Podcast

Episode #149 – Quick Tips For a Better Real Estate Investor Web Design

Real estate investors are investing more into their website design now than ever before.

Why?

Because Silicon Valley iBuyer companies like Trulia and Zillow have beautiful websites and it makes investors think they need a beautiful site too.

Does your design really matter?

In some cases, yes. But a prettier website won’t get you more conversions in leads. Your site speed, ease of use, and credibility are much more important.

In this episode, I reveal simple tweaks you can make to your website to boost your conversions, leads, and deals. Listen to the episode now and discover how to turn your website into a lead-generating machine.

Show highlights include:

  • Why having a pretty website doesn’t mean you’ll get more leds or close more deals (and two factors more important than design) ([2:44])
  • The 2 biggest design factors that increase how many leads your website sends you ([3:28])
  • Why your website won’t convert random people into leads — but can make people avoid your business like the plague ([4:57])
  • The weird way appearing too professional online can drive away motivated seller leads in droves ([5:19])
  • How “cultural credibility” can make even the ugliest website convert at an astronomical 13% ([7:51])
  • Why having a lot of content on your site can sabotage your conversion rate (and why you should create content anyway) ([12:16])
  • The simple 4-step website design system that generates motivated seller leads and deals like clockwork ([13:57])

Want to discover why a good website design is important for rankings? Check out this article here: https://adwordsnerds.com/why-a-good-real-estate-investor-website-design-is-important-for-rankings/

Need help with your online marketing? Jump on a FREE strategy session with our team. We’ll dive deep into your market and help you build a custom strategy for finding motivated seller leads online. Schedule for free here: https://adwordsnerds.com/strategy

To get the latest updates directly from Dan and discuss business with other real estate investors, join the REI marketing nerds Facebook group here: https://adwordsnerds.com/group.

Want to find motivated seller leads online but don’t know where to start? Download the free Motivated Seller Keyword Report today at https://adwordsnerds.com/keywords.

Read Full Transcript

You're listening to the “REI Marketing Nerds” podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of AdWords Nerds, a high-tech digital agency, focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition, and live a freer, more awesome life. And, now, your host, Dan Barrett.

Dan: All right, hello, and welcome to this week's episode of the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett here from AdWordsNerds.com. If you need someone to help you put together an effective online-marketing strategy to find more motivated-seller leads and deals online, you know where to go. It's AdWordsNerds.com. [01:01.4]

This week, we are talking about web design. There's actually a lot of talk right now among real estate investors about web design. This is a good thing, I think. I’ve got to tell you, when I first got started working with real estate investors, which is nigh on a decade ago now, most people did not care at all about what their website looked like, how it functioned, any of that stuff.

That was just kind of beyond the purview of most real estate investors and lately I’ve heard a lot of talk of investors investing a fair amount in their web design, really caring about how it looks, particularly caring about site speed and things like that.

I think this moment has come about because of competition from companies like Opendoor, Trulia, Zillow, things like this, because these big iBuyer companies tend to have come from the kind of Silicon Valley background where design is highly prized, and for better, for worse, they sort of pursue this very minimal design style. [02:17.7]

You want to think Apple or any kind of Web 2.0, although I think we're on Web 4.0 now, but you know what I mean, a very kind of fancy web design style, and they've brought that into the home-buying space and I think that has provided a fair amount of pressure on the average real estate investor to have a fairly nice design.

Now, what's interesting about this is the fact of a design being, quote-unquote, “nice”, doesn't mean that it converts better, doesn't mean that it gets you more leads, doesn't mean it does anything for you. It could, but just in and of itself, it doesn't really mean anything. You've always got to have the right copywriting, the right offer, all these things. [03:03.3]

But let's leave that to the side and let's talk about the value of real-estate investor website design, because I think it is important, right? Because, for one, thing designed and the way that the website is built and the way that it's programmed has a big effect on how quickly the website loads and how easy it is to use, and those two factors, speed and ease of use, are what really move the needle in terms of getting you more leads.

