My website is getting close to completion.
Please look at my signature line for the website to review.
My site works on serving 2 objectives.
1. Working closely with commercial sellers and direct buyers.
2. Passive investors to invest in commercial real estate with me being a sponsor on the projects.
The videos I will be uploading one video a day answering viewers question on commercial real estate investing.
Any constructive feedback or things you might like to see appreciated.
Morning @Joel Owens
First, let me disclose that I am not a web site designer or marketing professional, so take my advice with a grain of salt ;)
1) You may wish to further clarify your target audience. The website says that you are targeting high and ultra high net worth investors as buyers, however, everyone has a different idea of what this means. I personally have almost 1M in assets, but I don't consider myself either of those yet, therefore, I would not do business with you.
2) Get an email address that matches your domain. [email protected] doesn't sound very professional, given your target audience. It doesn't make you look like a well established company that has experience processing billions in transactions.
3) On the mobile website, the About | Buy | Sell | Invest | Videos | Contact black banner is missing from the top of the page. The white banner is at the footer, but I don't think this is optimal for navigation.
4) There is just something missing from the site to really make me want to invest with you. Maybe another member can help, but when I read through the pages, nothing jumps out at me and makes me think that. While I know there are legal concerns when advertising deals and/or returns, there needs to be something that makes me want to click that 'buy' or 'invest' button.
Anyhow, I hope that helps a bit. Overall, the website looks very professional.
Thanks for the feedback.
The point behind high net worth and ultra high net worth is to try to target my audience but maybe I am not doing it correctly.
My deals tend to be larger in nature. So locally in my state of GA I might work with a client buying a 1 to 2 million property as a minimum. States away I really want to see a higher purchase number.
The smaller mom and pop properties lends itself to smaller operators who know the nooks and crannies of that market. A larger national tenant type asset can be evaluated far away.
For instance I can't really give value on a 500k property states away in an old part of town. I just do not play in that space as I am doing 3,5 10 million dollar deals.
The government has criteria typically one million or more net worth not including the house is around what they consider an accredited investor which is why I had that under A and B but I agree the passive investor portion of the site needs more work.
Ultra high net worth is generally 25 million or more.
For passive investors I am not looking for 25k slices at a time. I am looking for investors to put in a minimum six figure sum of money into a deal.
My e-mail address I have had for about 12 years I guess so thousands of people know me buy it. I just thought my name was easy to remember. I could get it changed to
joel @ awcommercial.com
I was trying to shorten the website name so that it was easy to remember.
Hi Joel, I like the fact you have a definite target audience. I would get rid of everything that looks like stock photography. It's incongruous with your target audience which are high net worth. Stock photography are merely placeholders while designing. Hire an illustrator and photographer
the buttons should say more than "read more". If your purpose is for them to passively read it's ok. but your website isn't a blog.
I would put testimonials on the front page. You need to establish credibility as soon as possible.
make the font 1 or 2 sizes bigger.
Every actionable item is evenly weighted. That's not good. It leads to an indecisive user experience. Choose the most important thing you want your user to click and make it stand out. Weight is determined by color, size, and any other visual cue that attracts the eye path. so make the most important thing a different color or size.
You need to capture emails from your visitors
Most of your screen real estate is taken up by your image slider. More thought should go into taking advantage of this. Your visitor should be able to quickly determine in 3 seconds what you're all about. High net worth investors. The stock photography and words with transparent backgrounds make that very difficult and confusing.
having the phone number and email adds credibility. You can also use a new company email account and have it forwarded to your existing comcast account. this way you don't have to check two accounts.
I'm assuming the videos are just placeholders for now.
hope this helps
I think you have a good start, however I do have a question. I understand your target market, but what is the purpose of the site? Information or lead generation? Or both? Once I know that, I'll be able to give a little better feedback.
I think it is a great start. I like the fact you have videos. I would not change my email after having it this many years. I am sure your site will evolve over time. With your reputation already established, the website will help build new business for you though word of mouth from previous customers is probably more effective than any website could ever be. Great job! The only thing I didn't care for was the color schemes. That is personal opinion though and others may like it.
Overall, I think the website is consistent with your current branding which I think is good.
