By Joel Montgomery // 31 May 2010 // Related Categories: Product Information

Shopfront touch screens are increasing in popularity in Australia, but have you thought about setting up a portable touch screen computer at your open house displays?

A touch screen PC (Personal Computer) is a fully-functional computer that can be operated by touching the screen, rather than using a mouse or keyboard. Prices range from $1,000 to $4,000 depending on brand and specification.

5 reasons to set up a touch screen

Featuring a touch screen PC at an open house is a great way to promote your brand and inform potential buyers. Here are five popular uses:

1. Show the property from an aerial view via Google Earth or Google Maps so prospects can check-out the surrounding neighbourhood and nearby highlights

2. Play a video of the sellers discussing their favourite features of the home. A fast & easy way to capture this video is with the new Flip Video. It will set you back about $200 and records in premium quality High Definition (HD).

3. Set up Microsoft PowerPoint slides so prospective buyers can touch and view frequently asked questions about the home, the area and your agency.

4. For buyers who are not interested in the property you can display a listing of similar properties in the area.

5. Get visitors to leave their email address for future property alerts. A nice, gentle technique to build your database.

Daniel Kelly, sales executive at Ray White Yamba, believes a touch screen PC will be very useful in his open house viewings. "Many of the buyers we meet are moving to Yamba from outside of the area, so this technology will really help us promote the town & what it has to offer".

The do's and don'ts of buying a touch screen PC:

1. Choose an all-in-one PC (which means the computer is integrated into the back of the screen) because it looks neat and is easy to transport. But consider the weight because some all-in-one PCs can weigh up to 20kg.

2. The screen doesn't have to be big - in fact if it's too big it will be difficult to use up close. Any screen size between 20" - 30" will do the job.

3. You don't necessarily need to buy Microsoft Office with the PC. You can create a PowerPoint presentation from your office computer, and then simply install the free PowerPoint viewer on your PC.

4. Make sure the touch screen is bright enough to use in ambient lighting. Ideally you should play around with the screen yourself in a bright environment before you buy.

5. Purchase a 3G wireless card with Internet access for as little as $15 / month so you can connect to the Internet without any hassles (metro areas only). For compatibility make sure your PC runs the latest operating system (e.g. Microsoft Windows 7) and has a spare USB port.

Most of the major PC brands now support touch screen technology. We like the HP TouchSmart 9100 Business PC because it sports a brilliant 23" touch screen and with a sleek appearance it will impress your prospective buyers. Two models are available but we think the basic model, costing around $2,000, will do the job just fine. We've gone and negotiated up to $250 cash-back on the TouchSmart 9100 PC for REI members. This offer is valid until June 30 and limited to the first 100 units so we suggest you reserve your cash-back (here) now so you don't miss out.

Although a bit of preparation is required on your part, we think a Touch screen PC is a worthwhile addition to your open house displays. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Do you think it is a useful tool to engage prospective buyers?



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