Building a real estate website that generates good profits for your company every year may seem like one of those puzzle boxes – it seems easy when you look at it but then it seems impossible once you try it. Real estate websites are exactly like the puzzle box analogy because once you know the trick to making money from your website, it seems like it was so easy to begin with.
Making money from your real estate website is a pretty simple 2-step process
- Get traffic to your site.
- Convert that traffic into sales.
In this article, we’re going to talk about everything you need to get traffic to your site, and then convert that traffic into sales. Here’s a quick table of contents – if you click any of the links it will take you directly to that section.
- This is Why You Need a Real Estate Website (even if you're not a full-time investor)
- The 6 Steps to Build a Real Estate Website
- 1. Find Competing Real Estate Websites
- 2. Choosing a Host For a Real Estate Website
- 3. Create Excellent Real Estate Content For Your Investor Website
- 4. Optimize the Content on your Real Estate Website
- 5. Building Backlinks is Key
- 6. Wait
- Real Estate Agent Websites
- Real Estate Investor Websites
- Real Estate Wholesaler Websites
- Your Turn
This is Why You Need a Real Estate Website (even if you’re not a full-time investor)
It’s obvious that full-time real estate professionals need a website. But, chasing real estate leads can seem like something you don’t have time for if you’re working a full-time job and doing real estate on the side.
Did you know that most real estate investors are not doing it full-time? So, you fit right in!
Whether you’re an agent, investor, wholesaler, or house flipper, you need a real estate lead generation website for a variety of reasons. Including:
1. It Costs Almost Nothing to Maintain a Real Estate Site
The cost of a website can range from a few dollars to maybe $50/month. There’s always a fancier option to buy, but the bare minimum is quite inexpensive.
Think about it another way – What is one deal worth to you? The average commission or profit on any single-family deal will vary widely, but a minimum of $5,000 and can easily exceed $20,000.
If you do just one deal in a year because of your site, it more than pays for itself.
2. It Takes Almost No Time
There’s a little bit of an upfront time to set up your real estate website. But, once that is done, you hardly need to touch the site other than clicking a few buttons to update the software.
3. You Can Just Ignore (or sell) Leads You Don’t Want
Freedom is the goal for investors. Freedom to travel, work when you want, and live however or wherever you want. The best part of running your website is you can just stop running any ads and ignore any leads that come organically.
Another option is to make a deal with another investor in your area and forward them the leads when you’re too busy. They can pay you a fee for any deals they close from your leads.
Most seller leads need to be nurtured for months or even years before they decide to sell. It’s always best to start that relationship as soon as possible. But, if you don’t, there’s a good chance they’ll still be there later when you are available to follow up. So, don’t spend a moment more following up leads than you want. Save the leads and follow up when you’re ready to look for a property.
The 6 Steps to Build a Real Estate Website
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1. Find Competing Real Estate Websites
The first thing you should do is find the websites of all your major competitors in your local market. For example, if you building a wholesaling website, do a quick search for “sell my house fast in X” but replace X with the city you’re working in.
You’ll notice a few things. First, most of the websites look nearly identical. Make sure you look different than them. They are all using the same themes and content which makes them look fake and neither Google nor your readers will appreciate that.
You’ll also notice that the sites with better content come up highest. Write down the URLs as you’ll want to reference them later.
2. Choosing a Host For a Real Estate Website
You can do this step first if you want. We put it as #2 because most people will start plugging away at their website once they get the website hosting set up. It’s best to start building your site only once you analyze your competing real estate websites.
The most important decision you’re going to make in this process is which host you’re going to go with. It’s like dating, you can always change your mind later, but it’s always more difficult to change later than to make different choices upfront.
There are a few options with this one depending on what your goals/plans are. We’ll break it down into 3 categories – Easy, Medium, and Hard.
Easiest Real Estate Website Option
There are a lot of services that make it very easy to build a real estate website. For example, our “medium” option is just as easy as this option. This category is not only about building your real estate website but also about building your business around one service.
