Are You Ready for Business? . . . Remove Those Accessibility Barriers!

Successful real estate brokers know how important it is to remove barriers for their online customers.  Anything that disrupts the user experience can result in frustration, distrust and possibly site abandonment.

The challenge is creating a Web presence that is accessible for every audience member and user type.  Good news . . . it's very achievable.

If you were selling video games or hot new techie tools, you might design a website with innovative design elements and flashy ads while pushing the boundaries of readability, since the majority of your audience would be young users with steady hands and clear vision.  On the other hand if you were selling products to seniors, or the Greatest Generation, you would design a simple to read website with large fonts, easy-to-use tools, and no extra 'fluff'.  

But . . . hmm . . . real estate websites are used by pretty much everyone, basically from Millennials to Baby Boomers, so we need to design website structure, content, and features that will work for a vast and diverse audience using a wide variety of devices to access the Web. 

Making your website accessible on mobile and tablet devices is probably the biggest step toward removing barriers.  Letting consumers access your site when they want to . . . and how they want to . . . puts your brand or service in the best position.  Mobile apps are good too, but you should make sure your website is mobile ready first.  Then if you want to build an app to do some very specific cool things, go for it. 

Building your website on a well-organized and structured platform is also very important.  This is a huge consideration when designing real estate websites because of the massive amount of property data they contain.  If your MLS IDX feeds are integrated into your website's database (and you're not using some outside service's search tools), then all that data needs to be organized and easily accessible . . . mostly for users, but also for search engines.

There are many elements to consider when developing a real estate website.  Getting them all right is the ultimate goal.  If you've done that, then you've removed the barriers for users and greatly increased the chance that they will come back, make an inquiry, become a lead, and ultimately become a successful closing.

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