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Arguments for a Tablet (for Commercial Real Estate Brokers)


Zack Whittaker, writing for Between the Lines, tells of his disappointing experience with an iPad, leading to its quick return to the Apple store. He raises a good point by explaining that he simply didn’t have a purpose for it. His other computers and phones did all that he needed and more.

His experience is different than mine, of course. I’m an early adopter. I don’t need a purpose. I want it because it is. I like to test it, play with it and try to find a purpose. That’s what happened with my first iPhone. Before I bought it, I figured it was more of a toy and something to entertain me. After I opened the package though, I quickly discovered thousands of apps and how, if used properly, it could enhance my business and life dramatically.

Without expecting to, I discovered a purpose. Who knew? Steve Jobs knew. That was part of his genius. He knew what I wanted and needed before I did.

What about brokers?
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For a commercial real estate broker, a tablet serves multiple purposes. And all of them allow you to be more efficient, save time, generate more sales and generally become a happier person. No, I truly mean that. Think about it.

You’re on the road much of your working day. Everything you need is on that small, comfortable-to-carry electronic device that can give you access to millions of easy-to-read documents. If you’re over forty, you may not need reading glasses or have to squint to read it. We’re talking about total access to every bit of data and information that you need to run your business and your life. And that’s wherever you are, without hurting your shoulder lugging around bulky laptop computers.

While its popularity can be greatly attributed to the form factor, it’s the availability of “apps” that give it purpose, at least for the broker:

  • Calculate anything that you need to calculate to make a deal, with incredible ease and little training
  • Make presentations to seal the deal, including instant floor plans for vanilla space, custom designed for the tenant
  • Display maps and pictures showing the property at every angle, at the touch of a button
  • Mass and social market yourself, your properties and everything that makes you a more successful broker

Purpose for a tablet? It’s there for the taking! Just buy one and explore the app stores for literally thousands of apps filling hundreds of purposes.

“Ah,” you ask. “How do I choose which apps? What tablet is best for me?” It all depends upon your purpose. What do you need done? What type of broker are you (sales, leasing, etc.) What kinds of properties do you work with? What’s your “tech IQ”? Whom do you work for? How much money do you plan to make?

That’s part of what CRE Radio is all about. I’m an self-confessed technogeek. I try out gadgets and software because it entertains me. I try to make sense of them and can tell you what makes sense for you and your business.

Stay tuned

My next article on tablets will be comparing iPad and the Microsoft Surface Pro, their new, full version Windows 8 tablet.

We’re doing a CRE App Show on May 31st at 12:00 PST with featured guests Dominic Zabriskie (LeaseMatrix and CRE Apps Review) and Steve Wayne (ProspectNow).

Have questions or recommendations? Leave a comment, ask on Twitter (@CREradio) or join us live and call in with your questions!

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