What would the Apple Tablet mean for Realtors?

On Wednesday, January 27, Apple will likely unveil the company’s long-rumored tablet device. Apple sent out invitations to selected media outlets yesterday morning, asking people to “join us for an invitation-only event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco on January 27 at 10:00 a.m.

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Rumored to be anywhere from $500-$1000 many Realtors will undoubtedly be wondering if they should make the switch to a tablet-like device. The launch of the all-in-one touch-screen tablet computer on will most likely 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 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 the 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 industry-wide. 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. ‘ In addition, there is certainly the ‘impress ability’ factor – clients will certainly be impressed by their tech savvy agent.

3. Easy learning curve

One thing I have heard over and over again by agents, is how easy the iPhone and other touch-screen smartphones were to learn. A short learning curve is key.  The only downside I can foresee is that unfortunately, some agent website vendors and MLS still are not compatible with Safari. If the tablet sweeps the Realtor world by storm, vendors and MLS’ will have to sit up and take notice. As mentioned at Connect NYC – 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.

I am curious about your thoughts!

Will you consider purchasing an Apple Tablet? Why or why not?  A recent survey says 1 in 5 consumers will purchase one. Leave your comments here on the blog – thanks!

Written by: Katie Lance, Marketing Manager, Inman News