This is the first of three episodes where Danny Johnson of Flipping Junkie and LeadPropeller discuss generating motivated seller leads online for real estate investors.
In this episode the focus is mainly on what makes a high-converting real estate investor website. Danny covers all of the details to make sure you build credibility, how forms should be structured, what questions should be asked, how to eliminate competition.
Be sure to listen to next weeks podcast where Danny will share with you how to promote your website to start generating leads even before it ranks in the search engines. It’s going to be awesome.
For information about our managed (done-for-you) SEO and PPC management services, call Josh at LeadPropeller at 210-999-5187.
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Welcome to The Flipping Junkie Podcast. My name is Danny Johnson former software developer turned house flipper, flipping hundreds of houses. Each week we bring you interview, strategies, stories and motivations to help you get started flipping houses and on your way to becoming your own boss and achieving financial freedom. Thanks for spending time with me today. Now let’s get to it.
Hey everybody welcome back to The Flipping Junkie podcast. Today, we’re going to be talking about online lead generation. Now we’re doing this podcast series. We’re going to have three episodes about online lead generation using websites and all that entails, so let’s just jump right in here.
There are two ways that you can generate leads online – two opposite ways. Basically you have outbound and inbound. The outbound one’s basically where you’re calling people that have ads posted where they’re selling their house. So good places for this are craigslist.org, estatesales.net, any local newspaper website classifieds. So a lot or most of the local newspapers are now online, go to the classified ads and call on those auction sites. I will be probably doing an episode shortly on how to get the benefit out of those auction sites with Paul Lazell. That’s going to be a good show so look forward to that and several weeks now and then other investors’ wholesale deals websites. I’ve got mine set up at cheapsanantoniohouses.com that’s where a post a lot of the wholesale deals and then if you’ve subscribed to that then you can get any of wholesale deals that we have sent out to you to your email so you can register for those, so sign up for all those that you can. All the local wholesalers in your market you should be signing up to be on all their wholesale list.
Now I know I know a lot of you and I always felt like a lot of what people wholesale, the prices are kind of high and I just ignore them. I look at it say, “Well that price is kind of high” and just delete the email. But why not negotiate with them? I know when I sell a lot of times, we were willing to budge a little bit on the price. And so why not negotiate so get on those you can get those leads. Negotiate with those wholesalers and tell them what you’ll pay for and sometimes it’ll work out sometimes I won’t, but I guarantee you you’re going to put some deals if you do that So just do a search investment properties, other wholesalers or stuff like that call around ask what their website is if they have one or just join their list.
This outbound method of online lead generation is very time consuming and if you’ve got more time than money this is probably something you want to look at doing on Craigslist, estatesales.net and those ones I mentioned to go through and look for motivated sellers that have posted that they want to sell their house and then you call and screen them and you probably get pretty good pretty quick about determining if there is any motivation there because you don’t want to waste their time or your time if they’re not motivated. Just as an example, if you want to hire somebody to do this to where they can make the calls and you give them a quick script to determine motivation and maybe set up an appointment for you to go see the house if there is motivation. You could have had them call people, call these ads on Craigslist and whenever they call them they can say, “Hello I saw that you have a house for sale that you posted on Craigslist. Do you have a minute for a few questions?” Great. And then some questions about how about the house and try to figure out why they’re selling. Ask if it doesn’t come out in conversation because you really need to know why they’re selling. That helps determine if there is motivation at all to sell quickly because that’s the service that you’re providing. And then the script can go on to say something like, “I work with a real estate investor that buys houses for cash and just to be upfront they can’t typically pay full market value but they can buy the house as it is and close within a week or whenever is best for you. Would you be interested in having them come out to make a cash offer on the house?” if the people say “Yes, great” then they know that the person isn’t going to be able pay full market value and that they’re making a cash offer and so they probably have some of that motivation. And so then the person making the call could even set up that appointment by asking when would be a good time and if the people do set up the appointment and they’re okay with all that, the person that you have calling could even ask how much they owe on the property if anything so that you kind of have all this information and if you determine based on what they’re asking what they owe and maybe the reasons for selling that it’s probably not a very motivated seller, then you could always cancel that appointment, tell them that you didn’t want to waste their time or maybe make them a ballpark figure over the phone. So this is a great source for some for you if you handle it that way. Without outbound you might be thinking that like pay-per-click ads online would be considered our outbound, but it’s really not because ads are shown based on the keywords that are searched and we’ll get into a lot of that discussion. So to me outbound is really more of going out there and looking for people that were selling. You’re looking for them.
Now my preferred method is the opposite of that, it’s inbound. So inbound marketing you want people looking for you. So when you’re looking at those ads you’re outbound. You’re looking for them and then you’re calling them finding motivation sort of like with direct mail. So with inbound they’re actually searching for you and they’ve already determined that they’d like to sell quickly and they’re looking for you. This is the perfect situation because you’re dealing with more likely candidates for you to buy their house. So this is what you want to focus on and that’s why I’m going to focus the majority of this podcast really on inbound. The difference inbound marketing and other marketing methods for real estate investors to find motivate sellers is that you have them reaching out to you like I said. There’s a huge difference between this and the shotgun approach to direct mail. If you think about it somebody has a real estate problem and it’s festered enough to where they’ve gone online to find a solution and they need you and what you can offer, what you can do for them and are now trying to find you so you’ve got to be there for them to find you. It sure beats getting calls from irrate people telling you they’ll kill you because you sent them a postcard. That kind of stuff happens. It’s crazy. I don’t know why people feel the need to do these things, but sometimes you’ll get that when you do this direct mail. But you hardly find anybody, I doubt it’s happened where somebody has looked for you online and then told you something similar. So anyway that’s just the difference between when you’re reaching out that way – shotgun approach versus having them find you. So they want to talk to you vs. you don’t know when you reach out to people if they want to talk to you.
