As real estate listings continue to proliferate on the Internet, any serious real estate wholesaler needs to establish an online presence. You know this and have established a presence on the web. Now what?
Elements of an Effective Website
The purpose of your website is to promote the real estate properties the wholesaler has available, not the wholesaler him or herself. Flash introductions, lots of fancy animation and sounds may look cool, but how do they actively promote the properties that are available? Simply put, they don’t in most circumstances.
As the saying goes, time is money. Real estate investing professionals shouldn’t be bothered by having to wait for animation to load, or be distracted by the sound of your voice in the background. On a real estate website, these elements appeal to the ego of the site’s owner, and nobody else.
Keep it simple is the best advice that can be offered. If you simply have to include personal information, such as years in business, awards, etc., bury it under an “About Us” link. Your business is real estate, and it’s the properties which need to take center stage – not you. Large clickable photos and inclusion of the relevant information about the property and the community/neighborhood are all that are truly required.
If you want to make your website a true resource for industry professionals, include up-to-date market information, news which directly affects the industry, and updates on government policies and programs which impact the industry.
Building Relationships with a Website
A phone call from a potential investor is extremely valuable as it establishes personal contact, allowing the wholesaler to start building a relationship. It gives the wholesaler a chance to find out what sorts of properties in which a particular investor is interested, creates a scenario where the wholesaler increases the turnaround time on a contract assignment, and makes finding the best properties easier for the investor.
Be sure to require, at bare minimum, that visitors to your site provide a name and valid email address. This is an easy way to quickly build your buyer list with little inconvenience for the visitor. In fact, if they are true pros, they will be happy to provide this information, and possibly more.
Marketing Your Website
You now have your website up and running. What are some strategies for marketing it to interested parties? One quick and easy way to get the word out is to post an attention-grabbing ad on craigslist.com or another free classified advertising site (“Dozens of High-Quality Properties Available — for CHEAP!”).
You can also employ some old-fashion direct-mail or direct email marketing. Join a local real estate investing organization and send an email (if possible) or printed brochure (which prominently displays the website’s address) to all members. If you want, you can also expand your network to include real estate agents, appraisers, contractors/rehabbers, real estate developers, and property management companies.