Harry Campbell

Remodeler Bob Fleming has “always been looking for something mobile and easy to use,” he says. Though he had used a tablet in the past, he’d never found one that was the right fit. But the president of Classic Remodeling & Construction, in Charleston, S.C., purchased an iPad the first day it was released, and later bought iPad 2s for his sales staff. He was hooked.

Fleming uses the iPad for presentations. “We built a [client relations] library on there,” he says. “We have a reference list, client testimonials, our GuildQuality report, a list of questions to ask contractors, and vendor testimonials. It’s convenient and shows we’re organized.

Unlike the laptop that Fleming used to take to client meetings, the iPad boots up almost immediately and has a long battery life.

Jeremy Jackson, co-owner of Jackson & LeRoy, in Salt Lake City, says that clients react positively when he brings his iPad to meetings. “I get undertones of ‘These guys know what they’re doing, they’re organized and up-to-date on the latest technology.” He says it’s easier to navigate through project photos on the iPad versus scrolling through a website on a laptop.

65% of iPad 2 buyers own an iPhone; 70% of those who bought an iPad 2 were new to the iPad*

*CNNMoney.com

April Bettinger, owner of Nip Tuck Remodeling, in Seattle, bought the iPad because she doesn’t have an office and, rather than lugging around a book of photos or a portfolio, wanted “a portfolio of products and photos in my hands that I could keep with me.” She appreciates that graphics and photos look “just beautiful” on the iPad and that you can zoom in without sacrificing image quality.

Steve Gray, owner of Steve Gray Renovations, in Indianapolis, keeps contracts and job specifications on his iPad for paperless meetings as well as using it to show clients project photos of jobs similar to what they want done. “The old way, we would talk about something in the meeting, then I’d go back to office and e-mail [the client] photos. It’s not the same selling-wise as being able to explain the pictures to clients while you are with them.” He also takes photos with the tablet to show clients damaged areas of their home. “I can show them each piece and what sections we would replace,” he says. “[Seeing] the damage hits home and conveys urgency.”

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.