Now, page speed helps because, obviously, if your website is really slow, people don't tend to stick around and become leads, and page speed, in and of itself, does factor into Google's search results, and so page speed can help you both get more people onto the site and convert more of those people. [03:57.0]

Similarly, ease of use, which is a little bit harder to measure really does play the biggest factor and how the website functions. Right, if you've ever tried to use a website that just doesn't work the way that you expect, it's incredibly frustrating. In fact, my wife, who is very tech-savvy, right—she was a graphic designer and all this stuff, so she knows this stuff inside and out—when she gets on a website that does not work the way it is, quote-unquote, “supposed to”, she goes off the rails. She gets so frustrated and it really sours her experience with whatever company she's trying to work with.

Have you ever had this experience where you go to fill out a form and then it's a long form. You’ve got all these form fields and you fill the whole thing out, and then you click the submit button and then it just disappears and it doesn't tell you if it sent it, and it's like, Do I have to go do it again? It's just these little things add friction to the experience and that can drive motivated-seller leads away. You've really got to think about speed and ease of use, and both of these really come into play when you think about getting more motivated-seller leads. [05:15.0]

I also think just basic credibility is a big part of this. Now, I will say that credibility has many different factors and credibility is not purely a function of how fancy you look. Credibility is contextual, by which I mean, if you are walking into a hedge-fund board meeting, if you want to have credibility, you have to have certain markers that you are a credible person. That might be that you're wearing really fancy shoes. That might be that you are in a tailored suit, right? That might be that you are clean-shaven with a certain kind of haircut, right? There are certain markers of credibility in that context.

Likewise, if you want to walk into a startup incubator and get credibility there, the suit and the shoes and the haircut might work against you. You might want to show up in jeans and a hoodie, right? [06:14.5]

Similarly, if you're going to the agricultural convention, you're going to talk to farmers. Credibility, the hoodie and the jeans might hurt you again. You might want to show up in boots and Carhartt or whatever, right? Whatever is going to be most appropriate.

The point I'm making here is that credibility is not simply a function of “let me make the fanciest website”, because I’ve got to tell you, in your area, people might not want to sell their home to someone that looks like they're a hedge fund. They might want to sell their home to someone who looks local, who looks like someone like them, who looks like a neighbor, who looks like someone who fits into their cultural milieu. [06:57.4]

Want to find motivated seller leads online, but don’t know where to start? Download our free Motivated Seller Keyword Report today. AdWords Nerds have spent over $5,000,000 this year researching the most profitable keywords for finding motivated-seller leads, and you can grab these exact keywords when you download our report at www.AdWordsNerds.com/keywords.

One of the clients that we've worked with, and I actually just did a case study video about this client, so when this is posted, I’ll put a link. You can get that link in the show notes, obviously. Just go to AdWordsNerds.com, click on “Podcast”, and you'll find this episode and many more.

I did this case study with this client that did $90,000 worth of deals in the first two weeks of October, so really, really great, and their website converts around 13%, which is quite high for this market, for this industry. I would put the average investor-website conversion rates somewhere around 4% to 6%, depending on what types of traffic you're sending to it. That’s a very variable number, but anyway, 13% is great, okay? [08:09.8]

This client, this website, is converting extremely well, but it is not fancy at all. In fact, in many ways, it's kind of broken, right? Some elements of the design don't work right. It's not the kind of website that makes my designer side extremely happy, but what they do have is the right cultural markers of credibility.

For example, this is a veteran-owned business and they lean on that very heavily. This is a business that has a lot of people who are relatively religious or faith-based and they lean on that and that works in their market. They are local and they lean on that and that works in their market. Now, that might not work in other markets, but it works in their market, and that is far more effective in terms of establishing credibility than any amount of fancy design is ever going to be. [09:05.2]

So, you want to think about site speed, of course. You want to think about ease of use, of course. Those things come first. But when you think about credibility, which is another core element of what makes a real estate investor-website design work, you’ve got to realize that markers of credibility are largely contextual and you've got to have the right ones for your target market.

