In this article, I'll argue that property investor websites enable you to "hack" your authority and position yourself as the local property expert... Even if you don't actually have much experience.
‘So, what’s your website then?’ the seller asked as I stood in his front room, all set to make a deal to buy his property (or so I thought).
A lump grew in my throat and a bead of sweat formed on my brow, as I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to bluff my way out of this one. ‘Erm, I don’t have one,’ I responded sheepishly. I was MORTIFIED! I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
I suppose I don't blame them though, I mean would you do business with a company that didn't have a website these days? Nothing says ‘fly-by-night’ more clearly than not having a business website.
Needless to say, I did not get that deal and had to leave with my tail firmly between my legs. However, on that day, I resolved that I would get a website ... and get a website I did. But, I woefully underestimated what a website would do for my business.
I found that having a website instantly elevates you to expert status. It's a bit like having a best-selling book to your name.
Do you think this might be especially useful if you're new to the property investing game?
You betcha it will.
As a beginner, there’s no better way to elevate yourself to expert status in your prospect's eyes. Your expertise is now assumed and this makes the whole deal-making process so much smoother and more predictable.
It’s nerve-wracking enough visiting your first few prospects as a newbie, but imagine the extra confidence you’d have if you had a professional-looking website that your prospect could look at ahead of time to pre-sell you before your visit.
At the very least, you won't experience the same embarrassment that yours truly did if asked about your website!
Property investor websites can even help to elevate you above your local competition, even if they’re more experienced or may be offering more. Most folks will prefer to sell to someone who has a professional web presence versus someone who they may never be able to find again if something goes wrong.
When a website is used, we call it Digitally Enhanced Prospecting, as it enables you to convert your deals faster, easier, and with much less resistance.
Consider when someone sees your offline marketing material. They want to try to find out if you’re legit, so they’ll probably try to Google your phone number, won’t they? And, when they don’t find anything, their confidence in you is going to be pretty low. If, instead, they find your professional looking website, then that’s going to be a very different story.
Property investor websites are a powerful timesaving mechanism too; it helps to qualify your sellers for you and acts as a salesman who never sleeps, working for you round the clock to sell your service.
If you're looking to get into property alongside a full time job, then you'll find it invaluable.
Any old website will not suffice though. Let’s look at the crucial elements that property investor websites must have.
Crucial elements of a property lead generation website
Most types of property websites—especially deal sourcing ones—will have a lead generation element to them.
But, not all property investor websites are created equal when it comes to effective lead generation. The prettiest and most expensive website could still be terrible at generating leads. That can be the difference between a website built by a designer and one built by a digital marketer.
Think about it like this: if you’re running an online marketing campaign (more on this later) and you’re paying to send visitors to your website, then you’re going to want as many of those visitors to convert into leads as possible.
We have found that there are five critical elements that ensure that the prospects who visit your website are psychologically compelled to contact you and do business with you.
I created a PDF showing all the critical elements of property investor websites and placed it into the Property Hacking Vault for you. You can get hold of that via the link below and have it beside you as you read this article:
A unique selling proposition (USP) is a statement, usually most prominently seen in the headline on your website, that states what it is that you can do for your customer. If possible, you also want to encapsulate what it is that differentiates you from your competition.
The effect you’re looking for from your USP is for your website visitor or prospect to read your USP and then say: ‘This is the exact service I’m looking for.’
In general, you just need to differentiate yourself from the traditional way of selling a home, i.e. through an estate agent, although if you can think of ways to differentiate yourself from other quick property buyers, then you can work that in too. For example, you might consider your service more friendly or flexible than other similar services in your area.
When you’re formulating this, the number one rule to remember is that it’s all about them (your prospect), and not you!
What to include in USP?
You want to include the benefits of using your service. You also want to include the location you’re targeting, because as well as seeing benefits, you want your prospect to see that you operate in their area.
Here are a few examples of USPs that you can tweak for your own use:
Try to keep your USP simple and don’t try to be too clever!
Where to put your USP?
You want to put your USP in your website heading; that is the words in large type at the top, below the menu bar.
