One of the first things that most new businesses do is develop a website. The real estate investing business is no different. A good website will give you a decided advantage over your investing competition. However it is not enough to simply throw a few pages together and wait for traffic to roll in. Your website needs to strike a balance between generating traffic and showing your personality. It needs to act as a business card for any potential partners while educating anyone that visits. A good website can help gain a partner or secure a deal. A poor website will show in a negative light and can make you and your business feel dated. If you are thinking about what to do with your website here are five must-haves you should consider.
- Start With A Plan. Even though putting together a website is low on your list of priorities you need to give it some thought. You have multiple options as far as layout, color, content and design. All that stuff is important but you can let a professional web designer handle that. You need to consider what it is you want out of your site. Are you looking to generate leads? Do you want to find potential buyers? Are you looking to use your site as a source of education? Are you are going to add some of your current business partners to your website? Before you get too far with a budget and specifics you should have a general idea of your goals and your plan. A new website is like a blank canvas and you are Picasso. You can do almost anything you like but if you don’t have a plan you may be making changes after just a few months.
- Target Market. Having an idea of who your target market is will impact everything you do with your website. Everything from the name of your site to the content of your posts revolves around your target. It is tempting to think that your site can serve as the one stop investing site in your market but that is just not the case. You can’t be everything to everybody. Sure, you can have different pages and tabs about different things but you can only pick one or two themes and targets. The content you have for finding cash buyers is different than what it would be for dealing with distressed homeowners. There is truly no right or wrong answer as to what your target market should be. Spend some time weighing all of your options and whatever you decide go for it.
- Business/Personal Balance. The goal for any website is to keep traffic at the site for as long as possible. Your website designer will help in this area but it is up to you to add the content. You need to offer a mix of education, information and personal insights to keep visitors for as long as possible. It is no secret that people like to work with others that they feel can either get a job done or like personally. As a real estate investor in a local market this can be a tricky balancing act to perform. On one hand you want to tout your services and show what you can do. On the other hand you don’t want to come across as insensitive to some of the distressed homeowners you may have purchased property from. If you have a passion for a particular sports team or hobby don’t be afraid to show pictures or content showing this. Sure, some people may not like the team you support but you should be more focused on the ones that do. This can serve as a conversation starter and give you a jumpstart in building a relationship.
- Blog Posts. One of the common phrases in website development is “content is king.” The content on your site needs to be interesting enough to keep people browsing around in other areas. To do this you need to focus on high quality blog posts on a regular basis. Even if you aren’t a skilled writer you can probably bang out 500 words about a particular topic in the real estate business. Like anything else the more you write the easier it will become. Pick a topic and write something every day. Your blog posts should be used on all of the various social media platforms you use. Posting them on social media will lead the reader back to your website. You don’t know who is reading your posts and will eventually want to work with you. For right around a half hour a day your time is well spent making daily blog posts.
- Unique. There are literally hundreds of generic blog templates you can use when designing your website. This may be cost effective and easy to put together but often miss the mark. There is nothing wrong with having your website standout. Your website should fit to your unique personality. If you are a people person who likes to be the center of attention your website should reflect that. If you want to use a different color scheme or different font to ahead and try it. By playing it safe and using traditional website templates your site will be viewed and quickly forgotten. All of the great pages and content you may have will not be looked at. Don’t be afraid to go with the website you feel comfortable with.