If you’re getting into the real estate business, you’re going to need a website. You already knew that, but do you know how to build a website? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t even know where to start. That’s okay—your job is to find, fix, and flip houses, not to write code for websites. Fortunately, thanks to WordPress and other content management systems, you don’t have to do any coding at all.
This is pretty great news if you’re new to the real estate investing business and you don’t have room in your budget to spend a few hundred or thousand dollars on a web designer to create a site for you. So how do you get started, and how do you make a professional looking site that your sellers and buyers will take seriously?
Claim Your Domain
The first step is to buy your domain name. For example, if I were just getting started, I might buy DougHopkins.com or DougHopkinsRealEstate.com. You can choose from a few different sites to buy and register your domain name, including GoDaddy, 1&1, and HostGator. Go to one of these sites, enter your domain name, and pay for it. This won’t cost much, and it’ll register your domain for a year (or for as long as you decide when you make your purchase).
The next step in creating your real estate business website is to get hosting. What’s that? Basically, hosting services provide server space so that you can upload web pages, files, and media for your website. Without hosting, you can own your domain name, but it won’t show up online.
You can get hosting services from the same site you bought your domain name from, or you can choose a different one. I prefer to keep it simple and buy hosting from the same site I registered with, but it’s up to you.
Start Setting Up Your Real Estate Site
Once you have hosting, you’ll be ready to start creating your site right away. You could use another content management system, but WordPress is the most popular and will do everything you want without a lot of hard work or a big learning curve. To access your site, you’ll just follow your hosting provider’s instructions and log in. Then you’ll need to install WordPress, and you’ll be on your way.
Choose a Theme
WordPress offers a lot of ready-made templates (they call them “themes”) for websites of all kinds. There are even some that are specifically made to work best with real estate websites. Choose one that you like best and then customize it as much as you like. There’s no code involved. It’s all drag and drop, and you can change basically whatever you want.
I do recommend going with one of the paid themes, as they have more functions and features, and your site will look more professional and clean when you get done.
Keep It Simple
As you customize different parts of your site and add content, remember to keep it simple. You want your content to be clear and compelling, and you want it to bring in motivated sellers and buyers to see the work you do. You also want to have professional, high-quality images throughout your site, and video doesn’t hurt either. But don’t go overboard with a bunch of different fonts, pop-ups, and other extras. You want your site visitors to see who you are, what you do, and why they might want to do business with you. If they can’t get that information right away, your site is too busy.
Use these tips and you’ll be on the road to a great real estate website in no time.