If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you probably know my thoughts about the importance of having an effective real estate website working for your business (whether it's for the purpose of buying, selling, or simply collecting leads).
There are a lot of different ways to create a website – some of them are easy, and others take a lot of work.
For most real estate investors, there's a BIG premium on convenience and ease of use – because let's face it, we're not web developers, coders or programmers. Most of us already have our hands full running our business and doing deals.
Especially when a person is just getting started – they've already got their hands full. It's not easy to find the hours needed to create a good-looking AND functional website.
If you're looking for the easiest way to build a website – there are a few convenient options on the market today, and one of the platforms I've been hearing about quite a bit over the past few years is called Investor Carrot. This is a subscription service that allows users (specifically – real estate investors) to quickly and easily build websites for the purpose of buying properties, selling properties, building a buyers list and branding their company (among other things).
Investor Carrot has been growing like CRAZY as of late, and even though this is one of the more pricey subscription services I've seen on the market, there's a reason why a lot of investors are using them.
Not only do they make it easy to build websites that look amazing, but they also allow users to make some unique customizations to the look and feel of their sites (including the submission forms) without knowing any code and without having to work around any restrictive settings.
They also specialize in the SEO, performance and ROI aspects of web development, so if you're trying to find effective ways to build your online credibility AND drive a lot more traffic and submissions through your website, they have a lot of built-in resources available to do just that.
How it Works
This past week, I decided to give Investor Carrot a whirl to see how it worked. While I was poking around their the system, I recorded this video – so I could give you a better look at it too.
If you've got a few minutes, follow along and I'll show you how it works!
Note: I do have an affiliate relationship with Investor Carrot, which means I will get a small commission if you sign up for the service through any of the links in this blog post (and if you do, I appreciate your support). As always, you should only use this service if you feel it will help you accomplish your goals. Please do not spend your money unless you're confident about the value this will add to your operation.
At the time of this writing, users can sign up for a single website for $49 per month, or up to three websites for $99 per month (for more information on their plans and pricing, see this page). Like I said… it's not the cheapest option on the market – but if you're looking for a nice combination of ease and flexibility, this system seems to offer a good balance of both.
Likes and Dislikes
Something I really liked about Investor Carrot was the amount of information and options to choose from when creating a website.
When you create a new site, it already comes pre-populated with a generous amount of existing content, which not only makes the job easier for you (because you don't have to make up a bunch of information yourself, you can simply edit what's already there), but it also adds a lot of “SEO juice” to your online space, making it easier for search engines to index your site and start sending organic traffic your way.
The sites are also mobile responsive, which means they'll always look good on any device.
It's also very easy to integrate an Investor Carrot website with your existing social media accounts and list building services (like MailChimp, Aweber and Constant Contact). They've clearly put a lot of thought into making these templates versatile, while enhancing the experience of the people visiting your website.
The only real down side I noticed with Investor Carrot is that it wasn't quite as “idiot-proof” to set up a site as I thought it would be (though it's still MUCH easier than working with a standalone WordPress website). I think this is partially because their system offers a lot of different options for customizing your website, and all of these added capabilities give you more stuff to sift through… which ultimately makes it slightly more cumbersome to zero in on the specific features you want to add, remove or change.
To be fair though, I've actually seen this with other software in the past too (and even in the creation of my own membership website), where ease-of-use can become a double-edged sword.
In order to make the overall process feel simpler for the user, you have to give them less control (like the ability to create and customize your own forms, for example). On the other hand, when you give users more options, it inevitably starts to look and feel more complicated… so it's a tricky balance.
All in all, even though the user dashboard was a bit more busy than I expected – it didn't take me terribly long to figure out how their system worked. Within an hour or so, I had a pretty good handle on about 90% of the functionality.
Probably the most important customization feature I noticed with Investor Carrot was the ability to create complex and detailed submission forms. If you're looking to build a buying website or a lead generation site (the kind of platform that collects a lot of specific information from visitors), this will really come in handy.
As a land investor, there are some very specific pieces of information I need to get from the people who submit their information on my site, and with a service like Investor Carrot, I can customize the heck out of the submission forms to my heart's content – and in my case, this capability is a must for a buying website.
