Building a Real Estate Website That Converts - Ideal REI

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Building a Real Estate Website That Converts

Most people come to this page wondering about getting traffic to their page.

Let me just be frank and say that's the easiest part.

I ranked my website #1 on Google for the top real estate wholesaling keyword phrase in my market in just 11 days.

Yes, it took me an entire 11 days to outrank the dozens of other pages out there, some of whom are paying hundreds per month to rank there. Here's the proof.

Real Estate Investor Wholesale Website

To add insult to injury, I did it with a half-broken site with the ugliest theme possible.

My contact form doesn't work. In fact, it just says:

...and the privacy policy is literally a joke.

real estate investor website Privacy

My point of showing you this is to prove, ranking your site isn't hard (if you know what you're doing). The most important part is building a site that converts.

I will be going over how I took the world's ugliest theme with half-finished pages and outranked pages people have spent thousands of dollars on their websites...and I'll show you how I did it about 45 minutes of work.

Quick Update

I dominated that market so fast and so easily, I decided to try my hand in a new market instead. So, if you look for the website originally posted in this article, it no longer exists. Instead, our new "We Buy Houses" website is targeting the Dallas Fort Worth area which has extremely heavy competition.

I'll also be showing you how to build a site that works, generates traffic, and converts.

Don't worry, I'll be covering some specifics for real estate investors, wholesalers, and realtors / real estate agents. So, there's something for everyone here.

But First...

This is Why You Need a Real Estate Website (even if you're not a full time investor)

I know what you're thinking...

I don't have time to chase leads. I have a job and don't want to be in real estate in full time...

That's great! Most people in real estate are not doing it full time. Whether you're an agent, investor, wholesaler, or house flipper, you're probably busy doing something else.

But, you really and truly need a real estate lead generation website, and here's why.

1. It Costs Almost Nothing

One website is going to cost you <$50 per month, and that's on the absolutely highest side just to be conservative.

Sure, that's still some money you could spend elsewhere, but even if you do just one deal this year, it is money well spent.

2. It Take Almost No Time

You can spend about an hour setting it up and another hour a month writing new content. That's all you need to invest.

3. You Can Just Ignore (or sell) Leads You Don't Want

Don't have time to chase leads? Then don't...

Just ignore the ones you don't want. Or, follow up with them and refer them out to another realtor or investor for a fee.

4. Just Use It When You Are Looking

You do not have to spend a second more than you want. Save the leads and follow up when you're finally ready to look for a property.

The key here is if you don't build the foundation now, it won't be there when you actually want or need real estate leads.

The 6 Steps to Build a Real Estate Website

Clicking any of these links will jump you down the page to that section.

  1. Identify the Competition
  2. Pick Your Hosting and Build Your Site 
  3. Create Excellent Content
  4. Optimize Your Page
  5. Build Backlinks
  6. Wait

BONUS: Here are some unique ways to help you build a website in your niche. (these are all the way at the bottom of the article).

  1. Real Estate Agent Websites
  2. Real Estate Investor Websites
  3. Real Estate Wholesaler Websites

Note

If you click on a link and sign up for their product, We may receive a small commission at absolutely no cost to you. We only link to and recommend products that we have tested and used.

1. Finding Other Real Estate Websites and Identifying the Competition

The first thing I needed to do was identify the competition. I did a quick search for "sell my house fast Worcester" which is the city I was looking to rank in. I came up with 6 major competitors.

Here is a quick video on competition research.

If you do the same search in your market, you'll see that one of a few basic themes show up. That's because these convert.

Here's one of the most popular themes you'll find out there.

The reason they all look so similar is because the site owners are not changing the colors and images to differentiate themselves, which you must do. But, if you want a website that actually converts, you need to sign up and get one of those themes.

2. Choosing a Host For Real Estate Website

The most important decision you will make is which host to go with. As I said before you can do it all yourself and save money or you can use a service such as onCarrot and use their themes and templates (you'll still need to provide your own content though).

Choosing onCarrot

OnCarrot (or Investor Carrot) claims to provide the most highly optimized content for real estate investor websites (and recently they offer real estate agent websites too!) that will rank at the top of Google.

