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A Secret Weapon For You And Your Clients To Get More Business

Published: 14/02/2012
By: larry

Update April 2013: In time it has become clear to me that the basic idea of distributing a small e-book about your services is good but the Apple iBook media is NOT the way to do it. You need to do it with a media that works everywhere, and the best media to do that is a PDF file.

Back on Jan 19, Apple made an education focused announcement that may have slipped past you. Apple announced iBooks 2 (the second generation of the iBook iPad App) and a free Mac application called iBooks Author. Apple's primary intent is to make it easy for educators to make iPad optimized content. But these Apps go way beyond education. They provide a super easy way of creating rich multi-media content and distributing it to anyone that has an iPad for free.

I know, you're saying, "so what does this have to do with real estate photography"? Well, here's the thing- more and more of the top Realtors have iPads. And if you are a Realtor, an iPad is a fantastic device to have with you when you are doing a listing presentation. Listing presentations are where listing agents sit down with home sellers and try to convince the sellers to sign a listing agreement to list their home.

This new opportunity didn't slip by Fred Light in Nashua, NH. He has already used iBook Author to create an iBook for his Realtor clients to use in their listing presentations that show the sellers Fred's videos. Click here to download Fred's free iBook that he gives to his clients. Fred described his initial experiences with his iBook as follows:

It's a bit buggy, but for a first effort (and for free) it works for me! You have to be a bit careful in how much you load onto that thing and how big the files are - as it WILL take a while to download. BUT... then they always have it, it always works, it doesn't matter if they don't have wi-fi....

Had someone the other day (never been a customer) use it at a listing presentation. She got the listing (against 3 other agents) and called and said "Well, it worked very well. I got the listing. But now I have to use your photos AND video!" She was just kidding, but it does kind of lock 'em in to using me. And they can't JUST do photos... they have to do the video too!

Can't beat having a mini sales force out there selling my services for me! But we both win, so it's all good!

Please note that Fred's iBook is a first cut at implementing this technology. Fred must have been all over this the day that it was announced since he had an iBook published within a week or so of when the announcement was made. Also, it is a fairly large download since he has a 9 minute video in it. As he says, though, it works anywhere, even if you don't have wi-fi access. This is a huge benefit! Also be aware that iBooks only work on iPads, you can't view them on laptops or anything but and iPad with the iBook app.

I know what about half of you readers are thinking... I want a general solution that works everywhere. Well, you could do some of this with a PDF that you send to your potential clients. PDFs work on laptops, Android tablets etc. so that's a way to do some of this approach but it doesn't do it all. But, you should poll your clients to see if they have iPads. I believe the adoption rate among real estate agents is much lower for non-iPad tablets. Projections are that at the current adoption rate, there will be 100 million iPads in use by the end of 2012. Pilots are using them. Entire companies (like GE and Comcast) are replacing laptops and desktops with iPads and Realtors are using them big time.

I'm in the process of converting my free e-book to a free iBook. This is an ebook intended to be used in much the way Fred's iBook is used, to give to your clients to explain why they need to use professional photography and videography to  sell their home. My goal is to have my free iBook in the iBook store in a few weeks.

Update: 9:20 Pacific 2/14:  Fred says he's in the process of updating the iBook to reduce the download size and the process doesn't happen instantly... I should have checked with Fred before I did the post. I expect the new version will be there soon. See Fred's comments below.

15 comments on “A Secret Weapon For You And Your Clients To Get More Business”

  1. ibook and interactive Pdfs are great tools for our industry. Try looking up "interactive pdf indesign" on youtube.

    It takes a bit of learning but the results can be fantastic (and cheap).

  2. Adoption rate of iPads is incredible in our customer base of realtors. Over 90% have iPads, less than 10% have android, hp, and rim combined. And we are in Silicon Valley. (Over 80% have iPhones.)

    We are not sure why realtors are so skewed towards apple products.

  3. Apparently there's a problem with Fred's iBook- right now when I search for it in the iBook store (it's name is "Marketing Your Home Online") it can't be found.

    I downloaded the book directly to my iPad about 5 days ago. There could also be a problem with the iTunes link that I used in the post. I got it from Fred and didn't use it to download my copy.

  4. Yikes.... Didn't know this was being posted today! I redid this presentation late last week (for the third time) to try and get the download size down to something a bit smaller (for faster download). Theoretically, it was supposed to REPLACE what was there, but somehow it deleted the older version and now the new one is stuck in the Apple approval process for some bizarre reason which I can't quite figure out. I wrote to them early yesterday asking what was going on, and am waiting to hear back. I do know they've been bombarded with uploads as well as questions, as this whole thing is very, very new. iBooks Author software is v.1 is also a bit on the buggy side, so it doesn't always work the say it's supposed to... or the way it did 30 minutes ago! Fortunately, I have no hair to pull out....!

    I'll post the new link as soon as I get it figured out - probably in a day or two!

    Fred

  5. @Dave- As Fred says above, he tried to update the iBook and he's having trouble getting it update... I suspect the problem is to get a ibook in the library you have to go through the Apple iBook approval process and it may be slower than usual.

    It may be that it would be more effective to create a Keynote presentation for the iPad for your clients rather than going through the Apple iBook store. I'm doing some research into this whole subject and will do a post in the near future.

  6. @Debra- I haven't talked to Fred about his iBook but I suspect that he discovered like I did that if you are going to give away a promotional ebook the iBook is a limited format it can ONLY be viewed on IOS devices... MUCH better to use a PDF format that can be viewed on ANY device.

  7. We Android users are really tired of hearing the words Apple. They dominate a market and serve up unusable apps. Time for a bit of competition. Hey, Fred, how about converting your book to work on the Android platform? It's bigger than most will admit, since Apple is cool and Android is not at the moment. I've been watching this kind of garbage since my first computer, eons ago, and now will absolutely not buy anything with the Apple name on it.

  8. Writing a book is such a great way to position yourself as the expert in your industry in my opinion. Congrats to the guys who have done it. i'm currently in the process in writing a book myself which i'll be detailing the best way curstomers can use photography in their marketing to attract new customers. stay tuned i should have it completed by the end of this year.

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