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Double Your Monitor, Double Your Fun!

Dual monitor systems are no longer just for geeks. Granted, Reggie, NikNik and I are geeks and we all use dual monitor systems. But it is time that the average real estate agent looks into adding a second monitor to their desk.

What is so special about using 2 monitors?

Besides making your friends think you are a computer genius, there are huge productivity benefits to having a second screen. Think of all of the programs that you have open during a typical business day. At any given point, you may have a browser or 2 open, Outlook, a few folders, a photo or video editing program, Twhirl or another Twitter application and maybe even iTunes for some background music. All of this can quickly clutter a computer screen.

Now, image that instead of one 22″ monitor, you have 2. Suddenly, you have twice the real estate to work with. You can move email and social networking activities to one monitor while reserving the other screen for browsing, photo editing and video creation.

No more shuffling through windows to get to what you want to work on next. Everything is already in front of you.

The economics of a dual screen system

Believe it or not, it is cheaper to buy 2 smaller monitors than 1 huge monitor.

Let’s look at an example of buying a high-end Dell 24″ monitor (UltraSharp 2408WFP) versus 2 comparable Dell 22″ monitors (UltraSharp 2208WFP). The 24″ monitor costs $690, while the 22″ monitors cost $249 each ($498 for 2). That is a $192 dollar savings.

Not only would you save money going with the two 22″ monitors, you actually get more working space than with a single 24″ monitor.

Tips for adding a second monitor

Video cards
You will need a video card with 2 ports. Upgraded video cards have included 2 ports for years, so your computer may be ready for a second monitor, already.

If your computer uses an integrated graphics system (found in entry-level computers), you will need to add an aftermarket video card. This is a simple and inexpensive upgrade. You don’t need a cutting-edge gaming card to perform real estate technology tasks, so you could get away with a card costing $100 or less.

Monitor choices
If you already have 1 monitor, try to purchase a second identical monitor. This will not only look better on your desktop, but it will mean that the colors and brightness are the same.

If you are unable to buy an identical second monitor, make sure that the new monitor has the same native resolution as your current monitor. Running 2 monitors with different resolutions complicates an otherwise simple configuration.

Buying 2 new monitors? Purchase screens whose size is in the current price-to-size sweet spot. Right now, 22″ monitors are the cheapest for the size. Prices go up considerably once you jump to the 24″ size or larger. This changes over time as larger monitor prices drop, so do your homework.

Pick up a second monitor and watch your productivity surge. It really is one of the smartest real estate technology investments you can make.

About Chad A. Johnson

Chad A. Johnson is the President/COO of Agent Evolution, a social media education and WordPress web design firm. Through his multiple roles at Agent Evolution, Chad stays on top of the latest in WordPress development and business operations technology. Allow him to share WordPress tweaks, cloud computing services, and much more through his MTO posts.