iPad use is increasing in the real estate industry yet a veteran user of tablet PCs said some agents still aren’t using them correctly.
Gary Pemmelaar, from Raine and Horne Glenelg, in South Australia, has been using his Windows 7 tablet for years, but thinks agents are using them for marketing instead of ‘practical’ uses.
“We mainly use them for property management,” he told Real Estate Business. “The programs and hand writing technology just make it much more efficient and cuts down our work. Property management needs to be systematic and the tablet helps us stay on top of things.”
“We do have some iPads in the office, but they’re just fancy toys that are used for marketing and listings presentations. Most agents I know of are not very technological minded. But they’re good at selling, not using technology efficiently."
Mr Pemmelaar said he prefers to use Microsoft-related products because of their compatibility with Word documents.
"All the Office functions are vital, and so are PDF files," he said.
He added that it wasn't necessary to email in the field. "I do forms on the tablet on the road, then take them back to the office and send it over to the desktop," he said. "It’s just going away from paper. There’s one step less required.”
CEO of Raine and Horne South Australia, Kevin Magee, said he agreed with Mr Pemmelaar, and told Real Estate Business that his favourite tablet application is ‘stylus hand writing’.
“It’s just like a pen,” he said. “You write on the screen like it’s a notepad and it transfers it into text. It picks up the messiest handwriting and once it’s converted you can copy, paste do whatever you like.
“You can also have legal documents as a PDF and have tenants or vendors sign it there-and-then and it becomes a legally binding contract.
“It saves so much time and lets agents finish forms and paper work much faster.”
The comments were in relation to a recent Real Estate Business straw poll, in which just under 40 per cent of the 315 respondents said they use tablet technology for open home inspections.
Mr Magee found the results surprising, but said he expects numbers to continue rising. “We’re seeing a mixture of generations using tablets. Some of the older generation are some of the most avid users. I think as costs come down and tablets become the norm, we will start to see usage increase as consumers wouldn’t expect any less.”
Lyn Kenny, from Ray White Lysterfield, in Victoria, told Real Estate Business last month that she uses her iPad for her listing presentations, to provide a professional and tech savvy atmosphere. Ms The 28-year industry veteran believes that having her tablet computer allows her to update her presentation easily and frequently, to supply her clients with up-to-date data on the market and house prices.
“It’s all very current and all visual with lots of evidence and figures in there. I’ve been using it now for a year or so,” Ms Kenny said.