So without further hesitation here’s a take on the product from the perspective of a real estate professional (not a Realtor, not an agent, just a Marketing & Technology Consultant that deals with real estate transactions of all sorts on a daily basis).

First the good. The iPad is going to impress your clients and make other agents envious. It’s pretty. It’s light. And it will be fast. With a 9.7-inch display and a mere 0.5 inch thick, it weighs in at only 1.5 pounds. Powered by a 1 gigahertz processor, it will be available with up to 64 gigabytes of storage. You’ll be able to view your photos quickly on a large screen, browse (most) MLSs via Wi-Fi or for a modest $14.99 to $29.99 AT&T will allow you use their 3G service and supposedly there will be no contract required.

Headed to a listing appointment? Woo them with a presentation made in Apple’s iWork Apps which look simply amazing. Flip the iPad from your perspective to your clients and the screen instantaneously adjust for their viewing pleasure. Running a CMA? Cloud CMA will provide an amazingly intuitive experience and keep you completely mobile. You'll also be able to browse maps and get rid of your Garmin or TomTom with the iPads GPS functionality.

An added advantage is Apple’s latest addition to the iTunes Store. The iBook store will put all your favorite motivational books at your fingertips, and possibly allow you to publish your own within the store. I can see it now…your clients searching your city not only to find your iPhone App which works on the iPad but also your listing presentation. Books not your cup of tea. Take notes and schedule appointments on the iPad without having to carry around a pen and paper or struggle with your smartphone’s tiny screen. Email is sure to be a breeze on the iPad as well.

Now for the not-so-good. The iPad doesn’t support Flash. That means your Flash based website will look a little lackluster and all those online videos not on YouTube and Vimeo won’t be readily accessible. That’s really about it for the bad.

Many technology experts are slamming the iPad for not including a stylus for taking notes and signing contacts etc. I expect that Apple will be releasing a pressure sensitive stylus in the near future, as Steve Jobs certainly didn’t completely overlook such an important feature for a tablet. I will likely be an add-on much like the physical keyboard which is already on the Apple Store.

Lastly, while we can’t be sure of it’s compatibility at this time, it is reasonable to assume the iPad will be  able to be tethered with most DSLR cameras, allowing use as a field monitor for shooting photos and video. Alternatively, one could use an Eye-Fi card to wirelessly upload photos and video directly from any camera to the iPad. That could provide a great WOW factor for your clients as they view your photos of their listing instantly as your taking them throughout the property.

However, the best feature of the iPad is it’s amazing price. The base model is priced at $499 going up to $799 for all the bells and whistles. That puts it in your hands for less than the first release of the iPhone. The price point alone will make the iPad an instant celebrity in the world of technology. When can you get your hands on one? The Apple iPad is slated to hit the streets in April 2010.