The layouts are amazingly well optimized and the content is a great starting place. But, you can't just take their content and slap it on your site without doing anything to it. It's still canned content that all of their customers have access to.

So, the pro is that you can get a website up-and-running with an optimized layout, lead collection forms, and a lead magnet (downloadable pdf) ready to go.

The con is that your site will look like everyone else. ​

As I mentioned before, you need to do some color adjustments, change the pictures, and edit the content.

Get 30-days with onCarrot totally risk-free today.

My favorite is Investor Carrot. Their theme absolutely does convert and it generates more leads than any other provider out there.


I want you to go to their website and check out their free demo. Simply click on the link, put in your email address, and viola.

You don't have to sign up with them, but building a site on your own is a lot harder, and will take up a ton of your time (which is better spent building your business rather than a website).

Choosing to Go it Alone

With your own hosting, you have complete control of everything from the theme to the content. It will take a little longer to set up and run, and you risk having pages that are no well optimized for lead collection.

The benefit is you will save a ton of money and you will look unique and different than everyone else.

This is what you need to do if you choose this route.

The first step is to choose your hosting service. Be careful! You get what you pay for, so think carefully.

If you are building a churn and burn type site, or plan to do this only for a month or two, then go with something super cheap. I don't know why you'd spend time just to stop in a couple months, but that's up to you.

If you don't care about speed, uptime, quality, etc, then go with GoDaddy, Bluehost or something other cheap host.

Hosting starts at around $3.99/month, but, honestly, you can probably find someone that will host it for even less.

If you want something high quality that is fast with almost no downtime, then use WpEngine This is actually what I use to host this site. Pricing starts at around $30/month but the quality is absolutely amazing.

Use this link to get an exclusive 20% off your WP Engine Hosting. If you pay for a whole year you can double dip your discount and get a staggering 33% discount which means your monthly service is only around $20/month.

Getting Set Up

If you haven't got set up yet, check out this guide to getting your website up and running. It starts with choosing a domain name and walks you through every step to get your site up and running. It's made with real estate professionals in mind.

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3. Create Excellent Real Estate Content For Your Investor Website

Go to Google and search for something like "sell my house fast" and start looking at all the top results.

You'll notice page after page seems to say the same things. The words won't be exactly the same, but overall the look, feel, and content will be very similar.

This is because most of your competition is doing the same thing.

  • If it's a realtor website it has a picture, a local listing search, and some quick info.
  • If it's a wholesaling or investor website, they just copy and past the scripts given to them and click "publish."

But here's an interesting thing, according to Brian Dean who is an SEO guru, Google will rank high-quality content over lower quality content. Google also does not like content that is too similar to other content.

So, taking these two concepts, we need to build unique content that is also much higher quality than the rest of the pages, and we have a good shot at outranking them.

The key to ranking is to make your content higher quality. Google generally ranks pages that are informative before pages that are obviously selling something. So, to outrank all of the other wholesalers, you need to provide better information than them.

Since most of the info is content that is spun and respun into the same boring stuff, this shouldn't be too hard.

So if you want to create a page about selling fast, it should have a lot of information about exactly that! Make sure it's the best damn page on the internet about selling fast, and you're definitely going to rank for it.

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4. Optimize the Content on your Real Estate Website

One of the most important factors for ranking your website on Google is optimizing your content. I mentioned it before - your content needs to answer the question being asked. If you aren't writing something that helps answer that question, then you aren't optimizing.

There's more to it than that as well. Here are the top 5 things you can do to optimize your content.

1. Structure Your Content Logically and Use the Correct HTML Tags

Google is pretty good at figuring out what the content on your investor site is about, but it's best to help them out anyhow. You do this by structuring your content logically, which is kind of like a book might be structured.

A book's table of contents might look something like this

  1. "Real Estate Investing"
    1. What is Investing?
    2. Why Become an Investor.
      1. Freedom
      2. Stability
    3. Analyzing Deals
      1. The numbers
      2. The calculator
    4. Finding Deals
      1. MLS
      2. Direct Mail
    5. Closing a Deal
    6. Managing Property
      1. Collecting Rent
      2. Inspections
    7. Conclusion

You can see the book has an overarching topic and is broken down into several topics. Some of those topics are then broken down further.

