In my last article for Think Realty Magazine, I shared the ingredients for a high-converting real estate investor website. That article focused on what is necessary to get website visitors to submit their personal information to you about the house they want, or possibly need, to sell.
But even a high-converting website won’t generate leads if there isn’t any traffic going to your website. That’s the topic of this article, in which I’ll share five effective ways we use to generate traffic to our house-buying website.
So, let’s get going and talk about how to promote your website to start generating leads right away—without waiting for your site to rank at the top of the search engines, which can take up to a year with diligent effort in some competitive markets.
Don’t Expect: ‘Build It and They Will Come’
The internet isn’t the Field of Dreams.
Just building a website doesn’t do anything for you unless people know about it. They either find out about it through promotion, which is what we are talking about here, or through discovering it online themselves, which I’ll discuss in a future article.
The biggest mistake real estate investors make with a website is doing nothing to promote it.
Promotion does require some work, but the results can land you great deals that generate tens of thousands of dollars.
Whenever I hear someone say, “I haven’t received a single lead from my website,” it’s almost always because they never promoted it or didn’t promote it long enough. It’s the equivalent of complaining you didn’t get a deal from your direct mail campaign after you send out 500 postcards one time.
You Need a Plan
You need to have a plan to constantly promote your website. You wouldn’t print 1,000 letters and never mail them, so don’t build a website and not promote it.
Here are some ways to promote your website and get quick results.
1. SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is a great method for showing your friends and family what you are doing. Don’t be one of those investors who are embarrassed to tell the world they buy houses. You might know someone who has a situation that’s too embarrassing to bring up, but who might be willing to go to your website and submit their information.
Google+ / Facebook
“We just launched our new website for our house-buying company. Head over and check it out. [insert your URL here]
Oh, also … we’re buying houses in the [insert your city] area, so if you know anyone who wants to sell fast, send them our way. We pay cash and can close quickly. More than happy to make a no-obligation cash offer within 24 hours.”
“We just launched our new website for our house-buying company: [insert your URL here] ”
“Know anybody who wants to sell their house for cash? Visit our site at [insert URL here]. We can help!”
The problem with everyone’s social media strategy: They don’t have one.
You should regularly make posts like this. Obviously, mix it up and add in stories about flips you are doing, etc., but always include your website. Better yet, post before-and-after pictures on your website’s blog and promote those blog posts.
That is what is known as content marketing. We’ll cover this in a future article.
Social Media Profiles
Add your website to your social media profiles. All of them. These are the profiles where you have your name and a short bio about yourself. People need to know what you do. Let them know about your website.
2. YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE
Using your email signature as a way to promote your website, even if the emails are going to people you don’t think would be interested, is a great way to start getting your website some exposure.
You can’t be an investor in stealth mode, and you never know who will be interested in buying or selling. With your website URL in the signature of your emails, your website has the potential to be seen and shared with more people.
3. OFFLINE MARKETING
You should list your website on your other marketing pieces. That includes your direct mail postcards, letters, door hangers, fliers, business cards, etc. Some people don’t recommend websites on direct mail because they are concerned that sellers will go online and get distracted. That could happen. My take is that if they’re truly motivated and don’t want to make a phone call, your website will work very well.
Plus, it will allow you to gain credibility and build some rapport. This is also a reason for wanting a somewhat short domain name. You don’t want to have to make someone type out webuyallkindsofhousesinthestateoftexas.com just to get to your site.
Some investors add QR codes to their postcards and letters so that people can scan them and go straight to their website.
There probably isn’t much of an issue with people going online to your website and then going to Google to search for competitors. The issue is people searching for your domain name and getting other results because they didn’t type it in as a domain name. So keep those domain names easy to enter.
This is also a reason to make sure you set up a Facebook page, Google My Business page, a listing on Yelp and other review sites. It’s important to also socially promote these. This way, if someone does search for your business, you can dominate the results!
4. PRESS RELEASES
Press releases are more of an SEO strategy more than a way to promote yourself, but I’m going to include them here anyway. That’s because a good press release can get picked up by reputable news websites that you can then list on your website – an “as seen on” type deal. This is huge for credibility.
You can find incredible press release writers on Fiverr.com. They should be cheap enough to allow you to try a couple and use the best ones.
Some Fiverr workers will even send out the releases for you. Even so, I find that spending a couple hundred bucks on a more legitimate service to release the press release is worth it. I know a lot of investors use marketersmedia.com.
PRWeb.com is another service, but is more expensive.
The biggest thing to remember when having a press release written (or writing one yourself, as I used to do) is that you really need to try to come up with something that is actually newsworthy.
Just having a piece written on “Sell Your House Fast” isn’t going to get picked up by too many news outlets. You need a story — something like, “Guy loses hand in pinball machine and sells his house fast to an investor.” (Getting coverage really is a lot harder than you might think.)
The more “newsworthy” your release is, the more legitimate news websites will pick it up. One time I even made it onto Yahoo! News. My dad still has a printout of the Yahoo! homepage with my article on it.
Despite what you may think, motivated sellers are searching Craigslist, so it’s very easy to get in front of them. Sometimes they’re looking for a place to rent. Other times they’re considering putting their house up for sale and might want to post an ad on Craigslist.
It’s easy to post ads on Craigslist. But with ease comes competition.
Other investors also post on Craigslist, but you can beat them by always being more consistent – meaning posting daily.
The Rub and How to Overcome It
Here’s the rub: Almost every serious investor has posted ads on Craigslist for deals from motivated seller leads, but I can guarantee you that only about 0.1 percent (yes, a fraction of a percent, and yes, that is just an educated guesstimate) are consistent.
You’re probably asking yourself whether posting ads on Craigslist still works.
You might see tons of ads on Craigslist and wonder, “How the heck is someone going to go to my ad and contact me instead of all these other people?”
Let your competition think that way. I know someone in San Antonio who posted a Craigslist ad and landed his first deal, which ended up netting him $100,000 in profit. I’d say that’s worth posting free ads consistently—all the time. I was kicking myself for not having ads on Craigslist.
Due to space constraints, I cannot go into more detail about posting ads to Craigslist here. Instead I’ve created a PDF download that includes ads that produce results that you can copy and paste for your own use. The FREE PDF also includes details on the best times to post your ads, which sections to post in, as well as a strategy to dominate Craigslist in your area.
Visit: blog.leadpropeller.com/craigslist to download the Craigslist guide.