If you have found this blog and are interested in it’s content you likely have already set up a Google My Business page, aka a GMB page. This is great news! Now you want to find out how to optimize it. Simply creating the account isn’t enough to cause a major increase in the visibility of your business and get those leads coming in.
If you don’t already have a Google My Business page yet, you missed a step! Before reading on, shift gears and take a look at this blog explaining how to create a Google My Business page. Follow the guide there to set up your account and then feel free to come back here to learn more about how to take full advantage of what having a GMB account has to offer.
Now that we’re all on the same page let’s talk about some important ways to improve your GMB account, actively engage with potential clients, and properly manage the account day to day.
Ask for reviews!
Reviews are what many people look at first when making a purchase or selecting a service company. Researching and choosing a real estate agent to work with is no different. Purchasing a home is quite possibly the biggest financial decision a person makes in their lifetime, therefore having the right real estate agent to support them in this transaction is an extremely important decision that is going to require some research.
Reviews have the power to influence client decisions and also have the power for boosting your credibility. Positive reviews can build client trust, and they encourage other people to interact with your business.
Who do you ask for reviews? Anyone who has been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to work with you, or see how you work!
Of course, the most relevant people to start with are your clients. Both past and present! Send an email to your clients with a link to your Google My Business page and ask them to take a few minutes to share their experience. Tell them you hope that their experience with you is worth a 5-star review. If for whatever reason their experience was not 5-star worthy, this will give you a chance to gain valuable feedback, correct actions, and make improvements for the future.
The list however, does not just stop with the people who have actually bought or sold their home with you. Feel free to ask other industry professionals including; co-workers, cooperating realtors, lawyers, mortgage brokers, etc that you have worked with throughout the buying or selling transaction. These people can also all speak to their experience with you and your professionalism first-hand.
If someone has already left you a review on another platform such as Zillow or Realtor, copy and paste that review into an email, send it to the person, and kindly ask if they wouldn’t mind reposting the same review to your Google My Business page as well. This way they don’t have to re-create a brand new review and their review can have more of a positive impact on your business.
Don’t be afraid to ask for these reviews! Obviously use your judgement when asking for a review. If you dealt with a particularly unpleasant client or cooperating agent (we all know they exist… and I bet you can come up with several specific examples right off the bat) don’t ask them! If you know they will have nothing nice to say (despite your best efforts and professionalism) don’t waste your time reaching out.
Respond to all reviews
Now that you’ve successfully contacted current/past clients and other industry professionals the 5-star reviews are starting to roll in! Great job, read them and give yourself a pat on the back. It is always nice to receive praise. But don’t just sit there and bask in the glory of all of these amazing reviews. It is time to RESPOND to all of them.
Make sure to set some time (weekly at a minimum) to respond and interact accordingly with all of the reviews you are receiving. This shows you are actively engaged with the account and all of the people that took time out of their days to write to you.
Sharing your appreciation of the feedback helps to present you as being personable and humble as well as sets you apart from the competition. Even if your reviews are only a 5-star rating with no comment, a response is still required. A quick “Thank you”, “I appreciate you taking the time to write a review”, “It was a pleasure working with you as well”, etc. can go a long way.
GMB also allows you to filter by “Replied” and “Haven’t Replied” to make sure you don’t miss responding to any reviews!
Writing a detailed description
Developing a detailed description gives you the opportunity to further communicate to potential clients and tell them more about you, your business, and why you are the best! It gives you a chance to make an impression on potential clients before they even meet you. This section will appear on your GMB page near the bottom under a heading that says “From [you/your business name]”. You can create this description in the “Info” tab of your GMB account.
Use this space to tell potential clients about who you are, your passion for the industry, what makes you better than other realtors, and why they would want to work with you. Also specifically mention the areas you service and specialize in as well as what type of transactions you do (residential, commercial, leases, etc). Make sure to also include words like “realtor”, “real estate agent”, etc. Using these types of keywords will help to make your page that much more relevant to client searches and easier for Google to pull up when the searches are made.
If you have an “About Us” section on your website you can use some ideas from here but don’t just copy and paste the section word for word, get a little more creative than just that!
Insert a link to set appointments
In this day and age, people always have so much to do and never enough time to do it. You want to avoid having potential clients click through multiple pages of your website to find a spot to contact you and then having to wait to hear back from you. They will likely miss the call back and you will be stuck playing telephone tag for days. Or if they email you, you run the risk that the email will end up in their junk folder. To make things that much easier for clients, provide a link to quickly and easily set and confirm an appointment time, whether it is in person or over the phone. This can also be found under the “Info” tab. Here you will find a section to paste in you appointment link.
If you don’t have a Calendly account (or similar appointment setting account) already set up, you can insert a link to your “Contact Us” page. That being said, having a specific appointment setting account can help to eliminate some of the contacting issues listed above. It also looks more professional and can help you to better organize any incoming appointments.
Make sure all your contact information is accurate
How can you expect clients to be able to reach you if the contact number you have listed is one number off and belongs to your “number neighbour” or your address is for the dry cleaner down the street?
This may seem like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised with the number of accounts that do have inaccurate information. Your GMB profile and your website, and all social media platforms for that matter, should all have the exact same contact information. The name of your business, your phone numbers, address, email, etc. Same numbers, same spelling, same everything.
Even if you think all of your information is right, take a minute and give it a second look. You want to ensure that contacting you and finding you is as easy as possible to avoid any confusion and frustration for clients.
Add a question and answer section
Ever had a question to ask but were afraid to do so because you thought it was a silly question? Including a Q&A section on your GMB page allows you to reduce that fear for clients.
Buying or selling a home is not something people do every day, every week, or every year for that matter. There are also a ton of first time home buyers out there who have no idea how to even start the process. Buying and selling a home is something you, as a professional realtor, have major expertise in. Share some of this knowledge with your clients! Seeing your answers may help to calm their nerves about the process, but also help to build their trust in you before they are even picking up the phone.
While this is a platform where people generally ask you questions that you can then provide answers to, you can also write your own questions and respond accordingly to get the section started.
If you are not sure what to include, consider asking friends, family, or clients about some of the important questions they had or may have when considering a move, or selecting a real estate agent to work with. There may be questions around how the home buying or selling process works, whether or not you are available evenings and weekends, or even what documents people may need before starting the search.
This is a beneficial way to communicate with potential clients and a great way to show off your expertise in the real estate game!
Add relevant photos
Including photos on your GMB page is a great way to show off you, your team, and what you are all about. It also presents you as being more personable when clients are able to put a face to the name. Keep in mind, this section should not just be used as a photo dump… Make sure that the photos you include are relevant and will stay relevant.
This section appears at the top of your GMB profile so it will likely be one of the first things anyone notices about your page. Important photos to include are: your logo/branding, professional headshots of you and your team, as well as photos of the exterior and interior of your office. Be sure to also showcase homes that you have recently sold or purchased, even include happy clients (with their permission of course)! Also consider watermarking each photo with your company branding.
Do not use any stock photos in this section! Also try to avoid posting photos that require an explanation and whose purpose is not inherently clear. For example, if you host a fundraising BBQ in the neighbourhood, do not post photos here of happy clients eating hot dogs and burgers (unless of course you have branding all over). Instead use these unique and one-off event photos in a “Post” to your page. This will allow for a lot more context and a lot less confusion. We will touch on this Post section next
Create new posts weekly
The Posts section of GMB is another great feature to take advantage of. Think of this as being similar to the newsfeed section on Facebook or other social media platforms. I’m sure you are already familiar with this, and have probably seen great engagement results from posting. This is a perfect way to show your activity in the real estate industry in a unique way without redirecting traffic to your social media pages.
You can use the Posts section to include similar content to what you may be posting on your social media pages. Here you can write about any important topics you see fit, from the best places to live, best things to do/eat in your area, or interesting updates on the real estate industry, in your area specifically. You can also showcase properties that are coming soon, new listings, just sold, just purchased, etc. You can even promote open houses, upcoming events/community involvement, and any awards that you may have received. The possibilities are truly endless!
It is a good idea to try and post something new weekly, or biweekly at the very least. This helps to keep your feed relevant and show your activity in the industry.
Go one step further and create a Bing Places account
In addition to having a Google My Business account, another smart way to gain more online visibility is to create a Bing Places account. While Google Chrome is the default browser on many computers there are other popular browsers out there. You don’t want to miss out on people looking for homes in your area because they searched on Microsoft Edge as opposed to Google!
Similar to a GMB page, this profile will appear on Microsoft Edge internet searches. Bing Places allows you to import your Google My Business profile for quick and simple set-up. So once you have taken our advice in setting up your GMB page, creating this new account should be a breeze!
Put it all into action
If you’ve made it this far, go ahead and give yourself another pat on the back. Five-stars to you for investing the time in learning how to optimize your Google My Business profile. This is a lot of information to take in, especially all at once.
Now that you’ve spent the time learning all these tips and tricks, it’s time to put them into action. We can teach you, but we can’t do the work for you!
Once everything is in action, make sure to keep up with the different aspects of the account as well. Especially the reviews and posts! These are ongoing tasks that need to be incorporated into your schedule weekly.
Implementing and utilizing these tools on your account will not only help to improve your online visibility, but it will also present a professional account and impress potential clients with your knowledge and organization.
Invest the time and you will see results. Best of luck with strengthening your profile!