Jen_burns_small_150In little over two years, the role of the tablet has expanded from simple web browsing, note taking and even to the “extreme” of managing a photo library to a necessary working tool for many. This point-of-sale enabler (which began a new type of transaction at Apple stores) has moved rapidly into retail stores, restaurants and small businesses.

What really brought it home for me was the iPad text I got from my Mom.  She’s a Real Estate Broker and had an iPhone before I did (which made this commercial particularly funny).  Now she has an iPad, too. Not only is she able to use the iPad for family photos and simple email, she uses it to display similar properties for her clients, take photos at open houses and emails them to clients, and even pulls up financing rates and options.

Surprisingly, the sloth-like Department of Real Estate(DRE) has already jumped on board with technology and now offers all purchase contracts and disclosures in electronic form. Once the contracts are signed via stylus (remember Palm Pilot?!) they are immediately housed in the cloud. This tightens both the traceability and the availability of contracts and disclosures in addition to lowering the paper volume for agents who have to keep all their client’s files for at least 3 years.

Around 2007, the real estate and loan industry changed drastically. Since then, the industries improvements in technology are impressive. But in hindsight, the iPad tablet isn’t that original. Last week a coworker and I were discussing this at a Baynote mid-morning mingle.  There used to be tiny portable TV’s with 2 inch screens and PDAs but people didn’t see the worth of such a small screen.  Yet, somehow we’re back at the tiny screens. From Beetles to SUVs to Minis, and Zack Morris phones to micro cell phones to tablet-phones, it all seems to come full circle.