New technology can take time time to work its way into business and being an early innovator can have its disadvantages. So, with that in mind, why did I nevertheless recently go out and buy two iPads for my Edinburgh-based solicitor/estate agency business, MOV8 Real Estate, within a few days of their launch in the UK?
To justify spending that amount of money, there had to be a very good business case for buying it. As with most things, what benefits our clients and potential clients ultimately benefits us so the purchase of these iPads had to be justified by a clear belief that our use of the iPad would change our clients’ experience of selling their properties for the better. The Million Dollar Question therefore was: how would property sellers and potential property sellers benefit from their solicitor/estate agent using an iPad? I’ve outlined these reasons below and, as you’ll see, I firmly believe that before long all progressive, modern solicitor/estate agency businesses will be using them.
Clients Can See the Information They Need to Know, Not Just Hear About It –
Less Paper, Less Waste
One way around the problem of imparting a volley of information verbally, of course, is to print-off all of that information. However, in the 21st Century, we are all more conscious of the environmental impact of our actions. I think that, in the past, every solicitor/estate agent has visited a potential property seller, armed with all of the above information printed on a small ream of paper, only to find that their potential client believes that printed schedules are harmful to the environment because of their laminated cardboard and that unnecessary printing is extremely environmentally unsound. The iPad removes that need and therefore that potential annoyance for the property seller.
Instils Confidence in Property Sellers That Their Solicitor/Estate Agent Embraces Modern Technology
In an age where most property buyers search for a property online, property sellers should be looking for a solicitor/estate agent who advertises their property in as many online avenues as possible. The largest ones of course are ESPC.com, Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation. Solicitor/estate agents in Scotland in particular have been quite slow to embrace the potential of internet advertising of properties. Therefore, when a potential property seller is faced with an estate agent who has greyscale print-outs of comparable property prices, are they likely to be filled with confidence about the ability of their potential agent to embrace these new technologies? I personally think not and that’s why I believe that embracing and using the iPad demonstrates that we are a modern company that embraces technology for our clients’ best advantage. I hope that this will fill our clients with some degree of confidence when appointing a solicitor/estate agent, especially for the first time in your life, is a massive leap of faith.
Quicker Turnaround for Clients – If we’ve just taken photographs and measurements of a client’s property and we’re out for the rest of the day, that will impact upon the speed of getting their property to the market. The iPad allows us to complete that information in a potential client’s property and to get that information back to the office quick smart, speeding up the process of getting their property to the market.
The Client Can Approve the Photos There and Then – I think every solicitor/estate agent has had the experience of shooting the photos of the property then getting back to the office and finding out that there was some grit on the lens or the camera sensor. This means a revisit and re-shoot of the photographs, all of which slows down the process of getting the property on the market. With the iPad, you can take the photos, upload them straight away to the device and then go through them with the client on a lovely, high resolution screen. Less chance of finding out that the photo is completely under-exposed or of the client not liking the angle of the living room photograph. This makes for a quicker turnaround and a happier client.
I believe that we will soon see every estate agent in the UK walking from meeting to meeting with one of these under their arm instead of the current Regulation Issue leatherette zipped binder. For the time being, I’m delighted that the purchase of these little pieces of loveliness is clearly justified for more reasons than the nevertheless entirely present ‘I want one of those’ urge!