Why do I not get any business response from my website? Can someone be brutally honest with me?

Asked by Danny Speagle, Denver, CO Fri Dec 14, 2007

It is at http://www.SpeagleGroup.com

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Ginger R., Home Seller, Massachusetts
Fri Dec 14, 2007
Hi Danny - Here’s an investor’s take:
Home Page: You have your “Limited Time Special Offer” in large type font. The rest of the page, which is the “meat and potatoes” of the business, is in tiny font, half the size. It makes it look like your business is all about the schtick of a “Limited Time Special Offer” and not a business of substance.

Investor Page: The mixed fonts makes it very hard to focus. You have not sold me in any way as to why I should use you. But you hit me upfront with an exclusive agency contract and a $500 fee. No thanks.

VC page: You should not have your request for funding on the same site as a consumer site. Consumers want to think that you are successful, not that you need money. You publicly state that it is 100% financed by you, so it looks like you can’t get funding. You will not get any VC $$ off this page, and you will lose some consumers with this page, so take it out.

About Us page: states that “THE SPEAGLE GROUP® is a team of licensed real estate brokers” and then goes on to list one person. It makes you look less than truthful because there is no team.
When you state, “Danny is an entrepreneur with an education…” It raises the question: Exactly what is your education? List your degree or take out this reference.
Investors themselves will in general have more education than non-investors. Honestly, if I am going to depend on a financial model to do “massive and complex computations” then I pretty much want to know where you got your PhD in math.

You are trying to reach the most sophisticated segment of the consumer population: the investor. Yet this is clearly an amateur website. This website looks like it was geared to a first time investor. Is that your intent?

The realtors gave you good advice. In addition, you are hawking a financial model without letting me see it. A case study on your website as an example, if done well, might help you. Might sink you, if not done well.

Honestly, I would look at other successful Realtor web sites in the area and model my site to look more like theirs, with traditional.Realtor stuff. I would make the proprietary financial model a part of it, maybe, but not the sole aspect that it currently is. You are asking me to believe in something that I cannot see, and you have given me no proof that you are particularly financially astute. You may very well be so. It just is not apparent from your website.

I applaud your request for comments and hope you have found mine useful.
3 votes
Danny Speagle, , Denver, CO
Fri Dec 14, 2007
I now see my website in a totally new light, thanks to each of you. I will make changes soon.
I left out many details that would have answered your questions on purpose, so as not to have anyone focus on any one thing.

As you may have picked up, I am in the middle of branding myself as a specialist that can help investors get the very best deals. I believe that I need to move my website to a hosted website that does NOT limit me to a template style. For Example: The green was the only green available where you could still see the text.

I want to genuinely thank each of you for taking the time to help out a fellow real estate broker with your excellent suggestions.


Danny Speagle
Web Reference:  http://www.SpeagleGroup.com
3 votes
Patti Pereyra, , Chicago, IL
Fri Dec 14, 2007
Hi Danny,

Okay, you wanted brutal honesty. I'll give it to you from my perspective.

I'm a Realtor but I'm also a consumer, and a big turn-off for me as a consumer is the self-inflated ego approach: "King of the Jungle", "WE do this for you", WE are the best"...

I think consumer-related websites should be customer-focused and not about how awesome the company is, if that makes sense.

By answering questions and providing information that your demographic seeks and not self-promoting, I think you will see more activity. Yes, it is important to brand oneself, but not at the expense of the consumer's needs. Consumers aren't dumb. They want information and answers, not to know how great you are.

You have found a niche market; if you could reposition the message, you'll have a hit.

I also agree with Jim about the color scheme. A little hard on the ol' eyes.

Hope that helps. Take it with a grain of salt, or to heart -- up to you.
2 votes
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Fri Dec 14, 2007
I only went to the home page:
1. The lime green type is too faint and hard to read. All the type is too small. There is insufficient contrast on the Link buttons.

Do you have counters? Are people going to your page but just not contacting you? If you are getting eyeballs but not phone calls, that will be a start - an improvement, but you still need phone calls (or respnse emails after you get those eyeballs.
2 votes
Carrie Crowe…, Agent, Southaven, MS
Mon Dec 17, 2007
I viewed all of the pages of your site. The lack of interest in your site is small potatoes if it is informative. I did not develop trust from you on first glance of your site, and as I viewed additional pages that never came. I think having a "success stories" section would go a long ways in helping your credibility. I did look at the site recommended by Don Tepper and immediately felt at ease. Don't ask me why. Maybe the site wasn't trying to sell me, it was just there to inform. It looks like you have a lot of good answers here to digest. Good Luck. Give us another holler after you make changes so we can give a second opinion.
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Dec 14, 2007
My reaction as an investor:

Yes, your site is ugly. The lime green, the "King of the Jungle" line (which explains the palm trees...I did get that), general lack of visual appeal. OK, all that can be fixed.

