Building Commercially for the Disabled

You’re a commercial real estate developer in Minnesota, and you’ve selected your site. You’ve also chosen a general contracting company to handle all the construction details, from permitting to ensuring that your building will in compliance with Minnesota real estate building codes. But there may be one factor you may not have considered: accessibility to the building by visitors with disabilities. You will want to be sure that you don’t isolate an entire segment of the population because of problems accessing the new facilities.

Where to begin?

Although your licensed Minnesota construction company will help you in the process of providing people with disabilities, you need to be familiar with a few prominent modifications that most buildings need these days. The starting point is the parking area–make sure that you have adequate spaces and signage based on the total spaces you have. Not providing a place for customers with disabilities to park almost guarantees that you won’t get their business. Remember that in addition to signs, the parking spaces need to be painted with highly visible blue and white paint that stands out against all other parking spaces.

Once your customers have parked, you need to be sure that there are no barriers to entering or exiting your building. An experienced Minnesota general contracting company will assist you in determining what you’ll need, but in general, you want to have low thresholds that allow easy wheelchair access, doors that can be opened easily–or automatically, continuous railings on stairwells and ramps, and again, prominent signage that helps your customers easily identify paths for them to enter your building.

Inside the building

You can’t know everything that you need to do inside your facility (again, this is why working with a Minnesota real estate company that has experience in these issues is key), but there are some obvious issues to address. If your building has aisles or walkways, make sure they’re at least three feet wide. You can do this by walking around with a simple yardstick.

Make sure that there are no protruding objects that could impede a visually impaired visitor, or if there are, that they have protective barriers around them.

If you offer table seating, make sure that at least 5% of it is accessible to persons with disabilities.Always make sure that any facilities for disabled customers have adequate signage. This can’t be stressed enough. Even if you have made the necessary modifications, you need to let your customers know where they are.In restrooms, you need to take into account the width of doors, height of sinks and soap/towel dispensers, and Braille signage.

You don’t have to assume that incorporating these improvements into your construction plan will be overwhelming. By working closely with a Minnesota real estate construction company with extensive general contracting experience, you can ensure that you’ve made your facilities accessible to people with disabilities. And these measures will help you avoid isolating a significant segment of the population.

YouTube for Commercial Real Estate

YouTube is the hottest new (is it really new?) medium for online marketing. And it couldn’t be more perfect for our use – commercial real estate. If your business has an online component you could and should be promoting it via YouTube!

YouTube was started in early 2006 by 3 former PayPal employees (for $11.6 million) and sold in October 2006 to Google for $1.65 billion. To this day YouTube continues to operate independently from Google and in fact still looks and acts like it’s pre-Google days.

How can YouTube help for online marketing?

Today YouTube consistently ranks in the top 5 websites with other greats such as Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Facebook and eBay. YouTube gets close to 80 million visitors per month and not surprisingly is replacing traditional TV for many users. YouTube viewers average 164 minutes per day and traditional TV just 130 minutes. Where would you rather get out your marketing message?

Traditional YouTube videos can do the following for business:

· Inform and Sell

– If you have a property listing then this would be perfect for getting your property known. A good presentation containing most pieces of information can attract more people(viewers) to your service.

– The goal is to provide enough information about your service that would then attract the viewer to visit your website for additional details & information.

· Educate and Sell

– Otherwise known as a “how to” video pointing to the service you are providing. Great for selling your service.

· Entertain and Sell

– The best!

How can you use the YouTube for Commercial Real Estate?

· Brand Awareness (You and/or your company are the brand)

· Company Introductions

· So prospects can “Know, Like, and Trust You”

· Adding Value

· Property Listings (Leasing)

· Sales Listings

· Tenant Rep Requirements

· Virtual Property Tours

· Client Testimonials/Success Stories

· Property Management

· Consulting

· Recruiting

· List Building

· Lead Generation

· Training

· Expert Presentations

· Business Video Blogs – aka: Vlogs

· Executive Speeches

· Seminar Series

How Does YouTube fit in Your Overall Marketing Plan?

· Email Campaigns

· Website/Blog

· Pay-Per-Click

· Facebook

· Twitter

· Traditional Mailings/Postcards

· Calling/Canvassing

Tips for YouTube Video Content

· Be Entertaining

· Be Informative

· Be Authentic

· Keep It Short

· Stay Focused

· Rehearse/Make An Outline

· Communicate A Clear Message

· Keep It Fresh

The bottom line? Video as a strategy for marketing your commercial real estate business is a winner – maybe even the number one way – give it a try today.