“Gather ’round people Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters Around you have grown
And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’ ” – Bob Dylan
Like the words in this classic Dylan song poetically state – the times are changing. If you don’t keep up – you’ll be left behind from those who are swimming faster than you. Of course, what I’m referring to is your use of technology in today’s rapidly changing world, and more specifically – your use of a website.
Lately, there has been a TON of conversations around BiggerPockets about building a lead generating website. Frankly – you already know you need a website for your real estate investing business (or whatever business you might be in,) and you probably realize that you are losing business because of it. So, in keeping with the many other ultimate guides I’ve written here on BiggerPockets, today I want to walk you through – step by step – how to make a killer lead generating website for your real estate business.
If you want to skip reading this whole post, and would rather watch a video on how to do all this – just watch the YouTube video below. Both the video and the post have pretty much the same info – so you can use the method you like best for learning!
How to Purchase Real Estate With No (or Low) Money!
One of the biggest struggles that many new investors have is in coming up with the money to purchase their first real estate properties. Well, BiggerPockets can help with that too. The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down can give you the tools you need to get started in real estate, even if you don’t have tons of cash lying around.
Before We Begin Website Building
I know you are exicted to get started with building your website, but first I wanted to let you know 3 important things:
Is this the only way to make a website?
No, this is not the only way to make a website. In fact, there are lots of options, from pure HTML, Worpress, Jumla, and more. However, the method in this post is the easiest method that I know for someone who may not have a ton of experience working with website technology. I’m going to be showing you how to create a website using Wix.com – which is my current favorite drag-and-drop technology because:
- It’s really easy
- It looks really nice.
Also a brief disclosure – the links in this post to Wix.com are “affiliate links” which means that BiggerPockets actually makes a referral fee if you build your website after clicking one of the links. However, the price for you isn’t any different through Wix if you do or don’t go through our links. Obviously – we would love if you help support BiggerPockets by clicking the link, but if you just want to type in www.Wix.com into your browser and skip helping us out – that’s cool too. I still recommend this service 100%, even if BiggerPockets wasn’t rewarded for it.
Do I need to be tech-savvy?
Not at all. This tutorial is the easiest method I know for creating a website. There is no coding, html, or design skills needed. If you can operate a keyboard and mouse – you’ll be fine.
Does it cost any money?
Yes and No.
Wix.com offers both free and paid websites. With a free site, your website will have a domain name that looks something like this: “www.wix.com/yourwebsitenamehere.” This doesn’t look so hot. However, a paid website looks more like this: “www.YourWebsiteNameHere.com. Much better. Plus, the free one has ads, which kinda defeat the purpose of your website. So personally, I’d 1000% recommend you get the paid version. However – the paid version is really actually cheap – like under $10 a month cheap. So quit your whining about how much it costs, because you spend more than that on Starbucks each week (okay… maybe that’s me.)
The awesome thing is – you can build your site completely before deciding to pay for the site. So go ahead- follow along with me today and I’ll show you how to build a lead generating website. In one hour from now, you can have a fully functioning, lead generating site that will be driving motivated buyers or sellers (whatever you are looking for.)
How is this tutorial going to work?
Below, I’m going to walk you step by step through my process of creating a “we buy houses” kind of website to point motivated sellers to in my real estate investment business, though you can follow the same steps to create any kind of website you wanted. My plan is to start a direct mail campaign, marketing to motivated sellers in my county, and I will be including the website on all the marketing material. In today’s world – people like to check out a website before making a phone call, so the website will simply present more details to encourage the seller to either call me or send me an online message. I’ll explain both in more detail later.
This tutorial is going to go in painstaking detail about exactly how to set this thing up. You might get ahead of me – and that’s cool. Play around with it and have some fun. That’s one of the reasons I like Wix.com so much – it’s easy to play with.
Let’s get started!
Planning Your Website
Before you start building your site, I’d encourage you to first decide what you actually want on your website. To do this, I’d actually recommend you step backwards in technology and pick up a pen and paper. Check out a few ideas online of similar websites that you want to be more like. I’m not suggesting (and in fact, I’m telling you not to) that you should copy someone else’s site. However, coming up with a list of things you want or don’t want is important and scoping out other people’s sites is a great way to do this.
