Rank At The Top Of Google With A Business Profile

As an agent, you undoubtedly have a whole host of online profiles, and while each serves its purpose, one of the most underutilized platforms happens to be the largest search engine in the world. In this course, you’ll get step-by-step instructions on how to set up and optimize your very own Google Business Profile.

Why should you have a Google Business Profile?

First and foremost, the purpose of your Google Business Profile is to help you stand out from the competition. As of June 2020, there were nearly 1.4 million members of the National Association of Realtors. That is a lot of competition, no matter where you’re located.

By having a well maintained Google Business Profile, you can instantly build trust with potential clients and even leapfrog higher-ranked agent profiles.

Take a look at this example:

Jim Curry is an agent based in Jacksonville, FL. As you can see, when you search “Jim Curry Realtor” there is more than one Jim Curry in the country.

Of the top eight search results, five are for a different “Jim Curry.” But look at how well the Google Business Profile stands out for our Jim Curry. 

I don’t know about you, but my eyes are instantly drawn to the business listing.

The best part about Google Business Profile is that they are completely free. Over the next several steps, I am going to walk you through the process of claiming your page, adding product listings and generating requests for your books.

Step 1: How To Create and Claim Your Google Business Profile

First, you must go to Google Business Profile and make sure you are signed into the Google account that you associate with your real estate business.

  • Scroll down the page until you find the “Manage Now” button
  • The window that appears next is your main dashboard for all of the pages connected to your Google login. If your account is already connected to one or more businesses, you will see them here.
  • To add your new page to Google, click the “Add Location” button and select “Add Single Location” from the drop-down menu.
  • On the next page, click the “Add Your Business To Google” button
  • Note: If you are editing an existing business page, you can type the name in the search bar and select it from there.

Now, you are ready to add your business to Google and start entering all of the preliminary information.

  • First up is the business name. Obviously, you will want to start with your name, but we also recommend adding the word “Realtor.” This will increase your page SEO.
  • Next, you will choose the category that best fits your business. As you begin to type “realtor,” you will see several options populate in the drop-down menu.
  • Adding a physical address is necessary if you want your business page to show up on Google Maps. Remember, this page is free, so take advantage of every opportunity it presents. A prospective client can easily stumble upon your page if he or she is searching your local market on Google Maps.
  • Once you click “Yes,” you will be asked to input the address. Make sure to use your brokerage address. Google automatically pulls an exterior photo of the address listed, so it’s better to have your office show up rather than your home.
  • Next, you will be asked if you serve customers outside of the town listed in your address. It is especially important to select “Yes” as an agent to let your clients know which areas you cover.
  • On the following screen, you will be able to list all of the towns and cities you serve. By adding individual locations, you increase your odds that someone looking for an agent in a particular area will see your page.
  • Next, you will enter the phone number and website address that will be displayed on your page.
  • This is a great opportunity to start promoting your books to potential clients. If you have a website that shows off your books, I highly recommend adding it here.

This next step is extremely important. You must verify your business with Google before your page becomes live.

  • To verify your business page, Google will send a postcard to the address associated with your business. The postcard can take anywhere from 5-10 business days to arrive.

Note, in a very small number of cases, verification by phone is offered. However, this is not the norm and almost certainly is not offered when you build your page from scratch.

  • This is an example of what the postcard will look like. It will include the 5-digit verification code and instructions for verifying your page.

Again — I can not stress this enough — without verifying your business with Google, the page will not become live. In addition, if you are making edits to an existing page such as the address, you will be required to verify again before those edits are made public.

Step 2: How To Edit and Add Additional Information To Your Google Business Profile

Now that you’ve created your Google Business Profile, it’s time to start adding additional information. All of the information you entered in the previous step will carry over and autofill many of these spaces. However, if you are updating an existing page, you will need to edit all of the information to fit your new business location.

  • First, you will need to make sure you are in the “Info” tab of your page. The tab can be found on the left side of the page just below your business name and address.
  • Once “Info” has been selected, you will be taken to your profile’s main information hub. You will see everything from service area and hours of operation to your business description.
  • To edit a piece of information, you can click the pencil icon and begin entering your info.

To edit a piece of information, you can click the pencil icon and begin entering your info.

