#1 Hyperlocal Strategy for Real Estate Agents
It’s hard to express how excited I am about Google Business Profiles for real estate agents in 2024. I’ve pivoted my entire business around the insane potential of this digital marketing strategy, especially in terms of ROI.
If you’re not making the optimization of your Google Business profile an absolute priority for 2024, you’re missing out. If you’re not convinced, I’ve lined up the 10 biggest reasons this strategy deserves your undivided attention.
This article is the first in a 6-Part series teaching you everything you need to know to dominate hyperlocal search results and get warm leads running after you.
The Power of The Local Pack
Google Business Profiles are all about “local intent searches”. That simply means someone googles in hopes of finding a product or service geographically close to them.
Common real estate examples would be “realtor near me” or “homes for sale in San Diego.”
Here’s the important part. 93% of local searches include the Local Pack as the top result. This is what the Local Pack looks like.
For 93% of hyperlocal searches about real estate professionals, the way to appear #1 is not your website (although that does play a role in your GBP ranking).
The main thing that matters is your Google Business Profile. Simple enough, right? Now let’s get into why you need to focus on this strategy right now.
10 Reasons to Optimize Your Google Business Profile
1. There are far more local real estate searches than you might expect.
I bet you wouldn’t expect a staggering 46% of the 8.5 billion daily Google searches in the US are local searches.
There are currently 465,000 monthly searches for “houses for sale near me”, which is 13 times as many as there were in 2015. There are also 336,000 monthly searches for “homes for sale near me”, which is 21 times as many as there were in 2015.
The main takeaway for this data is the overwhelming number of local Google searches. As even more proof, the Google Maps app was the most downloaded navigation app last year.
The vast majority of real estate agents are doing relatively nothing to get a slice of this enormous pie.
2. Local keyword searches about finding agents are growing at an astonishing rate.
Let’s focus more pointedly on the best local keywords for generating leads as an agent. There are about 47 times more searches for “realtor near me” compared to 2015. The numbers jumped from under 600 to more than 28,000 in that time.
Additionally, there are 41 times more searches for “real estate agent near me” compared to 2015. Here the numbers spiked from under 400 to 14,000 per month.
The first takeaway from these metrics is that lots of in-the-market prospects search Google for local real estate agents. Even more impressive is the huge growth of Google Maps and Local Packs as a source for finding a realtor.
The second set of keywords (“realtor/agent near me” rather than “homes/houses for sale near me”) is an even stronger indicator than the first set of keywords that now is the time to claim and optimize a Google Business Profile.
A much higher percentage of these users will use Google Maps and the Local Pack selections specifically to find an agent.
3. Only about 20% of real estate agents have claimed their Google Business Profile.
I couldn’t track down exact statistics for this, but I can make a very educated guess from my extensive personal experience. I would estimate only 20% of realtors have a GBP. I would not be surprised if the actual percentage is even less.
I would estimate that the majority of that 20% do not have the knowledge or resources to properly optimize their profile. There are some that have been wise enough to use platforms like BrightLocal or Whitespark.
BrightLocal and Whitespark, two Goliaths in the GBP Optimization world, have about 200,000 clients combined. Only some of those clients are agents, agencies, or brokerages.
Let’s be generous and say all of those clients are real estate professionals. That still only leaves 5% of agents taking GBP optimization seriously.
I want to say that again. An estimated 95% of agents do not take the most worthwhile hyperlocal digital lead generation strategy seriously. The professional real estate community has always been behind when it comes to leveraging technology for success.
In other words, there’s huge opportunity for agents who start leveraging this strategy now. Take advantage of the fact that competing agents are behind the times.
4. Google Business Profile leads are high-quality.
As you can imagine, the pool of prospects searching for “realtors near me” are higher quality than most other lead generation pools. Even better, these leads are much more likely to visit your website or pick up the phone.
Agents that are clever enough to add a Calendy or Hubspot link to schedule a call will enjoy even better conversion rates.
5. Google Business Profile leads are inbound.
These prospects aren’t people who signed up for your email because you have a strong lead generation magnet on your website. They aren’t looky-loos who took your business card at an open house. They are warm leads knocking on your virtual door.
By the way, you can download, distribute, and use our ebook below in any way you want with no strings attached. Just don’t sell it of course.
FREE eBook - 300 Ideas to Sell Your Home Faster
300 Ideas: Use this extensive checklist of the smartest home improvements, listing process hacks, and more to help clients and delight prospects.
You don’t need to be convinced of the advantage of inbound leads over running after prospects through texting or email campaigns. It’s a no-brainer.
