Good Day. I'm newbie here on BP & in REI.
Please comment on suggestions for REI Website Template (especially if particularly suited to Canadian market).
Wishing you a highly successful 2015.
The most important thing is that you have good information about you and what you do. People actually like the personal touch, so I definitely recommend going with it.
As a software engineer, I actually think that many realtors and real estate sites choose the hard route of generating the site template themselves (working with a designer, etc.). One of the easiest ways is SquareSpace, which is definitely the slickest web generator I have seen.
I used Wix.com for my template. It's very easy to use with no web design experience. You can check out my website for reference. I still have a lot of room for improvement, but it's a good start.
I agree with @Trevor Ewen that you must provide valuable information. Make it inviting and be transparent with customers regarding your business.
Many Thanks Trevor & Christopher,
Thanks for advice on being genuine - a reminder that business is about offering a service, not about capitalizing on a niche.
Square Page looks stunning, classy, uptown and low cost - and looks like a great site for listing properties & for blogs.
I like your webpage Christopher - very clean, functional, easy to navigate & professional.
I will be looking to start off with a template that is geared towards Real Estate Investing, rather that make a new hobby of website designing. The trick here is too avoid the pushy "squeeze" page, (I don't even like that term), and to under-promise & over-deliver, (rather than the other way around).
It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to educate people then you need a website. If your goal is to capture information then a squeeze page. You could even capture using a squeeze page then redirect to a brochure site after to educate. If you are using paid sources like Google PPC then you definitely want to use a squeeze page or you'll lose a lot of money.
The problem with taking your motivated sellers to a website is they look around, get confused and leave without converting and you'll probably never see them again. Don't ask me why but that is the way it works.
I recommend WordPress all the way. Nothing else even comes close!
For $12 a month Wix is a great way to to, LOTS of features for the price. I went with godaddy as they were having a $1/year special. Both have WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors. Remember, templates are just a set of rules that help guide the page, you can change them nearly anyway you want. Feel free to check out my site for an example of what I mean.
I second what @Trevor Ewen said. Squarespace is a beautifully simple website design tool and low cost. Wordpress is also another great alternative. I get that you don't want to make a hobby of website designing, but in my personal experience if you take a few hours to learn these systems and programs, it will end up saving you in the long run. They are really pretty easy to learn/ use and if you know how to troubleshoot your own issues it means you're not paying someone to do it for you.
Good Day Tim & William,
Not at all sure that I'm following proper protocol here, as I don't seem to have the ability to reply individually to posts within the forum.
Many thanks for your input. To me it's very clear that a business needs a website, and I'm looking for one that is professional looking, and requires minimum amount of designing. I don't pretend to be a designer, and I think that that would likely be evident in my product if I tried to be.
I've not tried Pay-Per-clic yet, although I was contemplating doing so for SEO.
I'll look at the Wordpress Options. I like the Squeeze page options on your site Tim. I'll look at WIX too, but WIX seem to own your domain, (yet I'm not certain of that). Go Daddy is an option too, but I'll likely use someone that offer's Real Estate Investor turnkey websites, providing that they're not sleazy.
Speaking of which, am I the only one that hates the word "Squeeze" page? To me Squeeze Page sounds like Sleaze Page, (which it is not - necessarily), making it sound like I'm extorting information or taking the guy and going through his pockets, or shaking him down, or somehow violating him. I know that "Landing" page is insufficiently descriptive, but why not call it a "Contact" page? ... Likely because it's not aggressive enough. A squeeze page to me is one of those annoying pop-ups that will not let you do anything or have anything until they exact the toll of your information - vs a contact page, which gives the individual the option of calling if you've interested them in what you have to offer by a show of your integrity and what you have to offer.
I use wordpress through bluehost. I purchased a theme from nexusthemes.
@Ross McKenzie Squeeze page is just a term like ROI. You wouldn't put that as the title of a page or a link. I have "squeeze" pages throughout my site, however mine are all passive. Meaning they are not forced on the visitor. IMO, forcing a visitor to fill out information is a worse contact lead than no lead at all. Your just wasting time with spam at that point. I feel passive "squeeze" pages provides quality contacts as only the people truly interested in what I have to offer or wanting information are the people filling them out.
PPC advertising is an expensive way of advertising that does work, however don't confuse it with SEO. They are two separate things. SEO is the keyword coding of a page to generate higher rankings in search results. PPC is advertising for visitors to goto your page. There is a lot of things I don't like about PPC, and one of the biggest is click fraud. This was super prevalent years ago, not sure how bad it may or may not be anymore. Essentially, companies would pay people just to click on these ads to generate money for the company, and cost the person paying for it tons of money.
A more productive way I have found through trial and error with the 2 other businesses I run, is via newspaper ads (electronic or paper), and facebook ads. Both have had a better response per dollar spent. I even once hired a sign holder for 1 day for $100 and got more calls from that, than I did with the same $100 spent on PPC advertising in a Month.
PPC is difficult because your going up against major companies that have budgets of thousands of dollars per day, or that are willing to pay up to $10 per click. So unless someone was searching for you specifically, your ad just doesn't show up until page 15 of their search results, and by that time, your website should already be showing up.
I recommend to spend a little money on the SEO side instead of the PPC side of things.
Good Day Zoran & William,
Thanks for the Wordpress nexustheme concept. That is precisely the type of website I am looking for. That was what John Steele & others were also attempting to convey. (My existing Wordpress platform (another "business"), does not give me any choice in themes at all. And I understand now that we modifying & customizing website design is a relatively simple skill that every business owner must have.
Thanks for sharing passive squeeze page philosophy vs spam, and confirming that our integrity is conveyed in how we do business, and is refected in the quality of our contacts.
Thanks too for PPC info. I will certainly not waste my money on that.
Which theme did you use from Nexus Themes??
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