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North Texas Real Estate Information Systems

Taking a hands on approach to information services with iPads

By Greg McGowan

With more than 23,000 subscribers to its services, North Texas Real Estate Information Systems Inc .(NTREIS) has a fairly large responsibility when it comes to administrative, security and customer needs.

The IT Company, which is owned by 15 REALTOR Associations, provides information management services to its members within the real estate industry. The company is also heavily involved in researching, developing, and delivering technology products and services.

\”The iPad is just a more powerful, more sophisticated way of doing a lot of the same things that you can do on your iPhone,” said CFO Robert Pharr. “I don’t bring my iPad with me every where I go, but when I do leave the office and need to be connected I carry the iPad with me because it’s so portable and it’s so easy to carry.\”

Deploying and using CNG-SAFE by Cabinet NG has significantly reduced the amount of paper-based files that usually flowed through the system, to the extent the company has eliminated filing rooms notes Pharr. Since this program is available on the Apple iPad, Pharr has remote access to his files. Replacing the paper-based system has also eliminated the risk of losing important files and the potential for costly recovery procedures.

\”That’s always a nightmare that you have – that if you have a disaster you may lose all those files,\” says Pharr. \”But, we don’t worry about that anymore. Our stuff goes on the network and that gets backed up every day, and we have an offsite backup so that we can retrieve those files anytime that we need to.\”

The iPad also has some very definite benefits from a user standpoint as well, above and beyond its portability. Day-to-day tasks such as data entry and invoices have become less time consuming, for example, and the system’s large 9.7-inch screen also provides a more user-friendly alternative than the iPhone when reading files and data.

Although the majority of real estate agents still embrace the BlackBerry as the go-to device in the field, Pharr believes it won’t talke long for the iPad to gain some traction since it provides more capabilities than a cell phone and greater portability than a laptop.

\”(Real estate agents) can take the iPad out to a house, catch all the data in real-time on the iPad, and create a listing right there on the site while they’re walking around interviewing the seller,\” he said.

\”There’s not a whole lot they can do on that laptop that they can’t do on an iPad,\” he added.

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