With the easiest option, you can generate real estate leads, build a website, send mailers, analyze potential deals, and manage your CRM (customer relationship management) software all in one spot. This is how you would build a business rapidly and easily.
For this option, we recommend a service called RealEFlow. The reason why it’s easier than the next option is because you don’t need to work with 5 different services to build your business. The tradeoff is it will be more costly.
Medium Website Option
In the easy option, you get a full business growth system that also lets you build your website in it. The medium option is just for your website. You’ll need you buy your marketing lists, set up your email responders, etc.
For this option, we use OnCarrot. OnCarrot (or Investor Carrot, or just Carrot) claims to provide the most highly optimized content for real estate investor websites (and recently they offer real estate agent websites too!) that will rank at the top of Google.
The layouts are amazingly well optimized and the content is a great starting place. But, you can’t just take their content and slap it on your site without doing anything to it. It’s still canned content that all of their customers have access to.
So, the pro is that you can get a website up and running with an optimized layout, lead collection forms, and a lead magnet (downloadable PDF) ready to go. They used to only have one theme but now they’ve expanded to multiple themes which allows you to differentiate yourself from your local competition.
As mentioned before, you need to make some color adjustments, change the pictures, and edit the content. So, there is still a time requirement, but it is less than other options.
Get Carrot Demo risk-free today.
I want you to go to their website and check out their free demo. Simply click on the link, put in your email address, and viola.
You don’t have to sign up with them, but building a site on your own is a lot harder, and will take up a ton of your time (which is better spent building your business rather than a website). Get The Investor Carrot Demo Totally Free,
Go it Alone – Hardest Option
If you are looking to build a large regional or national brand then you’ll want to avoid the first two options and go with a quality hosting service where you’ll have access to thousands of themes, plugins, and unlimited options. This website has readers on every continent and is a national brand, so we chose this option.
With this option, you could save money, but the biggest benefit is the flexibility and unlimited options for developing your site.
The drawback is that you’ll have to figure everything out from scratch. There is a steep learning curve so it’s a substantial time commitment.
There are a lot of cheap options out there that we don’t recommend. The reason is you are essentially ‘married’ to those services and there is no way to ever move your website or get the functionality you want that they may not support. That’s why we recommend setting up a WordPress website on a high-quality hosting service such as WP Engine.
The great thing about it’s a free technology that you pay to get hosted on a server. So, if you don’t like the host, you can just move your site somewhere else with no issues.
If you pay for a whole year you can double dip your discount with the whole-year discount for some big savings.
Getting Set Up
If you haven’t got set up yet, check out this guide to getting your website up and running. It starts with choosing a domain name and walks you through every step to get your site up and running. It’s made with real estate professionals in mind.
3. Create Excellent Real Estate Content For Your Investor Website
Go to Google and search for something like “sell my house fast” and start looking at all the top results.
You’ll notice page after page seems to say the same things. The words won’t be the same, but overall the look, feel, and content will be very similar.
This is because most of your competition is doing the same thing.
- If it’s a realtor website it has a picture, a local listing search, and some quick info.
- If it’s a wholesaling or investor website, they just copy and paste the scripts given to them and click “publish.”
But here’s an interesting thing, according to Brian Dean who is an SEO guru, Google will rank high-quality content over lower-quality content. Google also does not like content that is too similar to other content.
So, taking these two concepts, we need to build unique content that is also much higher quality than the rest of the pages, and we have a good shot at outranking them.
The key to ranking is to make your content higher quality. Google generally ranks informative pages before pages that sell something. So, to outrank the other wholesalers, you need to provide better information than them.
Since most of the info is content that is spun and respun into the same boring stuff, this shouldn’t be too hard.
So if you want to create a page about selling fast, it should have a lot of information about exactly that! Make sure it’s the best damn page on the internet about selling fast, and you’re going to rank for it.
4. Optimize the Content on your Real Estate Website
One of the most important factors for ranking your website on Google is optimizing your content. As mentioned it before – your content needs to answer the question being asked. If you aren’t writing something that helps answer that question, then you aren’t optimizing.