Now, there are a couple other elements that you could pull into any real estate investor-website design that I think are going to be particularly useful. One that I'm kind of on the fence on is the live chat, and this is kind of this thing where you're on the website and then something pops up and it's got a little chat box and someone says, “Can I help you?” and sometimes that's a live person. Sometimes it's a chat bot, right, so it's just a program that is set up to run a certain sort of pattern and ask questions and so on. It's essentially a form. [09:59.2]

Our experience with chatbots and live-chat integration into certain motivated seller sites is fairly mixed. We do run them on a fair number of the landing pages that we run over at AdWords Nerds, so when we run ads for clients and we build out custom landing pages, we do a ton of testing on all of our page designs. We often do include the chat option, and mostly that's because we just kind of feel that, if you're at this point in the marketing cycle, some people might want more interaction, but maybe they're a little bit afraid to pick up the phone. It's not going to hurt us, right? It can only help us.

Now, we don't particularly see a massive lift in conversion rate by doing that and I think one of the caveats to this is it works best if you've got someone monitoring it, but it is something that you could include, and if it doesn't slow down the site or make it too annoying—which I think is a big part of this, right? There are a lot of sites where you go on where the chatbots are just super irritating and then never go away—so as long as you're doing it in a tasteful way, I think it can work extremely well. [11:11.0]

The other thing that I want you to think about is just whenever you're looking at the design as a whole and you're thinking about all these things, site speed and ease of use and credibility, you want to think about the amount of time you want a particular user to spend on your site. Okay, so there's a difference here between someone who's doing research on selling a home and someone who is looking to sell their home right now.

There are different types of motivated sellers. There are sellers in different parts of the selling cycle, and if you have a page that is primarily, what we call in the marketing world, “top of funnel”—by which, I mean, you are building awareness. These are people that don't know they want to sell to you yet—the thing to optimize for is time on page. You want them to think, Okay, great, here's the information I need. Here's a video I can watch. You're going to give them enough information to convince them that you are the right solution for them. [12:15.5]

Now, if it's what we call in the marketing world, again, “bottom of funnel” page—meaning, this is a page that's designed to get someone to convert. You think this person already knows what they want to do. They just need to contact the right person—then you want to optimize for that ease of conversion, that conversion rate. Right? You want to make it as easy as possible for them to convert, and in that case, a lot of content can hurt you rather than help you.

There are a lot of investors who say, I want this super-minimal page. It's just going to be a form. There's not going to be any content, and that's cool if you are only generating bottom-of-funnel leads, meaning, you're only generating leads or clicks or visitors or whatever that are ready to go right now. [13:04.5]

But the vast majority of every market, and we're literally talking about 98% of every market, is not bottom-of-funnel. They are top-of-funnel. They don't know if they want to sell to an investor yet. They certainly don't know if they want to sell to you yet, and so you've got to do some footwork on that website in order to bring along those people, and in those cases, content is valuable.

The thing I want you to take away from that conversation is just that it's not that pages with a lot of content are bad. It's not that pages with just a simple form are the best because they drive up the conversion rate, although they can. It's that for different types of people, different types of sellers in different situations, the different amounts of content are going to be best and you want to have a website that caters to both of those types of sellers. [13:57.2]

If you can do that, you can get your site speed up. You can make the site easy to use. You can have the right contextual markers of credibility, and you can optimize for the right thing. For people that are top-of-funnel, you're optimizing for time on page. For people on the bottom of the funnel, you're simply optimizing for conversion rate. You can do those things. You can design a website that is absolutely killer, and we'll get you more motivated and seller leads and deals day over day, week over week, and month over month.

I hope that makes sense. I hope this was useful. As always, I would love to have you in our Facebook group. You can go to AdWordsNerds.com/group. It'll send you right there to our Facebook group where we have tons of investors. I'm sharing content every single day, going live, answering questions. It's an awesome place to hang out. We would love to have you, and it's totally free. Go to AdWordsNerds.com/group, and I will see you next week. Cheers. [14:55.8]

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