I had some difficulty reading the animated text and I would personally make the phone number and email more prominent.
I would make the testimonials front and center....maybe instead of the stock photos which I though was good in that it was dynamic.
Consider some actual investments property pictured you brokered with the testimonial in the animation? I think that is a strength your undercapitalizing on your website. It will help with other buyers and sellers. it will be great for perspective investors to see as well. I would consider tracking down 5 or so even more are okay. Your social proof is rock solid and I think you should really leverage it to the hilt.
I think the investment page looks great and straightforward.
I am mixed about the lead capture email...I know that is probably best practices for most internet sites but with your target market I am not personally sure that is a major item.
Bottom line it looks spiffy as is and I think some room to focus on your strengths ie social proof/ stories to demonstrate your stout track record.
I understand blogging is a huge commitment but it is also a great way to demonstrate your command of your topic and let it do ALOT of pre-selling before you ever talk to someone.
Thanks everyone I enjoy the comments.
What my niche is really is sellers of commercial real estate but also buyers.
A specialty is taking first time buyers and educating them on the process. These are investors that might be liquidating stocks, sold a business, wanting to move from another asset class but know nothing about commercial etc.
I spend time with them and help them to accomplish their goals.
I am not trying to compete with the CBRE's of the world and I do not have to. Those are multi billion dollar companies doing "soup to nuts" services for clients. Those are often REIT's etc.
I do not want a lot of overhead. I want to stay lean and mean and have my own investment directly, working with buyers to purchase directly, and do syndications for value add retail.
The larger brokerages tend to have teams of agents that just push listings and say "buy, buy, buy" without telling the buyer why it would be a deal or a dog. I get it but buyers should have representation. In commercial it's not a few k mistake like with buying a house for investment. We are talking hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars type mistakes that can happen if you buy wrong.
For transactions people get me the principal broker one on one. They do not get thrown to the new agent at the firm and see what happens. I want to provide very high quality service with each transaction more so than pushing volume with mediocre attention to details.
As for putting properties closed out there and the details of those properties my clients wouldn't really feel comfortable sharing that information. Some projects are mid development and information is proprietary in nature. These clients some have extraordinary wealth and are very private.
I have talked to a securities attorney and he told me I could advertise in videos and other places with a specific criteria to follow. There is a higher level of vetting the accreditation of investors for passive investing when you do this.
I am thinking of putting an example of what a sample offering would look like in .pdf format added to the passive investors page.
The website is still a work in process. I do have great business but of course I want to keep building something to be proud of. If you are not constantly evolving then you are limiting yourself of what you are capable of.
The videos I will put on You tube and my website. I could also put it on my bigger pockets member blog. I will answer a question a day and talk for about 3 to 4 minutes in the video.
This website just finished today so for videos I am just getting my equipment. I am fixing to buy a commercial retail building and house one of my workers there for database entry and also have a specific room for recording videos.
"Stock photography are merely placeholders while designing. Hire an illustrator and photographer."
Tony do you have a sample website that has an illustration example of what you are talking about? I am more of a visual person.
Your value proposition is the answer to the question "If I'm your ideal customer, why should I do business with you?" Every text and visual on your site should support your value proposition. The value proposition is what makes you uniquely qualified.
The value prop for CBRE is "the global leader in real estate services and investment". That's why their site come across as cold and corporate
Your value proposition on the other hand is "you".
- There isn't another Joel Owens.
- You hold your clients hand throughout the process
- You participate financially with clients
- You'll pass on a deals until you get what's in your clients best interest
- You deal exclusively with high net worth accredited investors
So, in other words, I see you as the star. The name of your company "All World Realty" is great. However it can conflict with your value proposition as being one on one. Investors not familiar with you may think they could get any broker in your company handling their account.
It needs to be made very clearly that Joel Owens "is" All World Realty. This means you should have a professional picture taken of yourself and prominently placed on the front page
Heres a site "crowdstreet . com". I'll do a brief tear down of this site, to show you their design thought process.
Then maybe you can use a similar thought process when looking at your own site.
First I went to their about page to determine what their value proposition is. Here is roughly what I found.
