The Real Estate Website Digital Divide

As I spend most of my working hours online, I suppose I just naturally assume that everyone should have a website. Moreover, being submersed in the world of online real estate daily only served to reinforce this notion. So needless to say, I was a little surprised when I heard that there was a lot of thinking that predicated their move to a real estate website.

For the client, their reality was much different then mine. For the client, setting up a real estate website meant taking a jump into the realm of the unknown. As the client went onto explain, the web represented a literacy that they were not fluent in; a literacy that their kids could eat and breath, but that had, with the process of time excluded them.

It quickly became apparent that the decision represented much more then a need for online lead generation. For this particular client, it was facing a reality that technology had moved beyond them. This is far from tragic, the saving grace here is that client recognized their own ignorance and rather then letting it hamper their business aims, they chose to embrace it and make the jump regardless.*

Why is this moving story so important? Acceptance of new technology is often a difficult thing. In a prior post I looked at a survey that basically indicates most people resist technology simply because it is deemed expensive, frightening or time consuming (An Interesting Test). The end result is that many people are pushed to the loosing side of the digital divide. This disparity becomes greater as time rolls on. Thus, by not making the leap of faith, our client could have found themselves in a loosing position a few years from now. By jumping in with both feet, they firmly staked their ground in the digital realm and are refusing to go softly in to the night.

Apart from being the feel good story of the month, I highly encourage you to examine your own motivations for looking for a real estate website. If you find yourself shying away for reasons of ignorance, unfamiliarity or lack of time, really consider your desired outcomes. The digital divide is real and something that should not be ignored. There are great resources out there designed to take the stress out of setting up a real estate website such as this review for web developers building real estate sites. Gone are the days of needing to be a code wizard to run a real estate website. Understand your technological hang ups and move on.

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