Business Website? Yay or Nay

8 Replies

Of course when you become licensed initially there are so many to-do lists and articles to read about what you should do first, it can become very overwhelming quickly. A topic of discussion I have seen on a lot of the "you definitely want this" lists, is your own personal website. The brokerage I am with has their own already but my goal to develop my own brand and would like to have a website that reflects that mission. My biggest question is whether or not agents have found their website to be useful and if so, did they hire out the building of it or did they design it themselves. Please note I have very little website building experience but can navigate my way around sites like Squarespace rather well. 

I don't utilize my website that often. I prefer having a social media presence. You want to have a Google my business, Zillow profile, FB page, and BP profile. 

Yes you need a website. However I would spend 10x more effort, time and money on driving traffic to said website than the site itself. 

It's a general business no-brainer that any business, regardless of what it is, should have at the very least a one-pager and have a web presence.  The added incentive for a "personal" (that is your own non-brokerage agency) site is that often times the brokerage site isn't very sexy or customizeable to really set you apart from other Realtors and entice potential clients with the value you can add to their RE journey.  In your own site you have your own control, your own particular style and message, and you can use it to drive leads in ways that fit your style better than the brokerage-branded site.

You want a website with lead generation capabilities.  There are lots of ways to go about this.  Lots of vendors out there.

To me you want to build your own brand and not depend on the brokerage.  So that means having your own phone number, own web domain, own database, your own app.

This is one of the basic components we provide our agents.

Teaser: "How Wix takes away an investor's website articles, domain, and drop 2/3 of visitors" ==

@Amber Forkey  wrote: "The brokerage I am with has their own already but my goal to develop my own brand and would like to have a website that reflects that mission."

Good for you, developing your website as soon as you get your license and don't want to use your broker's website. Most agents only start thinking about their own website when they switch from the first broker to the second. The first broker keeps all the traffic on his former agent's page.

Amber Forkey wrote: "Please note I have very little website building experience but can navigate my way around sites like Squarespace rather well."

Brokers, agents and RE investors actively use website builders like SquareSpace, Wix, Carrot,... Unfortunately, they lose 2/3 of the visitors in the first seconds of the site due to slow loading. Look for software developers who will make you a fast website. It will save you almost all of the visitors you're hard-pressed to collect and direct to your web site.

@Jason Shackleton  wrote: "However I would spend 10x more effort, time and money on driving traffic to said website than the site itself. "

This is a popular view among agents and RE investors. Most of them use cheap mass-market website builders. But saving money on website development makes 2/3 of the cost of creating visitor traffic senseless.

Example

You are using Wix' website builder for your website. It's a popular budget solution. The flip side of the cheapness of Wix is that it's not well known among agents and investors.

1) The content on your website does not belong to you. Wix makes a note at the bottom of any page on your website:

When you want to leave Wix, it won't give you your content.

2) Wix offers a free .com domain. It looks like you decided to save money and took advantage of Wix's kind offer. Who do you think owns your domain? The Whois Domain Ownership Checker shows that your domain is managed by Wix.

3) I used the Google SEO test to check your website:

Image source via Google PageSpeed Insights

Google thinks your website retains only 35% of visitors while it is loading because it lasts a long 12.6 seconds. The other 65% of visitors leave your website before it has finished loading.

Bottom Line

A one-time savings on website development causes:

  • Years of losing 65% of website visitors
  • Years of ignoring a slow website in Google rankings
  • Years of 3x budget overruns to bring in visitors
  • Big problems with ownership issue when trying to change website builder to a more professional solution.

Advice. At some later time in the future you will be making a redesign of your site. It will be a good occasion to move away from budget website builders to more professional software. Then everyone will benefit from your new website - you, your visitors and Google.

@Mark Shaver

Thanks for the insight on my site's analytics. These numbers are going to be similar across the board for most startup type businesses. I have put 0 into paid marketing for this particular business site you have broken down. I also have another ai site that I now use for submissions.

I personally won't consider paying someone 10x to create a slightly more visually appealing site with a better click through rate. If I were to scale this up, I would rather spend that same 10x in a sales funnel driving 10x more people to the site. I can only assume you are in the high end website building business.

If I were to make the most beautiful website in the world with a 100% customer conversion rate and no one ever saw it what does it matter?

Personally when I found my agent it wasn't because of his website anyways. Websites don't make sales. The call to action and conversation afterwards makes sales. The only piece of data I took from his site was his phone number and I haven't been back since. It was his knowledge and local real estate investing experience that led to him gaining my trust over the phone, then in person that led to 3 commissions from me and many more in the future.

There are many different ways to get to the same place .If you are able to do it by building higher quality websites then that's great for you. If one already has volume that is a good thing for them to do at that point. However for someone just starting out as an agent it likely is not the best advice to give. They likely have a very limited budget and can more quickly see a ROI and build a list of potential clients with paid ads.

Now if said agent was further down the road and has some money to toss around sure why not build the brand at that point. How does one build a brand worthy site with next to no money?

I was at a marketing conference last year and one of the speakers did the marketing for the most successful real estate agent in the U.S. He barely mentioned website development. It was mostly all about ads leading to a sales funnel, leading to a form to weed out people etc. At the end of the funnel the agent only received calls for those that are ready to buy now. This marketing system would also cost an arm and a leg and likely not be the best for a new agent as they woulden't close enough deals. 

I'll take the opposite answer here: I don't think you need a website to just get started. 

A website is solely a "credibility" thing. If your goal is to generate leads, then Google My Business, FB, Instagram, even Pintrest are better bets!