We’re into real estate investing. We're also into keeping it real.
Some of the links in this article help to financially support this website, but the real-world guidance is all REtipster.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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 specifically 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 AgentPress Pro.
If you want to go this route, these short videos will show you how to get your website up and running…
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
Remember, the whole idea behind a buying website is to automate your information-gathering process.
In order to maximize the benefit of a lead generation 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.
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
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?
Even though I think a buying website should be an easy decision, the honest truth is this…
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, you should probably put this kind of website to work in your business pronto.
It’s certainly possible to survive without a website like this, 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. 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
Since 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.
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:
- How to Create a Real Estate Website
- How to Design a Selling Website
- How to Build a Real Estate Blog
- How to Create a Squeeze Page