Realtors and loan officers – have you set up your Google My Business listing yet? (Why the heck not?!!!)
As the top search engine in the world, Google drives more traffic than any single source, responsible for about 75% of all search queries in the U.S. today - including when consumers look for a local Realtor, mortgage lender, or any business.
Google has been around almost as long as there's been an Internet, but it has a relatively new platform that can do some pretty incredible things when it comes to expanding your reach and presence online. (We're not talking about Google+, which is dead as disco!)
I’m referring to the Google My Business page feature on – you guessed it – Google.
As a real estate agent, getting your NAP (name, address, phone numbers, etc.) as well as brokerage name, the area you serve, email address, and website, etc. are crucial, and Google My Business will help you do that – and way more.
And the best part is that very few Realtors and loan officers are bothering to use it yet, so you have a window to be ahead of your competition.
In fact, having (and using) a Google My Business listing can:
The best part is that it’s free!
However, it does take a little bit of time and know-how to do it correctly (you don't want to just use your home address, but set up your business as a solo practitioner at your brokerage address, etc.) so contact me if you need helping setting it up quickly and inexpensively.
Ok, let’s dig into the features and benefits of Google My Business:
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a convenient tool for businesses, organizations, and even real estate agents to organize, catalog, and promote their online presence across the Google universe. That includes syncing Google search, Google Maps, and more.
You can find the portal to get started at Google.com/business.
The powerful benefits of Google My Business:
By setting up and using Google My Business correctly, you’ll make it far easier for potential clients to find you, forums to connect with them directly, and ways to measure and optimize those interactions.
One of the main benefits, of course, is that your business will show up right when people are searching for your services or similar business in your area.
For Realtors, that may mean that when people search Google for "Real estate agents in East Sacramento" or "Buy a home in San Jose,” your business will appear in the search, complete with all the information you want them to have right at their fingertips – your name, phone number, website, email and even a flag on the Google Map. Amazing!
Since a Realtor's business is hyper-local (you don't care about showing up for home sale searches in Kansas, or even Los Angeles, if you're a real estate agent in Sacramento), Google's Google My Business (let’s call it GMB to save my typing finger) is a powerful and focused tool – and one that gives you a competitive edge over the 98% of other real estate salespeople who aren't using it.
Here is some information that GMB will document and share across all Google platforms:
• Phone number
• Website URL
• URL to make an appointment
• Business hours
• Address (Again, this can be tricky for Realtors, but there's a correct way to do it.)
• Company Logo
• Profile Photo
• Internal and external photos
• Virtual Tour (if applicable)
• Other social media links
All of these tools will be at your disposal – and more with their advanced function. It's no wonder why an estimated 39% of local retailers and walk-in businesses have already claimed and verified their Google My Business listing.
Do you need more convincing? In part two of this blog, we’ll bring you information about these 10 benefits of having a Google My Business page:
1. Your Google listing will attract a new audience via Google Search.
2. Your business will pop right up in Google Maps.
3. Easily manage your business information.
4. Gain reviews - and answer them directly.
5. Write and share Google posts.
6. Access user insights and search analytics.
7. Get a free Google website!
8. Offer specials, promotions, special discounts, etc.
9. Enjoy their Question & Answer feature.
10. Direct message your audience and potential clients.
Tune in for part two coming soon, or email me if you'd like help setting up your Google My Business listing.
Hey Realtors - if you’re making three or more of these mistakes, you’ll need to make some big changes to stay in business!
1. Not building a high quality team.
To be a truly prolific in real estate, it’s vital you build a core team of vendors and professionals who are really good at what they do. Of course you’ll want to do business with a great lender, very adept title and escrow people, and even pest inspectors, home inspectors, handymen, movers, etc. Referring great people to your client to serve their needs is a fantastic way to add value and ensure they have a good experience.
