Rethinking iPad listing presentations

Realtor Notebook

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Shortly after I got my first iPad I put a listing presentation on it. It did not occur to me until several months later that all I was doing was taking the same old presentation that I used before the iPad, and that I should be taking advantage of the new technology.

I like to take full advantage of the iPad by showing sellers in real time what is on the market in the neighborhood using a location-based app that accesses the data from our MLS.

I have a screen shot that reminds me to go to the real estate app and use it to show the nearby homes on the market. I can also show comparable homes in the area that have recently sold all laid out on a pretty map with the prospective sellers home in the center.

One double tap of the "sleep wake" button and I am back in my presentation. The first operating system or the iPad couldn’t do that, but later versions can.

Even though the iPad is easy to use, it takes a little practice to give a presentation with it and have it flow smoothly. I tried mine out at home before I took it on the road and learned plenty using my cat as an audience.

My first presentation on the iPad was all right. It looked good and weighed less than my old three-ring binder. But an iPad can do so much more. Some of that first iPad presentation came from sheets I used in the three-ring binder before I put them all on a laptop.

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I have seen samples of other listing presentations for the iPad. They looked pretty much like the PowerPoint presentations we all used to do because they didn’t require Internet access. The PowerPoint presentations also looked a lot like the materials we used to put in three-ring binders back in the dark ages of real estate marketing.

Agents can download free listing presentations made by vendors that can be personalized. They are professional-looking, but it doesn’t take any desktop publishing skills to create a customized listing presentation on an iPad with your own branding.

The Keynote app for the iPad works well for any presentation, but an iPad photo album will work too. One of the easiest ways to create Keynote slides is to do it right on the iPad and use screen shots. Take screen shots and put them all together in an album or paste them into Keynote. An entire presentation can be created in just a few minutes.

I recently discovered that not everyone knows how to get a screen shot from an iPad. Here are some instructions: Press the power (or sleep/wake) button at the top right of the iPad app and the "home" button at the same time, for just a quick second. When you do this, you’ll see the screen flash white for a moment and you’ll hear the camera shutter sound. This also works on iPhones and on iPods. The screen capture will end up in the photo album.

Words can easily be added right to the screen prints with an amazing little app called "Skitch." Even if you don’t want to use your iPad for listing presentations, at least get the Skitch app and play with it. There is also a version for the iPhone or Android and for Macintosh computers.

Some of the content in my listing presentation comes from my blog and from the company website. I create screen shots of the last three months’ worth of real estate statistics and put them in my listing presentation photo album and remove older reports.

It is easy to include pictures of my listings and screen shots of how I use various websites to market them and then go right to the website and show it live.

It may sound complicated but it really isn’t, and the presentation takes advantage of the iPad and the ability to show prospective clients just about anything. Best of all, if clients have any questions the information can in most cases be looked up on the spot, which is much better than saying: "I’ll get back to you on that and get back to you."

The iPad turns on instantly and gets right on the Internet. For iPads without built-in 4G or 3G, a 4G-capable Android can be used as a Wi-Fi hot spot. Sometimes good Wi-Fi is available, but I never count on it. With so many options available to me, I don’t need to.

Listing presentations can be made quickly and easily using iPad screen shots, real estate apps and the Internet. Start with an outline and start taking screen shots. It can always be printed and put in a three-ring binder if needed.

Teresa Boardman is a broker in St. Paul, Minn., and founder of the St. Paul Real Estate blog.

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