Episode 391: Google My Business Local SEO Strategies For Real Estate Agents in 2023

Episode Timeline

On the 391st episode of the Mail Right Show, Jonathan Denwood and Robert Newman delve into strategies to maximize the potential of Google My Business for real estate businesses, allowing real estate agents to be ahead of the competitive market. Robert Newman, the founder, and CEO of the inbound marketing agency Inbound REM, has an extensive decade-long experience in real estate search engine optimization. Conversely, Jonathan Denwood is the founder and CEO of Mail Right, an online platform that combines a variety of digital tools into a single, convenient, and user-friendly solution. These episodes delve into the necessary steps for setting up your Google My Business profile to achieve a higher search ranking and attract more potential clients.

Other YouTube influencers and people discussing digital marketing in real estate have been promoting Google Business Profile. Google Business Profile is one of the platforms and areas where you can compete with the bigger and national brokerages. And if you utilize it correctly, Google will treat you like the more prominent players.

Things to do when creating your Google Business Profile

By properly setting up your Google business profile and providing correct information, you can effectively utilize the most advantageous cost-free method to get positive business results. To achieve that, here are the steps you can take when creating your Google Business Profile.

1. Use a consistent email address.
Find a marketing email linked to your Gmail account, or use something you already have set up and working, but use it the same way for both YouTube and your other social media accounts.

The number one mistake people make on their Google My Business profiles is needing a consistent Google email address that links to all their profiles. On YouTube and your website, hyperlocal Google recognizes when you send emails from one email address to another. So if you use an email address you don’t use anywhere else, you lose much of the value of your profile. Thus, to maximize the advantages of your profile, employ the same email address, preferably a Gmail one, for all your accounts.

2. Write down a convenient address where you want to do business.
The address is super important. You have three options for where to use your address: your residence, a post office box, or your broker’s location. If you choose your broker’s location, remember that approximately 40 to 70 other agents will also share this address, which is only advisable in some situations, such as if you are among the top agents in the brokerage. Opting for your home address is the preferable option for everyone else.

For women, if you prefer not to share your home address or your brokerage location, you can choose the third option: get a post office box or a professional office space and use that address. There are not many other options because your profile’s verification needs an actual location. Everything on Google is good quality, and they don’t want subpar content on Google My Business. So, sending verification to the address you claim as your business location shows your trustworthiness, and Google takes this seriously. They want to confirm that your stated address is where you operate your business. This is important to them. So, if you say you’re doing business elsewhere, providing a fake address will cost you time and money.

Moreover, during your dealings, your task involves getting people to sign a contract while explaining the contents of the contract, which requires arranging a meeting. While you can set this through your brokerage, investing in a workspace could be beneficial if you have the means. This workspace would encompass a meeting room where you could conduct conferences, and it could also serve as your official address.

Alternatively, you can adapt your residential setting to host client meetings. You can install cameras around your home to enhance your security. These cameras can record footage and store it in cloud storage. You can communicate that you’re recording the area to ensure people are aware and that there’s a certain amount of security precautions that you’ve taken. However, for individuals who have faced challenging situations within the real estate field, there might be more effective solutions to consider. Additionally, there are alternative workspaces available that provide building security, and the choice you make depends on the level of concern you have, as personal safety is valuable regardless of financial considerations.

3. Use Images related to you.
Ensure you include three to four pictures that are related to you. One of these images should be a photo of yourself. Put an image of yourself on your local profile. The additional images can show your business or your workplace. Avoid photographing your car. Your Google My Business profile is intended for business-related content, not luxury items. It is vital to showcase aspects related to the business rather than focusing on your personal lifestyle.

People often suggest keeping your Google business profile updated, but Google doesn’t focus on that. Instead, they pay attention to how much time people spend on your profile and how they interact with it. It’s a fact that when you have something on a profile that resonates with people, and they read it or revisit it regularly, this is a strong indication of quality that Google pays attention to. For instance, it is more relevant if you add pictures and content to the profile that people click on, watch, and read. For example, you can include photos of yourself and your team. Since it’s one of the places to find them, you’ll receive consistent engagement on that content.