"CrowdStreet offers institutional quality commercial real estate investment. They provide diversification to accredited individuals."
Every image and text throughout their site will support this value proposition. (I know they closely resemble an REIT but it doesn't matter. my point isn't their structure,but how they support their value proposition).
Now back to the front page
On the front page you'll see their slider on the left. Each visual shows their target demographics using their service. The Join Now button is the most prominent call to action button on the page.
Notice how the color and size pops out at you. It's important enough that they emphasize it in the top right navigation as well. Join Now or Learn More are strong phrases as opposed to Read More.
to the right you see actual commercial deals an accredited investor can participate in.
Scroll down to HOW IT WORKS
You see here they re-state their value proposition..."CrowdStreet provides accredited investors with online access to institutional-quality commercial real estate investment opportunities on behalf of the most experienced and reputable sponsors nationwide."
Remember in your value proposition you're the star. so i would really sell Joel Owens experience and testimonials.
at the bottom of crowdstreet's page is another call to action. their email newsletter. capturing leads is very important.
Back to your site
Instead of the big cityscape I would show a polished picture of Joel Owens. With a short tagline about you.
Instead of the microphone, I would have a professionally illustrated design for your podcast. something just as eyecatching as anything in itunes business podcast category.
Instead of the view of the shopping center, I would have a professional picture of yourself in action. maybe going over a deal with a client. If that's not possible, then a stellar testimonial.
I want to give you some feedback on this - but I'm sitting here watching tv with my iPad and not on my desktop- but I think you should get this asap.
Definitely - get a domain name based email.
[email protected] Or something like that. If your account is set up on a cpanel - your web dev can get this set up easily and have it forwarded into your Comcast account.
I like your green - blue - white colors scheme. Looks fresh - blue is conservative , green connotes wealth. White areas - good negative space. But the medium green text color against the med blue background is hard to see. I'd go white for the main content areas ( the green text). And go light grey for your supporting content.
Switch out the smaller rectangle images ( in your topic areas) for clean - flat icons. Pixel perfect preferable. If your vendor can do it.
I'd go for png files with transparent backgrounds - no white squares.
this would look much more corporate especially in your steps for sellers and buyers and investors.
To see an example. Look at ciphercloud.com
Your site is responsive - looks good. But see if the can make that menu icon when in phone view ( the hambuger) in a darker color. - or use green so people can see it. Might be better to replace it with an icon that actually says menu as I would suspect that a fair number of your target market might not know what that symbol even means.
Some of the wording on the home page slider is awkward. Feels stilted--- I want to give you a suggestion - perhaps tomorrow ! if you find any of this useful that is!
Design again:- is there a way that the font size can be consistent from one slider panel to the next? It makes your eye jump.
Back to content--
The home page wording feels confusing and dissipates action.
If I were a user- I want to know if I'm qualified or not. I think it is ok to spell that out right up Front. Tell them who this site is for ---sell your exclusivity. - then say what the benifits are of using AW Realty.
A good exercise is to imagine that client walking up to you- you know you can help them - you know they are a perfect fit for you. What would you say to him/her?
And then it feels like the sales funnel should start here- be a buyer - seller - investor.
It feels like you want your potential client to sign up. To fill out the contact form. Then you have them on your list? Or is this going to be member shipped based like BP?
It's hard to say here.
Either way it feels like you need professional copywriting here. This is your pitch - you are selling All World Realty to your multimillion dollar buyer/ seller / investor.
I hope this helps.
Great info everyone. Lot's of feedback that is very helpful.
I would not mind looking corporate some but want to maintain that very personal one on one touch to the site.
I want to stand out as unique and a specialist because it's what I excel at. I am getting more laser focused in my efforts now. I was listening to Tony Bennett the singer the other day and they asked how he had been successful in the business for so long?? He said learned to focus on what he thought was important in his life and to cut out everything else as it was a distraction. People easily lose focus.
The writing in the website I did myself so far. Not an expert but I think it is not the worst either.
Lot's of work to do on the site for sure. Love the discussion so far!................ : )
Are you sure you are able to advertise that you are a deal sponsor and syndicating raising private money in a web site ?
James and Shanti
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