Baton Rouge Area Homes Technology Blog

head_left_image

Value of a Tablet PC in Baton Rouge Real Estate

Response to Debra Drummond who asked

"Now that you've had it a few month, how do you like your HP Tablet PC? I'm thinking about getting one too. Do you use it to have clients sign PAs with a stylus?"

Thanks Debra for reading my blog and asking questions.  I'm enjoying my HP Tablet PC more and more now that I'm getting use to it.  I have set up clients on Outlook and am able to send documents via Publisher or Word; and what makes transmission on the Tablet great is that I can personalize with features like handwritten notes on mls information, pictures, or I can insert unique features such as my signature.  I can download mls information onto tablet software and edit or handwrite on it.  Also, another personal feature is handwritten emails.  I don't use them all the time, just when it would be appreciated.  With so many PDA devices now for reading emails, it sometimes requires the PDA user to open an attachment as handwritten messages are sent as an image file. 

I use my tablet with a portable printer, and the only issue I've found is that the bluetooth range limits the distance I can print from my tablet.  For example I can work via my home secure wireless network any where in my home or yard.  However, I have to be within a couple of rooms from my printer for the print signal to go thru.  I can carry my printer in the car and as I am ready to leave, print brochures from pictures I just took and leave the literature in the house.  I usually have to go out and print and get them and take them back into the home.  Otherwise I have to carry the printer in with me which is a lot of equipment to bring into a listing presentation,  I'm looking around for a wheeled carrying case that will have just the right sizes to store all my equipment.   As it is a battery powered printer, it only lasts about 4 hours on battery power. 

Our mls has transaction sofeware with signature capabiity plus most of our state's legal contracts so I can have clients sign on the screen.  That's a great feature.  However it is not common business practice here; so I haven't implemented it in my brokerage yet.  I still require a signed paper copy.  I have found companies that serve as legal online notary so when it becomes practice here i'll be ready to go!  I find some clients love this and others still are tied to paper.  I work in my clients comfort zone as they are my boss.  :-}

 

Comment balloon 24 commentsAnn Dail • August 24 2008 04:01PM

Comments

Great post Ann, got me thinking of getting one!

Rockville homes for sale. Rockville Realtor Kacem Benali

Posted by Kacem Benali Bethesda & Rockville REALTOR (Rockville & Bethesda Homes for Sale, I can help sell ur home) over 10 years ago

Thanks for the update and shout-out Ann! It's definitely on my short list, but first up is a new Palm Treo...one tool at a time...LOL!

Posted by Debra Drummond, MichiganMoves Real Estate in SE Michigan (RE/MAX Gallery) over 10 years ago

Debra, One of the first things I learned is to have a technology plan and prioritize!  There's not enough money or time to do it all at once.  Thanks for your encouragement.  Now I'd love to hear about your adventure with a new Palm Treo.  I haven't added the PDA to my collection yet...just using cell phone occasionally.  I'm trying to decide if I really need one.

Posted by Ann Dail, Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem (Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551) over 10 years ago

Hello from NOLA, Ann! I just attending a real estate technology seminar and the tablet was certainly intriguing. Your post has me adding it to my tech budget next year. It's good to hear someone so close to home is getting along fine with it. You must re-post once you get your first client to sign on it!

Posted by Troy Jowers, New Orleans Realtor (Pogo Realty, LLC) over 10 years ago

Ann, Would you believe that shortly after I wrote the above comment, I went out and bought a Blackberry Curve and a Tablet?!? I absolutely LOVE the Curve, and have started doing some photo blogging, which is a lot of fun. I'm still getting familiar with the Tablet, but can't wait to write my first contract on it.

Posted by Debra Drummond, MichiganMoves Real Estate in SE Michigan (RE/MAX Gallery) over 10 years ago

Troy,

Have you made the tablet plunge yet? 

Posted by Ann Dail, Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem (Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551) about 10 years ago

Ann,  I found this post very helpful.  My laptop just died and I am researching tablets.  Trying to decide if the cost outweighs the benefits.  Thanks for the info.

Posted by Sharae Randall (Olga Diaz-Potter & Sharae Randall, Beasley Realty) about 10 years ago

thanks for the info. Do you need to add special software for writing on the tablet

Posted by Julie Beall, CRS (Irongate Realtors) about 10 years ago

Sharae,

That's what I love about this Active Rain community.  You can gain valuable information when you need it on specific topics by doing a "Search" to pull up posts on the subject.

Julie,

The tablets come with basic software to handle the writing.  It's called Windows Journal on Hewlett Packard.  It works in conjunction with other software to allow you to write and the screen.  You can also convert handwriting to type if you prefer.  Now you will need to order with your purchase or install later certain other programs such as Microsoft Office which includes Word, Publisher, etc.  Also, I got a software called HP Real Estate Marketing Assistant that interfaces with Outlook so I can do mailings and create inhouse sales brochures.  While our mls allows us to create brochures, I liked the wide choice and look of what I can do with that.  You need to decide on how you will use your tablet to decide which programs you need.  But the basic writing software comes with it.  Let me know if you have additional questions.

Posted by Ann Dail, Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem (Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551) about 10 years ago

Hi Ann,

I'm having a heck of a time with how to save & convert the Journal file to something like PDF. My PrimoPDF writter doesn't seem to work with it. How do you do that?

Posted by Debra Drummond, MichiganMoves Real Estate in SE Michigan (RE/MAX Gallery) about 10 years ago

Debra,

That's a good question.  I think what you want to do is send a note in a format someone without Journal software can read? 

