Let’s talk about your crappy website.
Or your non-existent one.
As I wrote in a recent blog post on BiggerPockets.com, “Beautiful websites serve the same purpose as incredible curb appeal: because first impressions matter.”
Today I’m going to teach you, step by step, how to create a website in just minutes using no code whatsoever. Seriously – you can be as clueless as my Mom when it comes to using a computer (I have so many funny stories …) and still make a professional looking website for your business. Consider this your Wix.com website-builder tutorial!
Why Do I Need A Website?
I have spent a lot of time over the past year learning about website design and marketing as I embarked on this journey to record my real estate investing tips, tricks, and strategies and share them with the world. In the process, I’ve learned an amazing amount of information about how business- in any flavor – works. I’ve learned about the psychology behind sales, presentation, design, and more. I’ve also learned quickly what turns people off and what can help close a sale.
Perhaps one of the most important lesson’s I’ve learned is that the online community demands a higher and higher standard of aesthetics and design. Gone are the days of flashy, glittery headlines and cheesy music when opening a webpage. Remember Myspace and how completely overrun with “bling” those pages were until Facebook came in with some order to the chaos?
For some reason, however, real estate investors seem to have missed that memo. I see page after page set up by real estate investors or real estate agents that look like a webpage creature out of 1997. The world is changing and the internet is becoming more and more of a requirement for any business to thrive – real estate included. Whatever your goals are in real estate – a well-designed website is going to take you there faster.
A well designed website is like beautiful curb appeal: it makes a killer first impression and draws people inside.
What Kind of Websites am I Talking About?
There are two different types of websites you might be looking to create as a real estate investor:
- One to get leads (“We Buy Houses”, etc) or
- One to sell a property (like 752WMarcy.com)
If you’ve been following along with the Marcy House Case Study, you’ll recognize my use of the second type of website as one part of my “Five Point Offensive Marketing Strategy” to sell the Marcy House. I built www.752WMarcy.com and began advertising on Facebook and other avenues to get people onto the site. My goal was simply to get as many eyes on the website to attract buyers to want to tour the home. The following tutorial is going to walk you through exactly how I went about making that website in just minutes with no coding required.
You can, however, use this same tutorial to make any type of website. Perhaps you want to make a web page to get leads for your wholesale business or your Realtor business. Maybe you just want to make a website that shows funny cat videos. You can do this too! So let’s get started.
The following is a video I created that will walk you through the entire process. If you are a video person, feel free to watch this. If you’d rather just read the steps, follow along below!
Step One: Go to Wix
Click here to go to Wix.com. There are many other choices out there for making drag-and-drop websites – but the thing I love about Wix is that they offer templates in the Real Estate industry as well as being really easy to use. This makes the process so much faster and easier. Additionally- you can create your website completely free and even host it free if you want it to look like www.wix.com/fjfknfnlkcrappyname (which you don’t, but you can start that way at first and upgrade later if desired) and have a lot of “Wix” ads (again – you don’t want this. Not a good first impression).
The benefit of this is that you get to test it out and see how well your site will look. If you want to upgrade, it’s like $9 a month ($100 per year) but that includes $125 in free advertising on Facebook and Google. So it’s a no-brainer.
Furthermore, Wix.com is also the only “Drag and Drop” website builder that allows your site to be built using HTML5. If you aren’t a techie – just know that this is the most modern version of web building and the best way for your site to look amazing, be picked up easily by search engines, and look great on any browser.
The link above or right here go to a landing page that looks like this:
Begin by clicking “Start Now” and register for an account with Wix. Remember, it’s free to register and build your site.
Step Two: Choose Your Template
You’ll now get to choose your theme. Since this is a real estate website, I’m going to recommend you click on “Business & Services” and then “Real Estate & Property.” (See photo below.) Obviously if you are making a website about something else – choose the category that fits the best.
You’ll then be taken to a list of many different themes you can choose from. Don’t worry too much about the words or the colors – because you’ll be able to change all of this later. What is important is the way the page looks. For example, if you are looking to create a “We Buy Houses” Site – you probably don’t need a template that is focused on photo galleries.
Search through the various templates to find one that stands out to you for your business. Click the “View” button below the template to see an example of the site up close. When you find a template you love, simply click “edit” to be taken to a full screen editor.
I chose the template called “Bed & Breakfast Com” because it contained all the elements for a home sales website that I wanted:
- Home page with a large photo and easy navigation
- A “photo” page that I could insert my own photos into
- Not too “busy” with texts and graphics
- A “Location” page – easily changed to fit my property
- A “Contact Us” page so viewers can email or call my Realtor without a hassle
Again, remember that what is written on the words don’t matter. You could essentially even choose a template from the “Retail and Fashion” or “Restaurant & Hospitality” category and probably make it work. The important thing is finding a template that contains the information already that you want to present. Once you choose your template, it’s time to begin editing. Don’t worry – this is the easy and fun part!
Step Three: Edit Your Home Page
Editing your template is extremely easy with Wix. Most items are able to be changed with a simple click. You should be on the full page editor, which should look like the template you chose. For example, the “Bed & Breakfast” editor begins like this:
To change things, simply click on the item and press “edit text.” For example, let’s start with the title. I obviously don’t want it to say “Country B&B” so I’m going to click those words and change them to something else. In my case, I want to change them to “752 W Marcy” because that’s the address of the home I’m trying to sell.
You can also delete items that you don’t want on your home page. For example, I don’t want to include the “Follow Us” links to Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ on my page since this is just a sales page for a home I’m selling. To delete those items, simply click them and click the small picture of the trash can. Simple as that.