6. GBP is a fantastic way to generate seller leads.
My consultation calls (Schedule one here!) tend to be an echo chamber of agents asking how to get more listing leads. Guess what my number one response is.
If you’ve spent any time researching online how to get seller leads, you’ve probably been underwhelmed by the ideas. Most suggestions are work-intensive, ineffective, or both.
Common advice includes finding a new niche, converting rentals into leads, joining a team with well-known listing agents, cold calling, sending postcards, etc. In a word, disappointing.
The best way to get inbound seller leads in 2024 is a killer GBP. Like I said, the amount of people using local Google searches to find a real estate professional is booming. That trend will only continue.
7. It’s free to set up and manage.
The fact that this benefit is so far down the list is a testament to how many amazing reasons there are to get on board.
You can find all the basics and plenty of advanced strategies for realtors on the InboundREM blog (by the end of 2023). If you want to go at it alone, we’ll arm you with everything you need to know.
However, if you prefer to outsource this task to hyperlocal search experts, thereby doubling down on actualizing your potential, InboundREM provides this service. Later in the article, we provide a brief case study of client success.
We charge $1500 for the setup and then $500 per month after that. Given the typical ROI, that’s honestly a damn good deal. Feel free to schedule a free consultation for more information.
8. GBPs are an evergreen lead generation strategy.
This is another huge benefit. Once your profile is strong, there’s not a great deal of work necessary to maintain strong rankings.
You will need to continue generating strong reviews and updating your profile according to the best practices. But overall, a strong profile will run on its own momentum.
9. If you start now, your competitors will face an uphill battle to overtake you.
Reviews are one of the biggest factors in determining your local ranking. On one hand, that may come as a bit of bad news if you don’t have any yet. Reviews take time.
However, this is also great news for those agents who stop procrastinating today.
Many competing agents who begin a year or two after you will have to go through the same review building process. The key difference will be that you have a head start while you’re still moving forward. The sooner you begin, the more impossible it will be for latecomers to ever catch up.
Again only 5% of agents currently leverage this strategy well.
It’s also important to note that not all reviews have the same value. For example, a 5-star review with 200+ characters that includes local place names and a long response from you is way more valuable than a wordless 5-star review.
Your competitors will naturally understand this, but there’s a good chance they won’t know exactly what makes a perfect review for boosting hyperlocal ranking.
If you follow our coaching or use our services from the beginning, you’ll accelerate faster than your competitors and make it even harder for latecomers to catch up.
10. There are highly effective tools for actualizing GBP potential.
At InboundREM, we use the BrightLocal platform in combination with our deep expertise in hyperlocal SEO to hit grand slams for our clients.
There’s no need to take my word for it. Check out the massive growth we created for Bret Wallace of Fort Bend, Texas. Below is an image of where he ranked across a local grid for the search term “Fort Bend realtors”.
In July 2023, he made a mediocre impression for people searching within less than a mile of his business address. Check out these data maps from BrightLocal.
Now check out what happened after InboundREM took over his GBP. He dominates his farm area for this local Google search. The already expansive grid is too small to demonstrate the extent of his hyperlocal dominance.
Skyrocketing to the top took only 3 months. He’s number one with a bullet. The red lights turned green, and it’s pedal to the metal.
Next I had a team member go to Google Maps, zoom out to see all of North America, and then search “Fort Bend realtor”. Guess who came up at the top rank? That’s right, our boy Bret.
For authenticity’s sake, the screenshot below is from a team member located in Berlin who cleared his cache before searching. So it represents a “pure” search as much as possible.
I invite you to recreate this for yourself. There’s a strong chance that you’ll see similar results. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this is about hyperlocal searches. If you’re not located in Fort Bend, the results will vary. That’s why the above images of the BrightLocal map grid data is the most accurate and important signifier of Bret’s success.
Now I won’t pretend every new client will have the same amazing results in the same short time span.
Bret has been a student of my coaching for longer than the 3 months we took over his GBP. But in the end, I think that actually just proves my point even more.
We use BrightLocal for our clients because it’s a powerful GBP optimization tool. But it’s the use of that tool in the hands of hyperlocal experts that really gets the job done.
If you would like to discuss how InboundREM can recreate this success for your business, schedule a consultation below. I’m also very willing to simply answer your questions about GBP or even digital real estate marketing in general. Can’t wait to chat!
Schedule a meeting with me
Let’s chat about how an SEO-focused website that YOU OWN can generate high-quality leads and exceptional long-term ROI. If my services aren’t the best move for you, I’ll gladly point you in the right direction