HTML replicates this with the H tags where H1 is the primary topic, and they get progressively smaller in importance from H2 onward.

Replicating the table of contents except doing it for an article on a website, it might look like:

  • H1 "Real Estate Investing"
    • H2 What is Investing?
    • H2 Why Become an Investor.
      • H3 Freedom
      • H3 Stability
    • H2 Analyzing Deals
      • H3 The numbers
      • H3 The calculator
    • H2 Finding Deals
      • H3 MLS
      • H3 Direct Mail
    • H2 Closing a Deal
    • H2 Managing Property
      • H3 Collecting Rent
      • H3 Inspections
    • H2 Conclusion

So, make sure the content on your website follows this format.

2. Include The Keywords in The Content and Headers

Every article should focus on a keyword (or group of keywords) and your content and headers should be crafted around that. You should avoid creating multiple articles that focus on the same exact keywords.

I don't like to keep reusing the same keyword over and over, so I like to identify a keyword then think of all the variations related to it and write them in a list. For example, the keyword I'm targeting for this article is "real estate investor website." Now, let's look at some variations of that:

  • real estate investment websites
  • check
    real estate investor website
  • check
    wholesale real estate
  • check
    investor website
  • check
    real estate investors websites
  • check
    real estate investor websites
  • real estate investor website templates
  • check
    wholesaling real estate websites
  • check
    real estate wholesale websites
  • check
    real estate wholesalers websites
  • check
    best real estate investor website

Now, as I write the content, I will structure the sentences and start to incorporate all of these variations. That way Google knows what my content is about, but I'm not being redundant or stuffing the article full of keywords (which Google also hates).

Having trouble thinking of keywords to use? Well, Google helps out with that with their "related" searches feature at the bottom of every result page.

When I search for "sell my house fast," the following shows up at the bottom:

real estate investor wholesaling website similar

You could easily target most of these with a specific article, or group several of them into one article.

For example, you could have an article that targets "sell my house fast" and has "for cash" and "as is" and "now/asap" as sub-headers. Then, you can write another article about selling for market value and getting online quotes.

3. Add an Image or Two

In the first version of the website I made, I included absolutely no images. I did this to illustrate the point that ranking is the easy part when your competition is so weak. 

Images help the page feel real. Not only do images help your pages rank, but they help your pages convert.

Additionally, an image should have a good alt tag and name that both are related to your keyword. Google can't interpret images that well, so it uses these tags to understand what it is.

real estate website alt

When you try to edit an image in WordPress, you can simply add the alternative text. Make sure you vary the keywords used in the alt text and also make it relative to what the image is as well.

4. Create Comprehensive Content That is a "Resource"

The best way to rank a website is to create quality content that is very comprehensive and is a resource that people can come back to.

Take this article as an example - it is over 2,000 words long, has a dozen pictures, a video, and outlines numerous steps to accomplish your goal. It is (hopefully) going to outrank a lot of less comprehensive content out there that is focused more on self-promotion and less on providing exceptional value.

Generally, I don't write anything unless it's over 1000 words, has one picture, and has at least 3 or 4 headings. Lower competition keywords can rank well with less, but why waste time on something that may or may not work?

Creating something that is resourceful also means providing good quality links to other related topics on your website and to other websites. Your article on selling because of foreclosure might provide a link to https://www.usa.gov/foreclosure which is a high-quality resource for avoiding foreclosures.

You might notice that earlier I provided a link to Brian Dean who specializes in Search Engine Optimization. Since this entire article is about creating content and outranking your competition, it is highly relevant and a great resource for people reading this.

5. Make Sure The Content is "Natural"

We've talked about several ways to make your content rank well, but if you follow the advice too much, your content will not 'feel' natural. Anything that doesn't feel natural will cause readers to go find different content or resources which will increase your bounce rate and lower your user experience.

