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Building 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 figure out which ones are actually worth pursuing.
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.
- 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.
Each of these issues resulted in deals that were unacceptable. All the hours I had spent talking to these people was a total waste of time, and of the other half that remained (i.e. – the prospects I did send offers to), most of them weren’t going to accept my low-ball offer anyway.
After doing the math, I realized that for every ONE solid deal I got under contract, I was spending a ridiculous amount of time on the phone with a lot of people who were never going to sell their property to me.
At the end of the day, the numbers still worked (because it only took one solid deal to redeem all of my “wasted time”), but even so – it was exhausting.
I was tired of spending all freaking day dealing with people who weren’t going to do business.
It wasn’t until I created my first “Buying Website” when everything started to change for the better.
Building A Buying Website Is Easy!
There are many different ways you can create a website these days – but if your goal is to build a site for the purpose of collecting information from prospects with a detailed submission form, one of the least expensive and most customizable ways to do this is with a service called Bluehost and a special WordPress theme called REI Landleads.
If you want to go this route, these short videos will show you how to get your website up and running…
As I explained in the video above, there are a lot of reasons why I like the REI Landleads theme more than any other one I’ve tried:
- It’s designed as one long page, so users don’t have to click around to find what they need, they can just scroll down the page without going anywhere.
- There’s an easy place to insert a video (and you even get a free, ready-made video to right out-of-the-box).
- I like how easy it is to customize the content, and even drag-and-drop things if you need to.
- With the Ninja Forms plugin, there is no ongoing cost to have forms on my site (whereas other, similar forms plugins require a paid subscription).
- I like the 2-step submission form – it’s much easier to get people “into the funnel”, rather than overwhelming them with one HUGE submission form.
- The ability to send automatic offers with the Automated Offers plugin is a game-changer.
The Automated Offers plugin is a BIG benefit to using a theme like this. As I explain in this blog post, it literally sends out offers to the motivated sellers who submit their property information on my site, and I don’t even have to look at the deal until they’ve said “YES!” to my discounted offer price.
I’ll explain how it works in this video…
The beauty of this plugin is that it gives me one less thing I have to pay attention to each week because the action of sending out offers via email happens automagically. It’s a similar concept to sending out blind offers, this is just sending out those blind offers via email instead of physical mail.
Suggested Form Questions
Remember, the whole idea behind a buying website is to automate your information-gathering process.
In order to maximize the benefit of your buying website, you’ll need to create a form that visitors will fill out – so they can give you all the most pertinent details about their property.
Think of everything you would normally ask your prospects in a typical phone conversation and include it in your form.
This is where the value of REI Landleads really comes into play.
Backstory: I’m actually an advisor for REI Conversion, and I’ve been able to give them a ton of input on how to make these websites fully functional for land investors. The basic premise is – if I were using these themes (which I am), how would I want them to work?
Part of this process was for me to share with them the exact submission form I created for my buying website – and if you get this theme, it literally comes with a pre-built form, with all the questions and functionality you need – so you don’t have to build one yourself.
I spent many, MANY hours tweaking and refining my submission form, so it asks all the right questions and provides enough information without overwhelming the user.
Of course, you can totally build this kind of form yourself – but if you get the REI Landleads theme, you’ll get a killer design with a form that has already been tested for years on my own buying website.
If you aren’t sure what questions to ask, here are some ideas to help you get started:
Name (First and Last)
City, State, Zip
City, State, Zip
Estimated Market Value
Sq Ft of Building
Size of Lot
# of Bedrooms
# of Bathrooms
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.
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 lets prospects know they can go directly to your website instead of calling you. 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??
REI Landleads has also developed some new skin options you can use as well. If you want to make your website just a little bit more unique for branding purposes, you can now!
I cannot tell you what a luxury it is to sit at my computer each day and 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 occasional “yes!” responses 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 (or seconds) of my time just to reach this conclusion. I can do it at my convenience, and this part of my business doesn’t control my time anymore.
Do You Need A Buying Website?
Now, do you NEED a buying website in order to survive as a real estate investor?
No. You don’t absolutely need it.
A website 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, it’s not a bad idea to put this kind of website to work in your business pronto.
It’s certainly possible to survive without a buying website, but if your business functions anything like mine, you’ll be working a lot harder than you need to. In my opinion, this is less a question of “Can I get by without it?” and more a question of, “How much time (and money) will I be wasting if I skip this step?”
Trust me – this is an extremely helpful tool to have at your disposal. Knowing how powerful good a buying website has been for my business, it would be a disservice for me NOT to tell you about it.
BONUS: Real Estate SEO Guide
Since I’m a referral partner for both Bluehost and REI Conversion (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 to keep the REtipster Blog afloat.
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 REtipster.com: