The best way to drum up interest in your real estate business used to be by putting an ad in a newspaper, or flashy signage.
But now, it’s all about showing up in online searches. Open a new tab and google professional services in your area (i.e. “Macdonald Realty” with your location). What do you see? There’s a prominent section near the top of the page with the business’ phone number, hours of operation, customer reviews, contact information and – most importantly – a link to their website. This business’ information is placed at the top of the search results page because Google recognizes you’re searching for a particular business.
Google Business Profile Benefits for Real Estate Agents
When you want to research a business on the internet, you don’t open a phonebook. You don’t Bing it. You Google it.
Similar to a great website, setting up a Google Business Profile is crucial for real estate agents looking to improve their online presence. Your Google listing is often the first impression people get of your real estate business online (even before your website).
Advantages of setting up a Google Business Profile include:
Exponentially increases your visibility in local search results.
Any marketing professional will tell you that ranking on the first page of Google is a battle and the victory is getting to the top. If you’re trying to get noticed and rank organically on the first page for popular industry keywords like “real estate agent near me,” it’s not going to happen overnight – especially if you’re just starting your real estate career.
When someone searches for real estate services, they’re often looking for an agent in their area. To ensure they get relevant search results, they add a location to the end of the search term (i.e. “Vancouver”). This is called a local search.
A Google Business Profile listing is more likely to appear when people perform local searches. These appear below the paid ads section and above the other organic searches on Google’s first page. Talk about prime real estate!
Access to valuable statistics
The insights it provides can tell you valuable information. You can see how often your business is viewed in search results and how customers are interacting with your profile listing. These metrics give you a clear picture of your profile’s effectiveness and if there are any areas that need improvement.
Hosts your business details in one place
When you search for something online, chances are you want the answer right away. You’re not interested in engaging in a virtual goose chase.
When people look you up, whether they’ve heard about you or you showed up in a local search, they likely will move on if they can’t find what they’re looking for upon first scan.
A Google Business Profile provides a comprehensive snapshot of your business in one convenient location, making it effortless for potential clients to find and learn more about you:
- Business Details: This information – name, address, phone number, and website – is presented prominently, ensuring that users can quickly locate your contact details.
- Photos and Videos: Visual content offers a glimpse into your services, and the overall atmosphere of your business.
- Description: This is an excellent space to convey your unique value proposition and give potential customers a better understanding of what you offer compared to other real estate agents.
- Reviews: Google Business Profiles display customer reviews and ratings, allowing users to gauge the quality of your real estate services based on the experiences of others. Positive reviews can significantly influence potential clients.
- FAQs: People can ask questions about your business, and you can provide detailed, helpful responses.
- Website Integration: Remember how people don’t want to spend time clicking around to find information? Link your website to your Google Business profile, creating an easy path for users to explore your business further and access additional information.
- Posts: You can share updates, blogs, and news about your business directly on your profile. These posts are a valuable way to keep customers informed and engaged and can even direct them to specific webpages.
Filling out your profile with valuable information provides Google with data to better understand your data. This allows the search engine to match your profile to relevant search queries, and present it in local search results. In other words, maintaining your profile will give Google the information it needs to place your business profile in front of the right audience.
Setting up a Google Business Profile
Creating a good Google Business profile is so straightforward that you can check it off your to-do list in no time. It’s a powerful way to get discovered by people searching for real estate services in your area and probably the best bang for your time.
Now that you know what it can do for your business, let’s get started in setting up your Google Business Profile! First things first, go to google.com/business and sign in with your business email.
Type in your business name to see if there’s an existing Google profile that you need to verify. If you see your business, click it and skip to the verify your business section of this guide. If not, click “add your business to Google” and proceed to step 1.
Step 1: Build your business profile
Type in your business name.
Pro tip: Use your local area as a keyword inside your business name for more organic traffic!
Choose what category your business falls under – you’ll likely choose “real estate agent.” This will help you get discovered on Google Search and Maps.
