Apple iPad for REALTORS – Phoenix MLS – ARMLS on iPad – iPad Review for Real Estate Agents

Apple iPad or New Pad








For Phoenix REALTORS looking to use an Apple Ipad review for use on ARMLS:

Apple released it’s much anticipated iPad today that looks like an oversized iPhone or iPod Touch.  After reading many reviews and watching dozens of videos I have come to the following conclusions:

The iPad will not replace your laptop or MacBook Pro computer. If however you are a “light” computer use and want to surf the web, share photos, listen to music, play casual games, create a document with the iWork apps available from the App Store, read and reply to email, enjoy a good book using the iBook application then the iPad could definitely be fore you.  You will not be able to do heavy photo editing, video editing, play high end video games, edit pdf documents or save your work in a file type system.  There is a built in system for saving work based on the specific application that you are using and if compatible you can use that file with another application on the iPad.
The iPad may replace your netbook computer. If you paid between $300 and $500 for a netbook computer or are considering one, then you may want to take a hard look at the Apple IPad.  As mention above it can do 90% of everything you would use a netbook or a laptop for and at prices starting at $499 it will give the netbook competitors tough competition.
The iPad will not replace your iPhone. Although I am excited about using the Skype app and paying the $2.99 a month for unlimited phone calls, I will not be carrying the iPad in my pocket.  Apple has spent a lot of time and research making an excellent phone and rumors of the next iPhone 4g possibly coming out this Summer.  The iPad does have Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR Technology, but I don’t think apple will allow a blue tooth headset to be used with Skype, but you never know.
The IPad has many possibilities. If you have never used a computer, most likely the older generation, because you didn’t want to master the mouse, then the touch screen of the iPad could introduce computing to the masses.  Children who are just getting started with computers and learning will find the natural flow of the operating system to their liking.  My 3 year old son could use my iPhone before he could talk.  Including unlocking it, finding the app he wanted to play with, going to the home screen, viewing photos and would even make my wife a little angry (with a smile) that he would put HIS photo as the background screen instead of his sisters.  The medical field could use the iPad in order to run custom applications and make their day more productive and even saving lives.  Schools at all levels could eliminate text books and streamline their learning with the iPad.  Because the iPad is a “blank slate” and developers can create almost any application you can dream up, the iPad has many possible uses and will be a huge success.
The iPad for Real Estate – iPad for Real Estate Agents. Because I am a full time REALTOR that uses a MacBook Pro, I have considered using the iPad for Real Estate in my daily life. If we go back and look at number 1 above “The iPad will not replace your laptop or MacBook Pro computer”.  That is true, but it can do 90% of what I do on a daily basis, so it could make a wonderful companion to my MacBook Pro.  If I am at an Open House, with a 3g iPad (available late April), I could pull up houses on the ARMLS Arizona Regional MLS but I could not use 100% of the functions of the website, do a Buyer or Seller presentation with the Keynote app, add potential customers to my address book, send them a Thank You email and many other day to day tasks in real estate.  It would be nice to carry the 1.6lb iPad + 3g in the iPad case and really be on the go.  With the affordable data plans from AT&T priced at $14.99 for limited data and $29.99 for unlimited data $25.00 for 2mb it makes on the go real estate a real possibility.  The nice part about the data plans is that there are no long term contracts.  Sign up for just 1 month if you want.  The 3g model iPad will set you back an extra $130, but I feel it is well worth the investment.

iPad Restrictions For REALTORS… I was unable to use ZIP FORMS, DOCUSIGN or all Functions of the ARMLS. I purchased an iPad for Real Estate 32gb 3G version with unlimited data plan and returned it after 2 days.  I was not able to function at an acceptable level in order to serve my client’s needs.  Maybe in the near future the next generation of tablet PC or iPad can be used by Real Estate agents in order to help people buy and sell homes.

If you are thinking about buying a home in the Phoenix area
or selling a home in the Phoenix area contact:


** IPAD UPDATE ** September 9, 2011

With a few key Apps and subscriptions, I was able to use the iPad for 90% of my real estate business.

Let’s keep it simple, here is what you will need:


iPad or iPad 2 32gb Wifi Only Model (Because you will want to play games or use other Apps when not working)
If you get this, then you will need a mobile hot spot to work on the go or use a public wi-fi hotspot. ($399 Used to $599 New)

Ipad or iPad 2 3G Model Wifi+3G (Best Option), but if you are not in a rush the next generation iPad or “iPad3” will be out in the Spring of 2012 or sooner. ($429 Used to $729 New)

Apple Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard ($69) So you can type faster (think Zip Forms) , use 100% of your screen real estate etc…

Case for your iPad (Good ones are around $59) I like the “incase” brand book jacket style

Targus Stylus for iPad ($14 to $29) So clients can SIGN documents on the iPad

Apps (Programs):

Neu.Annotate (Free from the App Store) This is the best little PDF app that you can have clients sign documents with.

Save2PDF ($6.99) You will use this App to combine multiple PDF documents and email to a client or another REALTOR.

DocUSign (Free) Note: You must have a DocUSign subscription in order for this to work.

DropBox (FREE)(To Store Documents “In The Cloud”)  (FREE) (To Store Documents “In The Cloud”)

Note: Some apps use DropBox and some use so you may or may not need both accounts.

Zip Forms Mobile Subscription ($10 per year – Contact Zip Forms)

Here is the “Catch 22” of having a cool slick iPad or iPad2 for Real Estate… The cost.

$729 (iPad2 32GB wifi+3G)
$69 (Apple Wireless Keyboard)
$59 (Nice Case)
$15 (Stylus)
$7 to $29 (Apps)

Total Investment minimum investment $879!

For another $120 you can have the Macbook Air 11″ base model $999 and have a FULL COMPUTER (no compromises) and it weighs just 1 pound more (2.3lbs vs. 1.3lbs)

And after the FLEXMLS system made some changes to their software, the MLS did not work on the iPad for about 8 days and I was stuck with a useless device.  It was not Apple’s fault, FBS Data was improving their system and after I contacted them, they fixed the problem.  But a bright young Apple Store employee said “Why don’t you just get a MacBook Air? ” That way you never need to worry about compatibility by using the mobile (but almost full) browser of the iPad. And that is exactly what I did, sold my iPad, recouped 75% of my money and now I use the MacBook Air 11″ base model with zero problems.

If you are looking to do “light real estate work” then an iPad or iPad2 is a great tool.  If think you can do 100% of your Real Estate work on it in a fast and efficient manner, I will challenge you to sit down and do the same task that I do.  It will take you twice as long (if you can do it) on the iPad or iPad2.  They are great for buyer’s agent who need email access, calendar, contacts, to look up something quick on the MLS or take care of 1 or 2 small documents that need signed or sent.  But if you are trying to do a full contract or any “heavy work” stick with a full blown laptop.




About openhousephoenix
Donald Keys has been a Phoenix "Valley of the Sun" resident since 1971 and a licensed REALTOR since 1997. Donald currently works for HomeSmart has formerly been with Realty Executives and Keller Williams. Donald specializes in working with Sellers and Buyers in the Phoenix AZ real estate market.

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