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MFPs Rev Up Real Estate. SAY WHAT?

7 Dec, 2010 By: Sand Sinclair, Editor imageSource

MFPs Rev Up Real Estate. SAY WHAT?

We know that a vertical market indicates a specific enterprise or industry that requires specialized products and services to address its market - healthcare, education, banking, transportation, government, law, real estate and so forth.  Each has specific requirements to be met but once dealers, manufacturers, vendors and business providers become informed to the specifics, huge opportunities become available. The healthcare and education markets in particular are being “farmed” by those providers who specialize in office products and services for facilities such as these. Yet, other vertical markets are in need of support if you are willing to invest in some “mining.” One, regardless of the troubling market conditions, is real estate – where good agencies are cutting costs by purchasing or leasing less expensive multifunction devices (MFDs-MFPs) and supplies to create client collaterals in house to beat the rising costs of print shops or Kinkos.

As the stop-start roller coaster ride continues for Wall Street, banking, real estate, your dealership and just about any other business today, it’s good to remember that historically, Americans rise above and beyond economic recessions to realize an eventual about-face where businesses begin to thrive again. Economists indicate 2011 will have its challenges yet the varied speculation borders on the fringe of positive - odds I like. Innovative providers that are currently in or are researching select vertical markets will increase their chances for finding just desserts, while enjoying a wider scope of customers in an arena that sets them apart from much of their competition.

Nationally, real estate agencies are looking for affordable ways to do business. Say what? Yes, housing is slowly picking up regardless of the seemingly endless “double dip.” Who ever said being a real estate agent was easy? Or selling product to a realty company was a piece of cake? But it’s happening and agents are looking to providers to assist them with affordable machines and supplies so they can provide collaterals to interest prospects, both buyers and sellers. These days, unlike the boom of the 90’s, finding affordable marketing methods is more challenging. Yet there are effective technologies available that will simplify an agent’s job. To understand the realty market & its needs today, learn that the arduous method of checking MLS sheets and shuffling clients to & from sites in hopes of making a sales is partly becoming passé. When dealers can provide appropriate MFPs (and toners, accessories, ongoing services) to those regional offices looking to create property flyers & color booklets to help reduce an agent’s field time & fuel costs, cost-effectively printing those in house, secured business will result.

Understanding the mind-set

To understand a realtor, broker or agency’s mind-set, you need to do a mental walk through on how they approach their business and clients, in order to provide a suite of products or devices to improve their marketing efforts. They want affordable tools for optimum client presentations, beginning with the right MFP for their output needs.

MFPs that get the job done!
Depending on an agency’s needs, there is a good assortment of MFPs in a variety of price points to address corporate or local realty offices. What follows is a representative sampling of mid volume MFPs. For more information about a given product or a manufacturer’s new models or entire MFP product line, visit the manufacturer’s website.