However, I disagree with many of the other comments here. Many real estate investors would be very interested in what you're offering. I'm in the Washington, D.C., area, and even most "investor friendly" Realtors don't do anything more than send out daily listings of MLS (here it's MRIS) properties. I'm very impressed by the service you say you offer and the guarantee.

One of the comments below said, in part: "So where’s the “High-Equity” homes and why is that so good? You trying owner financing, big cash back deals? Think they come off their price more than others? You don’t really explain this. And what’s with the “King of the Real Estate Jungle”? Stuff? Did you actually design this yourself or did you PAY someone to do this? And what’s so great about a “deal of the day” which is “Free so you can see for yourself how good we are at what we do!”? What do I have to pay to get listings I can get free everywhere else? WHAT DO YOU DO! "

Well, my reaction as an investor is: None of these is a problem. I know what high equity homes are, and as an investor I know why that's good. And I know that motivated sellers will come off their prices. Doesn't help if they're upside down, but if they've got a lot of equity, great. And why would I pay to get what others can get for free? Because, reading your site and seeing what other Realtors offer, I understand that you're offering a value-added service.

Now, the ordinary consumer wouldn't understand this, and the comments above would be totally valid. But that would appeal to real investors.

And that raises an interesting question: Who were the visitors to your Web site. If they were just ordinary buyers, or ordinary buyers who call themselves "investors," no, your site won't work. I suspect very few real investors were finding your site. And that means, in addition to cleaning up your site and making it more professional, you have to use it as part of an entire marketing approach to investors. Join one or more of your local real estate investor clubs. I've put a link below that'll take you to a listing of them. Consider even becoming a sponsor with one or more. Build a buyer's list of investors.

It's said that, in direct mail, the list is the most important component, even ahead of the offer or the method of presentation of the offer. I suspect that your weakness is that you weren't getting sufficient hits from the people who are your target market.

Hope that helps.

Don Tepper
1 vote
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Fri Dec 14, 2007
Hi Danny,

Just like a customer thanking their great Realtor, a thank you note is wonderful, so, you might want to give these guys some TUs, I think they are great! Some are brutally honest; but that's what we want, isn't it! I would love them to comment my website, but probably send me private emails!

1 vote
Mike Kelly A…, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Fri Dec 14, 2007
I cut and copied part of your front page and from just this portion I get confused!! Here's my "brutally honest" take on your site (my comments follow):

Starting Saturday, December 15, 2007 we will post the single "BEST DEAL IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE" in the Denver Metro area for everyone to see. This information will be free so you can see for yourself how good we are at what we do! When that property is snapped up, we will post how fast it went and then post a new "BEST DEAL IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE".
If you decide you are tired of fighting over these deals with others, then give us a call and hire us. We will immediately pause the offer and help only you!

The Speagle Group® is a unique company that helps Real Estate Investors find, analyze and buy the MOST UNDERVALUED PROPERTIES.
 Bank-owned homes (also called REOs)
 Foreclosures
 HUD homes
 Short sales
 VA-owned homes

Kinda sucks. Confusing for me and I’ve been in the business for 29+ years! Just what goes “find high-equity homes” mean? You’re working with Bank owned, foreclosures, HUD, Short-Sales? So where’s the “High-Equity” homes and why is that so good? You trying owner financing, big cash back deals? Think they come off their price more than others? You don’t really explain this.
And what’s with the “King of the Real Estate Jungle”? Stuff? Did you actually design this yourself or did you PAY someone to do this? And what’s so great about a “deal of the day” which is “Free so you can see for yourself how good we are at what we do!”? What do I have to pay to get listings I can get free everywhere else? WHAT DO YOU DO! If you get tremendous deals then how about some testimonials on the front page? “Danny got me the best offer ever on my 4-plex! It was 40% under market!!” Stuff like that. You have very little content. I also thought it was in Florida by the Palm Trees in the picture at top. And what does “pause” the offer mean?
You need professional help. Elance is an interesting web site where you can request bid for services. If you goggled “virtual real estate assistants” you’d get a ton of information for virtual assistants you can hire to work on your site, place automatic response, lead generation and capture, all sorts of cool stuff. But you need a redo brother!! I’ve got 5 sites and I try to cover a lot of ground. I just hired a new person to reevaluate the sites stressing lead generation, capture, follow-up and conversion!
1 vote
Debra Drummo…, , Plymouth, MI
Fri Dec 14, 2007
Hi Danny,

