Are you interested in leveraging your own website with your business? If so, this episode is right for you! Todd Heitner is an expert who brings a lot of value to investors like you. In this episode, He shares how you can become a trusted authority online so you can set yourself to success. Todd recommends that you have a team to work with and showcase them on your website’s About Us page to make consumers feel comfortable about you because people do not invest in the deals; they are investing in you. Todd has a lot to share with you, so if you want to hear more of what benefits you could get from being a trusted authority online. Tune in to this episode today!
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Create A Website And Become A Trusted Authority Online With Todd Heitner
We have an expert that is bringing a lot of value to the multifamily network investors, even single-family investors. Todd, I want to welcome you to the show. Thank you for being a guest. It is such an honor to have you.
Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Not to dive in, but do you mind giving a little background for our readers about where you came from, what you are doing, and what led you to where you are now?
I was always interested in websites and wanted to figure out how they worked. As a hobby, initially, I started learning how to build websites. I started working with somebody who taught people how to invest in real estate. That is how I got into that space. We started building websites for single-family investors and later branched into multifamily investors. I learned all about that space. I have been building websites for real estate investors for several years now.
Why is it important for these investors to have a website?
If you say you are a business and you are buying real estate, people expect you to have a website because you are saying you are a company. A couple of quick statistics. Eighty-five percent of US consumers base all their decisions on online research. Seventy-three percent of people won’t deal with a company that doesn’t have a website.
By not having it, you are setting yourself up for failure. It is an important part of your credibility, whether it is single-family or multifamily. Nobody wants to be scammed. If somebody has a website that looks professional and they puts a lot of effort, time, and money into it, that signals that this is somebody you can probably trust. They’re not a wannabe who is starting out.
They are a serious person.
If you are investing something into your company and you are treating it as a business, that makes it a lot easier for people to trust you.
Are there any other additional benefits to having a website aside from credibility and being a trusted authority in your area?
There’s a lot. One is lead capture. You can only be available for many hours a day. Your website can capture people’s contact information 24 hours a day. It also saves time because a lot of things can be automated. Even giving information to people, you can have a frequently asked questions page that saves you from answering each of those questions every time. Other educational content that educates people. Even with your follow-up process, you can automate it. If you have a website, you have a way to put people into a system.
You can build authority through your website by having valuable information. People look to you as an authority in that topic you can produce. Things like blog posts, videos, and you can do podcasts. All of that can be put on your website. People will see that you are producing this content. That helps them see you as an authority or an expert on the topic.
It lets them get to know you. Every website has its own little character in a sense.
Video is a great way to do that because you see a face and some personality. It is not a cold website. That has a corporate feel but you have a person behind it. The important point is to have a good About Us page on your website. In tests that we have done, our About Us page is the most visited thing. Most people click on that when they come to our homepage. The same thing is true for other people because we all want to know who we are doing business with and who is behind this company. Having that lets people get to know you and having some videos can do that too. You can share some personality and let them see you as a real person.
Do you find that there is something common or that a lot of investors make the mistake of doing their website?
There are a lot of common things I have seen. One is trying to do it yourself for a couple of reasons because it is not a great use of your time and energy trying to build a website. A lot of people get in over their heads. I know one investor who said he built his own website. He said it took him ten months to build his website.
You can see the complicated side of it.
They are going to be focused on your website and neglecting other parts of your business that you need to be spending your time on, or you are going to be focusing on those things, and the website gets put on the back burner. Not having it finished makes it harder to get the deals and things because it is harder for people to trust you. Why put yourself through all that? One thing is trying to do it all yourself. Another thing that people mistakenly make is using cheap web hosting. It seems something I have to have. I will get the cheapest thing.
I like to compare it to rent. You can get the cheapest rent possible, but you might not like the neighborhood you rent. You are going to have problems and bad neighbors. When it comes to websites, your website is hosted. You might think of it like an apartment complex. You are on this machine with a bunch of other people. By going with the cheapest, you are choosing bad neighbors. A lot of the other ones that are on that same machine might be sending out spam emails. Even not maintaining their website and it gets hacked can create problems for your website too. It can slow it down, your emails aren’t going through, and things like that. That is another common mistake.
The website plays a major role in your business. It is safe to say, “It is an intricate piece and the introduction of who you are.” It is your business card almost.
It could be your online face in a way, and in a lot of cases, it makes the first impression on people. You want it to be there when you try to go to it. You don’t want it to be slow and things like that. Another common mistake I see people make is not having an effective way to capture leads. When you go to a site, there should be some way to capture people’s contact information or somehow move them forward in the process you want to take them through. I have seen a lot of websites where there is not anything like that.
