If you are a real estate agent (and also, alive) hopefully you’re using some sort of technology that can help you stay organized and in touch while on the go. Smartphones are always safe bets – they’re easy to use and combine email, phone and web all in one small, simple device. However, if you’ve mastered your phone and are hungry for more, it may be time to take the next step into the world of tablets.
Tablets like the iPad have the power to save you time, keep you connected and increase productivity by more than a third. The moral of the story: using a tablet can really change your life. Knowing how to master a tablet like the iPad can open up a world of possibilities for your business.
Although the tablet market has really taken off, this blog is going to focus on the iPad – because I’m an Apple fan and I own one – but many of these tips can be applied to other products as well. Here are some tips and tricks that you can take advantage of to keep your communication flowing and your business churning:
Learn the basics: If you are a complete newbie to the tablet world, learning the iPad’s basics is a breeze. YouTube has plenty of free tutorial videos that can help you get started, or you can go the official route and learn with Apple’s documentation found on their website. If you are familiar with the iPhone, you’re in luck! Functionality on the iPad is very similar as both devices run on Apple’s iOS operating system. Step Number 1 – spend some time with your new toy and get familiar. Never hesitate to use the Web – it’s your best resource and can answer almost any question you may have.
Learn the shortcuts: After you’re comfortable browsing, emailing, and using apps, it’s time to learn some shortcuts. iOS has plenty of tricks to explore beneath the surface – some are common knowledge and others are a little more under the radar. Again, Google is always your friend when it comes to seeking answers to your technology questions, but here are a few of our favorites:
- Get to the top: If you’re scrolling down an extremely long website, don’t waste time scrolling all the way back to the top. Simply tap the status bar one time and automatically be brought there no matter where you are on the page. It’s the easiest way to make your next move or get to your next site.
- Keyboard shortcuts: Tired of spending so much time typing out the same call to action or sign off? Create a keyboard shortcut. Go into Settings and hit General, and then Keyboard. Scroll down and touch “Add New Shortcut.” For example, in the “Phrase” field, add in the words “Thank you for choosing our real estate company,” and in the “Shortcut” field, add in “ty.” Now, every time you type those two letters, the full phrase will pop up in front of you. Hit the space bar to select it and you have saved precious seconds or minutes. Add as many keyboard shortcuts as you want to and fly through your communication all day long.
- Split the keyboard: Head back into Settings -> General. Look for the “Split Keyboard” option and click it on. Once that is done, you can open up an email or another field that requires typing. With the keyboard displayed, you can now use your fingers to pull the keyboard apart, splitting it in half. Some users may find this method to be easier to type on. Simply pinch the two sides back together to return to your regular keyboard view.
- Multitasking Gestures: Once again, head over to General Settings. Find “Multitasking Gestures” and touch the switch to turn it on. Now you can pinch your screen to return to the home screen, swipe left to right (with multiple fingers) to go back and forth between apps, and even swipe up (with multiple fingers) to reveal the multitasking bar. But remember – you must swipe with four fingers!
- Auto-Correction Problems: Is Auto-Correct hurting you more than it’s helping? Sometimes, Auto-Correct can actually slow you down when it makes changes that you didn’t intend. If you want to ditch this feisty little feature, go to Settings, General, and Keyboard. Then find “Auto-Correction” and turn it off.
- Need a Print Screen? Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button at the top right corner of your iPad and then click the Home button. Now, when you open the Photos app, your screenshot is auto-saved directly in your camera roll.
- Lock It Up: When used correctly, your iPad can be the crux of your business. But in case of an emergency (theft, loss, children with sticky fingers, etc.), you may want to lock your iPad to make sure that all your important files are for your eyes only. Once again, head to your General Settings and select “Passcode Lock” on the right panel. Tap “Turn Passcode On” and enter a 4-digit passcode that you’ll remember. Type it in one more time to confirm and now you’re protected!
- Locate Your iPad: Speaking of theft, in extreme cases, there’s a way to find your iPad remotely. Not only can you find the device, but you can also display a message, play a sound, lock it or even erase all its data, all with the help of the “Find my iPad” feature. To set this up, open up Settings and select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” and check that “Fetch New Data” is set to Push. Next, select “Add Account,” choose iCloud, then enter your Apple ID and password. When prompted, click OK to allow the service to use the location of your iPad. Keep the setting “Find My iPad” on and tap “Save.” Try to find your iPad. Sign in with your Apple ID at icloud.com or using another device installed with “Find My iPhone.” Once your device’s location is updated on a Google map, click the dot, then the info button next to the device name. Click “Play Sound,” “Lost Mode” or “Erase iPad” as needed. You never know when you might need this, but you’re better off safe than sorry.
Even if this seems like a lot of information to take in, don’t stress! Many of the shortcuts aren’t necessary to fully utilize the iPad, they just make life easier. Learn as you go and have fun with it.
If this blog was too beginner-level for you, stay tuned for more iPad coverage coming soon! Next time, we’ll discuss some of the best real estate apps on the market and how you can use them to simplify your business or even go paperless.
Nick Caruso is RISMedia’s Senior Editor and caffeine junkie. His iPad is his best friend.