On Wednesday, Jan. 27, Apple is expected to unveil the company’s long-rumored tablet device. Apple sent out invitations to select media outlets Monday morning, asking people to "join us for an invitation-only event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco."

The tablet is rumored to cost from $500 to $1,000, and many Realtors will undoubtedly be wondering if they should make the move to a tablet-like device. The launch of an all-in-one, touch-screen tablet computer could spark the same excitement from agents and brokers that followed the iPhone’s launch in 2007.

What would the Apple Tablet mean for Realtors?

1. Portability

This may be the single biggest selling factor Apple will have when marketing to Realtors. A Realtor could easily slip the tablet into their bag or briefcase. If the tablet is as sleek and as thin as rumored, it will be simpler to transport than a traditional laptop. Also, as agents are moving more and more away from a "traditional" office, something as light and portable as a tablet is sure to be enticing.

2. Paperless

This topic has been talked about for a few years at least, but the tablet may be the catalyst to make it happen industrywide. The tablet potentially will have the ability to easily pull up contracts and receive digital signatures on the spot. If this is the case, a client would be able to literally "sign" their contract on the tablet — much like how they accept a UPS package by signing on the UPS "tablet." …CONTINUED

In addition, there is certainly the "impressibility" factor — clients will likely be impressed by their tech-savvy agent.

3. Easy learning curve

One thing I have heard over and over again from agents is how easy the iPhone and other touchscreen smartphones were to learn. A short learning curve is key.

The only downside I can foresee is that unfortunately, some agent Web site vendors and multiple listing service systems are still not compatible with Apple’s Safari operating system. If the tablet sweeps the Realtor world by storm, vendors and MLSs will have to sit up and take notice.

As mentioned at the Real Estate Connect NYC conference, now is the time to take a hard look at your vendors and see if they are in line with the goals you have set for yourself for 2010.

Will you consider purchasing an Apple Tablet? Why or why not?

Click here to view the original blog post.

Katie Lance is the marketing manager for Inman News. Future of Real Estate Marketing is a part of Inman News.


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