Websites

34 Replies

I am investigating building my website. Has anyone used 'Lead Propeller'? It seems reasonable at $49 a month.

Yikes! I host mine with DreamHost and pay about $10-$12 per month and it is way more than I need.

Plus, they have easy WordPress integration to get up and going a breeze.

I'm not affiliated with them at all, just a satisfied customer.

@Bruce Dalis  I just watched the video on their site. It looks like they are just giving you access to their own wordpress templates. I could be wrong though.

$49 a month seems pretty steep to me for what you are getting. You could probably create your own wordpress site or squarespace for a fraction of the cost and get similar results.

Godaddy is cheaper but you have to build it yourself (they have a website builder that is pretty decent).  You can check out my site for an example.  If you have any questions on ways to do your site for cheap let me know and I will help anyway I can.

William:

Nice website and thank you for your service. 

That isn't a Godaddy template. Did you have someone build it?

@dannyjohnson is the founder of LeadPropeller. I don't use LP services however I have gained a lot of useful information from Danny's BP podcast, blog posts, and main website. Seems to know a ton about REI marketing which I'm sure translates to a quality product in LP.

Eric;

The fact that LP seemed o cater to REIs was what attracted me to them My strengths aren't website building.

@Bruce Dalis  

 That is a godaddy templet, I just rebuilt it for my uses. Remember a template is just the basic "rules" of a website, layout, color options, navigation layout, etc.  Everything else you can change as you see fit.

$49 is an absolutely a rip off!! Please do some more research. Website based services love "newbie" gullible consumers who need web services. Like many others suggested, simply find a WP template you like (most for under $50) and then pay an experienced designer to customize it to your liking ($100-$200 depending on your requirements) if you don't want to do it yourself. As for hosting, GoDaddy or Hostgator will be all you need for under $20 a month.

I would go with WiX.com. It is around $10-$12 per months, it host the site and have a great templates.

I'm not affiliated with them at all, just a satisfied customer.

I use weebly .   Free for basic.  Easy to set up

I have to disagree with some of the comments here that $49/month is a rip-off, etc.  That's like saying buying a car is a rip off because I can buy a scooter that gets me around for a fraction of the price.  It's all about value and what you're getting for the cost.  There are several important factors to take into account:

1)  What is your time worth?  If you're not a designer, even a do-it-yourself solution can take a lot of time and be a huge distraction.  Sure, they give you a template, but you have to come up with all the content - write all the copy, find photos that give the right feeling, etc.  Is this really the best use of your time, or should you be marketing and doing deals?

2) What will the end result look like?  I don't mean to offend anyone here, but I visited some of the websites of people giving advice and within 2 seconds thought, "This is a do-it-yourself website."  They always have a certain look to them, and to be frank, it's not a professional look.  Granted, not everyone will pick up on it, but many people will.  Do you want to give prospects the impression that you're either a cheapskate and don't want to pay for a website or that you're a beginner and can't afford a website?  Neither is going to help people trust you with the biggest investment of their life, their house.  A website should help people build confidence, not undermine it.

3) What is included?  If we were talking about just hosting, then yes, $49 would be a little high for hosting one site.  But if you're getting a professionally-designed site that's made specifically for real estate investors, if you're getting pre-written website copy (I'm not sure if they include this, but probably), if you're getting pre-built lead capture forms, if you're having someone manage the technical aspects of your site for you, if you're getting high quality, fast hosting (in other words, no cheap HostGator / GoDaddy hosting), and you have someone available to help you, then I think that's well worth the price.

Yes, you can spend less money to have a website set up.  But do you want a website or do you want a good website?  It's generally true that you get what you pay for.  That being said, I do feel that some of the options on the market are overpriced, like $200/month systems that promise leads, etc.  I think they just add on lots of bells and whistles that most people don't use.  Maybe they're worth it, I don't know.  But no website replaces the need for marketing if you want to build a successful business.

Find a system you're comfortable with that you can afford and go with it.  A website can be an important part of your business and is worth doing right.

By the way, I'm not affiliated with LP in any way.  In fact, they're my competition.  So I'm not defending them because I'm getting anything out of it.  I just saw several big factors being overlooked in this discussion.  The wrong mindset can really limit your success.  Doing things the cheapest way possible isn't always the best.

Great points@Todd Heitner  Even though I think I can do a decent job doing it myself it definitely won't be the best use of my time. Thanks

I'm not familiar with Lead Propeller @Bruce Dalis  but they fall into that typical Saas type solution (similar to Happy Tables for restaurants). The word "website" is about as broad a placeholder as the word "real estate". It basically covers anything and everything that displays content for a user to interact with via a screen (and sometimes beyond that). When you are looking for solution to drive new business, establish credibility with prospects, share case studies and examples, and encourage the right people to contact you, there are a couple of approaches (in order of labor involved):

The Landscape

1) Software as a service (example: wordpress.com, wix.com, squarespace.com ...)

These are companies that have pre-build and hosted solutions to make your life easy. They are all quite good and affordable. What they are not is extremely flexible.

2) Self hosted open-source solutions (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal...)

These are free software platforms that communities have created to make managing websites user friendly. You can host your own version cheaply on a server like dreamhost, wp-engine or digital ocean. The advantage of doing it yourself as opposed to a saas (see #1) is that you can customize they to do a number of unique things the saas providers may not offer

3) Custom builds

Up until 10 years ago, all websites were custom. Today, I wouldn't advise it in your situation. Too costly, and overkill.

