How to Build a Buying Website for Your Real Estate Business

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That’s why we wanted you to know that some of the links in this post are connected to our sponsors — but the real-world guidance is all REtipster.

Lead Generating WebsiteBuilding a buying website is one of the smartest things I ever did for my business.

If you've ever done a direct mail campaign or scoured the internet for new deals, you probably know how time-consuming it can be to find new prospects and talk with them on the phone all day.

It chews up a lot of time.

In my first 2 years as an investor, I spent hundreds of hours talking with hundreds of people about their properties…

  • Getting basic details from each prospect.
  • Trying to assess each person's level of motivation.
  • Learning about each property's history.
  • Figuring out whether each property was a viable deal.
  • Listening to each person tell me their life story.
  • Deciding whether or not I should send them an offer.

After my first couple hundred phone calls, I started figuring out that at least half of the people I talked to fell into one or more of the following camps:

  • They had absolutely no interest in selling their property at a discount.
  • Their property was absolutely NOT what I was looking for.
  • Their property was way too expensive for me (even after a huge discount).
  • For one reason or another, the numbers just weren't going to work.

Sleeping

Eventually, I got wise to the fact that I was spending a ridiculous amount of time on the phone for every ONE solid deal that I got under contract. At the end of the day, the numbers still worked (because it only took one deal to redeem all of my “wasted time”), but even so – it was exhausting.

I was getting burned out fast, spending too many hours on the phone with people who weren't going to do business with me! It wasn't until I created my first “buying website” when all of this began to change for the better.

Building A Buying Website Is Easy!

For a quick refresher on how to get your website online (starting from square one), this short video will show you how to do a few key things:

  1. Register Your Domain
  2. Set Up Your Hosting
  3. Install WordPress (a website building platform)

If all of this sounds foreign – don't worry. Just follow the directions in this video:

Once you've completed Part 1, just follow the instructions in the video below:

StudioPress Premium WordPress ThemesAs with anything – the more you put into your website, the more you'll get out of it.

The video above shows the most basic layout you can achieve with AgentPress Pro, but there are a TON of fancy things you can do with this theme (and many of the other options out there) if you're willing to learn the ins-and-outs of it OR hire a professional from a place like Fiverr or Upwork.

RELATED: As you can see from the tutorials above, creating a website with Bluehost and AgentPress Pro is one of the most cost-effective ways to get your buying website up and running, but it does require some patience and learning along the way. If you still find this process confusing and/or you’re looking for a more user-friendly alternative, you may be interested in an alternative system like Lead Propeller or Investor Carrot, both of which can do 90% of the “heavy lifting” for you. These are subscription services with a higher monthly cost, but if ease-of-use is a priority for you, either one can definitely make the process much easier.

Suggested Form Questions

The idea behind this website is to automate your “data gathering” process – so in order to maximize the benefit of your lead generation website, you'll need to create a form that visitors will fill out so they can answer all the most pertinent questions about their property.

Think of anything/everything you would normally ask seller in a typical phone conversation and include it in your form. Of course – many of the fields in this form will depend on the specific types of properties you're marketing for (e.g. – if you're collecting from people who want to sell vacant land, it will require different information than people who want to sell single-family homes), but here are some boilerplate ideas to help you get started.

Contact Info:

Name (First and Last)

Email

Phone

Address

City, State, Zip

Property Info:

Address

City, State, Zip

Parcel Number

Estimated Market Value

Sq Ft of Building

Size of Lot

# of Bedrooms

# of Bathrooms

Garage/Parking

How long have you owned this property?

Are there any other co-owners of this property?

Do you have any mortgages on this property?

Is this property currently listed on the MLS?

Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?

…you get the idea

The plugin I use to create this form on my website is called Gravity Forms, but there are other options available out there as well.

If you'd rather SKIP the time-consuming task of creating your own form, you can also feel free to download and import my pre-made form template to your website (Important: this file will only work on your website if you're also using Gravity Forms).