If you are building a lead-gen site like me, here are a few lead-generating websites you to get some ideas from:
For my site, I noticed I want to include the following:
- An email contact form
- A welcome paragraph, introducing myself and my company
- A picture of me and my wife
- A frequently asked questions section
- A “how it works” section
- I want to talk about different reasons they might be selling (probate, divorce, etc)
- An “about us” section
- Maybe a video some day
Now that I have my list together of what I want my site to look like, let’s move over to Wix.com and start building.
How to Get Started Building Your Website with Wix
Let’s get started by navigating to Wix – which you can get to by clicking here (it will open in a separate browser tab, so you won’t lose your place here.) The photo below is a screenshot of Wix.com. Keep in mind – the images I use in this tutorial may be slightly different than what you see, as Wix.com may change their design. However, I will try to keep this post updated with any major changes.
Obviously, start by clicking “Start Now” to begin creating your website. You will be prompted to sign up by entering your email address and password. After this, the fun begins. You will now need to select a template to build your site around.
One of the reasons I like Wix.com so much is the beautifully designed templates you can choose from. Notice in the screenshot below – you can choose a category, such as the ones I have selected – but I want to encourage you not to get stuck just in one category, because you’ll be changing all the words and pictures on the page anyways – so it doesn’t really matter if the original template is designed for a Bakery, a law firm, or any other kind of business. Choose a template that you like and you think will stand out to those coming to your website.
For the example in this tutorial, I’m going to use the “Handyman” template because … well, I just like it. I’m a fan of the color scheme and simple layout, and I can visualize how it would look with a “I want to buy your house” theme and message. So, selecting “EDIT” you’ll be taken to the Wix Editor, probably in a different browser tab.
Below is what the original looks like:
Obviously – we need to make some changes. But before we do – I want to show you exactly how to change things with Wix.
Editing Your Website in Wix
You’ll probably notice that, once you are in the editor, you can simply double click on any text on the page and edit the words. It’s really very simple – go ahead and try it.
You can also move things around by just clicking and dragging the items around. For example, if I don’t want to move the large red “We are only a phone call away” box – all I need to do is click anywhere on the red and drag it to a new position. However, – be careful not to click near the words, because then you’ll just be moving the words around, not the entire red box. Once you start playing with it, it will come pretty natural to you.
At this point, you can start making your site look more personalized. Here’s how…
Navigating the Editor
To navigate around your site through the editor, let me introduce you to the Wix Editor Icon Bar. On the top right corner of the editor, notice there is the following small set of icons, which is your basic editing tools. Below is a description of what each icon represents.
The first icon, the “Pages” icon, will be your navigation center around your site. You probably want more than just one page on your site, so click the “pages icon” to see the following window pop-up (see right—>)
To add a page, big surprise, just click “Add Page.” To navigate between different pages, simply click the page you want to go to. Notice that my pages currently are listed at “Home” “Services” “Testimonials” “About” and “Contact.”
I want to keep the “Contact” page, and the “About page” and “Testimonials” might even be okay (if I want to go through the process of collecting testimonials – which I may hold off on for now.)
However- I don’t want a page that says “Services” – so let’s change the name.
To change the name, hover over the page on the tab to the right and click the small “gear” next to the name of the page, which will open up a small page allowing you to change the name of that page. You can also change the “Page Address” which essentially means the specific url – so www.YourWebsiteName.com/services becomes www.YourWebsiteName.com/faq (if I wanted to change “services” to “FAQs”)
Take a moment and search through the available options to see what Wix is capable of. Pretty much everything you’d want to do to your site you can, through these five icons.
Changing Photos in Wix
Unless you want to use the photo of the male model in the tool belt – you probably want to change photos. This is also really simple to do.
Step One: Click the image you want to replace
Step Two: Select “change image”
Step Three: Select “upload image”
Step Four: Choose the photo from your computer
Step Five: Select “okay” – and position your photo!
