Building a Profitable Website

If you are reading this article hoping to get rich quick, well, sorry to disappoint you. Making money with your web site is no different than anything else. It takes hard work, time and some brainpower if you really want to reap large dollars from the Internet. Yet, for just a small investment, you can have a profitable web site.

Basic Web Sites

First, to make money with a web site requires having one. Contrary to popular belief, your site does not have to be fancy and expensive to be profitable. A simple site with a few pages is enough. The goals for a basic site should be to:

  • Create a professional image
  • Improve your name recognition
  • Reduce expenses
  • Increase listings
  • Increase sales

If you are on a budget, save money by reducing the size of your site not the quality of the design. The number one purpose of your web site is to create a professional image. Real estate agents drive nice cars and wear nice clothes to project a professional image. Yet, when it comes to their web site, many times it looks like a Chevy Cavalier. For those of us with RJ45 jacks instead of bellybuttons, your web site is the equivalent of your car and your clothes. It is a client’s first impression of you. Make it a good one!

Are you wondering how your web site can reduce expenses? A web site that does not produce one listing or one sale should still pay for itself in cost reductions. Many real estate professionals save time and money by putting forms and documents on their web site. Instead of mailing information, the forms and documents can be downloaded directly by the user. In the case of a distant buyer, the web site becomes an easy way to instantly share information on available properties.

Your investment can be as little as $500.00 and then about $25 per month for the site-hosting fee. You can spend more money – a lot more. However, spending more without a clear business plan in place is probably a mistake.

Analyzing Site Traffic – Web Statistics

Any quality web host provides reports about visitors to your web site. These reports are called web statistics. If you are serious about making money, you should review your web statistics every month. At first, it will be depressing because you will not have much activity. Over time, your site activity will increase if you market your site. For more about marketing your web site, please see last quarter’s article in the Observer.

Your web statistics are like an electronic customer satisfaction survey. The statistics tell you where people go, how long they stay and what they download. From this information, you can revise your site to include information visitors want.

Mailing List Managers

Commercial real estate attracts repeat customers. A satisfied commercial investor will want to know when you have a new investment property for sale. A quality web site will come with a mailing list manager that will let you do just that.

A word of warning: Sending unsolicited emails is against the law and annoying. Use mailing lists with care. Always ask permission before adding an email address to your mailing list. Even if the email is solicited, it can still be annoying if sent too often or if it does not contain quality information.


A profitable web site does not require a large budget. It requires your time and effort to think about your goals. A smaller, more professional site is better than a large, poorly designed site. Consider how your web site can reduce operating expenses. If you religiously analyze web statistics and provide quality information, your site will make you money from the very start.

Editor’s note: Doug Turner is a practicing attorney in Golden, Colorado and a guest columnist for the Observer. Doug is also the owner of Evergreen Management Company, a virtual web design and management firm. Evergreen is the web master for the S.E.C. Observer, and designed and manages the S.E.C. Observer Web site for the Society of Exchange Counselors. Information about Doug’s law practice or Evergreen’s services can be found at We encourage you to contact Doug at or 303-273-2923 800-850-0607 fax 720-746-3027.

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