Of course, you don't NEED this template to create an effective submission form, but if you want to save yourself a few hours of tedious work and/or if you aren't sure what kinds of questions you should be asking on your form – this could be a nice solution to work with.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Website

In my opinion, the real benefit of having a website like this (among other things) is that it allows you to get your time back. With a tool like this in place, you can re-word your direct mail pieces in a way that sends prospects directly to your website instead of asking them to call you (I'm serious – don't even include your phone number on the postcard!). This way, instead of spending 30 minutes on the phone with each person, you can make THEM do all of the “data gathering” work for you, without consuming one extra second of your precious time.

If you're relying 100% on the phone, this initial “fact-finding” phase will be an enormously time-consuming task, especially when you multiply it by the dozens of people you'll be talking to each month. Believe it or not – I've found that most people have absolutely no preference as to whether they convey this information over the phone, or fill out a form online… so why not make them do what's easiest for you??

I cannot tell you what a luxury it is to sit at my computer each day and just watch emails hit my inbox, knowing that my prospects (aka – the people who want me to buy their property) are doing all the work. All I have to do is glance through the submissions that come through my inbox and decide which leads are worth my time and consideration. Would you be surprised to hear that I say “No” to a lot of them? It's certainly no surprise to me! And the beautiful thing is, I don't have to sacrifice 30 – 60 minutes of my time just to reach this conclusion. I can do it at my convenience, in a matter of seconds (not hours).

Do You Need A Buying Website?

I'll be honest with you…  do you absolutely need a buying website for your real estate business?

No – you don’t absolutely need it.

A website like this won't solve all your problems BUT, if you want to automate the heck out of your lead generation process AND create a great online representation for your company, I'm not sure why you wouldn't put this kind of website to work in your business pronto (especially considering how easy and inexpensive it is to set up).

Most of the investors I know don't have this kind of website running in their business and I have no idea why. It's probably because the idea hasn't occurred to them yet, and as a result, their buying process is WAY more difficult than it needs to be. Seriously – this is less a question of “Can I live without it?” and more a question of, “How much of time (and money) am I wasting by working without it?

Trust me – this is an extremely helpful tool to have at your disposal. That’s why I'm promoting these resources here on the blog because I know how powerful good a buying website can be for your business (no joke – it has been game-changer for my lead generation efforts).

BONUS: Seth's Traffic Toolkit

436277Since I'm a referral partner for both Bluehost and AgentPress Pro (i.e. – I make a few bucks if/when you purchase something through either of these links), I wanted to give you a little extra bonus if you decide to use either of these services.

I took the time to write a detailed report explaining the in's and out's of how I've managed to generate a lot of quality traffic for my various websites (i.e. – several thousand unique visitors per month). I'd like to show you exactly how to generate this kind of traffic for your buying website as well…

If you make a purchase through any of the referral links above, simply forward your receipt to me at REtipsterBonus@gmail.com and within 24 hours, I'll send you a link that you can use to download a copy of this guide.

There is no extra charge for this report – I just want to make it available as a special “thank you” to those of you who are helping me keep the REtipster Blog afloat.

Traffic Toolkit1

Related Reading

There are all kinds of websites that can serve your business in many different capacities. If you need detailed instructions on how to build a different type of site, you can check out these other dedicated video tutorials right here on the REtipster.com:

About the author

Seth Williams

Seth Williams is a land investor and residential income property owner, with hundreds of closed transactions and nearly a decade of experience in the commercial real estate banking industry. He is also the Founder of REtipster.com - a real estate investing blog that offers real world guidance for part-time real estate investors.

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  • kyle baxter says:

    don’t you just love Salient! It’s my absolute favorite to work with 🙂

    • I do and and I don’t. 🙂 I think it works great for most websites… however, when it comes to something as complex as a blog (like this one, for example) it’s almost a little bit too complex, with too many variables that have the potential to get messed up. I’m actually moving to another custom-built theme shortly.