There’s more to it than that as well. Here are the top 5 things you can do to optimize your content.
- Use the right keywords in the right places
- Keep Users On Your Site Longer.
- Find “Suggest” Keywords.
- Delete Zombie Pages.
- Do An Industry Study.
- Add Related Keywords to Your Content.
- Add Text to Infographics, Podcasts and Videos.
- Update Old Pages.
1. Structure Your Content Logically and Use the Correct HTML Tags
Google is pretty good at figuring out what the content on your investor site is about, but it’s best to help them out anyhow. You do this by structuring your content logically, which is kind of like a book might be structured.
A book’s table of contents might look something like this
- “Real Estate Investing”
- What is Investing?
- Why Become an Investor?
- Analyzing Deals
- The numbers
- The calculator
- Finding Deals
- Direct Mail
- Closing a Deal
- Managing Property
- Collecting Rent
You can see the book has an overarching topic and is broken down into several topics. Some of those topics are then broken down further.
HTML replicates this with the H tags where H1 is the primary topic, and they get progressively smaller in importance from H2 onward.
Replicating the table of contents except doing it for an article on a website, it might look like:
- H1 “Real Estate Investing”
- H2 What is Investing?
- H2 Why Become an Investor?
- H3 Freedom
- H3 Stability
- H2 Analyzing Deals
- H3 The numbers
- H3 The calculator
- H2 Finding Deals
- H3 MLS
- H3 Direct Mail
- H2 Closing a Deal
- H2 Managing Property
- H3 Collecting Rent
- H3 Inspections
- H2 Conclusion
So, make sure the content on your website follows this format.
2. Include The Keywords in The Content and Headers
Every article should focus on a keyword (or group of keywords) and your content and headers should be crafted around that. You should avoid creating multiple articles that focus on the same keywords.
I don’t like to keep reusing the same keyword over and over, so I like to identify a keyword then think of all the variations related to it and write them in a list. For example, the keyword I’m targeting for this article is “real estate investor website.” Now, let’s look at some variations of that:
- real estate investment websites
- real estate investor website
- wholesale real estate
- investor website
- real estate investors websites
- real estate investor websites
- real estate investor website templates
- wholesaling real estate websites
- real estate wholesale websites
- real estate wholesalers websites
- best real estate investor website
Now, as I write the content, I will structure the sentences and start to incorporate all of these variations. That way Google knows what my content is about, but I’m not being redundant or stuffing the article full of keywords (which Google also hates).
Are you having trouble thinking of keywords to use? Well, Google helps out with that with their “related” search feature at the bottom of every result page.
When I search for “sell my house fast,” the following shows up at the bottom:
You could easily target most of these with a specific article, or group several of them into one article.
For example, you could have an article that targets “sell my house fast” and has “for cash”, “as is”, and “now/asap” as sub-headers. Then, you can write another article about selling for market value and getting online quotes.
3. Add an Image or Two
A lot of research shows that including images in your articles improves your ranking in the search engines. There’s a variety of reasons – images help the page feel real which leads to people staying on the site for longer. Also, it’s simply part of the Google algorithm.
It’s also important for an image should have a good alt tag and name that both are related to your keyword. Google can’t interpret images that well, so it uses these tags to understand what it is.
When you try to edit an image in WordPress, you can simply add the alternative text. Make sure you vary the keywords used in the alt text and also make it relative to what the image is as well.
4. Create Comprehensive Content That is a “Resource”
The best way to rank a website is to create quality content that is very comprehensive and is a resource that people can come back to.
Take this article as an example – it is over 2,000 words long, has a dozen pictures, a video, and outlines numerous steps to accomplish your goal. It is (hopefully) going to outrank a lot of less comprehensive content out there that is focused more on self-promotion and less on providing exceptional value.
Generally, I don’t write anything unless it’s over 1000 words, has one picture, and has at least 3 or 4 headings. Lower competition keywords can rank well with less, but why waste time on something that may or may not work?
Creating something resourceful also means providing good quality links to other related topics on your website and to other websites. Your article on selling because of foreclosure might provide a link to https://www.usa.gov/foreclosure which is a high-quality resource for avoiding foreclosures.