Like Jim, the lime green color combo leaves me a little cold. Also you have a pretty generic website, not much different from the regular Point2 template.

We also have a Point2 website, but I've invested a lot of time customizing with lots of info, relevant links, and personal "getting to know you" types of information. We've received numerous compliments from consumers on it being a great resource for them.

So bottomline...change the color, beef it up, and customize. Then promote your web URL on everything you do.
Web Reference:  http://MichiganMoves.com
1 vote
Gail Hiebert, , KCMO
Fri Dec 14, 2007
Danny, I've viewed your site a few times, just to get the feel of it. I like the clean look of it, the context is to the point, no frills, direct, very clean. I am puzzled as to why you would have palms trees in the sunset for Denver (?) That seems to be out of place, but it's not an image that would turn me off as a viewer. You have a specific targeted market here and that is where you need to direct your site. I would suggest that you get familiar with investors in your area by joining a few organizations that support investors and make yourself known. It's not quite clear to me from your sie whether you want to attract investors at large, or investors who are investors. You don't say how long you've had the site running, nor what paticular webmarketing programs you currently use. Both of these elements will have an impact on results.
Web Reference:  http://www.taxcats.net
1 vote
Joseph Salam…, , Gnd. Jct. ,CO.
Fri Dec 14, 2007
You have features but didn't see where your target benefit was. I didn't get anything from behind the scenes that a person of experience would provide. Like how does your guarantee work? What problems have you solved and can people testify to their satisfaction? “What’s in it for me?” from a specific target market perspective. How about an emotional profile headline? Tap into the excitement of investing and how it feels to invest with Speagle Group. Sophisticated people have egos so refinement and subtlety may be required. The body text should provide a one on one conversation with the visitor. Make them feel that you are speaking to them, like you are there with them. Avoid the first and third persons. (I and about you as if you were incarnate). Use many “you”, “yours”, “your” etc… Be friendly, which I think is a big part and felt that your websites attitude was somewhat cold and dry like reading a contract. Change is important and RSS feeds provide a sense that someone is there. Two way links etc…

Your site is simple, visitor friendly and consistent. As a sophisticated investor, it could use a little more style.

There are many books written on this subject. Millions are made on your question and people are extensively educated on the subject. The list of answers and ventricles to your question are huge. This little paragraph is only one small face value perk-up and observation at best.

Good Luck

1 vote
Francesca Pa…, , Monmouth Cty NJ
Mon Dec 17, 2007
Sorry for another post, but like I said I'm smack in the middle of revamping my site as well.

Here are some suggestions, add some RSS Feeds, your MLS button goes to Point2's NLS - pay for your local MLS IDX feed (mines costs $12 p/month) and revamp that source code!

keep in touch
Web Reference:  http://www.PatrizioRE.com
0 votes
Francesca Pa…, , Monmouth Cty NJ
Mon Dec 17, 2007
oops, didn't finish. . . .

I took a quick look at your source code and you have, ahhhhh, next to nothing that search engines will recognize the bring consumers to your site. Go to the Point2 Message Board, the SEO section. You will be overwhelmed with the info there to get you started and people are incredibly friendly and helpful.

Don't get me wrong aesthetics and much of what has already been said is important. I have had about 5 leads from my site, and 3 of them said they choose me because they like the look and feel and complimented my BROKER!!! I quickly corrected them.

Email me direct if you have any further questions.
Web Reference:  http://www.PatrizioRE.com
0 votes
Francesca Pa…, , Monmouth Cty NJ
Mon Dec 17, 2007

Being a former computer engineer, having a Point2 website myself and currently in the process of answering this same question, I am going to skip the aesthetics and get technical - SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
0 votes
Erika, , Montana
Fri Dec 14, 2007
I just tried to pull up your site and it said it's temporarily unavailable. I'll check back later.
0 votes
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