      That being said, I think for almost any other type of website (i.e. – ones that are more static in nature), Salient is a great option to work with.

  • Wesley says:

    Hi Seth,

    Is it possible to set up a form like the one you demonstrated using just wordpress and a free theme? Or is it something you need Agent Press or something similar to be able to do? Thanks

  • winston elliott says:

    Hi Seth,

    I’m trying to follow your tutorial on youtube to make a form on wordpress using jetpack but its quite outdated. Can you give me some up to date insight on how to get a form up and running on my site?

    Thanks,

    Winston

    • Seth Williams says:

      Hi Winston – thanks for asking! Yes… if I were doing this today, I’d probably use a different form builder like Gravity Forms (a paid option) or Contact Form 7 (which I believe is free). I think Gravity Forms is a bit easier to use, but they both do pretty much the same thing – and either can be used for this purpose (rather than Jetpack).

      I hope that helps! I’ll have to update this tutorial video sometime soon. :/

      • Neal Fulton says:

        Hi Seth, Quick question. I have followed your 2 tutorials in setting up a website and had an isssue in setting up the reply email address from your gravity form plugin I purchased. How do I add or setup a linked email so I receive the sellers property info? Im sure it’s in the WordPress site somewhere. Thanks for helping in advance have a great day!

        • Seth Williams says:

          Hey Neal! Sure thing – you just have to go to the Gravity Forms plugin (which should be called “Forms” in the sidebar menu). Then click on Forms > find the form you’re working on, then click Settings > Notifications > under Admin Notification click on Edit > under “Send to Email”, just enter your email address (or if it says {admin_email}, make sure your admin email is going to the right email address).

          I hope that helps! If you still can’t get it, you can always try contacting Gravity Forms support – they’ve always been pretty responsive to me.

          • Neal Fulton says:

            Sorry to bug you again. My submission form gives me ERR_INVALID_REDIRECT message. Checked Gravity forms for help on this error. No luck yet. Thanks in advance.

          • Seth Williams says:

            Hi Neal – just based on what that error says, it might be that your form is having trouble redirecting users to a new page after they submit their information. If I’m right (and again, I could be mistaken… it’s hard to know without seeing what you’re seeing), you could fix this by going to your WP dashboard, open up Gravity Forms, click on the Form > Settings > Confirmations > and then instead of having it redirect to a new URL, just change your confirmation type to “Text”, and type out what message you want users to see once they’ve successfully submitted their information.

  • Brad says:

    Hey Seth, this is great stuff. I’ve been reading posts on your site pretty much all day for the last two days.
    I have a buying website but it’s not super fancy. Not sure whether it’d be better to hire a professional and make it look super sharp, or if a seller would prefer a more home made looking site…less corporate feeling. Any thoughts on that?

    Also, any chance you’d share the domain for your buying site? I’d love to check out how you lay out your site and contact form.

    Thanks for the great info you share.

    • Seth Williams says:

      Thanks Brad, I’m glad you’re enjoying the site! That’s a good question – I think as long as the site is designed well (easy to navigate, provides plenty of good information, is easy to submit properties on, and doesn’t look like it was designed 15 years ago), it should be fine. These types of websites can look corporate OR personal… but as long as they’re friendly and engaging, it should be fine.

      As for the domain on my buying website, I actually don’t give out the URLs to my websites anymore. I used to do this pretty openly, but I’ve had a few people try to create copycat/carbon copies of websites over the past few years, which kind of rubbed me the wrong way.

      I’m not saying YOU would do that (i.e. – it’s nothing against you personally)… I’ve just come to realize that as a general policy, it’s best to let my websites do their thing without drawing too much attention to them from other folks who are trying to follow the exact same (or similar) business model that I am.

      I totally understand the question and curiosity (I’d probably be asking the same thing if I was getting started), so it’s nothing against you. I’ve just come to the conclusion that it’s not the best practice for me to give this information out anymore. I hope you’ll understand!