1. Canon USA imageCLASS MF7280 prints and copies 30 letter size pages per minute and offers full duplexing capabilities. It’s designed for work environments where smaller machines can’t quite keep up and large office equipment isn’t yet needed. It provides 11 x 17-inch paper support, copy and fax capabilities, and network functionality for printing and PC faxing. Internet fax capabilities enable users to scan documents, attach them to e-mail as PDF files, and send them directly from the machine. Review imageRUNNER also. At www.usa.canon.com.
2. The MFC-8460N is one of three Brother International’s laser MFPs. The new MFP offers print and copy speeds up to 30 ppm, 1200 x 1200-dpi resolution, a 250-sheet paper capacity, a 50-sheet multipurpose tray, and a built-in network interface. The other two models in the line, the MFG-8860DN and the MFC-8870DW, also add duplex capability, and the MFC-8870DW comes standard with 803.11b/g wireless networking. In addition to printing and copying, all the models offer faxing and color scanning as standard. At www.brother.com.
3. The C2824 from Savin produces full-color copies at 24 ppm and black-and-white copies at 38 ppm. PDF Direct Print lets the system receive a PDF file directly from a connected PC, then print it without Adobe Acrobat. Its maximum paper capacity is 3,600 sheets. The unit’s document feeder can handle originals up to 11 x 17 inches. The C2824’s standard features include duplexing, an 8oGB hard drive, and scanning. Fax is optional as is a multitray finisher, a booklet maker, and a punch option for the finisher and booklet maker. At www.savin.com.
4. Sharp’s MX Series of mid-volume MFPs features models that range in speed from 38-45 ppm. The MX-2300N, MX-2700N, MX-3501N, and MX-4501N offer cost-effective color copying and printing as well as advanced functionality available previously on Sharp’s monochrome models. The MX Series models support Sharp’s Open Systems Architecture, for seamless integration with network applications, as well as Sharp’s security suite. All models in the MX Series line use Sharp’s multitasking controller technology with dual job queuing to process copy, print, & scan jobs more efficiently. At www.sharp-usa.com.
5. The e-STUDI0352/452 series from Toshiba offers a modular, build-to-order design, enabling customers to create a custom device ranging from a standalone copier to a fully integrated copier, printer, scanner, and fax. The units’ standard features include 3400 x 600-dpi resolution, tray-less duplexing, two large 550-sheet cassettes, and an additional 100-sheet stack feed bypass to accommodate special and heavier stock papers. The e-STUDI0352 and 453 feature document output speeds of 85 and 45 ppm, respectively. At www.copiers.toshiba.com.

6. Konica Minolta Business Solution’s bizhub 500 and bizhub 420 output at 50 ppm and 42 ppm, respectively. Both models are designed for mid- to high-volume offices that require a reliable monochrome MFP with network capabilities and flexible document finishing and distribution functionality. Each model scans up to 70 originals per minute and has a three-way tilting control panel with large function keys and a simple touch-screen command interface. The bizhub 500 and 430 have maximum paper capacities of 5,650 sheets. Handles paper sizes up to 11 x 17 inches and weights up to 110-pound index. At www.kmbs.konicaminolta.us
7. The KM-C4008 color MFP from Kyocera Mita America is designed for small workgroup environments and delivers 40 ppm in monochrome and 8 ppm in color. It comes standard with printing and scanning capabilities as well as a i5o-sheet multipurpose tray, a 500-sheet paper drawer, and a 4066 hard disk drive. It also has a 600,000-page amorphous silicon drum (ASI) and a 25,000-page black toner yield, which minimizes supply costs and the cumulative environmental impact, according to the company. At www.kyoceramita.com/us.

8. The HP Color LaserJet 4730mfp Series offers printing, copying, scan to e-mail, scan to folder, analog faxing, and document finishing in one device. The LaserJet 473omfp outputs at 30 ppm and is available with a choice of scalable finishing features, including a 500-sheet stapler/stacker or a 700-sheet, three-bin mailbox to separate output by user and job type. HP color access control features allow users to manage when and how color is used by disabling unnecessary color printing and copying. The system also includes HP Digital Sending Software, which enables users to send documents to FTP sites, network folders, and fax services.At www.hp.com.
9. The ES3640e MFP from OKI Printing Solutions offers midsize to large workgroups a print and copy speed of up to 36 ppm in color and 40 ppm in monochrome as well as a print resolution of 1300 x 1200 dpi. It’s designed for workgroups printing as many as 150,000 pages per month. For scanning and copying input, the ES364oe MFP includes a duplex single-pass document feeder that scans both sides of a color page simultaneously. Also check out OKI’s MC561 color MFP. Find more at www.okiprintingsolutions.com.

