rental property investing

How to Create a Real Estate Website

One of the best things I ever did as a business owner was create a real estate website to generate leads for my business.

The internet is an incredible tool to use to your advantage and by having a website, you are in front of potential business clients, partners, etc. 24 hours per day.

I’ve been fortunate to earn thousands of dollars as a result of having websites and today’s article is going to help you get started with your website so you can profit from it too!

Before we jump into today’s guide, I want to make you aware of some guides I’ve previously written on this website as well as my other website AskNickFoy.com.

Ask Nick Foy is dedicated to teaching internet marketing, social media, and other online business topics so feel free to stop by if you want to learn things that will help your real estate business related to online marketing.

The guides to read in addition to this article include:

Why You Should Create a Website for Your Real Estate Business

Professionalism:

By having a website, your business will seem more professional and official. It’s also an easy way for someone to learn more about you and your business.

In addition to giving someone your business card, you can also mention to them about visiting your real estate website.

Access to Buyers & Sellers:

In today’s world of technology, more buyers and sellers are starting their real estate searches online as highlighted in this article by Real Estate Agent U.

Whether they are looking for homes for sale or searching for a local real estate agent, the internet is the first place they usually head to.

This can be an advantage for you because you can get in front of these people and get more deals as a result. Make sure you place your contact information in multiple places on your website so it’s clearly visible.

Automated Lead Capture:

You website is a great tool for getting motivated seller leads as well as building your buyers list. You can build separate web pages that target each group specifically.

For example, you could have a page that tells sellers that you buy houses cash, like we explain in our We Buy Houses Cash Website article you should read here.

Then you could place a form on the page they fill out with their information so you can get in touch with them and make an offer on their home.

Your website can become a great way to capture online leads for you so that you spend your time on other tasks in your business.

How Much Does a Real Estate Website Cost?

A lot of beginners want to start a free version of a website but this is a bad idea for several reasons that we will get to below.

First we need to layout the parts of a website you are paying money for so you can see the difference below when we discuss the free version.

When you start a professional self-hosted website, you are paying for the domain name URL (Ex: Under30Wealth.com) as well as website hosting, which is the server that stores your website files.

Website hosting can run as low as $2.95/month if you use this link to purchase hosting through Bluehost, which is the company I use and absolutely love.

A domain name usually costs around $15 per year.

When you combine the two, you are looking at a grand total expense of around $50 to $80 per year depending on your hosting plan you decide to purchase.

Not bad at all!

Why You Shouldn’t Use a Free Website Service

#1: No Control

When you use a free website service, you don’t own your website like you would if you bought a self-hosted website. This means your website could be shut down anytime and disappear, which could be disastrous for your business.

#2: Limited Features & Functionality

You’re also limited to the features, plugins, and functionality of your real estate website when you use a free website service.

With a self-hosted website, you get access to all kinds of plugins which are website software add-ons that add awesome features and functions to your basic WordPress real estate website.

For example, you could download a contact form plugin that allows you to create customized contact forms for your website.

Or you could download a social media plugin that allows you to display all the social media icons that link out to your profiles to drive traffic to your social media accounts.

#3: Professionalism

With a free service, you don’t get your own custom domain name.

Instead it will have an extension added onto the end of it, which clearly signals to others that you are using a cheap, low quality service.

For example, with a paid website you could have your own custom domain (Under30Wealth.com) but with a free service your domain would say (Under30wealth.wordpress.com).

#4: Peace of Mind

Overall, you’ll have better peace of mind and be happier with a self-hosted website. All of the extra features, functionality, and professional design will be well worth the small cost it takes to have a self-hosted website.

How to Set Up a Self-Hosted WordPress Website for Real Estate

Now that we’ve gone over how much a website will cost you per year and why you should have a self-hosted website instead of a free website, we can start the tutorial on how to set up your WordPress real estate website from scratch.

You don’t need any technical knowledge or website experience to get started.

Setting up a website is easy if you follow this step by step guide I’ve created for you.

I didn’t have any website knowledge when I first started, and I still don’t have much to this day.

All I’ve had to learn along the way was how to use WordPress, which is really simple.

I created a step by step tutorial for beginners on how to use WordPress that you can read next to learn WordPress.

Step 1: Purchase Website Hosting

Your first step is to click this link to get taken to Bluehost where you’ll select your website hosting plan. They offer plans where you can pay by the month or by the year. The more months you purchase upfront, the lower your monthly rate will be.

The basic plan allows you to have hosting for one website. The two upgraded plans allow you to have unlimited websites on the same hosting plan.

I purchased the Plus Plan since I’m running multiple websites but if you’re just starting out and only need one website, you can start with the Basic Plan ($2.95/month).

Step 2: Choose Your Domain Name (Website URL Address)

As you’re purchasing your hosting plan, you’ll get brought to a page that allows you to purchase a domain name also. Depending on your hosting plan, your first domain name should come free with your hosting plan, saving you $15.