The only option is to book a call. That is okay if that’s the only thing you want to do, but people like options. Have some way for them to get more information on their own without doing a call because some people don’t like doing calls. You might have a lead magnet, like a free report or something they can sign up for, and they can learn more on their own, which also gives you their contact information. It gives you a way to follow up.
Ideally, I would automate that process. If somebody opts in, they put in their name and email for this thing. I’m sure you will get their email, but you want to also put that into an email marketing system where they get a series of emails. They get educated. They learn about you and your business. All that can happen automatically because if you depend on yourself to do it every time, it is not going to happen consistently. The final mistake is not marketing. As soon as people put up a website, thinking that it is a replacement for marketing, it is not. It is one piece of it. You can’t put it up and expect people to find it. You got to put in some effort, time, and money to get people to your website.
I know you do websites for single-family and multifamily. Multifamily is a hot niche. Syndication is very popular. I know it is rising even as we sit here on this interview. Are you seeing in your business any persuasion towards multifamily over single? I know this is like an out-of-the-world question, but I’m wondering. Do you find more people are doing multifamily over single? I’m curious.
More are doing single-family because it is a little more accessible for more people. I see a big trend toward multifamily. Some people are starting out with multifamily, whereas in the past, everybody had the single-family mentality to start out. You have some single-family investors that are transitioning to multifamily. It is more scalable. You have 1 roof to fix instead of 20 roofs in maintenance and things like that. There are a lot of tax benefits. There are a lot of benefits to multifamily. It does seem like I have seen growth on that side of it. More people are heading in that direction.
I was curious if you were seeing that.
It is something that I feel like I didn’t hear that much about. Several years ago, it seemed like single-family was more popular and accessible. More people now are thinking multifamily. It makes sense. The more you learn about multifamily, the more you see why people are going in that direction.
Are there significant differences in what you may make sure to have on a multifamily website that you might not necessarily have on another kind of website? Is there a little bit different protocol and information? How does that work?
Compared to single-family, there is a big difference because sometimes, as a single-family investor, you want to be perceived as a guy or a girl that buys real estate that buys houses. For a long time, you were like, “Mike buys houses.” You are that person. With multifamily, you don’t want to be the only person. If somebody is thinking about investing, they don’t want to put all this money into one person because what happens if that person disappears or something happens to them? I have heard stories of things like that happening. It is always recommended to have a team and have other people.
It is good to have people that you work with and have an About Us page that showcases your team and who you are working with. People can get to know you and feel more comfortable. About Us is always a good idea, especially with multifamily. People aren’t investing in the deals. They are investing in you. They have to believe in you and that you can do what you say you are going to do. Trust is such a big part of that and you have to focus on that. There are other things too. The overall appeal of the website is maybe a little different. It needs to be polished. A lot of times, it has a corporate look.People aren't investing in the deals. They're investing in you. Click To Tweet
The aesthetics are a little bit more in-depth and detailed.
Yeah, unless you are going after a certain market. For example, I have seen investors maybe are moms that are in business or something like that. They might have a little bit different appeal to their website. In general, if you are raising money, typically, a little bit more polished corporate-type look is the most common.
Especially with raising private capital, it makes complete sense. I’m going to ask you an off-the-cuff question, not one you are prepared for, and I’m trying to think of what it is. What, if any, was your dream growing up? When you were a kid growing up, were you always techy and gifted with that skillset and knew somewhat of the direction would be this way? Were you like, “I have pre-med and I’m going to go to medical school?”
I have always liked technology. When computers first started coming out, I had them in school. I was always fascinated by them. I was excited when I finally got a computer. We finally got dial-up internet at home. It was exciting.
Do you remember Frogger? I love that game.
I have thought about and considered other things because my dad had a cattle ranch. He wanted me to go into business with him. I tried that for a while, and it wasn’t for me. A lot of work and not a lot of money. I always liked working with technology, and I was always going toward that. When I was younger, I wanted to do something with music. I used to record music as a hobby. I have gotten out of it. I’m trying to start getting set up to do that.
That is something about you that nobody would even know. I got to ask this, then. What is your favorite movie? You can tell a lot about somebody’s character when they answer what their favorite movie is.
I like comedy movies. I always like some of the classics like Dumb and Dumber and those things. I can watch them a bunch of times and still get a laugh. Otherwise, that nerd side of me, I like Star Wars.
