As a real estate agent, having a Google business profile is crucial to growing and sustaining your business.
People are almost 3X more likely to consider your business reputable if it has a complete Google business profile.
A Google business profile appears next to Google search results when someone searches your name or keywords associated with you. It has your business information, photos and reviews. It’s important because Google is the first place where potential buyers and sellers will go — even if they get your name as a referral — to see if you’re reputable.
But a sparkling Google business profile doesn’t appear overnight. Google bumps you higher in search results as it becomes more convinced that you do have a good reputation.
How do you build trust with Google, so you can build trust with buyers and sellers?
1. Ask clients and colleagues for five-star reviews
Google reviews are the gold standard of online testimonials. Buyers and sellers find them as trustworthy as a referral from a friend, because Google has a stellar reputation and is seen as an objective source for reviews.
That’s why Google takes reviews so seriously, and uses them as a huge marker for whether someone’s Google business profile has a good reputation.
If you’re getting a constant stream of positive reviews, Google wants to show your profile to more people because it sees that people are engaging with and vouching for your business.
Start requesting reviews immediately from clients and colleagues to send Google those positive signals that you’re a trusted business with happy clients. As your reputation with Google grows, it’ll increase how you rank in search results.
2. Respond to all reviews
Trust is built on more than getting reviews. Google also wants to see that you’re engaging with people who leave reviews. It shows that you’re responsive, and also that your profile is active.
Google rewards businesses that take the time to reply to reviews — even if the reviews aren’t five stars.
Buyers and sellers also want to see that you’re responding to reviews, particularly critical ones. Even if a review isn’t five stars, it isn’t necessarily detrimental if you respond with sincerity and professionalism. Clients want to see that you’re engaged and willing to listen.
If someone takes the time to write a comment along with their star rating, take a second to reply. Make sure it’s not something completely canned, though. Prospects can see all your replies, and they’ll notice if they all look exactly the same. If the reviewer shares a concern, address it without placing blame or pointing fingers so potential clients can understand the circumstances.
3. Encourage searches
As your profile is growing, give it a boost by searching for yourself on Google — and encourage clients and colleagues to search for you, too! It’ll help send positive signals to Google that you’re a reputable entity, which should boost your appearance in broader keyword searches as time goes on (such as “real estate agents near me”).
The ideal search while your profile is still new is your first name, last name, and the address that appears on your Google business profile: “Maria Hernandez 123 Main Street”
People are more likely to visit your website, more likely to consider you reputable, and more likely to call your business if you have a complete and updated Google business profile.