So how can you make sure that you are there to be found online and that’s the million dollar question and the reason why we’re doing this podcast? So obviously you need a website but things aren’t really that simple are they because you don’t just need a website you need a website that can be a be found by the people searching for you and your exact service. Really your site needs to show up when they’re searching Google or Bing and high enough in those search results to even get seen. If you’re on Page 5 it’s not doing you a whole lot of good. I think the stats are something like 70% of clicks go to the first and second website listed in the search results, so you can be on first page sometimes at the bottom is not going to get your whole lot. You’ve really got to climb the ranks. Even when you get that traffic finding your site and getting your site, it doesn’t end there because once they find your website, you’ve got to convince them to either call or submit their information. Only then will you get the leads that become flips that then generate thousands of dollars of profit. So I know that sounds like a monumental task especially with all the competition out there from other investors that know what kind of return investments possible in house flipping and when people get wind of that. They know deals can make them a lot of money and they’re willing to put forth the effort to rank in the search engines for the website to get those leads so it’s not like it’s hasn’t been thought of before. People have been doing it for years. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years now and there’s competition and you just have to accept that and know that’s what you’re dealing with. So don’t worry though I’m going to show you how to do all of it and you can start receiving these leads online.
So let’s break this up. I’ll break it up into three step process.
First, you have to get a high converting website that’s set up to rank well in search engines. The second one is you’re going to need to promote that website to start generating traffic and leads right now which is possible and the third step is working on getting your site to rank faster and the search results for a long term benefit and I mean long term because it does take a little while to get up there and rank for that. And I’ll tell you the cheapest leads that I get are the ones from my organically ranking website for search terms where people are motivated to sell their house, so it’s definitely worth them doing. We’re going to cover each of these three steps in its own podcast episode because there’s just so much. Years and years of generating thousands of motivated seller leads online has taught me a lot and I want to share as much of that with you as I can and so one episode just isn’t going to cut it because there’s so much. I think will be here for three hours and I don’t know who wants to sit and just listen for three hours – maybe some people do but I don’t want to record for three hours. So we’ll break this up into three episodes.
In fact, on that note as I was outlining what I was going to say and how I was going to present it here in the podcast, it dawned on me that there is a lot of things that are really better understood when they’re presented visually. So what I decided to do was have a webinar and I don’t do these often at all and so here’s a chance to get on a webinar with me and the seating obviously is limited because of the software we used to do those and there’s thousands of you guys listening out there so you need to register sooner than later to make sure that you get a spot if you’re interested. Now go ahead pause this podcast episode. Head over the leadpropeller.com/webinar go ahead and register for that webinar. So go ahead pause and unpause, so hopefully during that time you did pause and went and registered for the webinar because I’ll be presenting on the webinar so you can see the screen, you can see examples, you can see of the chart and stuff like that of what I’m going to be presenting on the podcast because as I’m talking about this some of these things have three steps or these list of things that you should know. And that’s a lot better seen on a slide or something like that so I figured we put together a webinar and we’ll do that. But for those of you listening right now, you can get a taste of all that just by listening and then reinforce it with the webinar.
So let’s go ahead and get started with step one that we’re going to cover in this podcast. It’s about getting the website and talking about your different options with getting a website. If you have one, you want to make sure that a lot of what we talk about today is done for your website so that you’re going to get the most out of it.
So what are your options, right? So if you want a website, you basically have a couple options you get a free online service like Wix if you’ve got a wix.com or a Weebly – there’s Wix, Weebly and WordPress.com which is a WordPress hosted wordpress site. Then your other option is to hire a developer if you want to a customed one. If you want a developer to code up a nice-looking website for you, you can obviously do that. Now great places to hire developers would be Upwork. It’s called Upwork.com as you can hire somebody usually less expensive. If you get somebody in the Philippines, definitely check for great reviews. They must have great reviews and have done work before so you can get an idea of whether they did what they say they can do. And I would definitely probably start them off with the smaller part of the website just to see how well they do before you give them the whole project because the last thing you want to do is pay them thousands of dollars and wait a couple months to find out that all of it was garbage. You didn’t like any of it. With that kind of thing, definitely piecemeal at first until you get to know that they’re doing the job the way that you want them to do it.
So what are the issues with building your own website though because that is something that people consider and if you have a little bit of a technical background obviously you’d consider it too. So if you’re going to build your own website or you’re going to hire a developer, one thing is that you need to be aware of is that you’re going to need to come up with the content. You can’t just say, “Hey, build this website for me.” They’re going to ask you what it needs to say and what pages you want and how should the form submission work. When people go to submit that form what’s going to happen. You’ve got to be able to explain all of that. And if you’re going to build your own, you could use for the form, because people do ask this if they’re setting up their own website what can they use for the form and wufoo.com offers online form builders and that’s wufoo.com. I never used it so I can’t really explain it very well, but if you go to that website you can check that if you decide to do that. Obviously don’t recommend it. Your time is better spent going out there and making deals and doing deals and making money.
