Building a website is one of the most effective ways to advertise your apartment locating business. It can be very expensive if you decide to outsource the work, but if you know the right tools and have the desire you can get a lead generating website up and running in a matter of hours. Yes, it is a lot easier said than done, and depending on your niche, or if you are planning on going head to head with the big apartment locating firms out there, then you may need to pay for some services to get it generating leads. However, that is for another discussion. This article is about building an apartment locating lead generating website. It will talk about the foundational points that are needed just to get one up and on the internet.
First you will need to look at hosting companies. Hostgator is what I use, but there are almost as many hosting companies as there are websites out there. You will need to do some shopping for a hosting company that will meet your needs. The things you may need to consider are:
- How much you are wanting to spend?
- Website development software included?
- Are you wanting a shared server, VPS, or dedicated server?
- Are you wanting unlimited bandwidth and size?
- Some companies have better reliability and up-time for their servers
- Domain services, have your domain (which is the name of the website) hosted through a separate service or just with your hosting company?
- Email services
There are lots more determining factors, but these are the highlighted issues that need to be addressed. You can always switch hosting companies after you have built your site, but it is quite a pain.
Once you have selected a hosting company you will need to move onto building the website. If you literally have no computer skills at all, then a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) software like Weebly or Wix is going to be ideal for you. It is just like scrapbooking, where you can control the colors, text, and picture placement. It does have some limitations and you may be required to spend some money for a premium version in order for the site to be just what you want. Another alternative is to use a developer software like WordPress. It is known as a blogging software, but it is the most widely used web development software in the world. The capabilities are endless and free if you choose. There are endless amounts of youtube tutorials and forums on how to do just about anything with WordPress, and some will walk you through from beginning to end of building a site, like this one. WordPress is my recommendation if you are moderately savvy with computers, and have the desire to put in the work to figure it out.
Now that you are familiar with the tools to use, it is time to move on to the layout. For the marketers out there this is where you come in. You will need a home page, Faq, About, How it works, etc. but the real marketing comes in by building a lot of area, industry, niche, income level, criteria specific pages. Think of it like a fishing net, the bigger the net the more fish you can catch. This website needs to be covering all types of clients in order to cast a wide enough net to funnel the clients into your contact forms. These are called landing pages and the big apartment locating companies have thousands of them. Think of what a person searches for when they are looking for an apartment. “Cheap 2 bedroom apartment in Irving with pets” These are the specifics that people search for when they are looking for an apartment. You cannot build one page that covers everything and still get ranked high, so you need specific pages that target these people. Each landing page should have at least one “call to action”, a phone number, contact form, email, etc. You will also need a blog, where you can write and provide valuable information for your visitors which brings me to my last point, search engine ranking.
Building your website is going to be the easiest part of the entire process. What use is a website if no one ever sees it? That is where getting it ranked on the search engines like Google, and making it visible on social media really matters. There are articles and videos galore on the internet that will give you tips, tricks, and strategies to get your website Search Engine Optimized (SEO). Google Search Console is a good starting tool to get you pointed in the right direction. Just remember shortcuts will usually cost you in the long run, and be patient because overnight successes stopped back in the 90’s dot com era.
I hope this article was enough to get you started on building your own apartment locating lead generating website. I had to learn the hard way when I started building my first site 10 years ago with lots of mistakes along the way. There is no replacement for patience and continued hard work. Here at Spirit Real Estate Group we have several locators that generate their own leads and work for themselves. If you are interested in finding out more about broker sponsorship and being your own boss, just navigate over the the home page for more details