Add a Contact Form
By this point, you’ve learned how to change the text, change the images, move things around, create or edit pages, and make your site look great. It shouldn’t take very long to write some good text that will let people know exactly what you are offering and how they should proceed.
However – your whole website is rather useless if you don’t have a way for potential sellers to reach you. The best way to get motivated sellers to contact you is through:
a.) The telephone
b.) A contact form
Obviously, the telephone is easy. I will put my number in the giant red box on the top of the page, as well as numerous places within the text as I write the words on my page. However, the contact form is a just a little more complicated – but still not too bad. Wix.com makes it very easy to incorporate. Use the following steps to add a contact form to your site, so when a customer fills it out, you are sent an email with their information.
Step One: Decide where you will put it. I am going to put mine on the right side of the page, below the photo in the main text “body” area of the website.
Step Two: Click the “+” icon on the Wix Editor Icon Bar and scroll down and select “Apps” followed by “Contact Form”
Step Three: Move the contact form where you want, and make it the size you want by dragging the corners.
Step Four: Click the form and select “Settings” to specify what email you want the form sent to
Step Five: Click the form and select “Change Style” to
Step Six: Click the form and select “Show on All Pages” if you want the form to show on all pages of your site.
Step Seven: Add text above the contact form. You want to ensure your website visitors are encouraged to fill out the form in full – so be sure to let them know exactly what to do with the form. To add text above the contact form, simply navigate to the Wix Editor Icon Bar and click the “+” Add icon and click “Text.”
Publishing Your Wix Site
To publish your site, simply click the “Publish” button at the top right corner – and like that- your site is live to the world! However, as we discussed in the beginning – your website probably has a terrible, long name. Mine was “http://bra1541.wix.com/graysharborhomes” which … well, it sucks. I’m never going to feel comfortable giving that domain name out to a potential home seller, and I definitely don’t want “Wix.com” advertisements all over my page.
So – at this point I HIGHLY recommend you upgrade your account – but don’t worry, it’s probably much cheaper than you think.
Below is a chart of the different options you have for a Wix site:
I always recommend people choose either the Yearly Unlimited or Yearly Combo.
Two Words: Free Advertising
When you pay for an annual site, you get free advertising credits for Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and more. Right now, you get $50 to spend with Facebook ads and another $75 to spend on Google Ads.
This post is long enough, so I don’t have time to go into the specifics on this kind of marketing – but let me just say it’s very important. To learn more about using this kind of advertising, check out my very first post I ever wrote for the BiggerPockets Blog – Using Facebook Advertising to Super-Charge Your Real Estate Investing.
Additionally, when you pay for either of these two options, you get a free domain name with it – meaning you don’t have to have a crazy, ugly domain name – you can actually be something simple like “GraysHarborHomeBuyers.com”
To get your domain name, simply pay for your Wix account, follow the instructions, submit your credit card payment, and then search for your domain name in the screen below:
Final Example of My We Buy Houses Website
Alright – so I wanted to show you the final look of the site. This is my new, official lead generating website for my county. Feel free to check it out at www.GraysHarborHomeBuyers.com to get ideas and use whatever you want for your website. Heck – copy the whole thing, I don’t care! (however, please change words like “Grays Harbor” and spin the words so it’s not the exact same – cause Google doesn’t like duplicate content and will penalize both of us!)
Here’s the final site, after some color changes (keep in mind – I’ll still be working on this site, improving it over the coming weeks. But, for an hour of work – I don’t think it’s too shabby. What do you think?)
Your Next Step
Okay – hopefully you now know everything you need to build yourself an awesome lead generating website for cheap in the next hour. There’s nothing stopping you, so take an hour right now and build your site.
Click the Wix picture below to go to Wix.com right now and start building your website!
If you have any questions – feel free to leave them below and I (or others) will do our best to help! And finally –
Please share this article on your Facebook! There are a lot of people out there paying a lot of money to build websites – and they don’t need to spend all that cash! So please, if you liked this article -share it!
And final questions:
What do you like about the site I built above? What don’t you like? Do you have any suggestions for me to make it better? Leave your comments below!