We like Star Wars in this household too. I always got to ask that. It is fun to know a little bit about people.
What about you? What’s your favorite?
I have a few but one I can watch over, and it is the oldest of the movie, is Grumpy Old Men. I can watch Shawshank. That is given. I like a lot of war movies too. I’m an action girl. Going back to the real Todd and where you are at in your business, is there any one person that has been most influential to you that, without a doubt, has supported and been there and impacted the road you are on now?
There have been a handful of different points. The guy that gave me my first web design job was influential. It wasn’t even that long. It was a guy named Doug. He put me in touch with a guy that was teaching people how to invest in real estate. That person was influential too. That was a turning point for me. I saw there is this whole real estate investing world out there, and they all need websites, which is something I enjoyed doing. That gave me a way to do something I enjoyed but also help other people and fill a need that was there. That was a big turning point.
Later on, learning about internet marketing was a big turning point. It’s like, “You have this idea, but how do you turn it into a business?” There were a lot of internet marketing people over time, but one that I always liked learning from was Jay Abraham. He is a classic copywriter and marketing guy. I learned a lot from him. There are several pivotal points where you have contact with somebody who pushes you in a different direction and see how it takes shape over the years.
I know you have been doing very successfully. I hear nothing but good things about you from our peers and industry leaders. For our readers, if you are interested in anything that Todd has gone over, he is going to give you a free checklist. You can get that at UndergroundWealthSecrets.net/7points. We are going to have a link that goes directly to what Todd was reviewing on the websites, and that will be UndergroundWealthSecrets.net/Todd. Talk to me, Todd. I call you up and I’m like, “Todd, I’m an investor. I have 8 to 9 houses. I don’t have a website.” What are the first three main things or suggestions you would tell me?
The first thing is to find out how you are buying them and how many you are doing it. Some people don’t need a website if they are doing one deal at a time. They have this deal, buy it, fix up over a year and sell it. They might not need a website. If it is an active business, not like a side thing, you need to have a way to keep leads coming in. Have some marketing going to keep that going because you don’t want to wait until you need a deal to start finding the deal. It takes a while. If you have stuff in the pipeline all the time, that can help with that.
I do suggest to you having to separate things out. Sometimes, people have one website for everything. It is better to have one for motivated sellers that is separate where that is all that is there and have a separate one for buyers because you can scare off your sellers if they see that you’re wholesale, rent-to-own, or lease option stuff. They might be scared off because they don’t understand how that works. They are afraid of something they don’t want to be in. It is good to have separate websites for those things.
Keep sending people to your website and have as many different pieces of different types of marketing out there as you can. Of those different lines in the water, you don’t know where the fish are going to bite that day. If you have as many out there as possible, then when somebody comes along, you are going to be more likely to find them.Keep sending people to your website and have as many different pieces of different types of marketing out there as you can. Click To Tweet
Have a variety of different ways to find leads. You can do social media, posting online, or paid ads. All of those are different lines in the water. Wherever the fish are that day, you have a way for them to find you. We try to do that with our own business. We have tried to be in as many different places as we can. We do podcasts, blog posts, and YouTube. You never know. It all adds up, and maybe you don’t get a lot from one source, but all it takes is one sometimes to get a good deal.
Before we close, Todd, do you have any closing words you would like to share with our readers?
Website is something that maybe you don’t want to have to think about it, but it is something that you need. It is something that we would love to help people with if they need that. They don’t have to think so much about it because they can check that off on their to-do list and move on to other things that they need to spend their time on that nobody else can do. There are always things like that.
Keep in mind that the website is a good start, but you also need to do marketing. You need to get people to it. In general, with your business, focus your time where it needs to be. Don’t try to do things that somebody else can do maybe better because that is what they do every day. Focus your time where you need to spend your time and let other people handle what they are good at. You do what you are good at.
For the free Seven Point Checklist, go to UndergroundWealthSecrets.net/7points. For more information about the websites we discussed, you can go to UndergroundWealthSecrets.net/Todd. Thank you so much, Todd. It has been such an honor having you on. I always love when we get to connect.
Thanks. I appreciate it. I enjoyed it too.
We will see you next time.
About Todd Heitner
Todd Heitner has been helping real estate investors tap into the power of the internet for over 18 years. His focus is helping investors boost their credibility and automate their business. His companies, Apartment Investor Pro and Done Deal Website, help RE Investors get their website up and running in as little as a day, which you to focus your time where it should be – on finding deals and investors or scaling your business.