  • The first bit of new information to fill out is the “Profile Short Name.” This makes it easier for potential clients to find you both through Google Maps and Search.
  • As you can see, you are limited to 32 characters.
  • Make sure to start with your name and then follow with the word realtor. If you have space available, try to include your location. By doing so, your page becomes even more searchable.
  • The next piece of information you add is a link to help prospects schedule appointments with you. If you currently have an appointment booking website, you can simply add it here.
  • If you do not have a way for customers to book appointments, you can easily set one up with a program such as Calendly.com.
  • Next, you can add the services you provide. In our example, we used this opportunity to promote both Jim’s buyer and seller books.
  • Following services, you will see an area to add a brief business description. The character limit is quite large at 750 characters. That is plenty of room to write a short biography.
  • Be sure to include keywords such as selling, buying, home and real estate.
  • You also want to include references to your location. This will increase your page’s local SEO score.
  • The final bit of information you can edit on this page is “Open Date.” Rather than entering the date you started at your current location, enter the date you became a licensed agent.
  • Now you can add photos to your page. At the very bottom of your “Info” page, you will see an icon to add photos.
  • Once you click the button, you will be brought to the main photos page. From here, you can upload as many photos as you’d like.We suggest adding photos of yourself, as well as previous listings and images of your books.
  • While adding photos, you also have the option to set a logo. This image will appear on your listing anytime your page is viewed. It will also be the default image shown when you make a post or respond to a review. We suggest using the same headshot you’ve included on your book cover. By doing so, you will build strong brand awareness and cohesion.
  • To set your logo, click the “Choose photo” button underneath the logo description. From here, you’ll be able to upload and size your photo of choice.
  • Next, click “Select Image From Computer.” Locate the photo on your desktop, select it, and click “Open.”
  • Once you’ve uploaded your photo, you can reposition the visible area to a proper placement. After you’ve finished setting your photo position, click the “Set Logo” button in the bottom left corner.

Reminder: Until you complete the verification process explained in Step One, none of these changes will become visible to the public.

Step 3: How To Add Products To Your Page

One of the most underutilized features of Google Business Profile is the ability to add products. As an agent, you can offer your books, as well as things like home valuations. Your products will be displayed in full view for anyone searching your page.

From your main Google Business Profile dashboard, find the Products page from the list along the left-hand side of the screen.

  • From the Products page, you will see the “Get Started” button.

For this example, we will be creating an offer for potential clients to claim your book. Before we actually create the product listing, we need to grab an image of the book to display. Simply open your lead capture site for the book you are promoting, right-click on the book image and select “Save Image As.” Now, the image will be saved to your desktop for later use.

To ensure your photo is displayed in the best possible way, you want to follow the guidelines below.

  • Once your photo is saved, you’re ready to create your product listing.First up, from the “Add Product” pane, you’ll be prompted to upload the photo you just saved.
  • Click “Add a product photo.”
  • You’ll be taken to a window to select your photo. Click the “Select a photo from your computer” button.
  • Find the saved file on your desktop and click “Open.”
  • Your photo will then appear in the main product creator pane.
  • Click the small crop icon to the bottom left of your image.
  • With the crop tool open, drag the corners of the tool out from your photo to make sure the entire image is now inside of the square.

Next, you will enter the product name. There is a limit of 54 characters, but that should be plenty of space to include your entire book title.

Next, you’ll select the product category. If this is your first product, select “Create A New Category” and enter an applicable category. For all future products, you will see your previously created categories in the drop-down bar.

  • Next, you’ll be asked to set the price of the product. Since these are free offers, you will select “Fixed Price.”
  • Below that, you will see a box to enter the product price. This is optional, and you can leave it empty if your offer is for a free product.
  • Next, you’ll enter your product description.
  • Notice you have a character limit of 1,000, so you will have no problem describing your product in as much detail as you’d like.
  • Once you have filled out your product description, you have the option to “Add A Button.”
  • While optional, we highly recommended you include one. The button will serve as a link to the product you are offering.
  • When you click the “Add A Button” drop-down menu, you will be able to make one of four choices.
  • If you are promoting your book, select “Learn More.”
  • If you’re offering something like a home valuation, select “Get Offer.”

Once you select the type of button you want to display, a box will appear to insert the link. Simply copy and paste the web address for the page you are trying to promote.

  • Now that you have successfully added all of the product information, click “Save.”There is no limit to the number of products you can add to your page. Just note that only three will be displayed on the page at a time, and the most recently added products are shown. So keep that in mind when you’re adding products to maximize your page exposure.
  • Anytime you decide to add a new product, simply navigate to the “Products” window of your Google Business Profile dashboard and click the “Add Product” button.

When a potential client views your page, they will see your products displayed underneath your primary information. They can either click on the products right from this page or click “View More” to see all of your offers broken down into the previously determined categories.

When your product is clicked, the person viewing it will be presented with the product description and the button linking to that product. This is a fantastic way to gain traffic to lead capture sites and start gathering new leads.