You may have a sub headline too, in which case this gives you another chance to squeeze more benefits of your service in. So, for example you might have:
You also want to have elements of your USP woven throughout the copy (or text) on your website.
The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words. A hero shot is simply a picture (or indeed a video) that demonstrates the results of your service. Now, showing the results of your service is obviously easier with visual services like beautician or personal trainer, where you can easily show a before and after shot of your work.
It’s a little more of a challenge, but with property, we can still think of ways of demonstrating the results of what we do, e.g. a house with a sold sign outside of it, or even better, a smiling couple holding a sold sign outside their house. This way, we’re conveying the experience and feelings that our prospect wants to feel when their house is sold.
Including this kind of picture on your website almost seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes people don’t think of putting that in there. It helps your prospect imagine how you can help solve their problem for them.
The next thing we want to focus on is the benefits that your prospect will experience when using your service. We touched on this in the USP section, but we’ll look at this in a little more detail here, and I’ll explain why this is important.
The crucial thing to realise here is that people don’t buy features; they buy benefits. They are concerned only with what’s in it for them. The best way to illustrate this is with an example.
So, let’s say you want to boast that you’ve been in business for two years: ‘Our company has been in business for 2 years.’
You may think that’s great and yes, it does begin to indicate that you may know what you’re doing, but we need to spell that out a bit, and the way we do that is by writing what’s called features with benefits.
Instead of just stating a feature, we state how that feature is going to benefit the prospect. So, our example becomes: ‘We’ve been in business for 2 years, and we have the local knowledge we need to give you a really fast offer.’
Do you see how this is going to sound a lot more compelling to a prospect?
Where to put your benefits?
You’ll put your benefits throughout your website copy and also bullet points are really effective at breaking those benefits down. Bullets have the added advantage of breaking up the text on the page and drawing attention to your benefits.
Here’s an example of some benefits bullets:
Just be careful never to promise anything you can’t deliver on.
Social proof is a very powerful method of persuasion. What social proof does is illustrate that others have used your service, or approve of it. This can be achieved with things like:
What if you have no social proof yet?
Obviously, if you’re just starting out, then you may not have any track record or customers to ask for testimonials, don’t worry! I definitely don’t recommend that you ‘fake it till you make it.’ Instead, leave the testimonials out until either you get one or you get a character testimonial from a friend, colleague, or fellow investor. Even ask your mum if you have to!
Your site must include many clear calls to action. A call to action is simply telling your prospect what you want them to do next. And you need to give them multiple opportunities to do it.
Again, this seems like an obvious thing you need on your website, but you’d be surprised at how many property investor websites either forget about a call to action or conceal it deep in their copy.
Your website should have multiple calls to action ‘above the fold.’ Above the fold is an old newspaper publishing term that refers to anything that you can see at the top of a paper when it is folded in half. In website terms, this refers to anything that you can see without having to scroll down the page.
The kinds of things you can have above the fold are a telephone number in the header bar and a bold button that says something like ‘Get Your Cash Offer Now.’
Lower down the page, you can have an enquiry form where your prospect can request an offer from you. You can have a ‘get in touch’ section further down the page too, with links to your social media, your email address, and another button.
In addition, you should finish the copy on each page with some text telling readers what to do next, e.g. ‘If you’d like a no-obligation cash offer for your property, then simply fill in the quick form below or call us now at 0141 123 4567.’
Don’t go overboard with calls to action; just don’t leave your visitors guessing what you want them to do next.
What’s more, don’t have too many different types of call to action. A phone number and a ‘request an offer’ form is quite sufficient. If you start to ask people to sign up for a newsletter or a free report or something then you’re muddying the water and people will be less likely to do anything at all. Too much choice can be a bad thing!
Those are the main five elements you need for effective property investor websites.
But, there are three deadly mistakes that can kill any chance you have of being successful with a property lead generation website. I talk about those in my book, Property Investment Hacking. You can get a free copy of that here.
You can get a free trial of a website for your deal sourcing, deal packaging, HMO, rent to rent or serviced accommodation business here.