I print to NoteWriter which is on your system and then send as an attachment which most image files can read.  However, others cannot make changes as you can in a PDF file.  Our mls has web-based copies of all our state contracts and we can add new forms in that so I have not had to create all my own forms that others can fill out.

You have other options for saving and exporting notes that others can read without Journal software..  Here's instructions from the Help Section:

Saving and exporting notes

Microsoft® Windows® Journal notes are saved by default in Journal note format (.jnt). If you want to save a note as a template, you can also save it in Journal template format (.jtp).

Exporting a note allows it to be read on a computer that does not have Microsoft Windows Journal. When you export a note, you can save it in one of two formats:

  • Web archive (.mht). A Web archive file contains both HTML and images and can be opened in Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5.0 and later. It cannot be opened and edited in Journal.
  • Tagged Image File Format (.tif). A TIFF file can be opened in most graphics programs, but cannot be opened and edited in Journal. TIFF files are usually smaller than Web archive files, especially for notes with many pages.

 

I think if you want to send a document back and forth and keep changing and editing it, you have to use Journals on both computers.

I hope this helps.  I'll also email a friend who's much better than I am at figuring this out and see what he has to say and if there's a way to convert to PDF. 

Posted by Ann Dail, Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem (Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551) about 10 years ago

Debra,

Here's another instruction from the Utah Medical Library.

 

4. Save a Windows Journal Document to PDF

a. Annotated documents can be saved to a PDF (portable document format) for

publishing to a Web page

b. Note: Any highlighting done over text will not be readable (visible) in the

PDF format; highlighting does let text show through in Journal

c. Process: File > Print > Select PDFCreator > OK (wait) > You can rename the

Document Title:

if you want > Save

 They have a series of excercises for Tablet PC's including converting power point to Journal

http://library.med.utah.edu/ed/eduservices/handouts/TabletPC_Web/Tablet_PC_Exercises.pdf

And you could try another PDF printer software other than PrimoPDF .

http://www.leog.net/fujp_forum/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=10460

Posted by Ann Dail, Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem (Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551) about 10 years ago

Hi Ann;  I love my tablet too, though my home office is so close,usually have my clients come by. We do have to keep pushing ourselves to actually use all the great technology available!

Posted by Eileen Begley, Monterey Real Estate (Coldwell Banker, DelMonte) almost 10 years ago

Ann-

I had a PDA and went back to a regular cell phone. I didn't much like it, found it bulky and used my laptop for all the capabilities the PDA offered. Now the i-phones I see look pretty neat. Have you checked into those?

Posted by DEBORAH STONE (PACIFIC HOME BROKERS, San Diego, CA) almost 10 years ago

Hi Eileen, you're lucky if your clients are close enough to drop by.  Here it takes 30 minutes to go 6 blocks in traffic since our population more than doubled after Katrina, and they haven't changed the roads.  Any time I can avoid getting in my car, I save time and money.

Deborah, I am glad I'm not the only one who finds a regular cell phone handy.  No, I haven't explored i-phone though one of my agents has one and likes it.  But lots of the email stuff is converted to attachments so you have several steps to read them.

Posted by Ann Dail, Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem (Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551) almost 10 years ago

Very interesting post, Ann...as I have considered a tablet PC as my next upgrade.  How big of a hard drive can you get on one?

Posted by Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate, SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL (RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest) almost 10 years ago

Debra,

Mine, a Hewlett Packard  has 49GB and after 3 years of use I'm only using 15GB.  I store lots of pictures but not too many videos and movies.  I know they go up to 60GB and read somewhere you can get up to 160GB (don't know for sure about that).

Posted by Ann Dail, Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem (Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551) almost 10 years ago

Hi Ann,

I think a big hard drive is important now, especially if you do store a lot of media.  I think it is always a good upgrade.  Does yours have the built-in wireless service or do you pay a fee?

Posted by Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate, SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL (RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest) almost 10 years ago

Debra,

My tablet pc has a built in wireless that allows connection to any available network.  However, I travel to remote areas where free unsecured network isn't always available, so I got a verizon wireless card and pay $60/month for unlimited service from anywhere.

Posted by Ann Dail, Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem (Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551) almost 10 years ago

Ann

I also love my Motion Tablet PC and portable printer and carry it along with all my other stuff in a wheeled carrying case. The biggest drawback is the weight when I am forced to go up any steps or climb any stairs. None the less, it sure is nice having my "office in a bag".

Mike

Posted by Mike Eddy, Maui Real Estate Broker (Coldwell Banker Island Properties) over 9 years ago

Dear Ann....I saw the built in wireless option and was wondering how it worked and thought what a money saver that would be if you did not have to pay a monthly service to connect. 

Posted by Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate, SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL (RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest) over 9 years ago

Mike & Sheryl, Weight is the biggest drawback.  At least they make whelled cases!

Debra, Wireless is great; however, you are limited to areas with free networks.  many coffee shops provide them.  However, I occasionally go places where there are only secure networks.  That' why I finally got a verizon card.  Now I don't have to worry about that.

Posted by Ann Dail, Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem (Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551) over 9 years ago

Ann, I was wondering about that....thanks so much for clarifying!

Posted by Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate, SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL (RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest) over 9 years ago

Ann, Thanks for the info. I am considering getting a tablet PC. I just wasn't sure if it was the best move.

Posted by Jen Bowman, Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL (Keller Williams on the Water) over 9 years ago

Participate