But anyway, another issue too that comes to mind is really regarding SEO – so that’s Search Engine Optimization. If you hire a developer, developers aren’t inherently search engine optimization experts. Some of them will say they are and it’s kind of scary because you really need to focus on one thing or the other to be an expert, but some guys are really good. I’m not saying that they’re not out there, but you just got to be careful with who you get and what they’re doing. You could learn how to do SEO yourself and create and do it, but if you have the site created by somebody else or using one of those free services that might be pretty difficult because some of the aspects of on-page SEO are a little bit complicated and so getting those built into there can be pretty tricky. But anyway, search engines want to provide a good experience to people using their searches. This has led them to prefer sites that are mobile responsive and so this means that the website adjusts. It’s easily viewed on both mobile devices tablets and desktops are obviously – any kind of device. So if you hired a developer to create your site make sure that they’re built to be mobile responsive. I think some of the Wix and stuff like that offers mobile responsiveness. I’m not sure how they do it, but you have to check. That’s one thing to definitely make sure of and we’ll talk more about this mobile responsiveness and how basically the number of searches that people are doing on mobile devices has gone way up as compared to desktop use. So it’s not just desktops anymore, computers or laptops that people are going to websites on the phone from their phones and from their tablets so you want to make sure the website works for those too. Regarding hiring a developer as well, software developers can be pretty expensive. So it’s a wide range. You can pay thousands of dollars for a site, so like I said if you shop around you could probably get it done cheaper through a developer in the Philippines. Usually they speak pretty good English and on Upwork you can specify that you want something that’s fluent in English so that’s pretty great.
Alright so the other option besides building your own or hiring a developer is to get an already built optimized website system and you go to the service that provides these optimized real estate investor websites. Lucky for you I know all about those because I developed one myself that you can use and so the story about that is over the last 10 years of generating thousands of motivated seller leads online. I’ve learned quite a bit about what works and what doesn’t. So in my book, if you know that I have a book out there it’s called Flipping Houses Exposed: 34 Weeks in the Life of a Successful House Flipper which you can actually get for free by going to flippingjunkie.com/freebook – all one word freebook, there’s dash or anything – so flippingjunkie.com/freebook and “junkie” is J-U-N-K-I-E. You can just download that book for free. It’s actually 300 something pages or something but it’s excellent. Anyway the book I showed where almost 500 motivated leads came from during the 34 weeks of my flipping business several years ago and the vast majority of those leads of those nearly 500 leads were from my house buying website which is Danny Buys Houses.com if you didn’t know that or haven’t seen it. As more and more people have read that book because hundreds of thousands of people have downloaded that book and it’s on Amazon as well, but you can just get it at flippingjunkie.com/freebook, but as more and more people read that book I would continually get emails from people asking me where I got my website and if I can help them get one set up and I really hated not having a recommendation. So I use my background software development what I did before I started flipping houses to build websites for other investors. And these aren’t just normal websites either because they’re built on over 10 years experience generating thousands and thousands of motivated seller leads. So all of that that I learned, the mistakes they made, and what worked and what didn’t, go into that. So it’s a huge benefit and that’s why I think so many people were asking me, kind of hoping that maybe I would develop one for them but so I did. We provide these now and the system is called Lead Propeller. So if you haven’t heard of that go to leadpropeller.com. That’s our real estate investor website system and basically managed online lead generation for real estate investors. Definitely check it out.
I don’t want to turn this into a giant sales pitch. Anybody that’s followed Flipping Junkie for any length of time knows that I’m not a salesy guy. I’m not going to hype up a bunch of stuff and not give you any kind of real value. So what I want to do is go over what makes for a great optimized website system so you know what to look for on one. And this will be helpful information for you no matter what you decide to do because it’s your choice. Go with LeadPropeller, go with another system and build your own website. It’s your choice. You’re going to get a lot of value are this.
What I’m going to cover now are the following. So what makes a high converting real estate investor website? So we’re going to talk about what makes a high converting site. How the proper notification system helps you eliminate competition? So if you have your website system worked out great you can actually eliminate competition and I’ll show you how that works. And then how fresh content on your website helps you to rank better faster and more terms to get more leads. It’s a really cool thing. So many people put a website up and don’t ever touch it after they do and it’s just crazy. You’ve got to add content and I’ll show you ways to do it where you don’t have to do that yourself. And so let’s just get right into this first one here.
So, what makes a high converting real estate investor website? And first, if you don’t know what converting means or a conversion – so a website conversion is basically when somebody visits your site and either submits the form on the site or gives you a phone call. So basically you converted that traffic into a lead. So if people come in your site, they don’t do anything, they’re not really a lead. It’s not a conversion. So if you have 10 visitors view your page and one submits the form that’s a 10 percent conversion rate for the time period that you’re looking at. And so that’s pretty good for a website too by the way because not everybody is going to submit the form and call you. An explanation of why that’s usually the case is that they may just be curious about your services. They could have searched for a term that you ranked for that maybe your site wasn’t really about and there may be other investors just checking other competitions. This happens a lot. You can get a lot of traffic from other investors looking at what’s out there. You may have found somebody that was skeptical of your website and you and so they didn’t fill out the form or call you. This is very real. You don’t want to think that that kind of thing happens, but a lot of people are skeptical. Another reason why they don’t maybe fill up the form or call you is that they don’t have strong enough motivation to take action. They’re kind of nervous, they’re kind of embarrassed by their situation. A lot of people with these problems where they want to sell their house quickly they’re not they’re pretty embarrassed by it. So the house is a wreck. They’re thinking well “Okay, this guy is going to need to come to my house and he’s going to see the state it’s in and how trashed it is.” And so they’re not ready yet basically.
