I have been reading about how the iPad will revolutionize the real estate industry. Some of the legions of consultants and coaches who work in the real estate industry consider it a must-have for Realtors.

They don’t write real estate contracts, so from their point of view it is "the bomb."

My iPad has been ordered and it will be the first time in my life that I have spent money on a product that I have never seen and one that I don’t need. When the personal computer was invented, it was considered an invention that had no purpose — but it changed everything.

You might say I am a virtual Realtor. I have everything I need with me to do anything from anywhere right in my bag; it all weighs less than four pounds. When my iPad arrives, my bag will be 1.5 pounds heavier.

My netbook does it all. I have Skype on it; it has a built-in Web cam; I watch movies from Netflix; I use Kindle for PC and have some books, magazines and a geeky manual or two on it; and I can write real estate contracts and access the multiple listing service — all at the same time, if I want to.

The netbook weighs twice as much as the iPad and costs half as much, does more, has more storage space, can be used to write real estate contracts, and the Internet access is free through my unlimited data plan on a 3G network, by tethering it to my BlackBerry Bold.

I get data for two devices for the same price that AT&T will charge for an iPad data plan. I have unlimited everything on my current phone plan and it is inexpensive.

If the iPad is as easy to use as the iPhone and the Macintosh computer, it will change people’s lives — but by now you must be wondering why I am taking the plunge and buying an unknown, untested product that is expensive and that I have no use for.

The iPad may revolutionize real estate for me because I don’t have an iPhone and it gives me access to the apps that many of my clients use. The iPad will be my gateway to iPhone apps, and I can’t ignore the cool factor.

Sexy is a better word for it. My clients love my netbook, but I think they will like the iPad even more. …CONTINUED

It will have apps for homebuyers on it so that they can check them out and decide if they want to use them on their iPhones. So many of my clients are young first-time homebuyers, and a high percentage of them have iPhones or Droids.

I want to make sure that I understand how to use these devices. My understanding will help with property marketing, too.

For my sellers, I can do the same thing. I can show them how their home is being marketed. I may put a version of my listing presentation on it, too, just for the cool factor.

I self-host just about everything and can test it on my BlackBerry, but I don’t know how the sites look on an iPhone and I think that is important to know because 18 percent of the people viewing one of my sites are using an iPhone.

I can’t ignore the iPhone revolution, and for me the iPad is the easiest way to participate for the lowest monthly cost. It will open a new world for me as I turn my inner geek lose on a new playground.

If you don’t currently have an iPhone or another mobile device, the iPad may revolutionize the real estate industry for you, too.

I saw it happen when some of my peers who had not previously used smartphones bought iPhones. It literally changed their lives and the way they use technology. Eventually there will be applications for accessing the MLS with it, and for other real estate business functions.

If I am wrong about the iPad, my husband will have a nice toy to play with if he can keep it away from my mother, who really wants one.

I have already been asking people who use iPhones what to do with an iPad, and the suggestions have come rolling. And I will pose the question: What would you do with an iPad?

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


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