2. Not holding themselves accountable.
Especially for new agents, it’s important that when you go to work every day you know exactly what activities you’ll be doing. Part of that success is a solid marketing plan and a time management skills, but the real winners hold themselves accountable to follow those plans. For that reason you’ll want to carefully track all of your marketing activities and measure results. Only then can you discern what is working and what is not, and make the appropriate shifts.
3. Not treating it like a business.
Remember that as a Realtor, you don’t just have a job; you’re building a business. Yet many real estate salespeople forget this and fail to draft a business plan, a marketing plan, strategies for growth, schedule their time properly, and plan their finances accordingly.
4. Not utilizing tech
Dedicated professionals understand that technology is a big part of the client experience so it should be embraced – not seen as a threat. Therefore, they stay up on the newest relevant tech developments and serve as a guide and educator for their clients when it comes to that aspect of their job. Of course this doesn’t mean they waste time on social media or very niche tech that won’t help their clients- quite the opposite.
5. Including a Call To Action on all ads and marketing.
A surprising number of real estate professionals make this mistake. They pay big money and put a lot of effort into developing their website, blog, social media accounts, flyers, radio ads, etc., and then send them out into the world. But even if that marketing does reach the intended audience, there isn’t a call to action – a place for them to go or something for them to do.
Asking them to sign up for updates, subscribe to an email newsletter, call for more information, schedule consultation, or request a free eBook or report are great Calls to Action that will actually capture leads and boost your marketing results exponentially.
6. Not developing a marketing plan or tracking results.
If you’re a new agent, it’s essential you make a detailed marketing plan that maps all of the avenues you’ll use to reach potential clients and bring in new business. But don’t forget to track those results and document your findings as you go. That will allow you to reevaluate your marketing plan every 90 days, making changes based on what is working well and what is a waste of time.
7. Not taking advantage of training and education.
Without fail, the professionals I see who make the most money and have the greatest success constantly invest in themselves; reading books, listening to tapes and podcasts, going to seminars, and even tirelessly perfecting their craft - sales – and their knowledge of their product, real estate in local markets.
8. Not creating systems.
Like the old saying goes, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll always get there.” So successful pro’s build a detailed business plan and execute that plan with discipline. They also create systems so minor tasks can be automated and important functions of serving the client are never missed. But instead of making things mechanical, systems free them up to focus on personal relationships with their clients and give them more time to be a better business person and human being.
9. Not specializing.
When you start out in real estate, you may hold the perception that you should chase all types of business and never turn down any deal. But in reality the most successful Realtors specialize in one area of expertise. That may be luxury homes, first-time buyers, short sales, or selling homes in a particular neighborhood. Of course you’ll help other clients, but focusing on one thing helps you establish expertise and differentiates you from the competition.
10. Not savings and budgeting.
Realtors can make a great living and easily earn a six-figure income if they work hard and do the right things, but one downside of that earning potential is the time lag inherent to the business. From prospect to paycheck, serving a client and closing a deal could take months. So make sure you budget and work with a solid nest egg of savings so you won’t be financially desperate when you go to work.
Clients may pick up on your motivation for short-term profit instead of thinking long-term about adding value and filling needs, which is when great business usually starts rolling in.
11. Not making prospecting your #1 priority.
When you sit down at your desk with your To Do list every morning, do you start with the easy items?
If you want to be successful, you better start with the most important activity any Realtor can undertake – prospecting. Working to generate new leads and business each and every day is the #1 way to not only survive but also thrive in this business.
12. Not separating YOU from your business.
As much as Realtors work, it’s hard for them not to not take their work home at night. As difficult as it will be to turn off “work mode” the top-producing Realtors know there needs to be a healthy separation between work and personal life. Scheduling time for family, exercise, self-improvement, and relaxation and down time is essential if you don’t want to maintain a high level of energy and focus instead of burning out.
While I can't save you from all of your mistakes, I CAN help you with a critical piece of your success: online marketing that brings in new clients. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!