Think of a website address that is short, memorable, and relates to your business. Usually, you’ll want it to be your company name and if that doesn’t work then consider making it your first and last name. (Ex: NickFoy.com)

Step 3: Install WordPress from Your Bluehost Account

Once you finalize your purchase, you’ll be sent your login details for your Bluehost account. Sign in to your Bluehost dashboard and find the Install WordPress icon. It usually is found in your cPanel and is an orange colored icon.

Step 4: Login to Your WordPress Real Estate Website

Once WordPress completes installation, you’ll receive your login email and password as well as the URL address that takes you to the login page. Visit that URL it sends you and enter your login information.

Once you are logged into your WordPress real estate website, you are ready to begin customizing your site.

Watch this 1 hour tutorial showing you how to use WordPress so you can start editing the settings, installing a professional theme, adding web pages, downloading plugins, and more!

In addition to that 1 hour tutorial, I also have my epic guide I created for beginners that walks you step by step through using WordPress.

Read: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Using WordPress

Step 5: Choosing a Professional Theme

The website “theme” is the design template that makes your real estate website appear professional and pretty. It’s also what makes websites look different from each other.

I recommend starting with the Genesis Theme Framework.

real estate website

It costs $60 to purchase as do most of the professional themes you come across. Then it’s up to you if you want to play around with the framework and customize your website yourself or hire a website developer to design your website for you.

If you outsource the design work, then expect to pay $30 to $50 per hour using a freelancing site like Upwork.

When I built my websites, I used the Avada Theme which can be purchased from Themeforest.com for $50.

I had to learn how to use the page builder to add text boxes, images, YouTube videos, etc. to my website pages, but if you’re crunched for time then I advise hiring out the real estate website design.

It may run you $300-$600 depending how complex of a real estate website you are trying to build.

Adding IDX integration to your website so it’s connected to the MLS if you’re a realtor can add complexity to your real estate website.

I do website development on the side for extra income for clients so if you’d prefer to work with me over a freelancer on Upwork.com, contact me via email about helping you at [email protected]

Step 6: Start Your Blog

At this point, you’ve purchased hosting and installed WordPress.

Then you logged into your WordPress real estate website and customized the settings.

You’ve also selected your theme and had your real estate website custom designed by a freelancer who does web design for a living or you chose to do it yourself.

Now that your real estate website is set up, you want to start a blog and share helpful articles that will attract readers to your website.

A blog helps build your credibility as readers will get to see what you know and if you provide helpful articles, they will start building trust in you as the go to expert on these topics.

A blog is also good for announcing investment deals you have for sale.

You can create a new blog post for each property you are selling that gives all the details about the home, photos, and maybe even video. We recently started doing drone video footage in our marketing videos!

Step 7: Optimize Your Website for the Search Engines

Lastly, you’ll want to optimize your website for Google, Bing, and other search engines. This is known as SEO in the internet marketing world. Check it out for yourself.

Type into Google right now the following term “SEO for Beginners”

You’ll see lots of helpful articles pop up for that search term to assist you in learning SEO practices that will optimize your real estate website for the search engines.

Why is this important?

When you write blog posts, you’ll want Google to index them into their search results so that your articles can show up when people search terms and phrases similar to your article’s content.

This is how you’ll get found by local people searching things on Google in your city.

For example, you could write different articles targeting motivated sellers in your city that have certain keyword phrases and terms the seller would likely search in Google. Here is a list of terms:

  • Best real estate agent in _____ (city name)
  • How to sell my house fast
  • Motivated seller looking to sell fast
  • Homes for sale in _______ (city name)
  • Best marketing tips for selling my home fast

Start off making a list of things someone would search Google for in your area related to real estate and begin writing articles related to these searches.

If done successfully, you’ll begin ranking your real estate website on Google’s first page of results and getting clicks to your website.

Check out my blog over on AskNickFoy.com where I share tips on SEO as well as other strategies for getting traffic to your website.

Step 8: Market, Market, Market

Now that your real estate website is set up and you have a blog going, you need to dedicate time weekly to marketing your business.

Learn how to become a successful marketer and generate lots of leads for your business by downloading my ultimate guide to finding real estate deals.

This concludes my tutorial today on How to Start a Real Estate Website for Your Investing Business.

We covered the following:

  • Free vs Paid Websites
  • How to Purchase Hosting
  • How to Select Your Domain Name
  • How to Install WordPress
  • How to Login to Your Website
  • How to Select a Theme and Design Your Website
  • How to Start a Blog
  • How to Optimize Your Website for SEO
  • How to Become a Successful Marketer & Grow Your Business

Be sure to check out our additional resources and guides below. If you enjoyed this article, please share it! I greatly appreciate your support and spreading my content to your friends and followers. Looking forward to your success!

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