4. Gather Reviews.
Now, on a Google business profile, what is the surefire way to draw people into it and keep them coming back? Reviews!

Reviews draw people back in. Reviews are the most important content that individuals view on your websites. It’s also the primary information people read on your Google My Business profile.

You can connect your Google business profile or reviews from other platforms like Zillow directly through your website. Alternatively, you can also click a link to visit the profile directly because people tend to trust Zillow or Google to some extent. Viewing the reviews on the profile helps customers feel confident that they are correct and can’t be faked out. It’s necessary also to note that Google only approves some reviews. If they can’t verify your identity, or if you use an email not linked to Google when writing a review, and if that review isn’t found elsewhere, Google has a logical basis for not accepting it, as Google see your identity might not be accurate. However, this is also why people outside the marketing circle view these reviews as highly trustworthy. There’s a filtering process; reviews aren’t automatically posted. They can’t be submitted from any location worldwide, nor can they say anything they want. These factors contribute to the strong credibility of Google reviews.

Hacks To Get Reviews That Will Get You More Potential Clients

1. Craft the outline of reviews. You can create an outline or review that you would like and send it to your clients. With that, you can get reviews of the length, quality, and type of review you want.

2. Respond. You can respond to comments on your YouTube videos. Giving replies adds credibility and helps you create a strong profile, which can attract many business opportunities.

3. Keywords and semantic keywords. Google still looks at keywords and semantic keyword recognition on your profile. The primary source for this information is the reviews provided by your clients. Google gains insights about the broadness, length, depth, and significance of your online presence, partially based on the content of reviews. Therefore, when clients leave reviews, they must incorporate details such as the city, your expertise, the products you offer, and any other elements you ideally want potential clients to associate with your business. Including these aspects in your review profile can be beneficial.

Getting Reviews as a New Real Estate Agent

What if you’re a new agent or someone who hasn’t paid attention to reviews, and you lack a group of past clients you consider important who can provide reviews? Can you enhance your Google profile in this situation?

Of course! If you don’t have an existing profile, meditate first on what you look for in reviews. Remember, in real estate, it’s mainly about how the client feels working with the agent. When you look for someone to write reviews, rather than instructing them on what to say, you guide them to emphasize specific aspects or recommend topics for their reviews, like sharing their interactions when they contact or communicate with you.

When people check reviews, they usually consider where you are in your decision or if you’ve sold many homes in the area. Clients also check how quickly you respond, how approachable you are, and how well you work with people buying property. When writing reviews, it should prove your character that you will work hard for the client. To achieve this, reflect on your past experiences, the individuals you collaborated with, your classmates, or roommates, as they have insights into your character. Remember that regardless of the reason, you can find people who can vouch for your character and include their recommendations in your profile. Whatever qualities make you relevant for your real estate market, find people who will speak about that, regardless of who they are, as long as they are willing to give testimonials.

Re-engage with Your Client To Get A Review

What if you are an established agent, and it has been a year since you had a transaction with someone but haven’t followed up with them about their review? Is it possible to re-engage with them to ask them to provide a review?

There isn’t a guaranteed method to ensure a complete response to your request for a review from a past client, especially years after the transaction. However, here’s a suggested approach: Use Google Earth to locate your past client’s residence. Afterward, discuss how you’ve explored the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) to uncover recent sales prices of comparable properties in the neighborhood within the last six months. Present this information through a video format with them.

You can start the conversation by mentioning that you would like to share some valuable insights before making a request. Remind them that they made this purchase years ago with you. Then, inform them about the recent developments regarding the property and then provide details about recent sales prices of other homes in the vicinity and current selling prices. Include additional helpful information, such as current mortgage rates, to give an update on the real estate landscape. Express why you haven’t reached out sooner and conclude by gently asking for a favor – a review of your services.

By doing so, there’s a possibility that your client will give you strong ratings, not just for the transaction itself. The information you shared with your client could result in a review for your testimonial.