So let’s consider those last two because I think those are perfect ones. You need to have those people convert because they’re motivated sellers and you want to have them convert. So let’s discuss those last two items in more detail. So it’s people that are skeptical and people that are anxious. One group isn’t sure about how legit you are and the other group is not feeling comfortable enough to reach out to you. And how do you design your website to address those issues and please understand that these are very common issues for motivated sellers looking for a way out of their situation and it’s not just like the outliers. These are a bulk of people. So the way that you get the BS meter for people to ease up and become more comfortable and open to contacting you is to provide credibility. Some people teaching about this kind of thing would say, “Provide credibility” and then move on. But I’ve got a whole list here so lucky us. You can exude credibility by doing several things. First and foremost, you need to have testimonials on your website. People want to see that other people have used your service and are happy with how it went. So if you don’t have sellers yet that you can ask for testimonials from, ask your friends, ask family, ask colleagues. They don’t have to lie and act as though you bought their house. You don’t do that. They can just vouch for your integrity, what type of person you are and all that kind of stuff. That works just as well because really people want to know who’s behind it and what other people think about them. One note too because I see a lot of people doing testimonials and then they put the first name and then just the initial of the last name, I don’t know about you but when I see a testimonial like “John W.” I doubt the legitimacy of it. It is just something and I think maybe a lot of people – I don’t know if you feel that way as well or not. And then video testimonials are the best. If you can get video testimonials, it’s something you should strive for or something you should work at doing. It’s surely hard to doubt those. When you see a video testimonial you have somebody sitting there telling you about the service and how everything went. Obviously the best time to get those is right after closing. So right after you bought the house, you did what you said you were going to do, is the time that people are going to share their honest opinion and they’re the happiest, so that’s the time to do that.
The second thing to do to provide credibility to combat people that are skeptical or anxious is to have a professionally designed website. This is huge. You need a site that looks and works great and it’s easy to navigate. I’m sure you’ve been to a site that looks like it was built in the ‘90s. I find them all the time, it’s crazy. You want a clean uncluttered website that shows that you’re a professional. Think about it. You’re telling people you pay cash for their house and you’ve got to have a website that it looks like it costs a lot of money to build. You don’t want to have something that looks like it was thrown up or it’s on some kind of free service that has their domain on it and you are just like a side part of the whole thing. I’ve heard people talk about how pretty websites and don’t convert as well and that’s just complete baloney. I don’t know what that’s all about. There are so many factors that go into conversions that are an easy excuse for low conversions is that the site was crazy. What usually is going on is the people offering the websites that don’t have the technical ability to allow their customers to have custom-looking sites, so what they do is they spin the problem to make it seem like it is not a problem but a benefit, so beware. The myth that pretty sites have low conversion rates is complete garbage and we have years of data to prove it so don’t listen to that. If you buy into that and you’re given a site that you don’t feel is completely professional or clean-looking the way you want it, don’t buy into this thing that they’re trying to sell you that it’s not going to convert as well. If it’s not, that’s garbage. A simple test is really, ask yourself which site do you feel more comfortable submitting your information to? A nice-looking site or a site that looks like it was thrown together a couple minutes? I mean honestly, always consider things from the perspective of potential motivated sellers as well. You’ve got to put yourself in the shoes of the person that’s searching online for you and find your websites. Always do it that way because we sort of have the curse of knowledge sometimes with our own sites and we come into it just from our point of view knowing all the things that we know and you have to come into it from, I guess, maybe like a beginner’s mind that’s not cluttered with all that information. So you look at your site with the point of view of if you don’t know what it’s all about, you’re trying to figure out who’s behind it, what it’s about, how it works and make sure all those things are addressed in your website.
Alright so those are the first two. The next one would be to make your site personable. Let them know who you are. Why you do what you do and how you got into the business and how you want to help them and pictures that don’t seem like cheesy stock photos work the best. I mean, don’t ever put these corporate-looking cheesy stock photos on your website that looks horrible and it makes it corporate and seem canned. About us page is crucial. That’s where you can tell your unique story and let people know and people really do care about those things. I think it builds rapport for you tremendously to have those things. So don’t ignore it and make a vague generic-looking corporate website.
You should also include a little blurb about you on the homepage as well. So if you’ve got a spot there, a section where you can put that “about” yourself and on some of the other pages so that no matter which page they land on your website, they kind of get a little info about you, the person behind it. So this next one actually goes into that as well, it’s talking about making the contact info easy to find on your website. So I don’t know if you’ve ever gone to a website where you were kind of like looking at it and there’s just a forum, there’s no address anywhere, there’s no name of somebody, there is no phone number and to me I get really skeptical about those kind of things because I feel like anybody can do that. Even a 15 year old can put up a website and put up a form and have that kind of stuff and you don’t really know who’s behind it If there are legit or not. So this goes a long way. So when people have no other option aside from filling out a form to get in touch with you on your website and you can’t find a name or anything about who’s behind the site, they also become very skeptical. So make sure you get your phone number and contact info and address on your website.