Along with that – Investor Carrot also gives you the ability to customize a lot of other things, like the following:
- Logo, tagline and header image
- Color scheme of the website
- Font of the text
- Text on each page
- Add, delete or change the text on each page
- Add, delete or change the images on each page
- Add, delete or change the submission forms on each page
- Include a blog with your site (or operate without one)
- Move and reposition the various “widgets” in the sidebar and footer area
- Choose between a few different templates and change the background image of each
- Rearrange the navigation menu to show the most important pages on your site
…you get the idea. Pretty much every important thing that needs to be addressed on your site is fairly simple to tweak (though it may take you a few minutes to figure out where and how to make these changes).
As you can see from the video above – Investor Carrot has made it pretty easy to create websites that look professional WITHOUT wasting a lot of your time in the process.
Whether you’re a house flipper, property manager, wholesaler, realtor or land investor – we ALL have a fundamental need (whether we realize it or not) for a well-organized, highly functional, good-looking online space that serves our business well.
The Investor Carrot system can be used for a single website, or for multiple websites – depending on what your needs are. In any case, they seem to care a lot about getting real results and generating legitimate leads with this online platform – so if you need this kind of functionality in your business, it may be worth giving them a try. Here are a few of the features you can expect with an Investor Carrot website:
- All websites are mobile responsive
- You can easily create and customize submission forms
- Easy integration with all major email services (e.g. – MailChimp, Aweber, iContact, Constant Contact, GetResponse, etc.)
- Easy social media integration
- Several different templates available to work with
- Excellent customer service and support
- Tons of additional training and education available
- Major emphasis placed on SEO, ROI, driving traffic and getting a higher conversion rate
- Websites come pre-populated with great content
- Simple process for creating real estate listings, optimized for pictures, video and easy share-ability
- Easy to manage leads, autoresponders and analytics
If you want to go nuts with a full-blown content marketing strategy, they also offer a content marketing system (with a Content Pro account) where they will write 12 articles each month, optimize them, localize them w/ the short codes (including the URLs) and you can publish them on your blog.
This kind of content creation plan could help you see much better search ranking results and it can help save a ton of time for people who want content on their sites but aren't ready to do all the writing themselves.
In addition to being a user-friendly option, they also provide regularly scheduled webinars and some great resources that can help you boost your website's organic traffic and make it serve its intended purpose.
This past year, I discovered their SEO Bible and was seriously impressed by all the free information they offered in it. They also have a TON of other helpful education available for the users of their service, for example:
- How to get leads through Facebook
- Some great Craigslist Ad templates
- How to implement a Content Marketing Strategy
- How to Use PPC Advertising Effectively
- A 90 Day Action Plan to help you get started
- How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel
- Some great webinars to help fill in any gaps
No matter where you're at with your real estate business, they seem to have something for everyone (even after running five different real estate websites for several years, I learned a lot from their SEO Bible alone).
Is Investor Carrot Right for You?
For a lot of people, I think Investor Carrot could be the most ideal way to go, but I wouldn't say it's the ONLY choice that makes sense for everyone.
As I mentioned earlier, Investor Carrot isn't the cheapest long-term option on the market today, so if the cost is a concern for you – and if you have any experience building or designing websites, you may be better suited to create your own WordPress site through a less expensive service like Bluehost (more details on that in this blog post).
However, if you opt for the “do-it-yourself” route – you should also be prepared to do A LOT more hands-on work yourself (and if you don't already have a knowledge base here, it will take you a lot more time and frustration to get the job done).
Personally, I'm using a standalone WordPress site with the AgentPress theme for my buying website (mainly because I didn't know about Investor Carrot back when I created it) and I'm still using Lead Propeller for my selling website and my lead generation site.
In my experience with both Lead Propeller and Investor Carrot, I thought Lead Propeller was slightly simpler to use in terms of getting the site up and running (I could literally finish my website in 20 minutes and it looked good). However, at the time of this writing, Lead Propeller doesn't give users the ability to create customized submission forms – which isn't a big problem for most house flippers, wholesalers and landlords – but since I'm a land investor, their pre-made submission forms didn't quite fit the needs of my business, which is why I had to create a separate WordPress site.
If you're stretched for time and you need to create a great looking website that is fairly easy to edit and make do what you need, I think Investor Carrot is a solid option… but you don't have to take my word for it. Sign up for a 30-day trial and find out for yourself!