Since Google cares a lot about the experience for the end user, it's best to always focus on creating content that is natural and resourceful, and never let different techniques get in the way of quality and experience.

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5. Building Backlinks is Key

A backlink is any time another website provides a link to your website. These links are interpreted as social proof that your articles are resourceful and valuable. The more people that link to your article, the better your article must be. Therefore, Google will rank it higher.

Here are the top 3 ways to start building some backlinks.

1. Create Amazing and High-Quality Content, and Promote it

When I first started blogging, I worked my butt off creating the best content I could think of. I was excited about it, clicked "publish" then waited for the links to start coming in! I kept waiting, and waiting...and waiting...and... nobody linked to it.

face...palm.

I continued to create good content and some links did start to show up randomly, but it was very few and far between.

So, I started doing something else, I started commenting on other blogs. After a few weeks of leaving comments, I'd reach out to the site owners and just say hi. Sometimes, these emails led to conversations and the foundation of some working relationships.

Then, people started to read my stuff and started to link to it!

As I built more relationships, I was able to start promoting my content. As I promoted more content, I got more links and my content began to shoot up in the search engine results!

So, the key is to create great content, but then to build relationships and promote that content.

No on Will Link To Your "Sell Fast NOW!!" Page

So, focus on building a few great resources on your website that someone actually will link to. You'll be building up authority to your website as a whole, and it will benefit all of your pages.

2. Provide High-Quality Content to Other Blogs (Guest Post)

Related to the first method is the Guest Post method. Basically, you build some relationships like I mentioned, then you offer to provide a high-quality, SEO optimized article for their website.

Since you are providing great content for free, you are generally rewarded with a couple links back to some relevant content on your site.

But, don't be one of those people who send an email to hundreds (or thousands) of other bloggers with an offer to post. I get these every day and just click delete.

Instead, follow the method I outlined:

  1. Comment on their blog
  2. Reach out and say hi
  3. Go back and forth on some topic other than guest posting
  4. Ask to guest post

3. Get Quoted as an "Expert"

Another way to build backlinks is to get quoted as an expert by other online publications. I've done this and have been quoted on some really big (and some really small) publications.

Go to https://www.helpareporter.com/, or HARO for short, and sign up. You'll get 3 emails a day with requests from reporters and writers who need information and quotes for their articles.

When you reply to their inquiry, make sure you provide a quick bio, your name, link to your website, and several high-quality quotes. Make sure what you write is actually quotable, so keep it succinct.

It's also useful to sometimes disagree with the inquiry and provide an alternative perspective. Often, the writers will alter their entire story to include an excellent dissenting opinion.

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6. Wait

The hardest part of building your wholesaling website is waiting. But, one of Google's ranking factors is the age of the domain and the age of the page. So, if you have a brand new domain with brand new content, it may take some time before you will start ranking.

Don't get discouraged. Instead, here are 3 things to do while you are waiting:

1. Build Backlinks!

Go back to #5 and keep building more backlinks. It's the most important thing you can do for your page.

2. Edit and Upgrade Your Content

Starting a website can be a bit overwhelming. Sometimes it's good to just dump a bunch of content out there at first (nobody is going to read your website when it launches anyhow) and then go back and edit the content over time.

Let's say you have 10 articles you want to write. A few hours per article times 10, plus design and research... You get the point.

So, you might just dump your thoughts out there to get it done and get past the mental barrier. Then, go back and start editing the articles one at a time. It might take a month or two to get back to them all, but at least your pages are starting to age.

Do a Content Refresh

Do you have an older site with content written a year or two ago? It's a great idea to go and refresh it and republish it with a newer date. People gravitate toward newer content because it feels more relevant, so Google likes newer content as well!

3. Build Squeeze Pages and Content Upgrades

Every article should have a purpose - either to sell a product, get an email address, build awareness of something etc. For a real estate investor website, you are probably trying to generate a lead.

The best way to do this is with a squeeze page or with a content upgrade.

Basically, you provide something that has a lot of value, then offer it in exchange for an email address. You might offer "17 unique ways to renegotiate your mortgage" or "4 creative ways to avoid paying commission" etc.