Okay. The next thing that you can do to help build that credibility is establish yourself as an expert and I know when people hear this sometimes, immediately they’re thinking “Man, that sounds like a lot of work. How am I going to convince somebody I’m an expert?” Maybe you are a new investor and that’s something that you’re even kind of concerned about, but don’t be. You should have content on your website that shows you know what you’re talking about and obviously knowing what you’re talking about is huge because you’re talking about buying people’s houses and it’s a pretty big deal. So one way that we do help with our system with LeadPropeller the sites come with a default content that’s already written for you and works masterfully at presenting you as an expert and you should be blogging to do this . So you have a website that’s got content but you want to keep that content going. You want to build on it and cover different aspects. You can cover a lot of thi,s how to sell a house fast and things like that and how you work, and we buy houses and stuff like that; but you want to do build over time is built into some of these other aspects basically going into all the different situations people face so you can have some articles about inheriting houses and maybe taxes that have to be paid. People have those questions, they inherited a house they’re not sure what to do with it. Should they rent it, should they sell it? You can have articles about those decisions and the benefits of doing either and then that way if they feel like it’s a good benefit to go and sell it, then they learn from you and they feel like you’re an expert and contact you about getting an offer. So it’s pretty cool.
We’re going to cover this topic though about blogging and content marketing is basically what it is in another podcast episode and on the webinar because there’s so much involved. If I just do it all right here we’re going to be eating up a ton of time, so I’m going to devote a whole podcast episode to the SEO, search engine optimization, and content marketing because they kind of go hand in hand.
Alright. So a side note about that too is that at LeadPropeller what we do with those — the websites have this concept, but we also have these content packs. So you can also additionally purchase some content packs that can be dripped out over several months to keep your site fresh and establish you as that expert, so you don’t even have to write all these things they’ve been optimized. They are over a thousand words apiece. We got pictures in them, all this kind of stuff that takes forever to do, and so it’s pretty awesome. Anyway, we will talk more about all of that in that other podcast episode.
So the next thing that you could do to build your credibility, believe it or not, is fast loading websites. If you’re site loads really slow, believe it or not, that affects how visitors perceive you in your business. Obviously if they’re going on mobile device and it’s taking a long time, they’re not going to wait for it. They’re going to go back. Same thing on desktop, if it’s taking forever they’re just going to go back and go to another site. They’re going to go to the competition so you’ve got to have a fast loading site.
Now when you get some of these free websites, you’re on shared server so you’re on a server that’s also handling all these other people’s websites. If you’ve got some intensive stuff being done on those servers, it’s going to slow down the learning of your site. So just be aware of that. One thing you can do is get a dedicated server, of course that costs more money. So you have options but it’s going to cost quite a bit. So basically this whole fast loading website thing according to Kissmetrics, which they do a lot of things about conversions and analytics on websites, basically found that 47% percent of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. So this is expected and 40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. That’s almost half the people coming to your website will abandon it if it takes longer than three seconds to load it up and every one second delay in a page response can result in 7% reduction and conversions, so time is critical. It’s got to load quick. This is something that’s not really thought about often and it’s a huge deal. Honestly Google and Bing, I am sure too, look at and page load speed and consider that because if they’re presenting you as a search result for a search, they want people that click on that to go there and be happy with what they experience and that part of that is that fast-loading website. So if you’re not providing a good experience, they don’t want to show you as some of the top results because they want to provide a good experience for the search engine users. That’s how they stay in business. Alright, so fast talking websites – those were ways that converting people that wouldn’t otherwise contact you due to being skeptical or anxious.
I want to also talk about conversion enhancing design, so the design of the website which can drastically improve your conversion rate by leaps and bounds. These are things that are built into the site, the way it functions, the way it’s set up and the flow of it basically how people use the site. And so with that are the forms, right? You would know that you need to put a form. So what should the form ask? Should it be one form? Should it be two forms? How should you deal with all of that? And so basically through dealing with different types of forms and the best that we’ve really had that we use are short forms. Large forms that ask tons of information often scare people away. What do you want to do is have a short form that only ask for the bare minimum to get the maximum number of people to feel comfortable submitting their information because if they see a whole bunch of questions of this form they might not feel comfortable about it and don’t ever bother submitting it.
So the way our LeadPropeller websites work is we have a short form that ask for their name, email address, phone number and address of the house they want to sell. Now once they submit that form, their information is saved in your LeadPropeller account. It’s also emailed to you and texted to you. We’ll talk about that texting in a minute. It’s very cool and it’s also a way of knowing instantly that somebody had submitted a form. So the website visitor is then taken to a longer form that asks tons of great questions about the house and why they’re selling. And so, we’ve crafted these questions in the second form in a way so they’re more inclined to give you the real numbers and the real story about why they’re selling. So for example, our long form as the seller of their asking price and then about any repairs or updating the house needs. Then they’re asked why they want to sell their house. Now those two questions usually get them to feel the way they felt when they decided that they really needed to sell. And now, that they’re back into the mindset they were in, we ask you what’s the least they’d be willing to take for a cash offer and a fast close. It’s amazing. This is almost always much lower than the asking price that they mentioned earlier in the form. Now how awesome is that, the website does the negotiating for you. It’s very cool. If you set up your own website and go with another system, make sure that this is going on. Make sure that this question is being asked “what’s the least they’re willing to take for a cash offer and a fast close” because almost always it’s going to be less than what they were asking in the first place. And you also want to make sure you ask how much they owe because whenever I’m looking at a lead that comes through, I don’t typically care as much about what they’re asking for the house, it’s what they owe on the house because people ask whatever they want for a house, but they most of the time are willing to take much less than what they’re asking for. So it’s more a matter of how much they owe to see if there is enough equity there for me to be able to buy what makes sense for me.