Step 4: How To Get Reviews From Past Clients On Your Google Business Profile

In a business where word-of-mouth is king, gathering reviews from past clients is crucial. The great thing about Google Business Profile pages is those star ratings and reviews from past clients are displayed right on the front page for everyone to see.

Now that you’ve successfully created and verified your Google Business Profile, it’s time to start gathering reviews. One thing to note: You want to spread this process out over a period of several months. While you may be excited to get as many reviews on this page as possible, you want to make sure all of them do not come in at one time.

  • Google makes it very easy to get reviews directly on your business page. From your main dashboard page, you will see a section titled “Get Your First Review.”
  • Click on the button that says “Share Review Form.”

The window below will then pop up. As you see, there are several options for sharing your link for reviews. While you can certainly add it to Facebook, we recommend sending the link via personalized text or email.

  • Once your past client clicks on the provided link, they will be brought to your Google Business Profile with this pop-up box present. They can add up to a 5-star rating and share details of their experience working with you.Another great option is to add photos. Any photo posted here will be visible on your page and really helps add credibility.

Asking For Reviews

In order to populate all of your business profiles with reviews, you have to first ask for them. By incorporating a review collection process into your routine, you are more likely to be successful.

Upon the closing of a deal, you can send a congratulatory text using one of these templates:

For Buyers:

Congratulations on your new home, [customer name]! Did I do a good job of helping you navigate the buying process? Please let me know here: [Review link].

[Customer name], now that the closing is over, are you happy with my services? Did I do a good job negotiating on your behalf? If so, please consider leaving a review! [Review link].

For Sellers:

Congratulations on selling your home, [customer name]! Would you list with me again in the future? Your feedback is vital. Would you leave some here? [Review Link].

[Customer name], I just wanted to again congratulate you on the closing. Will you do me a favor? Your feedback is vital to my success, and I would really appreciate it if you took a few moments to leave a review here [Review Link]. Thanks!

If email is more your style, you can use a template like this:

“[Customer Name], thank you so much for choosing me as your real estate agent! I hope you are as happy with how your transaction went as I am. May I ask you the favor of writing a review about your experience with me? I use this feedback as a way to continually improve. Here is the link to leave your comments: [Review Link] “Thank you again, [Customer Name]. I appreciate you taking the time to give me feedback, and I look forward to reading your remarks.”

Don’t be afraid to include a little gift like an electronic gift card to a nearby coffee shop as a token of appreciation.

Ideally, you will be collecting all of your reviews right after closing, but things happen, and in some cases, you will need to reach out to clients you worked with months or even years ago.

The key to reaching out to these clients is to have a reason for your communication.

And there is no better reason than an anniversary.

Email is best for reaching out to past clients, and you can use a template like one of the following:

For Buyers:

“[Customer Name], thank you again for choosing me as your real estate agent! I wanted to wish you a happy [###] anniversary in your home! I hope the home has been everything you dreamed. May I ask you the favor of writing a review about your experience with me? These reviews go a long way with prospective clients, and I would them like to hear about the experiences of my previous clients. You can leave your comments here [Review Link].

“Thank you again, [Customer Name]. I appreciate your feedback and look forward to reading it.”

For Sellers:

“[Customer Name], thank you again for choosing me as your real estate agent! I wanted to wish you a happy [###] anniversary on the sale of your home! I hope things have settled down a bit and that you’re as delighted with the end results as I am.  May I ask you the favor of writing a review about your experience with me? These reviews go a long way with prospective clients, and I would like them to hear about the experiences of my previous clients. You can leave your comments here [Review Link].

“Thank you again, [Customer Name]. I appreciate your feedback and look forward to reading it.”

How To Get The Right Reviews

The best reviews include personal stories that reflect your effectiveness, personality, work ethic and qualifications. These specific stories will provide potential clients something to relate to when they’re making a decision on who to hire.

So, how do you get these types of reviews?

It all starts with asking the right questions.

There is no reason to shy away from asking a past client specifically if they would recommend or use your services again in the future. Just don’t forget to follow up with the most important question — Why?

Here is a list of questions to help elicit the type of reviews you are looking for:

  • What made you choose me as your agent?
  • How did I help you (explain specific problem)?
  • What was the best thing I did to help you sell/buy your home?
  • How did we overcome (add a specific issue that arose)?
  • What stood out most to you about my service?
  • Would you recommend my services to a friend? What would you say?

By asking these questions, you’ll have a handful of short stories to add to a review page on your website, your social media and even the testimonials section of your book.

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