Do you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?
Yes! This is how you show up on Google Maps and in “product or service near me” searches. Choose “no” if you don’t have a physical business space.
Do you also serve customers outside this location?
Are you a mobile business? Do you work in a number of neighbourhoods or perhaps you meet up with clients for appointments? You can always change or add more later.
What contact details do you want to show to customers?
Here’s where you’ll add your phone number and website so people can get in touch with you.
Finish and manage your profile
We told you it was easy to set up! Let’s move on to verifying your business.
Step 2: Verify your business
Now that your account is set up, you’ll need to verify your business in order to show up in search results. The verification process helps Google make sure your business information is accurate and that only you, the business owner, have access to it.
There are a few methods to verify your business, though Google uses its own algorithm to determine which method you should follow.
Since your phone number is required to set up your profile, this is the easiest way for Google to verify your business. You’ll receive a code via text within seconds.
No need to call in the production crew; this video is only used for verification purposes. This method can be useful when adding a physical real estate office, otherwise phone verification is easiest.
Step 3: Optimize your business profile
Once you’ve verified that you own the business, you’re ready to start making the most of your profile! Here are some simple ways to optimize your profile to help you stand out:
Regularly update your profile
With a Google Business profile, you can’t just set it and forget it. When things change in your business – office address, phone number, website URL, business hours – be sure to update your Google Business profile right away. Consistent management of your profile will result in ranking higher in searches and, ultimately, an increase in traffic without spending a dollar!
Take a look at this RealtyNinja customer’s Google profile. Notice how he keeps the “updates” section, well, updated by sharing his recent real estate listings. This signals that he is active, responsive, and committed to providing excellent service.
Adding photos is a great way to present yourself visually – upload photos of you working with clients, your team, or office space. Stay away from using stock photos or images with a lot of filters. Google is trying to represent your business as it appears in the real world.
Check out how David Hutchinson shares a combination of video and photos.
Photos add visual appeal to his Google Business profile, making it more attractive to potential clients. His high-quality images show off his branding and professionalism and can provide a positive first impression, enticing users to learn more about his business. Even more, posting images of available properties can generate interest and provide an immediate visual connection.
Get Google reviews (and reply to them!)
Think about this: when you shop for products or services online, what is the one thing you do before you check out? Read customer reviews. Social proof from other satisfied customers is very influential for consumer decisions.
Start by asking your long-time, loyal customers to leave a review – they’re usually more than happy to pay it back after working with you for so long! Look on your dashboard for “Get more reviews” and share this link with your past clients.
Don’t forget to respond to reviews! Tania King does an excellent job of this, as it shows that they are actively engaged with their customers and value feedback. It creates a sense of community and appreciation, making customers feel heard and acknowledged.
Tip: Do not try to get a lot of reviews in a short time as that will come across as spam or suspicious to Google. We recommend gradually asking clients each month so you can get a steady flow of natural reviews.
Add a description about your business
The description field is a chance to show prospects who you are and what makes your business unique. Enter a brief description of your business: awards you’ve won, areas of expertise, or anything else that’s helpful for potential clients to know.
This description, although only a few sentences, can be a vital asset that helps you stand out from the competition. This is where you want to balance showing your expertise, your personality, and your authenticity so people get a sense of what kind of real estate agent you are.
Think about the words customers would type to find your business, and make sure your description includes those keywords. A few essential keywords to include would definitely be “[your area] real estate agent” or “real estate services in [your area].”
Something to consider
With so much market saturation and competition in the industry, it’s important to build a brand that sets you apart. Everyone brings a special something to the world of real estate that another person needs.
When people discover your business profile, they’ll probably do a bit more research and check out your website. You want to make sure your site is making a strong first impression. It’s the tool that prospects will use to evaluate you and decide that you’re the right agent for them – it’s the most a client can come to meeting you in person… without actually meeting you in person.
Have you experimented with setting up a Google profile for your real estate business? Or have you found it helpful for your own personal needs? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!