My wife and I started flipping houses way back in 2003. Time flies, and it’s flying much faster these days.
I started a website for buying houses in 2004 or 2005. Looking back, that thing was atrocious. Ok, it wasn’t that bad, but I didn’t really do much with it. It was more of a “build it and they will come” sort of thing.
I built it…but they didn’t come. 🙁
The website was very “corporate.” It mostly talked about solutions to what we assumed were the problems everybody was facing and how awesome we were — things that sellers couldn’t really care less about.
It amazes me how many list about 200 situations a seller might find themselves facing and expect a seller to really looking through the entire abysmal list to find the one that fits them. I consider that more of cheap website with filler content. It doesn’t really do anything to allow the seller to relate or build rapport with the seller.
Related: The 16 Elements of a Highly Effective Real Estate Website
More on that in a little bit…
Around 2008 I switched the domain to my current site and have used that ever since.
I’ve made some changes over the years, but there was a general difference between my first site and the “Danny Buys Houses” site. That difference, though I hadn’t realized it for several years, was really a huge one that helped to generate more and better house flipping leads.
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The Switch That Made the Biggest Difference
More than anything, the switch to a more personal website really helped my conversions.
Abandoning a website where it was impossible to know who was behind the scenes besides some faceless company really made a big difference.
I’ve come to realize over the years that, though sellers want a good price, they are generally more concerned with finding someone to sell to that they don’t have to worry will take advantage of them. Basically, they just want someone they can trust.
Many motivated sellers (and many people in general) don’t really know much about real estate and the buying and selling process.
A way to understand how they might feel is to consider taking your car in to have some work done on it and not knowing the first thing about how the mechanics of the car work. You are pretty much at their mercy. They could tell you the flux-capacitor needs to be recharged with 22 gigawatts of energy, and that’s going to cost you a fortune.
Determine what would make you feel comfortable with a mechanic and translate that to real estate so that you understand what would probably make motivated sellers feel comfortable with you. This is only possible if you are genuinely nice. If you are not, please just stick to buying bank-owned properties. 🙂
When I switched to the new site, I added information about my wife and myself and included our full names and phone numbers. We rewrote the content to be a little more conversational and less sales-y and pushy.
This stuff really, really matters — probably more than you think.
Just a couple of days ago, a motivated seller told me he decided to call me because I seemed like someone he would want to deal with instead of “that big company” he had heard about.
It’s Not Always Easy For Motivated Sellers to Reach Out
It takes a lot for some people to contact others about a situation they are at least a little embarrassed by.
Do you think they would rather call a guy in a $2,000 suit who has a bunch of unreadable corporate lingo on his site or the guy who seems to be more like them?
This is another reason I really love the internet for generating leads. People have another way of contacting you. They can avoid getting out their comfort zones and calling you by just filling out the form on your website. This makes it far easier for them to just send out the info and “see what happens.”
My Real Estate Investor Website Negotiates for Me
The form on a website can even do some negotiating for you, so if you’re as bad a negotiator as I was when I started, this will help you.
The forms on my site ask questions of sellers in a particular order. For example, I ask for some normal details about the house and their asking price. Next, I ask about repairs the house needs and for the reason they are selling. This puts the seller’s problem in the forefront of their mind.
Then, the site asks how soon they’d like to close, further getting them to hope to be rid of the situation faster. So at this point when the form asks what the least they are willing to take if we close quickly is, they usually enter a price that is about 5 to even 10 thousand dollars lower than what they put for their asking price earlier on the page.
How awesome is that?
My Real Estate Investor Website Builds Credibility
Just having a website gives you instant credibility. A clean and well-designed website lends itself to making its owner more believable.
You’ve got to think that the seller of a house needs to believe you will be able to buy their house. It’s not like finding someone to buy the treadmill that you bought two years ago and used once. They need someone who can come up with a good deal of money.
Somebody that has a homemade business card, no website and a rusted out car is going to have trouble convincing a seller they can actually buy their house. The seller could be in a situation that requires a quick closing, and they really can’t take a chance on someone they have doubts about being able to come up with the money — and usually they won’t.
To help with credibility, try to include as many testimonials as you can on your website. If you haven’t bought a house yet, use testimonials from friends and business associates. Don’t have them lie, just have the testimonials speak to your character and general likability.
This day and age, you need a house buying website to attract motivated seller leads. Your website can be a force for good and help you to build rapport, create credibility and instill trust, or it can make a seller think you are full of yourself and that you couldn’t really care less about them and their situation.
I’m sure you know which one you want, and you can have it by just being yourself and not trying to act like a hotshot real estate investor. Be a regular person and treat people with respect and empathy and you will be rewarded with better and more leads.
What’s your philosophy when it comes to home buying websites? What are some of your favorites?
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