So back to the two form system though, if they fill up that first form but do not fill out the second form you still have their contact info so you can reach out to them. So this is awesome. So if they got scared away by the second one it doesn’t matter because you can contact them. And if you only have a single long form it scares people off, you’ve got no way of knowing who they were and that you even had a potential lead that was lost. You just don’t know. So having this two-form system is very powerful. A bonus secret here about real world use of this stuff and this is the power of all this the fact that we’ve been doing this for so long for our own business and all that knowledge goes into this instead of somebody that comes in that’s really never done motivated seller marketing for themselves and their business and learn the ins and outs and what works is kind of a disadvantage there.
So one thing I’ve heard other online marketers that provide real estate investor websites to help people is that research shows a form with fewer fields gets higher conversions. And they show you, you should remove all but the name and email address on your home page form and that’s horrible advice. It’s true that there’s marketing research for online marketing about shorter fields gets a higher conversion rate okay. Now that is true but when it comes to our business though, and this is where that real world experience comes in, you’ve got to have the phone number on the form. In the past I’ve tested actually removing the phone number using the advice given you’d expect to get more leads because more people would be comfortable submitting the form with just their email address and not the phone number. So you think, “Oh, I’m going to get more leads” and it’s going to be even better because people are scared to put in the phone and aren’t going to just leave. But that’s not really what happened, here’s what actually happened, when you only have an email address, it’s very very difficult to get in touch with the seller. That’s a fact. It happened over and over. When I only had the e-mail address I could never get in touch with them. You’ve got to have their phone number and I can almost guarantee you that when I was only getting that email address they would then go to another website, submit their information along with their phone number because the other guy is asking for the phone number. The other investor was then able to call them and set up an appointment and since that happened they didn’t need to bother with my emails or getting back in touch with me. They already had talked with somebody and that’s why you’ve got to have a phone number. You got to get in touch with these people as soon as possible – so real world stuff there, do not take advice to just have a name and email address because you can have our time to get in touch with them and if ever do it’s probably already sold at that point you got to move quick.
So we touched on this briefly before but mobile responsiveness – really this section is going to benefit greatly as being part of the webinar that I’m going to put on because I can show you. You can see really what I’m talking about so if you haven’t yet registered please take a minute right now to go to leadpropeller.com/webinar. You absolutely must have a mobile responsive website. If you don’t, you’re going to be losing out at least half the deals. You could be getting probably more. According to Similar Web’s data mobile web report, last year roughly 56% of consumer traffic to the leading US websites is now from mobile devices. That’s over half and it’s growing, so websites these days need to be mobile responsive so they look great and adapt their design no matter what device we display it on. So these are the phones, tablets, desktops – anything that’s going to be coming out, these different sizes. The website needs to look and work and adjust to that so that they function properly and those factors to consider when designing for mobile that a lot of developers don’t even think about. In fact Google’s got a guideline for “mobile friendliness” is their term for it and it’s not just more responsiveness but mobile friendliness and these design factors include stuff like making sure making sure that the buttons and links have enough space around them so that it’s easier to touch them without inadvertently touching a definite link or button than intended. I’m sure that makes sense if you’re on a cell phone or something, a smartphone and you’ve got a website pull up and you go to click a link but there’s a whole bunch of other ones near it because everything is displayed so small it’s going to be very hard to click that link or that button without accidentally clicking other one. So they look at this and Google actually is smart enough to be able to render sites with a different window sizes and pixels and know that it’s actually going to be better. And so they’ve even got a tool for testing that and if you go to google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly – I know it’s a mouthful, I’ll put it in the show notes page also and I’ll show you on the webinar about this. But if you want, you can go there and even just put in my website dannybuyshouses.com to test out my site and it’ll show you whether it’s mobile friendly or not. So another quick way to test mobile responsive is open your desktop browser and load a website. You can do this in the browsers on your desktop. You then click the edge of the browser window and adjust the width of it to make it smaller see how the website adjusts. So it’s a good way to see if your website is adjusting properly and looks pretty decent. Then you can also use developer tools in Chrome if you use Chrome as a browser. I know Firefox also has some tools and during the webinar I’ll go ahead and show you how to do that. I won’t explain it here. These are just the steps involved.
Okay, so we’ll move onto the next thing. So WordPress or not WordPress? I know some people hear that WordPress is great for SEO search engines, love WordPress, all this kind of stuff and that’s why it’s recommended. The reason why though it’s sometimes recommended is really because of the ease of adding content. Search engines like it because it makes it easy to have fresh content, to have new content, more content on your website. It’s not because it’s WordPress, but because of that fact. Now that’s what it was built for. It was built for blogging. It was built for content and so that’s why it’s recommended for that. You can go on in write up new posts and publish them and schedule to post things like that so it’s very good at that. But what it’s not best for is creating easily customizable websites that look great and load fast. So WordPress isn’t really perfect for that and that’s kind of a problem. So we had considered WordPress actually as a platform for LeadPropeller websites but quickly dismissed it. We decided not to because of that limitation. The fact is we wanted our sites to be easily customizable and we even built a custom editor for this that you can just point and click and change elements on your site. And also the way we coded it ourselves not using WordPress also allows us to provide a lot of different templates that can be tailored to your individual taste so you can get the site that you like, customized the way you want, change the colors etc.