Step Four: Changing the Template Design and Color Scheme
Chances are there will be design aspects of your site that you don’t love. Thankfully, Wix makes it super easy to change the look and feel of your website with just a few clicks.
To start take notice of the white buttons located at the top left corner of the editor (words in photo below were added by me to explain, fyi.)
These buttons are tabs that allow you to navigate different parts of your website design. These tabs are:
- Pages: This tab allows you to navigate to different parts of your website. You can jump from your “home page” to your “contact page” or any other page using this button. You can also use this tab to delete or rename pages from your website. For example, I decided to replace the title of the “About Us” page with the word “Features” and also decided to delete the “Rooms and Rates” page altogether because I could find no good way to use this page.
- Design: This tab allows you to edit the colors, fonts, and other design aspects of your site. Frankly – I don’t like the “Red” color that Wix provided in this template. Thankfully, Wix makes changing the entire color scheme extremely easy. With one action you can change the entire look and feel of your website (every single page!) Simply click the “Design” button and select “Color.” Wix gives you dozens of different color schemes to choose from. I love this because I don’t have to try and decide what color looks good with other colors. Instead, I just choose a color pallet and Wix changes the entire website to use this pallet. In my case- I simply had my wife (the beautiful side of our marriage!) pick out the most pleasing color scheme. We ended up with a pallet known as “Soft Wanderings.”
You can also change the family of fonts used across your website. To do this, simply click the Design button and select fonts. I ended up keeping the font that Wix supplied, but you might find a font you like better. Again – clean and simple is very important. This is not a Comic strip so stay away from Comic Sans.
- Add: Use this tab to add items to your site, such as photos, tables, and media. I used this on the “Contact” page to include a photo of my Realtor (R) Jason. You can add a number of different features, but be careful not to overdue it. Minimalism is key in modern web design.
- Settings: The “settings” tab allows you to change some of the “behind the scenes” functionalities of your site. You probably don’t need to worry about this.
- Wix App Market: Wix offers certain “apps” you can add to your site. You probably don’t need to worry about this now either.
Step Five: Upload Your Photos
Getting rid of the photos given by Wix and replacing them with your own is very simple to do. On any page, start by clicking on the photo you want to replace (such as the main, front photo of the Bed and Breakfast in the example) and click “Organize Images” (if photo is part of a slideshow, like the large picture on my home page) or “Change image” (if the photo is a stand-alone photo, like the three photos at the bottom of my home page or any photo found on my photo page.) The “Image Gallery” box will open.
You’ll need to add photos to your gallery at this point. Simply click the “Upload Image” button and find the photos from your computer you want to upload. Then select those photos to upload them to your “My Images” tab and select the photos you want to use (click on those photos and they’ll highlight with a blue border.) Easy as that- they are part of your website.
Step Six: Saving and Publishing Your Site
I once created and edited a video for a high school class that took three months to do. It was perfect and I had just finished when the computer crashed and I lost everything. Don’t let this happen to you – save your work! To save, simply click the “Save” button on the top right corner of the editor.
When you are finished with your website – it’s time to publish it to the world. Remember, Wix allows you to publish your website for free – but you’ll have two distinct disadvantages to your free site:
- An ugly domain name (www.somethingcrappy.wix.com/o2jr8ijf302f0…)
- Ads on your page (not professional).
So go ahead and publish your site by clicking the “Publish” button on the top right corner of the editor page – but I highly recommend that you pay the money and upgrade to a “real site.” With that upgrade – you’ll receive your very own domain name (like www.752WMarcy.com) as well as $125 in free online advertising (for Google and Facebook – an amazing deal!)
You’ll be presented with the option to upgrade when you publish. Simply click the purple “Upgrade Now” button to proceed.
Finally, you’ll be taken to the option page for your premium site. You have the choice to pay either monthly or yearly – but only by choosing a Yearly Savings Plan can you get the free $125 in advertising from Google and Facebook plus the free domain name. Plus, it’s cheaper in the long run.
You probably don’t need the “eCommerce” or “Unlimited” plan unless you are doing something a little fancier than I am. I chose to use the “Combo” plan which is currently just $8.25 for a total payment of $99.00 for a full year – including the $125 in advertising credits and the free domain name.
What Are You Waiting For?
You’ve got all the information needed to build an incredible website and begin building leads, sell your property faster, or advertise your business in whatever way suits you best. The steps are not difficult and you can have a beautiful looking webpage up in less than an hour for under $10 a month. There is no good excuse not to have one! You can play with the editor for free, get your website looking amazing, and only upgrade to the premium if you want.
If you have any questions, whatsoever, about building a Wix website – don’t hesitate to ask. Email me any time at Brandon@RealEstateInYourTwenties.com and I promise to respond and help you out. I might even be willing to build the site for you if you go through my link. And speaking of links -
In the spirit of full disclosure – the links to Wix.com used in this tutorial are “affiliate links” which means I will get a commission if you purchase through my link. However, your price is the exact same. If you’d rather just visit “Wix.com” without clicking through my links – no worries (I still like you!) I honestly just want you to succeed and have the best website ever. Even if Wix didn’t offer commission for referrals I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them or create this tutorial (it’s just a great bonus that they do!) However, if you found this tutorial helpful, please thank me by clicking through my affiliate link!
Thank you in advance for helping fund this website if you choose to click through my link!
Finally, even if you are not ready to build a website yet – I bet one of your friends are. Please do me a GIANT favor and share this article on your Facebook or Twitter account (click the sharing buttons below!). I want this post to reach and help as many people as possible and that can only be done with your help.
Thanks and Happy Investing!