Choosing:

I would suggest the following approach: make a list of all the things your website needs to be able to do. For example:

* Custom domain (http://www.parlayinvestments.com)

* Gallery

* Contact us form

...

Then explore the SaaS solutions to see if they do everything you need. If that works, then go with the one you like best. If you find yourself limited, then go with self hosted. I wouldn't waste my time trying to figure out how to do it yourself, just hire a freelancer (elance, microslancer...)

Hope that helps. Give it a vote and I'm happy to answer any further specifics.

@Bruce Dalis - I work in web dev/inbound marketing and am trying to break into REI (most likely via wholesaling since I don't have the cash to invest). I'd be happy to help you get a website up & running with an exchange of knowledge/services/possible future partnerships. I use WordPress as a CMS, have SEO/PPC training & would be happy to discuss in more detail. I'm also not too far away (New Haven County, CT)

Thanks,

James

Hey James.. we should chat one of these days! Phil

I bought a realty template for $53 (http://themeforest.net/item/realty-responsive-real...) and then modified it for my means (property management). It was a wordpress theme which I would recommend due to their large user base, free plugins, and easy setup. I learned it and created my website in 2 weeks. I host at siteground which is setup for wordpress and only $3.95/month.

Victoria:

I haven't set up the website quite yet. I just received approval from NYS for my LLC (Long Island real Estate Enterprises. I have been looking over the Lead Propeller site; their templates really give it to brokers on the chin. I work with brokers so I don think I want a website that will compete with brokers. And besides I am just finishing my licensee course. So to make a long story even longer, I haven't decided yet which we to go. I may use the services of a web builder. Any advice?

@Bruce Dalis  

Hi Bruce,

Thank you for the reply. It is excellent to hear that you are in process of getting your real estate license. I would be happy to offer you a recommendations about websites. Please feel free to contact me in PM message. 

Hello there,

I saw the thread and thought I would put my 2 cents in. As a web designer that is going into Real Estate Investing, everything you need, you are on the right path with. There are some great tricks to the trade.

Mine is a work in progress right now. Its in Wordpress. I am actually not intending to pitch but still build. So here are some great tricks. 

1) If you use a professional developer, make sure its in America. Overseas have no idea what "wholesaling" even means. 

2)Make sure you purchase a theme. Themeforest.com is the best place to find Real Estate theme. Mine will have the properties I have to offer on them. That way I'm not fielding a ton of calls from buyers wanting the list. 

3) Go through Godaddy and if you are developing in Wordpress, make sure you purchase WORDPRESS HOSTING. Right now you can start for less than 50 a year. Or $3.00 a month. 

4) The trick of all trades, Fiverr.com. I use this for all of my SEO stuff. Once a month, 5 bucks and its Keyword Heaven. 

5) Make sure you have a landing/Capture page. This is an inbound marketing trick. Make sure there is something that is front and center on your page for them to put their information in AND that your phone number is on the top part of your page. 

6) MAKE SURE IT IS A MOBILE RESPONSIVE THEME. This is VITAL today. Over 60% of people who see stuff online or make a call, do it on their mobile phones. If they cant see the site, you just lost a prospect. 

I am sure there are some additions but I have been on 3 sites all day and im brain dead. If yall need help with sites, i do investor sites for $350.00 and that includes 1 year of SEO. 

Hope that helps and good lucks. :)

@Melissa Johnson  What do you use Fiverr for?  Are you using them to gain backlinks or just get a keyword list?  I'd really caution about using Fiverr to gain backlinks.  For sure they will use a tool that automatically generates those links.  Those tools just spam sites with crummy links.  My blog gets nailed with them ALL THE TIME.  Drives me crazy and they all go right into the spam filter....10,000+ a month.

Now I say that just so that people who are just starting out with a website are careful.  All SEO isn't good SEO.  

You probably have enough knowledge to pick and choose what you use Fiverr for, so would you mind elaborating on #4?

Originally posted by @John Steele:

$49 a month seems pretty steep to me for what you are getting. You could probably create your own wordpress site or squarespace for a fraction of the cost and get similar results.

 If you have the technical ability to set up your own Wordpress site, download and setup a CRM in the site, setup the contact forms (including SMS alerts), etc., then $49 per month is steep. Likewise, you need the time to do all of this.

If you aren't so technically inclined or if you'd rather spend your time doing things that are worth more than the $49 price tag, it's probably not  bad deal.

I have built dozens of Wordpress-based sites, and I'd really rather spend my time doing something else these days. That said, I built my own for my real estate versus spending something like the $49/month, but really, the Lead Propeller sites look better than mine (and I know what I'm doing).

I also spent the last two days fixing the water heater in our personal residence. In hindsight, it probably would have been better to pay the handyman the $50 it would have cost to fix it for me. Sometimes we're all penny wise and pound foolish.

@Scott Costello sure. I do not use Fiverr for backlinks. I use them for mainly design aspects and some SEO but not all. Mainly for Keyword generations. But mainly for those who are on a budget for a logo and design. 

I have learned that a lot of the ones oversea's blow out a lot of things in another country. Does not help at all if you are trying to buy and sell in say, Atlanta. 

Hope that helps.

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