You might notice that earlier I provided a link to Brian Dean who specializes in Search Engine Optimization. Since this entire article is about creating content and outranking your competition, it is highly relevant and a great resource for people reading this.
5. Make Sure The Content is “Natural”
We’ve talked about several ways to make your content rank well, but if you follow the advice too much, your content will not ‘feel’ natural. Anything that doesn’t feel natural will cause readers to go find different content or resources which will increase your bounce rate and lower your user experience.
Since Google cares a lot about the experience for the end user, it’s best to always focus on creating content that is natural and resourceful, and never let different techniques get in the way of quality and experience.
5. Building Backlinks is Key
A backlink is any time another website provides a link to your website. These links are interpreted as social proof that your articles are resourceful and valuable. The more people that link to your article, the better your article must be. Therefore, Google will rank it higher.
Here are the top 3 ways to start building some backlinks.
1. Create Amazing and High-Quality Content, and Promote it
When I first started blogging, I worked my butt off creating the best content I could think of. I was excited about it, clicked “publish” and then waited for the links to start coming in! I kept waiting, and waiting…and waiting…and… nobody linked to it.
I continued to create good content and some links did start to show up randomly, but it was very few and far between.
So, I started doing something else, I started commenting on other blogs. After a few weeks of leaving comments, I’d reach out to the site owners and just say hi. Sometimes, these emails led to conversations and the foundation of some working relationships.
Then, people started to read my stuff and started to link to it!
As I built more relationships, I was able to start promoting my content. As I promoted more content, I got more links and my content began to shoot up in the search engine results!
So, the key is to create great content, but then to build relationships and promote that content.
No one Will Link To Your “Sell Fast NOW!!” Page
So, focus on building a few great resources on your website that someone actually will link to. You’ll be building up authority to your website as a whole, and it will benefit all of your pages.
2. Provide High-Quality Content to Other Blogs (Guest Post)
Related to the first method is the Guest Post method. Basically, you build some relationships like I mentioned, and then you offer to provide a high-quality, SEO-optimized article for their website.
Since you are providing great content for free, you are generally rewarded with a couple of links back to some relevant content on your site.
But, don’t be one of those people who send an email to hundreds (or thousands) of other bloggers with an offer to post. I get these every day and just click delete.
Instead, follow the method I outlined:
- Comment on their blog
- Reach out and say hi
- Go back and forth on some topic other than guest posting
- Ask to guest post
3. Get Quoted as an “Expert”
Another way to build backlinks is to get quoted as an expert by other online publications. I’ve done this and have been quoted on some really big (and some really small) publications.
Go to https://www.helpareporter.com/, or HARO for short, and sign up. You’ll get 3 emails a day with requests from reporters and writers who need information and quotes for their articles.
When you reply to their inquiry, make sure you provide a quick bio, your name, a link to your website, and several high-quality quotes. Make sure what you write is quotable, so keep it succinct.
It’s also useful to sometimes disagree with the inquiry and provide an alternative perspective. Often, the writers will alter their entire story to include an excellent dissenting opinion.
The hardest part of building your wholesaling website is waiting. But, one of Google’s ranking factors is the age of the domain and the age of the page. So, if you have a brand new domain with brand new content, it may take some time before you will start ranking.
Don’t get discouraged. Instead, here are 3 things to do while you are waiting:
1. Build Backlinks!
Go back to #5 and keep building more backlinks. It’s the most important thing you can do for your page.
2. Edit and Upgrade Your Content
Starting a website can be a bit overwhelming. Sometimes it’s good to just dump a bunch of content out there at first (nobody is going to read your website when it launches anyhow) and then go back and edit the content over time.
Let’s say you have 10 articles you want to write. A few hours per article times 10, plus design and research… You get the point.
So, you might just dump your thoughts out there to get it done and get past the mental barrier. Then, go back and start editing the articles one at a time. It might take a month or two to get back to them all, but at least your pages are starting to age.