Now for the ability to easily add content to your site through blog post, we coded up the ability to add a WordPress blog to your site with the push of a button so you don’t have to do any kind of crazy installation and stuff like that. But so then you have a site that loads super fast that’s easily customizable, looks great, and also has an attached WordPress blog that is there for what it does best and that’s adding blog post and content. So you get the best of both worlds. We didn’t want to lock into the limitations of WordPress and please also be careful if you decide to look into a site designed solely around WordPress. They can load slower and usually don’t allow you to install your own plug-ins if they’re built on a multi site, so just be aware of that could be an issue for you if you want to add plug-ins and stuff to your blog. So these are huge limitations that were deal killers for us when we architect the LeadPropeller and that’s why we decided not to go that route and I just wanted to inform you of that. If you’re making that decision to build the site on WordPress or go with the service that has sites built on WordPress so could be issues for you.
Okay, so the next one here that I was going to cover and we’ve talked about so much now, I was saying that there were three things that I was going to talk about, and the first one was what makes a high converting real estate investor website and that’s what we’ve spent all this time on. So now when we get into the proper notification system to help you eliminate competition and after that we’ll get into how fresh content helps you to rank better.
So the proper notification system – you’re going to want this and if you build your own site make sure that you put this kind of stuff in here because it’s just as important as all the other stuff with conversions. So consider what people do when they search the internet for something. Usually people will click on the top result, scan the website and then the mouse moves up into the left and you click the back button. You leave the site you go to the next one. We all do it. We want to see where other information is out there. Now it’s also what many motivated sellers do when they search for a home buyer to buy their house and we’ve considered this a lot and I’ve thought about all kinds of things, tried a bunch of crazy stuff and we found the best way to really deal with this and prevent them from contacting other people is to talk to them as soon as possible. This way, you can build some rapport and set an appointment. If you do those things, build that rapport and set an appointment because you’ve talked to them, they usually don’t continue looking for others as they feel they’ve accomplished what they set out to do.
Now this gets back into the whole thing when I was only getting emails and they ended up talking to a competitor because he got the phone number. He or she got their phone number. I would lose out on that and they wouldn’t even respond to emails or anything because they’d already taken care of. So you need to talk to people and there’s three ways. I’m going with three ways we can increase our chances of talking to them before they get to our competition. So you’re going to have your phone number in multiple places on your site because what you really want is them to call you instead of submitting the form, and then you’ve got to be able to answer that phone okay. So you got to have the phone number in multiple places. Second thing is we can send them an automated text message after they fill out the second form. So after they do the second form they can get an automated text message. LeadPropeller allows that to happen. We have this automated text message be sent to them. And the third thing is you can notify them instantly with a text message. You can be notified when a text message from each one that is filled out, so that you can call them right away. So those are the things – have your phone number all over, after they submit the second form they can get an automated text message sent to them so that they feel like the text message can say something like “Hey, I got your information I’m going to give you a call in a second.” And so they’re waiting for your call, right? And the third one is having you notified as soon as the form was submitted because if you just have a form submission that goes straight to email and if you have no way of being notified as soon as you get an email, that could sit in there for hours before you ever notice it and at that point they’re long gone from the computer. They’ve already maybe talked to another competitor. So you need to have this text messaging so that you can have these instant notifications. It’s a feature LeadPropeller is actually one of my favorites and it’s more of a system really than just websites and we’re working a lot of technology with this stuff. It’s really pretty cool I can’t wait to show you a lot of the new things that we’ve got coming out, but you can even insert data from the form submission that they submitted on your website into the text so it doesn’t seem automated because it can say something like, “Hey, I got your information about the house at 123 Main Street. I’ll give you a call in a second.” So it’s pretty cool. Something we also made available was the ability to get a notification of the seller response to that automatic text. So if they got that text saying that that you’re going to call them in a second and they text you back you’ll get a notification of that and you can click the link and continue that conversation. So it’s pretty cool. I don’t know if any other systems really allow that or have the ability to do that. So the text is pretty cool.
Another thing is setting up autoresponders and drip email integration. So if you want to do some follow up email kind of stuff since we’re also collecting email addresses we can communicate and follow up with them through that email. So in LeadPropeller you can set up one off autoresponder emails that also allow the insertion of data that they’ve submitted from the form, that way you appear very responsive and professional. And then also if you use MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact, Mad Mimi or GetResponse, which are email marketing services, you can actually link those up to those forms on your LeadPropeller websites or if you build your own make sure that you set that up so that you have email addresses submitted to those lists within those system so you can have this automated and inside of those systems like MailChimp is free for certain features and you can set that up, link it up with your form on your LeadPropeller site and then set up an autoresponder series of emails in that MailChimp account to go out and over a period of time send them email addresses to follow up with them, etc., and I’ve always felt like it’s a very cool thing, but never really kind of like the fact that you have to get the separate services like MailChimp or AWeber whatever to do the drip autoresponder functionality. And the main reason being is because if you found that there is no way in that there could be a deal from that lead and you’ve got them automatically being sent these emails, you’re kind of going to irritate them or they’re going to respond and you have to deal with figuring out whether that was a valid lead or not so you’re wasting your time, and so we’ve considered that so much so and the fact that we’ve actually added this drip autoresponder functionality without needing those services to REIMobile.com. It’s our CRM software system basically on your automation stuff for real investor and we added that to where you can do text messages and emails as part of drip sequences. That’s very cool. So soon we’re going to be allowing voice mail message and direct mail as well to these automatic drip sequences. And it’s great because it’s built into that system so that if you know it’s not a lead you just don’t add the automatic sequence whereas if you’re using MailChimp or something it’s going they automatically get those autoresponders and you might not want them to. So this is pretty cool.
