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Adapting to Consumer Trends with Responsive Design Websites

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By Dan Gaertner, Vice President of Technology, Homes.com

It seems that every day, the number of devices, platforms, and browsers that need to work with your website increases, and with consumers searching via mobile devices more so than desktop, it is high time that real estate pros understand the importance of responsive design websites.

While that might be a term that you are unfamiliar with, if you hope to succeed in the real estate business in 2014 and beyond, it’s one you’ll need to learn, understand and get on board with implementing. In its simplest definition, Responsive Design is a website design that adjusts automatically to fit on desktops and mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. It offers agents and brokers a professionally designed website platform that enhances the user experience and also seamlessly converts your branded content to other devices so that nothing is lost in translation. This eliminates the pesky web searches from mobile devices where you visit a page that looks way too small or you only see certain aspects of it because it isn’t formatted properly.

The most important reason a real estate professional must have a responsive design website concerns the growing number of people who are using mobile, as it enhances a consumer’s mobile search experience.

According to a report in Bloomberg, global smartphone use will reach two billion people by 2015. Mobile devices are gaining market share each day and studies show that mobile traffic is expected to surpass desktop traffic in 2014. These devices are consumers’ go-to tool for communicating, emailing, social networking, taking photos and finding and researching products, services and businesses—including real estate.

Analyst firm BIA/Kelsey has projected that by 2015, there will be more local searches coming from smartphones than PCs in the U.S. Furthermore, of the estimated 30 billion annual mobile searches, about 12 billion are local searches. Those are numbers that a real estate agent can’t ignore.

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