Real estate is a local business, so not surprisingly an increasing number of people are using keywords like ‘real estate agent near me’ or ‘realtors near me’ to find professionals for representation when buying and selling homes in their area.
In fact more than 10K searches are performed every month for ‘realtors near me’.
If someone is using these keywords it means he or she is a qualified lead, actively seeking professional help online to buy and sell homes.
Despite this, it is quite surprising that many realtors don’t optimize their real estate business for local searches, particularly on mobile devices. As a result they miss out on great opportunities to generate leads which would have dropped into their lap without any efforts on their part.
Google My Business
Google My Business can work wonders for local search engine optimization (SEO).
If you want your real estate brand to be found for some of the most competitive keywords, you need to set up Google My Business today.
For example if you are a real estate agent in New York City, you would like to target keywords such as
‘Real estate New York City’
‘Realtor New York City’
‘Real estate agent New York City’
Targeting generic keywords like ‘real estate’, ‘realtor’ or ‘real estate agent’ won’t do any good if you work with home buyers and home sellers in New York City only.
Google My Business is a great tool to get Google to rank your business for any area-specific searches.
It’s quite easy to set up Google My Business. Sign into your Google account (using Gmail credentials). Go to https://www.google.com/business/. You just need to follow the instructions in order to set up Google My Business for your real estate brand. You will also need to set up a Google+ page and verify your business through either of the two options : ‘Call Me Now’ or ‘Mail Me My Code’. Choose ‘Call Me Now’ option to get a verification code directly delivered to your cellphone instantly.
If you have to use ‘Mail Me My Code’, it will take a week or so for you to get a card in the mail with a verification code that you will need to enter later.
In order to optimize your Google My Business, you need to make sure that you have provided all the information correctly including your logo, images, cover photo, contact information, hours of operation and a description for your business.
Download Google My Business on your cellphone. Using the app, you can verify your business information, manage customer reviews, get custom insights on how customers are interacting with your business online, and build your brand. You can:
- Update business name, address, and hours
- Manage and respond to customer reviews
- Custom insights on where and how many people are searching for you
- Notifications when customers are talking about your business
- Manage multiple locations from one dashboard
Don’t forget to include lots of pictures related to your business.
Bing Places for Business
While most real estate professionals are already on Google My Business, they don’t take Bing Places for Business into consideration.
You can’t just ignore Bing because 33% of all online searches are still performed with this search engine.
Setting up Bing Places for Business is quite easy (you can find the link here). It will hardly take a few minutes of your time and can certainly give you an edge over your competitors because they might be missing out on opportunities by neglecting this platform.[optinform]
If you are serious about social media marketing, you must have already set up a Facebook page for your business.
The next thing you need to do is download the Facebook Page Manager app. This is important because if you have a business page, you would not like to use your personal profile to response to comments on your page.
Pages Manager will help connect with your audience. You can post updates and photos and respond to comments as your page. You can view and reply to private messages sent to your page. You also have the option to get push notifications for new activity, tips and reminders besides viewing your latest Page Insights.
Yelp is yet another tool that you can use to engage with your prospects, particularly those searching for real estate professionals on their mobile devices.
It’s important to have an updated Yelp business profile because people use this app to find reviews on a business, apart from general information like contact info and business hours.
Just like Google My Business, Yelp will ask you to verify your business. You can download the mobile app from its mobile app site (click the link here to download the app).
The key to success on Yelp is to engage with your prospects as much as possible. They will ask questions, leave comments and reviews. You should always respond in a timely manner.
Keep a tab on engagement metrics that the tool provides to know how engaged your prospects are with your real estate brand.
Yellow Pages for Business
Millions of people use YP for Business app to find professionals including real estate agents.
You should set up a profile for your brand on YP for business right away and download the app.
Make sure that all the information on your business listing is correct and up-to-date.
The Bottom Line
These apps will not only promote your real estate business in your geographical area, but also help boost SEO for your local brand.
When you save the URL of your real estate website on these apps, they will pass some link juice (even though they are no-follow links), helping you website rank higher.