10. The lnfoprint 1540 workhorse is one of four new MFPs from IBM. An AS/ledger multifunction device for small to midsize workgroups that copies, prints, scans, and faxes, the 1540 prints at up to 85 ppm. Also available are the lnfoprint 1560, the lnfoprint 1570, and the lnfoprint 1580. All models include an integrated 8-inch color touch screen that provides intuitive operator access to the MFP functions. A “scan preview” verifies that the appropriate settings have been selected, the document orientation isn’t upside down, and the correct side of the page was scanned. At www.ibm.com.
11. The Ricoh 3245C offers full-color copying and printing at 85 ppm and black-and-white copying and printing at 45 ppm. It has a paper capacity of up to 3,100 sheets. Most features can be accessed from the initial screen on the unit’s touch-panel display. The unit’s standard features include duplexing, 6oo-dpi copy and print resolutions, scanning, and first-copy-out times of 6 seconds (monochrome) and 8 seconds (color). Fax capability and a variety of finishing options are also available. www.ricoh-usa.com.
12. Muratec’s MFX-2830 is a traditional workgroup copier that copies at 38 ppm and offers 11 x 17-inch input and output, full finishing capabilities, flexible paper handling, and an intuitive touch screen. It’s equipped with a 100-sheet automatic document feeder and provides single-pass duplex scanning. When OfficeBridge Pro is installed, the MFX-3880 offers network printing, scan to folder, scan to e-mail, desktop faxing, Internet faxing, and workflow management solutions such as inbound fax routing to e-mail, scan to user, and machine programming from the browser. www.muratec.com.
13. Xerox Phaser 6180 is among the fast, affordable, easy-to-use color laser printers, and the series delivers the speed and print quality today’s small to medium-size businesses have been waiting for. High-performance features and unparalleled ease-of-use deliver spectacular results. Onboard color capabilities include Panatone color approved solid color simulations. Has a 60,000 page per month duty cycle to
tackle workhouse jobs, but is affordable for the SMB office. At www.xerox.com.

14. Panasonic’s mid-volume C3 Series color MFPs include the DP-C322 and DP-C262, which the company describes as the hottest-selling MFPs in its line. An intuitive, color control panel that’s oversized and adjustable allows for ease of use. Both models copy and print up to 31 ppm in color. The DP-CSw and DP-C262 also copy and network print in monochrome at 3a ppm and 26 ppm, respectively. With SD card integration, users can print from an SD card by inserting it directly into either unit’s front panel. Thumbnails of images stored on the SD card are displayed on the control panel, making it easy to select an image and print in color. Panasonic’s research was the first to initiate development of the SD memory card. At www.panasonic.com.
In fact, agents can save property images on a good digital camera (Panasonic Lumix or appropriate camera) with SD Card capability and insert the card into the MFP to then color copy, print, fax and scan. Agents can print their gathered information immediately. Accordingly, these cards can be inserted into TVs and computers for optimum viewing. What does this mean for the real estate agent? SD Cards provide the agents with state of the art technology, transferring their images from one device to another quickly and efficiently. Besides the agency and realtor, clients benefit with the utmost in customer assistance. Clients get to view detailed properties quickly from an office computer or quality print out, and leave with a full color collated booklet of their chosen properties to consider.
Wouldn’t a prospect rather do business with an agent who adopts these technologies in order to provide them the best information to help make the life-altering decision of purchasing a new home or business site? Not only can the all-in-one MFP create typical or standard materials, but some, when using special paper, can print colorful riders with photographs up to 36” long, and on waterproof paper! Where typically this application process would cost $25-35 and require the agent to go to a local print shop, the customized pieces can be done far more economically when created in house at the office.

A good MFP or fleet of them provides an incentive for agents to stay with or join an office by dramatically decreasing the time and cost associated with generating gold-standard one-sheets, brochures and customized color riders. MFPs reduce the cost of office printing and outsourcing. High-quality printing directly from SD Cards, PC cards or USB memory sticks / flash drives enables agents to output digital pictures of properties more easily. The MFP can create a concise, profit center for the office by saving on outsource costs. In the end, dealers are delivering a win-win to agencies across the country – agents, brokers and clients. Isn’t it time to help kick up the real estate market a notch? You bet!

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