iPad 2 and the business of real estate

iPad 2 was unveiled today. It will ship in a couple of weeks.

The sluggard emergence of alternatives (the first Android Honeycomb tablet, the Motorola Xoom, just landed in February and the Blackberry Playbook is said to be arriving in April) means Apple will likely continue to command the lion’s share of the tablet market for the foreseeable future.

According to various reports, Apple is expecting to sell 30-40 million iPads this year.

Batten down the hatches

iPads, while clearly popular in the consumer market, are also starting to trickle into decidedly non-traditional Apple markets as well – the enterprise, specifically.

In today’s Wall Street Journal, reporter Michael Hicks writes that  “many apps are being developed by business software makers like SAP and Oracle to help executives access real-time measures such as inventory levels or demand.”

The overwhelming lead in applications is what is going to cement Apple’s lead. And in 2011, that trickle will turn into a flood. Real estate won’t be left out either.

Take a look at these two new apps:

WSJ House of the Day – a beautiful home exploration tool for ultra-end homes. Granted, it’s more of a consumer play, but it does seem the luxury marketing space may be most ripe for disruption by dedicated iPad apps. Its longer sales cycles and higher list prices means there is room for custom app development.

For a brand like Sotheby’s, which is already experimenting with in-app advertising, the iPad may be a tool for its agents to produce, edit and share gorgeous high definition photo or video tours on they fly.

Open Home Pro is another interesting app – one I wrote about a few months back. The app, meant to organize and share listing data collected at Open Houses, has been completely redesigned based on the feedback the developer received from agents using the first version. Keep an eye out for the new release to drop in the next week or so.


The iPad really untethered computing from the confines of the home and office. Furthermore, its radically simplified, multi-touch interface forced us to rethink how we interact with our devices. But perhaps most importantly in the long run, it has freed us all to become developers, to think through the business processes that stymie us everyday and figure out a way to build something that will overcome them.

It’s only been a year. But I think the best is yet to come.