What REALTORS® Should Know About Online Accessibility
As our use of the internet continues to evolve and grow, many industries have felt the negative effects of the increased convenience the internet provides. Travel agents are now nearly obsolete thanks to sites like Expedia and Orbitz, while brick and mortar stores have suffered thanks to competition from Amazon and similar online retailers. Despite this trend, real estate agents have been largely untouched. Even with the rise in popularity of sites like Trulia and Zillow, real estate agents have one thing important thing that these websites don’t – online accessibility.
How to increase online accessibility
In the internet age, accessibility has two forms: how easy it is to view a home online, as well as how easy it is to view the home in person.
Because more than 90% of people begin their home search online, a strong online listing is a necessity for increasing visibility of a listing. Increasing online accessibility can take many forms:
– Accurate and detailed description
– Quality property photos (more than just the exterior of the home)
– Complete virtual tour
For in person viewings, the most important factor in increasing accessibility is always being available for showings. While there are times that showings can simply not be accommodated, you never know when you turned down a showing with your future buyer! Instead, keeping a home showing ready and available at all times ensures maximum accessibility from a variety of potential buyers.
Why our clients need a REALTOR®
Even with the ‘pop’ of the real estate bubble in the late 2000s, the real estate profession has remained strong. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 89% of buyers used a real estate agent in 2012, which is up from 69% in 2001. The same increase can be seen with sellers; in 1987 20% of sellers did not use a real estate agent, while in 2012 a mere 9% sold their homes on their own.