How To Build Your Real Estate Investing Business Using the Internet

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Thanks to the generosity of Joshua Dorkin, I am lucky enough to be apart of this great team here on the BiggerPockets.com. Since this is my first post, I thought I would introduce myself and start with a real estate internet marketing strategy that a lot of real estate investors fail to use in their businesses on the internet. I see this mistake made all the time and it costs those investors thousands of dollars of unclaimed profits. If I were you, I would revisit your site and make sure that you are using this strategy on your website. Otherwise, implement it as soon as possible.

Before I go into the actual strategy, let me just introduce myself. My name is Peter Kolat and I am a real estate marketer/entrepreneur from Southeast Michigan. I specialize in real estate marketing on the internet. So, you’ll see me talking about incorporating the power of the internet into your real estate business quite often. I could talk about myself for another paragraph or two, but that’s not what you are here for, right? You are here to learn about real estate marketing. So here we go…

I tell this to my subscribers and clients all the time and I’ll tell you here. In today’s world, using the internet for your real estate business is not an option. I strongly believe that you need to incorporate this marketing medium into your business or your competition will run you out of town. And if that’s not enough of an incentive, let me share this with you.

The recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors revealed the following data:

  • 87% of buyers used the Internet to search for their home
  • 62% of buyers used yard signs when searching for home
  • 48% of them attended open houses and 47 percent looked at print or newspaper ads.

Fewer buyers use home books or magazines, home builders, television, billboards or relocation companies. The trend that has been happening for quite a while now is that buyers start their search process online before they ever go out into the real world.

Now that you see that you need to have presence on the internet, you need to have a website, right? But what good is a website if you cannot get the visitors to convert, stay or your site, or give you some of their information so you can contact them in the future. This is one of the most common pitfalls I see around the internet on real estate investing websites. Some real estate professionals will ask visitors to give them almost everything, just short of their social security number. My answer to that is: STOP that! I’ll explain everything in step 2.

For now, you need to know that you, as a real estate professional, need to constantly build your list. Why? Because that’s where the money is. The money is in a list and your relationship with that list. You should build a list of investors, end buyers, sellers and private money lenders just to name the few. Believe me, it will pay off in the long run.

So, how do you get the visitor to give you their info? You need to incorporate a squeeze system into your website funnel. Now, you may or may not have already heard about building a list using a squeeze page. But if you haven’t heard about them yet, here’s what you do:

Step 1: You need to create a free report or a free audio/video to give away to your visitors. That’s right; you’ll give your best stuff away for free to your prospects. Here’s the tricky part though. You need to figure out exactly who your visitor is, what he/she is looking for, what he/she wants/needs, and how he/she will benefit from your report.

For instance, if you are targeting people who are heading for foreclosure, you need to write a report that will tell them what they need to do to avoid the foreclosure. You need to give away some of your best stuff in this report. Always remember the W.I.I.F.M. acronym which stands for “What’s in it for me?” That’s what you need to focus on when writing the report. You need to focus on them. What’s in it for them? One last thing, when writing your report, use “you” as oppose to “I” in your sentences. It’s always about them and not about you.

Step 2: Create a squeeze page to pull your visitors in to build your list. What’s a squeeze page? A squeeze page is a fancy term for a web page that has one goal in mind, to capture the visitor’s name and email address. That’s it. All you need is their name and email. Don’t start asking them for their mortgage payment, if they own a second on their home, are they behind on payments, and so on. I mean think about it? Would you give away your information to someone you never met, especially on the internet? I wouldn’t. But if you ask them for their first name and email, and in return you’ll send them a report that will solve their problem, they will be much more willing to give you their info.

What should the squeeze page have? The squeeze page should have at least the following ingredients: The headline, the bulleted benefits, testimonials (if any), graphic eBook cover of the report, the optin box (that’s where they’ll input their first name and email), call to action, and a privacy statement assuring them that you will not give away their name or email to anyone.

Step 3: Send the repor to them right away. Once they give you their name and email, they will automatically receive an email in their inbox telling them how to claim their report. Now, I suggest you use what’s called a double optin process as oppose to a single optin process. What that means is that they’ll receive an email from you in their mailbox asking them to click a link within the message to confirm that they were the ones who signed up at your site. By doing this extra step, you safeguard yourself from spam complaints while complying with the CANSPAM law. This message can be set automatically to go out whenever someone signs up.

Step 4: Follow up, follow up, and follow up. Make sure you follow up with your prospects. It has been said and tested that on average, people will buy after being exposed to the product or service for at least 5-7 times. This entire process can be setup by using auto responder messages. You write the emails once, and then the system sends them out according to your specifications. That’s the beauty of this whole thing, it’s automated.

Well, that’s all I have for today. I could go on for hours but this is probably more than enough for today. What I want you to do though is share your comments below. Let me know what you think about this post and what you would like to know more about. Are you using squeeze pages in your business? If so, are you tracking your results? Do you have any questions? Let me know below and I’ll be more than happy to help you.

To Your Success,

Peter Kolat

Photo Credit: fivedollarones

About Author

Peter Kolat is a Real Estate Internet Marketing genius. He's been consulting for many real estate gurus in the real estate industry. His Free Internet Marketing Techniques helped many real estate investors & agents dominate their real estate markets on the internet. No wonder he's been called the "Polish Pulverizer."

9 Comments

  1. Internet plays a huge role in the real estate business. Most of the customers search the web for their future homes and landmarks. Being visible in the search results in the net would be a large factor to earn a lot and to be successful in real estate industry.

    • There are tons of them out there. What I would suggest is when you are looking at those sites, ask the owners to show you that they are SEO friendly, don’t have any scripts running in the background and excessive amount of links linking out of the site.

      It all depends. I’ve seen some good one and I’ve seen honest real estate pros. spending thousands of dollars on a piece of (you know what) site that the designer told him will be great.

      Peter

  2. I am curious as to your research for the stats above. Based on my studies for NAR, I believe the stats that you are referring to are those either from the 7,548 usable response surveyed in the 2006 independent survey or the 84% percent of RE buyers are using the internet to begin their search process- Which as you know as an investor is derived mainly on the beginning stages and demographic portion (ie:location, location, location) of the real estate buying process. The actual number published is just less than 75% of Home buyers found the internet as a useful tool. I must state that I agree for the most part with your article especially regarding the necessity to capture (with permission) your potential customers name and contact information but I am a bit clouded on a few items – setting up a website in todays current real estate enviroment is not an option but a basic need for survival and capturing your customers is obviously where the money is but the #1 issue is still traffic to your site. How are you driving traffic and more important, how are you driving qualified leads to your door. So many agents and investors are running down the yellow brick road internet advertising but forgetting that the most of our websites will not be a destination but an information tool and you still have to drive then there in the first place…. print, yard signs, direct marketing and teh most cost effective – word of mouth and referrals!!!

    • The statistic I am referring to was from the NAR’s latest survey. The one you are referring to is fairly popular because it’s been around for a while. I think this one came out sometime in the middle of this year.

      Your strategies are good for offline integration and we should direct people to out site whenever doing offline marketing.

      Peter

  3. I stumbled across your website and I really enjoyed reading some of your marketing articles. I’m not specifically a real estate marketer, but my sister is a real estate agent and I forwarded your blog to her so she could check it out! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful tips and strategies and keep up the good work!

  4. Wow, that was a good post. Most people just use Craigslist to advertise their real estate business, but I think Craigslist is starting to charge people $25 per post, which is ridicuous for a classified site that is suppose to be free.

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