Send me an email and I would be happy to send you the images. I used it again just today and the customer remarked on how different our company was to the other builders they spoke to.
Anyone interested can send me an email at
Sincerely Eric Lamascus
DB-RemdSC1567 858 days ago
Hello, and thanks to everyone who responded so far. Here are some things we have found with using the iPad.
First of all, thanks Judith for the complement. We are trying anything and everything to keep the client engaged, and the iPad really helps with that. Our next step for showroom purposes is to combine the iPad with a 55" widescreen television. The current iOS4 will allow you to display photos through Apple TV via wifi without any chords connected, but currently it will only work with the iPad photo app, and you cannot pinch and zoom. But iOS5 is coming out sometime within the next month or so will allow an iPad2 to communicate with the Apple TV via wifi and it will allow any app on the iPad to be viewed on the widescreen television. We are hoping the pinch and zoom functions will work. If so, we will be able to show some limited products for color and texture in the showroom, and augment that with anything available on the internet, but exploded to a 55" screen. Imagine how excited the clients would get about their project then!
Forget about using the native iPad photo app. It is very difficult to use, and even if you rename your photos on your desktop, it is going to rename them with it's own naming convention when you sync. Here are two ways to manage your photos, depending on your needs. These are by no way the do-all end-all, as there are thousands of apps available in the iTunes store.
If you want to manage the photos on the iPad (verses the cloud) we have found a much better program than the native photo app. Media Folders HD ($3.99) allows you to setup as many folders as you like, allows you to name the photos however you desire (so they stay in sequence related to topic, not by the date they were added), and allows you to migrate as many photos over to the iPad at one time as you would like. I have found that more than 50 or so photos takes a long time, as the program needs to optimize the photos for the best resolution on the iPad (this only happens once on the first sync). The photos sync to the iPad in a folder called iTunes Share. From there you need to move them into the respective folders based on your desired file structure. We have folders at the main level set to: 00 Renovations, 01 Kitchens, 02 Bathroom, 03 Outdoor Living, etc. Inside the 01 Kitchen Folder we then have: 00 Projects, 01 Cabinetry Details, 02 Appliances, 03 Plumbing, ect. The jpg photos inside those folders are named in such a way to sort the way we want them.
Media Folders HD Pros: It handles jpg photos nicely as well as pdf and other file types (we use it primarily for jpg photos with just a few pdf plan files here and there). Since the photos are on the iPad, there is no lag time when viewing.
Media Folders HD Cons: For some reason it requires a user password which I find slightly irritating every time I open the app. For simplicity we set our password to "photo" so everyone can access each others iPad photos at meetings without struggling with different passwords. This app is really nice with one or two users, but as we add more users in our company (5 now - 3 in sales, 1 project manager, and 1 office manager) it is cumbersome to keep everyone's iPad setup the same because each one must be individually synched and then photos moved to the appropriate folder.
If you want to manage photos in the cloud, Dropbox is probably your best bet. The iPad version is free, and a small 2GB account for one user is also free. We use a corporate account with larger storage and 5 users access. I think we are paying somewhere around $750/year for that, but I'm not exactly sure because one of the younger techies in my office did the setup. We have a folder on our server where all of our active projects are stored. That folder is instantaneously synched to our Dropbox cloud folder, and it is quick. If I change a file on my desktop, it is usually available on my iPad in about 15 seconds. It does take some tweaking, because the drop box folder has to be setup initially in just a certain manner for everything to work correctly. We setup this method so that our project manager can access all of the job files from her iPad throughout the day without carrying a large binder for every project. But it's also good for the sales team to access certain elements of ongoing projects when selling new projects. We are currently testing to see how we might like all of our presentation materials to be in the cloud on Dropbox
Dropbox Pros: Everything is constantly synched and available. Everyone is looking at the same file structure so it is easier to manage.
Dropbox Cons: More $$$. If you do not want to spend money for 3G service, or if you do not have wifi access then none of your files are available. Photos are slightly slower to load (but not too bad).
We have considered using other apps to show our work. We thought about Keynote (MS Power Point equivalent) which has some options for fade and text, but opted not to for two reasons: 1) It only works in landscape mode, so you lose some wow factor on vertical photos, and 2) I guess we are too lazy to setup presentations for everything with all of the text - It's just easier to dump the jpg's on the iPad and go.
The storyboard's for us are just jpg images of before photos, Chief Architect renderings, and after photos. We place them in folders and name for sequence as outlined above.
And lastly, I do like Eric's idea of a company slideshow presentation. I have such a "loose" presentation style that I have not used something like this for years. But I do think it would be very helpful for my other two sales people who do better with a structured presentation. Would you be willing to share that with me?
Classic Remodeling & Construction, Inc.
DB-RemdMD2455 859 days ago
I have tested it with just photos in Photo Sort and it has been very well received by customers. Plan to add sample DB plans and use as story board
Wish it had flash!
ProfServWA1526 862 days ago
Great differentiating, Bob! I'm going to bet that a big part of the iPad sucess in this instance is due to the ability of the client to "pinch and pull". Brain science says that the more ways information can be gathered, the deeper it goes. The only thing better would be to allow them to touch the granite, the faucet, the tile texture on the iPad. Next itineration of the app, I hope!
J. Miller and Company
RemodCA1462 862 days ago
Uh yeah, there is that one little problem with the Ipad. I have yet to find a useful tool for showing Jpeg files in a specific order. I like to use the photo app that comes with the Ipad because the image quality and ability to zoom in is great.
The only way I've been able to get them in a specific sequence is to name the files in sequential order that I want them to appear and then drag them into my Ipad photo folder one at a time in that sequence. Supposedly you can edit the Metadata (creation dates) of each photo with some software and create the same result, but I didn't find it.
DB-RemdMI1162 862 days ago
I too have found the iPad to be a great sales tool. During sales calls I can show a select group of photos (and now I will add pdfs of documents- great idea). During design meetings I can quickly refer to a detail on a past job by pulling up its pictures. I also load up images from Sketchup, from product catalogs, etc.. I have 3G so I can access the internet in client's homes even if they don't have wireless.
Has anyone found a good yet simple way to show images in a specific order on the iPad without doing a powerpoint? Using the 'Photos' main app causes whatever subset of images you choose to be in order of date creation. I have also wanted to try to set up a database of photos and be able to pull up say all our kitchen photos at once. I have tried 'SortShot' app but have not liked it. Anyone else have good ideas.
Thanks Bob for sharing your best practice.
ProfServVA990 862 days ago
Great stuff! What do you use to present the story board images? Is it an app or a non-flash slideshow or just jpgs?
RemodCA1462 862 days ago
You nailed it Bob! The Ipad is the greatest sales tool since the cell phone! I bought a used one a few months ago. Nothing fancy, just 16G memory, no 3G. I created 7 slides to load on it and our portfolio of projects. The 7 slides tell about our company and show projects in progress. It shows the cleanliness of the sites, the professional clean cut employees, Timelines, and budget costs for typical Kitchens and Baths (our specialty). The slides inspire questions, and take about 20 minutes to go thru. Then we can open the portfolio pics of projects similar to theirs.
The people that are impressed by the slides are our kind of clients. They care about the people that are working in their house and understand the lowest price is not the way to go.
Great investment for every sales person!