Alright, so those automated drip campaigns save a lot of time and hassle and follow ups, so check out REIMobile for that if you’re interested in that kind of software and automation and those obviously link up to LeadPropeller sites as well, so very very cool. A lot of this follow up stuff I will talk about in more detail in another podcast and probably on the webinar as well.
Alright, so the third thing that I wanted to talk about with converting website traffic is how fresh content helps you to rank better. We’ve covered how to make your website convert much higher and how to eliminate competition through fast notification methods that allows you to contact the seller immediately. But now I’m going to talk to you about how fresh content helps you rank your site better in search engines and websites need to be easily updated and LeadPropeller provides a custom website editor that we built. So I had to click the elements on the page and added them and it’s awesome, truly a dream to use. This was like the biggest thing that I wanted to make sure that LeadPropeller was built on this ability so that people don’t know how to code, they don’t have to worry about FTP or updating a Website like in WordPress where you have to go through menus that are eight layers deep and get completely lost. Some other systems that are built on this WordPress stuff and their editing capabilities are almost nonexistent. You have to go through all those menus that take you places so far removed from what you’re changing on your site that you kind of forget of what you’re changing and it’s very confusing. And those services actually recommend not changing anything on the sites mainly because it’s nearly impossible to do so. But yeah, you got to be able to update your site when you want to with changes without having to contact people and that kind of stuff and we do provide phone support too. So if you have something you want to change and you can’t figure out how to do an edit or whatever, we have a phone support and help you do that. So it’s very cool.
Alright, website updates and new content in your website help you rank better and it’s because Google being want to show websites that are both fuller and fresher. Now fuller websites are websites that simply have more pages and more content that’s all relevant to the topic of the website. And obviously being that we’re homebuyers, we want to make sure that the kind of that content is relevant to these things. Real estate – you’re going to use websites that’s got to be about real estate, right? It’s about houses, homes, condos, rentals all about real estate. Second thing is the location, so the city that you’re buying in the surrounding areas being that a website usually just target one city we want Google and Bing to know that we specialize and are focused on that area. The reason is it’s much easier to rank locally than nationwide. If Google knows that somebody’s searching for something in that certain city, it’s easier to rank and show that you’re the one in that city. So it’s sort of like peas and stuff like that they’re not going to show you some place in Chicago if you’re searching from San Antonio of Texas. It’s the same thing for people want to sell their houses. So you want to make sure the site has a lot of information about the location. What we did was we provided a way to quickly and landing pages to your site with all the different areas. So like San Antonio we have different cities and areas within San Antonio and around San Antonio like New Braunfels and some of these other places. And so we created a way where all you have to do is specify that list of names of those areas and then the system will automatically replicate the home page and create the landing page for you with the location swapped out on all them. So now you have these separate pages focused on separate areas – A huge time saver, lots of separate content that focuses on those individual areas, so very cool. If you can set up those separate pages for those different areas for your website, that’s definitely recommended.
The next thing that needs to be about obviously is buying and selling houses fast. You want to rank for those terms because that’s what people are wanting – to sell a house. But more importantly we want to rank for people that want to sell them fast, so it’s not just saying that you allow people to sell a house so that they can sell a house fast because that’s really you want to target not somebody looking for a realtor. Those are the really the most important keywords to focus on for search engine ranking and we’ll talk about more of that on the third podcast that we’ll do in the series.
Alright, so when you have more content on your site you inevitably rank for more and more search terms and then you get more and more leads. So again we’ll talk about that in the third podcast. We’ve covered a whole lot today. I hope it’s not overwhelming, but if it is, it’s probably going to be better. You should definitely register to be on that webinar. GO to leadpropeller.com/webinar and register for that. It’s going to be on November 15th. So if you’re hearing this before then check that out register for it. November 15th is when I’m going to do this webinar after these three podcast episodes are released and if you’re listening to this podcast episode after that, go ahead and go there anyway. Go to leadpropeller.com/webinar either it’ll have a new webinar or I’ll have those recordings or something available so do check it out. Be sure to tune into the next podcast episode to find out how to quickly promote your website so that you can get these incredible motivated seller leads right away without waiting to rank in the search engines. It’s possible and I’ll show you how to do that. So definitely subscribe on iTunes to Flipping Junkie Podcast. If you are enjoying all this great information please please leave a rating and review on iTunes for the podcast. It really helps us out a lot and I do appreciate it.
Thank you so much for listening and be sure to go to leadpropeller.com/webinar, register for that webinar and stay tuned for more awesome info about online lead generation. Take care.
Undoubtedly one of the best ways to get leads is through a website!