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Real Estate Agent Websites

Website for Realtors and real estate agents are going to be a bit different than real estate investor websites.

So, here are a few pointers to help you make a successful website

It's VERY Competitive, so Niche Down

In general single-family real estate sales, there are 4 or 5 websites that dominate all search results for almost all search terms.

The only way to carve out a piece for yourself is to niche way down. I mean, WAY down.

Think about it, single-family sales is what every agent does and it's what every article on Zillow, Trulia, etc are all about. If your website is about the same thing, you'll never be found.

Go check out this article on real estate niches to get started in to get a better idea about niching down.

Don't Brand Yourself With Your Brokerage

Every real estate brokerage wants you to have their websites with their brand on it. This benefits them.

Focus on building your own name/brand. That way you aren't tied to one brokerage and if you ever left, your brand is still intact.

Your Home Page is More Than Listing Search

The fact is everyone uses realtor.com, trulia, redfin, zillow, or others to do their home searches. They don't need to use your clunky search options for their search.

So, focus on answering their questions and solving their problems with that valuable space on your websites front page.

Real Estate Investor Websites

If you are going to buy the property for yourself, you fit into this category.

You can set yourself apart from wholesalers by highlighting a few facts

You're Not Looking For a Quick Buck

Sellers want to get out of their problems, but they get a lot of letters and post cards. They want to know that their home will go to a good use.

So, tell them that you plan to keep it and put a good family in it. You aren't there to lowball them and make a quick dollar.

Instead, tell them that you offer a fair price because you are focused on long term value.

Part of the Community

As an investor, you own property in the community and are interested in it's long term value and growth. You aren't there to take advantage of anyone.

Price, Price, Price

You can offer more because you aren't a wholesaler. Plain and simple.

Real Estate Wholesaler Websites

How do you distinguish yourself in a market where a distressed person may get 10 or 20 postcards from different people every week?

It's not easy, but here are a few thoughts to differentiate yourself.

Have a Professional Picture of Yourself

I've had a lot of people call and comment that the professional looking photo was what made them call. They felt it was a real person on the other side and it was enough to break down that barrier and make them call.

Don't Reuse the Same Pictures Everyone Uses

Do I really need to explain this one?

Actually Provide Some Value

The vast majority of wholesalers are so obviously new and very obviously making crazy low offers.

If you can actually provide some good information or actually help someone, you'll be miles ahead of all the competition.

Your Turn

For me, setting up the website, writing my home page, and doing some competitor research only took me about 45 minutes. Then I sat and kept checking back every day to see how it was ranking.

By day 10 I was #2 and by day 11 I was ranked #1 for the keyword I was tracking.

The length of time it will take you to rank will depend on your market and the competition. If you have a few amazing websites in your city, then it may require more work than I put into it. But, this system is an excellent way to get started. If you follow it, you will definitely rank your website quickly.

Would you rather build your website with an online service like onCarrot, or would you rather build your own on WordPress with Wp Engine?

About the Author Eric Bowlin

Eric is an investor that achieved financial independence at the age of 30. He started in 2009 with the purchase of his first triplex and now owns over 470 units. He spends his time with his family, growing his businesses, diversifying his income, and teaching others how to achieve financial independence through real estate. Eric has been seen on Forbes, Trulia, WiseBread, TheStreet, and other financial publications.

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  • Great tips. Curious what type of backlinks you got for the Worcester site though. Obviously it isn’t the same as a blog like this, where there is high quality stuff and guest posts, etc.

    • Eric Bowlin says:

      Great question and actually a topic I’ll write about one of these days!

      I didn’t build any links to it before writing that article. I link to the site in the article so I’m sure that helps, but one backlink never made a site!

      I was trying to see how important content is over other metrics and how quickly someone can rank their real estate investor website.

      In the future I’ll experiment on a super hot real estate market and build backlink etc to track the progress… Soon enough.

  • Wow, great post! Probably one of the most informative I have read in a long time. Really, helped a lot for a Naples, Florida real estate niche website I am building

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