      • Brad says:

        Seth, thanks for the quick reply. Good info. And I totally understand your thoughts on the domain. You’re smart. And because you’re smart, I’d take inspiration from your work, but certainly not blatant copy and pasting since that’s just weak sauce. But I know that’s not the case with everyone. I’m just going to have to put my own brain to work!

        Thanks for all the great information you share on here.

  • kalif alder says:

    Hey seth,
    it’s me again. ive got another quick question for you man. is it possible to have your squeeze page and buyers website combined in one, in opposed to having two separate sites?

  • Drew says:

    great post Seth (im not sure why my keyboard is typing in all Caps)

    Is there a way to send the contact information that is received through agentpress into a form that can be easily exported into excel?

    • Seth Williams says:

      Thanks Drew! I’m sure there’s a way – but honestly, I’ve never done that… so I can’t point you to any solid options.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help here!

  • james says:

    im 67 years old and need money to buy organic natural supplements ect. ect.—can you please tell me the market value price range that you feel is best for biggest profit % on each dollar I invest–for instance would it be in the market value price range of between lets say–$$5o,000 to $200,000??? or??? have you ever bought houses for 1% to 5% of market value?? thank you—reply soon

  • Brandon Allen says:

    Can you do this with something like Squarespace?

    • Seth Williams says:

      Hey Brandon! I would imagine so – but I’ve never used Squarespace for any of my sites, so I can’t say with any certainty.

      From what I know, I think Squarespace sites tend to look better and are easier to use, but they also have some limitations in what can be done with their formatting, which isn’t necessarily an issue with WordPress.

  • andrew says:

    Would it be a possible to make a buying website strictly for buying land. Then have a form on the website they can fill out so it can email you the information about their land.

    • Seth Williams says:

      Hi Andrew – absolutely. That’s exactly what I did. The videos above explain how to set up that kind of site (though I’ll admit, the second video is a little lacking in how to create the form, as that probably warrants a whole separate video). Personally, I hired someone on Upwork.com to create mine for me using Gravity Forms and it worked out great.

  • Lex says:

    Hey Seth,

    Maybe I missed this in a post, what’s the purpose of having a buying squeeze page and buying website?

    Thanks

    • Seth Williams says:

      Hi Lex, good question. The squeeze page is primarily for the purpose of building your buyers list (which can be very helpful when you’re trying to SELL properties). The buying website is for the purpose of getting to seller leads (which can be very helpful when you’re trying to BUY properties). The two sites serve two completely different purposes, on opposite sides of the buying & selling process.

      Does that make sense?

  • Gabe says:

    Seth,
    In using the website in conjunction with a direct mail campaign, what are your thoughts on domain title. If SEO optimization isn’t necessarily a factor (naturally that may come into play later) because they are responding directly to the postcard, do you have an opinion on whether a sellyourhousefast.com type of domain is more appropriate than one that reflects your company name?

    • Seth Williams says:

      Hi Gabe, that’s a good question. Looking purely at the purposes of a direct mail campaign, I’d probably say that it’s most important to use a URL that is relatively short and easy to remember (to ensure that the recipients are typing in the right address and getting to the right place). This could be EITHER your company name, or a sellyourhousefast.com kind of domain. As long as it isn’t something too ridiculous, like: sellyourmississippipropertytomebecauseimawesome.com – I think you’ll be fine with whatever you choose.

  • Amy Leong says:

    So happy to do my morning RE news updated and stumble on your amazing blog !! Great job. I’m going to do this in Vancouver. Love your way of thinking, thanks for sharing.

  • Baltimore Foreclosure Properties says:

    Thank you for this wonderful information. I am very glad to find this.

  • Luis Acevedo says:

    Once again Seth you hit home run with this article.

  • form for name change says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post, It is awesome.

  • Cz and Synthetic Stones says:

    Nice post, i hope everyone will like your post..

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