Do a Content Refresh
Do you have an older site with content written a year or two ago? It’s a great idea to go and refresh it and republish it with a newer date. People gravitate toward newer content because it feels more relevant, so Google likes newer content as well!
3. Build Squeeze Pages and Content Upgrades
Every article should have a purpose – either to sell a product, get an email address, build awareness of something, etc. for example, on this page, you got multiple requests to download the 5-step real estate system. For a real estate investor website, you are probably trying to generate a lead.
The best way to do this is with a squeeze page or with a content upgrade.
You provide something that has a lot of value in exchange for an email address. You might offer “17 unique ways to renegotiate your mortgage” or “4 creative ways to avoid paying commission” etc.
Real Estate Agent Websites
Website for Realtors and real estate agents are going to be a bit different than real estate investor websites.
So, here are a few pointers to help you make a successful website
It’s VERY Competitive, so Niche Down
In general single-family real estate sales, there are 4 or 5 websites that dominate all search results for almost all search terms.
The only way to carve out a piece for yourself is to niche way down. I mean, WAY down.
Think about it, single-family sales is what every agent does and it’s what every article on Zillow, Trulia, etc are all about. If your website is about the same thing, you’ll never be found.
Go check out this article on real estate niches to get started in to get a better idea about niching down.
Don’t Brand Yourself With Your Brokerage
Every real estate brokerage wants you to have their websites with their brand on it. This benefits them.
Focus on building your name/brand. That way you aren’t tied to one brokerage and if you ever left, your brand is still intact.
Your Home Page is More Than Listing Search
The fact is everyone uses Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin, Zillow, or others to do their home searches. They don’t need to use your clunky search options for their search.
So, focus on answering their questions and solving their problems with that valuable space on your website’s front page.
Real Estate Investor Websites
If you are going to buy the property for yourself, you fit into this category.
You can set yourself apart from wholesalers by highlighting a few facts
You’re Not Looking For a Quick Buck
Sellers want to get out of their problems, but they get a lot of letters and post cards. They want to know that their home will go to a good use.
So, tell them that you plan to keep it and put a good family in it. You aren’t there to lowball them and make a quick dollar.
Instead, tell them that you offer a fair price because you are focused on long term value.
Part of the Community
As an investor, you own property in the community and are interested in it’s long term value and growth. You aren’t there to take advantage of anyone.
Price, Price, Price
You can offer more because you aren’t a wholesaler. Plain and simple.
Real Estate Wholesaler Websites
How do you distinguish yourself in a market where a distressed person may get 10 or 20 postcards from different people every week?
It’s not easy, but here are a few thoughts to differentiate yourself.
Have a Professional Picture of Yourself
I’ve had a lot of people call and comment that the professional looking photo was what made them call. They felt it was a real person on the other side and it was enough to break down that barrier and make them call.
Don’t Reuse the Same Pictures Everyone Uses
Do I really need to explain this one?
Actually Provide Some Value
The vast majority of wholesalers are so obviously new and very obviously making crazy low offers.
If you can actually provide some good information or actually help someone, you’ll be miles ahead of all the competition.
For me, setting up the website, writing my home page, and doing some competitor research only took me about 45 minutes. Then I sat and kept checking back every day to see how it was ranking.
By day 10 I was #2 and by day 11 I was ranked #1 for the keyword I was tracking.
The length of time it will take you to rank will depend on your market and the competition. If you have a few amazing websites in your city, then it may require more work than I put into it. But, this system is an excellent way to get started. If you follow it, you will definitely rank your website quickly.
Eric Bowlin has 15 years of experience in the real estate industry and is a real estate investor, author, speaker, real estate agent, and coach. He focuses on multifamily, house flipping. and wholesaling and has owned over 470 units of multifamily.
Eric spends his time with his family, growing his businesses, diversifying his income, and teaching others how to achieve financial independence through real estate.
You may have seen Eric on Forbes, Bigger Pockets, Trulia, WiseBread, TheStreet, Inc, The Texan, Dallas Morning News, dozens of podcasts, and many others.