Tips On Building A Real Estate Referral Site...

Question - Having read your latest email on "Finding your profitable niche" I am not sure whether it is better to find out what is in demand and then create the product or use a new slant on my existing experience.

I don't mind creating a website with a completely different subject that has demand if that is thought to be better as the experts seem to be telling me.

I want to use SBI for what it has been designed and I am not sure my existing business model suits it.

To change my business model to suit it, I think I need to write a website with powerful one page sales letter on the benefits of buying a property with the purpose of harvesting their name, telephone and email address in exchange for a free information pack on "The do's and don'ts" of property buying.

I then give this info to a local agent and make a shared commission when he sells a property. It is a bit of a numbers game and I have to rely on them to close the deals.

Do you think this is the best way of getting prospects contact details?

Answer - You are absolutely right to be cautious when selecting the niche and the focus of your new site.

Make sure that people are actually searching for real estate in your area online (like you say, find out what people want, then give it to them) and there is demand for many keywords before you proceed or even the best site will struggle.

Use the Brainstormer to make sure there is enough demand for keywords you can use to build content pages to make sure the niche is viable.

Search engines are only part of the mix and we will be using articles and press releases later on once your site is up (these visitors will usually arrive on your home page), but if there isn't any online demand, better to find out now before you start.

There are many niches where there is huge offline demand but nobody looks for them online.

I would imagine there will be people looking for real estate in your chosen area online, but you need at least a few hundred searches a month over all your keywords (because you have high commissions you can have less than a typical site which usually needs 10,000 to 100,000 or more searches a month) to make it viable.

I agree that capturing your visitors name and email address is the right goal for your site, but only using the one page sales letter format will limit your chances of doing this because of the difficulty of having that one page found by people looking in the search engines.

Yes your home page should be a powerful, persuasive sales letter format unlike the typical Real Estate site for people who land on that page (most people arriving at content sites from search engines like the ones SBI makes typically arrive on pages other than the home page) but you need many lines in the water (lots of keyword focused content pages) to attract visitors to your site from search engines as well.

For example, your page on travel hotspots in your area will introduce visitors to the sights and sounds of where you live and then mention your free report on investment opportunities in this rapidly rising real estate market.

Visitors just enter their name and email address into your form on that page and are sent the report or information pack (at least some of it in .PDF format, downloadable from your site to give your readers instant gratification) where they can read about the opportunities on offer and the do's and don'ts of buying there.

You could not only cover all the property related keywords related to your area for content pages (plus related words the Brainstormer finds for you) but you could target these other niches as well over time.

One of the best ways to do it is with the free information pack you mentioned. Documents in .PDF have a longer shelf life and can be passed around between friends giving you even more exposure.

Here's another related answer that may also help.