Tablets aren’t just toys; they can make running and generating business a lot easier if you invest in the right add-ons to make them real estate ready. Prepare your tablet to buy and sell with these smart spends to turn your tablet into a moneymaker.
1) Protection for your new investment
After you invest the setup time and money into your new tablet, you will want to make sure it lasts for years to come.
The basics – Tablet screens can be delicate. That’s why every agent should have an anti-scratch display protector. These clear film-like covers are similar to stickers and can be placed over the screen to keep it from getting scratched during day-to-day use. Display protectors are the least expensive way to protect your tablet, starting around $20.
Shopping Tip: One popular protector brand is Zagg. Each of their protectors comes with a lifetime warranty. If they get damaged, you can get a replacement in just days.
Smarter protection – Another popular protection choice is a magnetic smart cover. These cover the front screen of your tablet when it’s not in use or being stored with thick synthetic cover. In addition, these covers are smart enough to power down your device when it’s not in use to help you save your battery.
Smart covers, by Apple, fold in a variety of shapes, so they can double as a stand and a handy way to tilt your tablet towards you for easier access and cost around $40.
Shopping Tip: There are a number of great places online that offer smart covers for tablets at reduced prices. Overstock.com has a variety of covers in different colors, many of which are well under $20.
Heavy Duty Covers and Cases – Finally, if you don’t mind spending a little more, you can invest in a hard case. The most popular model today is Otter box Defender Series Rugged Case which runs about $90. Although the price is steep, the Otterbox is worth if for people who are hard on their electronics.
Shopping Tip: Otterbox is the #1 protection brand, but M-Edge Accessories recently unveiled the SuperShell. This case is made from closed-cell foam and designed to absorb the shock in case a tablet is dropped. The M-Edge Super Shells are a fraction of the cost of the Otterbox starting around $30.
2) The right setup for surfing the web
When you’re recruiting and working with clients, your connectivity is crucial. That’s why when you purchase your tablet; you need to ready to invest in the right setup for staying connected to the web.
When it comes to setting yourself up for web surfing, you’ll need
The right data plan for Web-enabled tablets – Data plans for tablets range from 250MB to 5GB per month through the major wireless carriers. If you’re an agent who plans to access listing info or surf the web more than once-a-day, you’ll need at least 2-3GB each month and expect to pay somewhere near $30 each month.
To calculate how much data you’ll need, check out this great wireless data calculator from Verizon to help gauge how much data you’ll need each month.
Personal Wi-Fi for Wi-Fi only tablets – Another option for accessing the web is adding a personal hotspot to your wireless service plan. These devices create your own Wi-Fi network for not only your tablet, but all of your Internet ready devices. That means you can connect your laptops, cell phones, and any other Wi-Fi device to your network.
Hotspots vary in price and their data plans work like those for web-enabled tablets. You pay for the amount of web data you access.
The right wireless provider – The last piece of the connectivity puzzle is most important, the right wireless data provider. When you’re shopping for tablets or the right hot-spot provider, make sure you choose one that will give you a great signal throughout your local market.
Talk to your family, friends, and colleagues to find out which of them always seems to have a cell phone signal. That provider is going to be your best option for your hot spot and/or data plan.
3) Apps that make your job easier
What’s a tablet without its apps? Before you get sucked into the Angry Bird game craze, check out these apps that will help you impress clients and make your job a little easier.
CloudCMA App ($29.99/month)
CloudCMA is great for setting up buyer tours. The app allows you to create a custom link for each tour that connects you and your clients to property photos, listing data, schools and amenity info, neighborhood demographics, and more data for evaluating properties.
Open Home Pro ($4.99)
Open Home Pro is a great add-on for streamlining open house to-dos and cutting down on paper. The app lets open house visitors sign in and view listing details on your properties. To help you, this app automatically send electronic thank-you notes to your clients with details on the home and makes it easy to send follow-up emails with up-to-the-minute listing changes.
iAnnotate PDF ($9.99)
iAnnotate allows you to edit, organize, and send contracts and other important documents as PDF files from your tablet. Two of the standout functions in this application are the highlighter, which is useful when clarifying information for clients, and the voice-recording feature, which is perfect for explaining parts of documents to clients when you don’t have the time to meet one-on-one.
The Trulia for Agents app helps you manage incoming leads from Trulia, giving you handy access to your contacts wherever you are. Use this app to check into listings and share notes with clients.
Here’s our short list of add-ons for those starting or considering using a tablet for contract management. Remember, there are a ton of cool tools out there, but the only ones that really matter are those that help you make money.
Written by Meghan Callahan