Marketing Via Website

Hi Everyone,

I was wondering if anyone has had success using websites to market to potential sellers, buyers or OPM investors. If so, how did you get your website(s) up and running? Did you use a pre-packaged version (something like Costco offers)? If so, were you happy with it, and are there suggestions of things to avoid? Did you do it yourself, or did you spend the BIG bucks to have someone do it for you?

Two Leos

I use my Web site solely as a lead-generator (to find sellers) in conjunction with Google AdWords and direct-mail.

I did it myself. Took a few hours, but I’ve been doing small sites on my own for a while. I used Dreamweaver, which is a WYSIWYG HTML editor. Hosting is on our own dedicated Web server.

I could not imagine being in this business without a Web site. It’s like not having a business card.

I think you should have a different Web site for each market (sellers, buyers, etc.).

Nice simple website, Paul. Do you get a lot of business from it? I’ve never found my website to be a good source of seller leads and I’ve tried a lot of different designs. Some with lots of information, some with the bare minimum, sometimes attached to my buyer site, sometimes separate.

A site without any marketing behind it will probably not get very good results. I run a pretty comprehensive Google AdWords campaign, and I get a few leads per day (maybe 2-3, on average), although most of them are not good for what I am trying to do. I would say that I spend about $500/month on paid search ads with Google.

I can’t build my whole business around the paid search effort, but it’s been effective from a cost-per-closed-deal standpoint.

Like Paul, I too have incorporated both PPC and direct response websites to attract attention, educate and maintain an ongoing relationship with visitors.

After testing, my personal perference are offers to educate.

Here is one of my sites that I use for lead generation and education based marketing:

One of the main considerations you must give (whether you go turnkey or custom) is how are you going to capture visitor’s information so that you can maintain and continue a dialogue?

I accomplish this by offering to educate (by way of free reports).

It works for me (and many others) and it might be something you should consider in your endeavors.


Scott Miller

I get about 3,000 hits a month but hardly anyone fills out the forms or calls.

Scott, correct me if I’m wrong but it sounds like you’re saying the leads you get online are long-term? That is to say, you have to keep in contact with them for months or years before they’re ready to do something, is that right?

I’m used to doing business with people who are ready to go or will be in a short time (weeks at most). I have to admit that I don’t have any drip campaign set up for those who may come around someday.

Hi, Doug -

Would you mind sharing the link to your site? I didn’t see the URL in your profile. I’m just curious to have a peek is all.

As for the hits, you may know this, but depending on what you’re actually being given for reporting, a “hit” can be any served image or file request from your site. In other words, if you have a page with 30 images on it, that could be construed as thirty “hits” (31, actually, including the .html file). If someone look at ten such pages, that’s over 300 hits.

What you really need to be sure you’re looking at is visitors, preferably “unique” visitors at that.

Sorry if you already know all of this, but your number of 3,000 just struck me as high, unless there is some reason why so many people would come to your site each month. A hundred people a day, all without a paid search campaign…that just seems like a big number considering the business.

As for drip campaigns, it all depends on what you’re trying to do. I can see dripping working in a direct-mail environment, and depending on your goals, it could certainly work in an online environment, too. Scott is proof enough of that. For me, though, I am looking for people who need to sell a house fast–like right now, today, gotta get busy–so for them dripping is not necessary for me to convert them.

If I were in lending or real estate sales, I’d probably be more concerned about a long-term touch program.

Paul, it’s

You’re right I just double-checked my site stats and last month’s “hits” were 2,228 but “visits” were 574.

Same here, I look for sellers who are ready to move in no more than 30 days. At this point by far my best results have come from phone prospecting, besides, you can’t beat the price.

I’ve never got a deal or even an appointment from the website and I’ve had it for at least 5 years. The website is outstanding for bringing buyers to the table, but for whatever reason it hasn’t worked out on the seller side.

A couple of thoughts…

I would have a different site for your sellers. The only copy on it should be about getting rid of an unwanted house.

Also, I’d be less overt about what seems to be your primary strategy, which is managing the lease-option process for your “sellers.” I think people are not in the mindset that this is the solution they want…they want to sell, not lease, their house.

I’d just offer copy that says that you can solve their problem (which is basically that mortgage payment), so “contact me today” to set an appointment or get more information. I’d use a form just like you are now.

Getting people to buy in to the lease-option exit strategy is not something I think you can do on a Web site. People need to be educated. Your site’s goal should not be to educate about lease-options but simply to harvest leads. You offer a solution…no need to say what the solution is right there at the onset.

For lead generation, you might give Google AdWords a try. If you need help, let me know. No charge.

That’s a lot of hits…what’s your actual conversion rate (how many people out of possible 3000 take action)?

The site I used to illustrate my point could be quantified as a long term approach; I target home buyers in the early stages of the decision process (information gathering is the basis of a decision and the Internet is synonymous with info gathering) and I currently use three tier approach of lead fulfillment; on-demand, short term (targeted tips/advice based upon their initial interests) and long term (monthly newsletter).

I am marketing to both “now” and “later” audiences (with a looming reference to referrals), and it seems to generate a fair cross reference of response.

That being said, it is one of my weakest marketing systems, but serves a final purpose…provides me a platform to stay in their radar for the lifetime of the relationship (or until opt out).


Scott Miller

Paul, I have certain requirements which must be met before I’ll consider doing business with someone. The first and most important is whether or not they’re willing to rent their house out. If they’re not then I don’t want them to contact me.

I do the same thing on the phone. It takes me about 1 minute to process a lead on the phone because I only ask 3 questions. Are they the owner/decision marker? Are they willing to rent? When do they want to sign?

Scott, none. I suppose it’s possible that all of the sellers who go to my website aren’t interested in renting, in which case I’m glad they don’t contact me. But considering the 30 - 40% conversion rate I’m getting on the phone these days I find it hard to believe that out of all the sellers who visit my site no one is interested.


I think you’re answering your own question here.

On the one hand, when you get people on the phone, you have a great conversion rate.

On the other hand, when people come to your site, they don’t fill out the contact form.

I truly believe that you should use the site solely for the purpose of getting them on the phone, because it’s clearly on the phone where you can make the most progress with them.

I maintain that people are coming to the site not with the idea that they should rent their house, and when that’s pretty much all they see, they pass.

I would set up a site that is dedicated solely to sellers and speak only about how you can solve their problem of the monthly payment. Then, when you have them on the phone, you can work your magic and get the 30-40% close rate that you’ve been managing.

At the very least, I think it’s worth a test.

Oh, one other thing…even if someone does not want to rent their house, many of them will be good prospects for other people, and those people may pay you for those referrals and leads.

Hi everyone, I am new here, but, I have a thought to share for marketing online to. If you use adwords, you can create an ad for a specific house and target buyers by setting up only keywords that are specific to the home you are selling. Make sure that the landing page for the ad directs people directly to the listing page for the house you are selling. I have had some success with this on a couple of hard to sell condos.

Paul, you make some excellent points that I will take to heart.

Ryan, that’s a good idea too. I usually use tons of signs for selling/renting houses but as you point out in some cases that’s not as useful as others.