What is Google My Business for Real Estate Agents (Google Business Profile)?
Many people search on Google Search and Google Maps for services offered by real estate agents. For example, many prospects search for “Real Estate Agents around me.”
If you don’t have a website, there is a good chance that your Google My Business (Google Business Profile) will be one of the results for online searches similar to the above phrase.
Your Google Business Profile (Google My Business) is almost like having your website, optimized for Google Search and Google Maps.
Even if you have a real estate business website, there is a good chance that your Google My Business page will rank higher for many search terms related to your real estate services.
In short, having an optimized Google Business Profile is key to gaining more leads from Google Search and Google Maps, organically, for free.
Update: Google My Business has been renamed to Google Business Profile in 2022. You can now create your business profile on their website, mobile app (Android, App Store), or even from Google Search and Google Maps.
What can we do with our Google My Business/Business Profile page?
First, you need to create a Google Business Profile page through your free Google/Gmail account, to claim your business. Only then will Google recognize you as the owner.
You’ll have to enter as many details as possible on your Google Business Profile page. For example, you can enter your business name, description, phone number, email address, working hours (timings), logo, photos, videos, posts (updates), frequently asked questions, etc.
You should also mention your products and services along with their prices. If there is something that makes you unique – like a social initiative or a woman-led organization, mention those details too.
You can create offers for any time-sensitive discounts or exclusive stuff. You can also create pages for events you organize – in connection with your business.
With time, people will start rating your business on Google. Be sure to give excellent service to receive good ratings. Your ratings determine your search results position in the future. Also, don’t forget to respond to reviews and comments. That’ll show Google that you actively engage with your prospects and customers.
You can even message customers directly from your Google Business profile account.
With Insights, you can find details about your prospects/customers, like keywords people search to find your business, calls/bookings you have received over a specific time period, etc.
Uploading Photos & Videos to Google Business Profile/Google My Business
You can log into Google Business Profile web page, Mobile apps (Android, iOS), or Google Search/Maps using your Google Account to create your Google Business profile page. One important task to do while you are there is to upload photos and videos describing your business.
Here are some guidelines and specifications for photos & videos upload:
Uploading Photos to Google My Business
Format: jpeg or png
Size: Less than 5 MB
Recommended Resolution: 720×720; Minimum: 250×250
Types of Photos Accepted in My Business: Exterior photos, Interior photos, Product/Service photos, Photos at work, Team photos, etc. For more information on the types of photos you can post, read this link.
Uploading Video to Google My Business
Format: MP4, Mov
Resolution: 720p or higher
Duration: 30 seconds (max)
File Size: 75 MB (max)
Guidelines: Photos and videos taken by users at the location are allowed. Google may remove Photos irrelevant to the business or site. You can upload your business logo, cover photos, and business-related photos. Screenshots, stock photos, and media from third-party are not accepted.
Photos and videos can be edited, but real estate agents should keep editing to a bare minimum. Elements like borders, text overlays, collages, etc., are not allowed. At least, they should not be prominent. Graphics and text overlays should not take up more than 10% of the photo or video.
Anything that alters the representation of the place, like blurring, heavy filters, etc., is not allowed. Photos should be clear, and the area should be well-lit. Videos should not be shaky or have inadequate exposure. You can find more detailed guidelines here.
Approval: Google manually approves or disapproves all uploaded media. Photos and videos are shown on Google Search results and Google Maps only upon approval.
Can I Create a Google My Business/ Google Business Profile if I don’t have an office?
Yes. Since real-estate agents run service-based business models, not all of them have a physical storefront or an office location.
Google enables service-based businesses to list their service area instead of a physical location address. You can leave the business location field blank if you don’t have an office. Instead, you create a profile with all the location details (the distance around your location) where you provide your service. E.g., city name, postal code, etc.
Real estate agents could still register as a service area business even if they have an office, as theirs is a hybrid business. In this case, you should also provide your office address.
For details on registering your business as a service area business, refer to this page from Google.
How fast can I expect results after I setup Google My Business for Real Estate Agents?
Organic marketing initiatives take time. For example, real estate agents may not get leads or bookings for a few months, depending on the search volume, competition and other factors.
You could buy Google’s local services ads if you want lead generation to work faster for your real estate business. This paid service by Google connects Google Business Profile owners with nearby people who search for related services. For more details on local services ads, visit this page.