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iPad review for estate agency

publication date: Jul 1, 2010
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The iPad 3G launched at £529 for the basic 16GB edition, the top end iPad 3G is £699. But to access the internet, you also need an iPad data tariff. The iPad uses iPhone OS which is yet to support multi-tasking.

Size-wise, the iPad is 243mm by 190mm, weight is 730gms so it’s not something you’ll want to hold in one hand for any length of time. Surprisingly, there’s no built-in camera, perhaps they are saving this for the next generation – one reason why the PROPERTYdrum Editor is waiting for Version 2.

In the US two million have been hoovered up since its launch there, selling more in the first 28 days than the iPhone at launch. If that is repeated in the UK, 400,000 will be bought this summer; 200,000 are already in people’s sticky mitts. However, its success isn’t guaranteed however feverish the adoration among Apple-heads may be. There are 45 million mobile phones in the UK, 70 per cent of us now own a PC or laptop, it’s a crowded market. The key is that the iPad is not a PC, laptop or an iPhone. It’s a fun tool for watching films, reading digital newspapers, searching for property and using apps.

What it taps into is a new trend – the sofa surfer. People are now doing their research and doodling around the internet while watching TV, chatting, or eating dinner. Internet traffic rises during ad breaks on TV because people have a quick scoot around the net. And it’s these tech savvy surfers that Apple is aiming the iPad at. It is quicker to boot up than a laptop, has a touch screen and is smaller and thinner than the competition. Therefore, any apps that are designed for it need to have this fun, sofa-surfing mentality built in and this is particularly true of property search apps. Yes, people will return to their computers for serious property searching, but more frivolous browsing may take place on the iPad. People spend weeks looking for property online before committing to a hard-edged search for a new home. So using portals like Primelocation and Rightmove to browse through property listings has for become a leisure pastime.

Miles Shipside, Commercial Director, described Rightmove’s iPad app as, “Staying ahead of the trends in how people search for property”. But it’s not just fashionably cutting edge, it’s getting increasing numbers of customers to search Rightmove’s listings. The company has already seen 8,768 downloads of the iPad app to 30 May – just the first weekend after the iPad was released in the UK – with over 185,000 pages served.

In the Primelocation.com eye-catching iPad app, home searchers experience a spiral carousel of homes for sale or rent for users to scroll through at their leisure. Visitors to Primelocation.com already love the app – music to the ears of member agents looking for more enquiries.

Is there an argument for incorporating iPad’s into your daily routine? In time, having your properties advertised on the iPad could be the difference between winning and losing an instruction. Agency staff could become more effective by using an iPad as a high tech valuation pack, with all your instruction winning information run on-screen? The options for integrating iPad into your agency are limitless; knowing Apple, they’ll make the case for adding iPad’s into your business a conclusive one.

The iPad has the potential to be the next big thing for agents – a rival to TV and newspapers, a ‘media’ in its own right. It’s no surprise that portals like Primelocation.com have been eager to be the first players in this emerging platform.

Stewart Anderson at Aspasia says, “The iPad is all about making the browsing experience as engaging as possible and to this end it doesn’t disappoint. If you are using a desktop based software solution the iPad is probably of little benefit, but if you are using web-based software it opens up all sorts of customer related business opportunities. Having your whole database and software available to you at all times, in a customer’s home, in such a “magical” (Apple’s words) and user friendly form is really extraordinary – potentially a killer tool in your armoury.”