Top 10 Things Online Investors Need
There are more and more individuals investing in real estate online today than there has ever been before. Known to many as virtual investing there are certain things needed to be successful. I'll outline these 10 things you need and why they're so important.
A website is the key to your virtual investing. To be honest even if you only invest locally in your area a website gives you an advantage over every other investor in your area that doesn't have one. Why? People tend to look up information for what they want or need, more and more online and if you have a presence there it helps you.
Your website also is your business card on the internet allowing you to do business with people all over the world. Because of this you want to make sure your site looks professional. With a site your reach is far greater than those who only use signs locally.
A blog allows you to write about your experiences and the knowledge you have. It also allows you to market yourself and your business on the internet. Utilizing a blog correctly lets your readers know you're an expert in your field and also you're someone they should or could be doing business with.
From your entries on your blog you can increase a potential clients comfort level in dealing with you. It's also a great way of making new contacts within the industry.
Websites and Blogs can now be a 1 stop shop. I recommend using a WordPress Platform for this purpose, it makes it easier to setup and maintain. If you're not sure how to go about this I have found a site where they will do your website and blog for you. Check it out HERE.
This is the company where your website and blog will be hosted/stored so people can visit your site online. Getting a hosting account is good for several reasons, you can place videos, documents, forms, applications, pictures, PDF files and more on your account so visitors or clients can obtain them.
I recommend using http://hostgator.com because they have great service and I've never had a problem with them. Select the "baby" plan and use the coupon code "for5pennies" so you can get your first month of service for 5 cents.
An email autoresponder is needed for several reasons. You can place signup forms on your site, this way all the visitors who come to your site can sign up and now you have a way of contacting them to let them know what properties you have to offer.
This type of system also will organize your list for you freeing up your own personal email. It allows you to write 1 email and send it to everyone on your list, most personal emails systems will only allow 500 emails to be sent within an hour, with this you avoid that.
I recommend and use http://aweber.com but there are many other services out there.
The name alone says it all. If you're not using it you need to start today! Facebook has over 1 Billion users…… You heard me correctly 1 Billion with a B. Just imagine the reach you could have being able to connect to this many people.
Facebook is like a FREE advertising billboard all over the world. It will let you connect to people within your community who use Facebook as well as those within your same niche or industry. If there is 1 drawback to Facebook, it only allows you to connect to 5000 people with your personal account. So, if you're from a large community you may need to create multiple accounts or better yet create a Facebook Fan Page for yourself or your business. Read more about Fan Pages HERE
Go to http://facebook.com to get started.
It has the second most users next to Facebook on the net, so you know it's a powerful tool when used correctly. It's like a mini blog of sorts. It allows you to make small posts and have all your followers see it. The best part is when your followers begin to retweet your post so their followers see it also, greatly extending the reach of your message. Here is a simple tool that allows you to get your message retweeted, and the best part…… It's Free! http://retweet.it.
When using Twitter you can greatly increase the traffic to your site or property advertisements online. I found a great article that goes more in depth on how to do this, it's called Blowing Up Your Blow With Twitter. There is also great resources on apps and tools to use on Twitter to make your experience easier and more enjoyable.
Go to http://twitter.com to get started.
Joining forums may seem like a waste of time to many but it's actually worth the time and effort you put into it. Forums are topic specific sites that allow you to connect and network with others interested in your niche. Here's the best part…… Active Investors tend to visit them often reading what has been posted by the members. This is a great way of potentially obtaining new investors to your list or getting leads from other forum users.
These are like mini-forums. groups may be specific to a city, state, style of investing or a group of people. Sites like Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL and other investment sites have real estate groups. When investing over the internet your reach needs to be as large as it possibly can.
Some of the better groups I've found have been real estate groups on Ebay, Craigslist and Facebook.
You will need a good computer or laptop because you will spend some time on it getting everything together. You want to make sure you have one that will allow you to do all the things you need to do without it bogging down or locking up on you. I have a friend who purchased one of those economical laptops and he lost everything several time. Within 1 year he had to take his laptop back for repairs 5 times. Luckily for him he purchased the insurance and was able to get it replaced. Guess what he did. He upgraded to a better computer.
I recommend going with 1 of these laptops because of their quality.
Stay Away From Acer and other lower level computers.
The MOST IMPORTANT piece to the puzzle. Your marketing plan is the thing that allows you to put everything together so you can get maximum results from your efforts. Make sure that everything is tied together, so when you post on your blog it will automatically go to the other sites you're on. This will save you time so you don't have to log into each account and post the same thing over and over again.
There are many things that go into a marketing plan and I could make an entire post just about that. To save some time and to hit on the main points here are a few pointers.
- Make sure your user name and email is consistent over all sites. This makes it easier for people to find you.
- Provide attention catching titles. Something that will make people want to read or see what you have to say.
- Use pictures and video. People are visual.
- Provide contact information or redirect people back to your site.
- Make sure to target your specific audience. The effects of marketing real estate to a scrapbooking group will not be as effective as it would to a real estate investing group.
I invite you to give your feedback.