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So, you’re a real estate investor… and know that you need a website for your real estate business… but there’s so many options and so much crap out there that you’re not exactly sure what you need for your real estate investor websites.
And truthfully… things have changed so much in the past 3 years alone that what was cutting edge 3 years ago… is almost pre-historic nowadays.
So, in this ” websites for real estate investors ” article we’re going to walk you through A – Z what you should look for when you’re either building your own real estate investor website, buying a real estate investor website template, or using one of the several services out there online (like ours :-) that help real estate investors like you better leverage the internet.
Why Kind Of Site Do You Pick?
There’s a few different options when you’re getting your website set up. Do you have it designed from scratch? Buy a “template”? Or use a service to do it for you? Really, all are great options… it really just depends on your goals, your budget, and how much flexibility you want with your real estate investing website.
Real Estate Investor Website Templates
The definition of a “template” can vary a bit depending on what you mean. What we call a “real estate investor website template” is basically where you buy just the website… and get what you get. Often times templates can come with your hosting accounts. My first website I built for my real estate business was built from a basic template from our host company.
Now, you can find “templates” or wordpress themes that give you a look and feel to start from with your own website. You can buy these all the way from the expensive price of “free” (free is all relative… read on below on my thoughts on that) to a couple hundred bucks.
A template gets you a jumpstart… then you have to dive in and basically build the site content, structure, lead generation pieces, do the SEO, etc. all from scratch. These are great for someone who has zero to little (under $20) money to invest in their website, have more time than they do money, and who have some sort of technical knowledge (or are willing to learn how to do some basic html, image editing, and learn the ins and outs of basic search engine optimization). What we’re calling a “template” is when you buy the website files… put them on your own server… and you’re responsible from everything from there on out.
- Cheap. You can get into a real estate investing website template pretty damn cheap as far as out of pocket expenses. Under $100 usually.
- If you are a technical person or are willing to invest the time into learning how to build a website… this can be a great place to start.
- After you get a “template” or wordpress theme… you have to invest the time into building out the content, structuring the site, hiring a web and/or graphics guy to help you finish things out, and then you have to maintain the site and files on your server each month to make sure it’s up to date and is secure from hackers.
- “Cheap” doesn’t always mean low cost. Whenever we go into a new project we always like to ask the questions… “How much money does this cost? and… How much time and effort will it cost us to get it to where we need it?”. Too many people only look at how much money they’re paying and forget to value their own time. Often times these template routes cost you many times more than hiring it out or using a service that does it for you.
- The biggest part that determines an effective real estate investing website isn’t necessarily the way it looks… it’s the way its structured, the words on the site, and the strategy behind search engine optimizing the site for your keywords. Many templates look pretty… but when it comes to results, don’t deliver.
Real Estate Investing Website Design From Scratch
Ok, so there’s always the option of hiring a web designer and having them design you a website for your real estate business from scratch. Truthfully, this is the option that any big players in the real estate game choose (by big players I mean companies that do multiple millions of dollars in transactions per year… all the way up to institutional investors and big guys like Donald Trump). Is this the best route for you? It may be. If you want 100% control over every detail of your website from start to finish… and want custom elements that you just can’t find in pre-made websites… then you’ll want to go the custom real estate investor website route.
- You get everything you want exactly like you want it (if you can find a solid web designer who knows what they’re doing… this is the biggie)
- Custom means custom… you build it from the ground up with your web guy
- You can have custom elements or functionality that most real estate investor website templates don’t offer
- Your site will look 100% unique… i.e. – no one else will have a site exactly like yours
- It can be expensive if you hire a web designer who actually knows what they’re doing. Don’t think you’ll get a quality custom design that will be search engine optimized, look good, and designed to convert your visitors to leads for under $3k.
- If you don’t know how to accurately relay (doing exact mockups of what you’re looking for is best) exactly what you want to a quality web designer… you may end up with something that is nothing like you envisioned (or a huge bill to continually tweak and fix the site until it’s what you wanted)
- As technology improves… you’ll have to pay more to have your website redone to get it up “in the times”
Real Estate Investor Lead Generation Website Service
This option is kind of a hybrid between a “template” and a custom designed website. There are a handful of credible options in the market… all have different pros and cons… many are crapoloa… a few are solid… and they can be a great way for you to get your real estate investor website up and rolling.
Like I mentioned above, a “template” is where you get (or buy) just the html files (or wordpress theme)… then you’re left to fend for yourself putting them on your own server, doing the updates and customization yourself, etc. If you don’t want to do that and don’t have the budget for a custom website designer… you’ll want to look at signing up for a service that has pre-built real estate investor websites… other fancy features… and you pay either an upfront fee and hosting… or just a monthly fee to access the service.
- Depending on the service you sign up for… you can get websites that look custom, let you customize many of the site elements and look and feel yourself easily, etc. Just make sure you look for a service that lets you have 100% control over the way the site looks and your content… easily.
- May include other features built right in that would cost you thousands to build yourself. Like email marketing systems, squeeze pages, search engine optimized pages (this one is tricky, our REItheme system actually does get great search engine results… many systems say they’re SEO’d… but rarely show up in search rankings for their customers. Do your research)
- The service usually maintains the websites on their servers, saving you expense, time, and putting the technical stuff in the hands of the techie guys and gals who like that kinda stuff (and are good at it). This helps you so you don’t have to worry about hackers, your site code becoming out of date, etc.)
- You can usually get your websites set up quickly… the same day or within a couple days for most services
- There is usually a monthly (or annual) fee associated with services like this. They can range from $25/mo – $200/mo+ depending on the number of websites and features. But, you just need to decide whether the time it saves you, the features it has, etc. will help you save enough time to offset the cost… or do enough extra deals to pay for the service. Usually one deal can pay for the service for a lifetime.
- Most services that offer real estate investing websites were built 5+ years ago, look like a 10 year old made them in his basement, and won’t let you customize your sites look and feel… or content very easily. Just make sure you do your research to see how easily you can customize your websites and how much you can customize (without paying extra) before you dive in.
So, Get Out There And Get Your Site Rolling!
Alrighty, now that you know the 3 options out there for websites for real estate investors… now it’s time for you to do a bit of research on your own to see whats right for you.
Here’s a quick little guide to help you make that decision.
Pick the one that fits you best.
1. Technical (can do graphics and do some html or php), have a lot of spare time, have a very low budget (under $100 total)… a Template may be a great route for you to go. Go to google and search “real estate investor website templates” to see what you come up with.
2. Have a hunk of cash (at least $3k – $7k), know exactly what you want and can relay that in detail to a sharp web developer, have found or can find a sharp web designer who has experience (and can show you samples and client testimonials) on website conversion and search engine optimization. If this is you, you may look at having your site built from scratch by a web designer.
3. Want custom features but don’t want to pay thousands, want ability to customize your site so it can look unique, don’t want to learn the ins and outs of SEO or web design and would rather piggyback on those who have created systems that do it already, and would rather have someone else take care of the heavy technical work so you can focus on doing deals… you may want to look at website services like REItheme.
In full disclosure you’re on the REItheme blog… and we are a company (started by real estate investors) who created a kick butt real estate investor website system because we felt the options out there sucked. But, with that said… don’t think this post is biased. In the end, we don’t want to “trick” people into going with our service… because we know that our service isn’t right for everyone and frankly… we don’t want to work with everyone.
So, do your research… find the solution that is best for you. If its REItheme… awesome! If it’s not, awesome! All we care about is that you find the solution that fits your needs for your real estate investing business.