Beating the Competition – Quickly – Thanks to the iPad
By Mike Mosser
In today’s interconnected world, agents who take advantage of new technologies can reap the rewards of faster deals and better responsiveness to their clients.
Real estate agent Tony Lazzari, at Baird & Warner in Naperville, realized this while helping a couple buy a condo in a hot suburban retirement community.
“We had been out three or four times looking at different condos. I wrote contracts on several of them, but it seemed like every time we got a contract submitted, someone was ahead of us and we ended up losing out,” Lazzari said.
That changed when he put his iPad to use. After showing the couple a recently-listed unit, he used his iPad to download a contract and fill it out. He even had his clients sign the document by writing on the touchscreen before emailing it to the listing agent. In the past, this might have taken up to 24 hours and required a trip to the office, yet Lazarri got it done in a matter of minutes with his iPad.
“Before we left the property, the listing agent had called back and we started negotiating and ended up getting the property,” Lazzari said. “The market was pretty competitive for those units and they were happy that they were able to get it. Definitely, having the tool with me on-site improved that process.”
Lazzari said the iPad is superior to netbooks and the iPhone, particularly for its ability to edit and sign PDF documents, using the application PDF Expert. With the
iPad’s Internet connection, he can answer questions on the spot when showing a property or search for comps on MLS.
“It certainly is a valuable tool when you’re out with clients and they appreciate timely information,” Lazzari said. “If they have a question and you don’t have an answer— bam! – you can get it for them right then and there.”
He said those who are slow to adapt to such a device could lose out, as he expects this level of service will become the norm. For Lazzari, this means more than faster signings – it means happier clients who are more likely to recommend him to their friends and family.
“When you’re in a competitive market, wherever it is, whether it’s a retirement community out in the suburbs or hot condo properties in the city, you’ve got to be able to respond quickly to what the client wants and what the market demands,” Lazzari said. “It gives us an advantage over our competition and it helps ensure that we are serving our clients in the best way possible. That’s what it all comes down to, how quickly and how effectively you can serve your clients.”
Instantaneous Listings Results
By Megan Oster
To Stephen Missirlian, managing broker with Chicago Apartment Seekers, the iPad is not merely an additional resource – the high tech tool has literally been the driving force behind several clients’ decisions to rent properties he showed them.
Missirlian recalls a time when he was able to jump on a rare find for a client who was on a serious time crunch and a restricted budget. The client, a couple relocating to Chicago, was dealing with a strict price point of $3,000 because an employer was covering part of their relocation costs.
Missirlian had a dilemma on his hands that is familiar to many agents: finding a decent property that meets the client’s price point. Further complicating matters was the fact that finding a nice three-bedroom home to rent for $3,000 that had everything the client wanted in the Chicago market is difficult. Worse yet, the client was in town for just one day.
“The hunt was not going well at first,” Missirlian says. “We were having trouble finding properties that the client liked, until I performed a search of brand new listings on my iPad.”
He came across a three-bedroom listing that he estimated was undervalued; priced at $3,100, but worth about $3,400 by his estimation.
The couple was hesitant to tour the property in person until Missirlian showed them high-resolution photographs of the apartment via his iPad. “The client had to be sold on the property before heading out to see it in person,” he says.
Upon touring the property, the couple fell in love with it and, subsequently, decided to rent it.
“Given the brief window of time they had to view properties, along with how quickly great listings like that one are rented, there is a good chance the rental never would have been a reality without the iPad,” Missirlian says. “Timing is crucial when it comes to real estate deals, and I consider the instant search function of the iPad to be the biggest advantage. Having access to new listings on the market while you are with your clients is invaluable.”
He adds that the iPad is helpful in retaining clients, as well. As soon as they lay eyes on the tablet, they instantly know that he is invested in his business and is a consummate professional.
“In any sales job, especially real estate, first impressions are key,” he says. “Chicago is a competitive market for real estate agents, and the iPad gives me an edge in this sense.”
Missirlian strongly recommends that agents invest in their own iPads.
“Provided it is used properly, over time the iPad will pay for itself. It is a tool that will make you stand out among your peers and impress your clients,” he says.