There are plenty of listicles on the internet telling agents how to get free real estate leads. But the ideas suggested are often stale and require a lot of your time (start a blog, call FSBO listings) for what will ultimately be very little payoff in the long run. Lead-generation activities don’t need to take up hours of your day.
There’s a better way to generate free real estate leads: The Google business profile.
Understanding the benefits of a Google business profile
The Google business profile is a large box that appears on the right side of Google’s search engine results page. You’ll notice it when you search for a local business, like a restaurant or salon. Real estate agents are considered local businesses, too, and you’re able to create this profile on the country’s most-used search engine.
This profile has a few key benefits, which we’ll describe in detail.
1. Brand Building
Your Google business profile will appear prominently on the results page when a prospect searches for your name. It makes a solid first impression and adds legitimacy to your brand because it looks more professional and official than a standard search result.
Consider it to be your “homepage” since it will be the first stop for consumers who search for you. You want to have a fully completed profile that provides consumers with as much information as they need to understand your brand and services. Put care into your business description and content posts, and be sure to get as many five-star reviews from current and past clients as possible. Without those five-star reviews, you risk losing 12% of potential clients.
2. Added Visibility
At Homesnap, we have years of experience managing Google business profiles for real estate agents. What we’ve found is that fully completed profiles that are regularly updated are much more likely to appear high in search rankings for what’s called earned searches. These are the vague but localized queries people use when they don’t search for a specific business name. Earned searches include phrases like “real estate agents near me” and “real estate agent in Bethesda.” The frequency in which these types of search terms are used continues to grow every year and are more often used than searching for a business directly.
A well-maintained profile also greatly increases your chances of being featured in the coveted local 3-pack. The local 3-pack appears at the top of the search results page when a search query has local intent. Google will display a large map with pins and a trio of local businesses underneath the map. When the local 3-pack appears, its placement is in the #1 position on the page, even before organic results.
These placements are Google’s rewards for those who have a well-maintained profile. The company’s decision to do this is based on research. Google found that completed, accurate profiles get 7X more clicks on average than empty ones, so it’s in Google’s best interest to elevate the profiles that consumers will find relevant and helpful.
So what does it mean to have a well-maintained, regularly updated profile? Real estate agents should focus on these three actions: generating new reviews, responding to new reviews, and publishing new content, like thoughtful posts and photos of recent listings and deals. These tasks generate big rewards.
3. Passive, Free Real Estate Leads
Once you set up a Google business profile, the world’s most powerful search engine will do the rest of the work for you. The results we’ve seen from the profiles we maintain prove that a Google business profile is the best way to generate free real estate leads. According to Homesnap data, agents who maintain an active Google business profile see more than 7.5X the actions than those that don’t. Actions include calls, texts, website clicks, and direction requests originating from your profile. In other words: free real estate leads!
How Homesnap Can Help
Many professionals view the maintenance of a Google business profile to be similar to running social media accounts. You can manage it on your own, but the results will be far better in the hands of an expert. Homesnap is a Google Premier Partner, which means we work closely with a dedicated team at Google to help agents outrank their competition. We’ve been at it for years, helping tens of thousands of agents improve their performance and ranking.
Our Google business profile service is provided through Homesnap Pro+. When you sign up, we will instantly verify you on Google (typically a weeks-long process), build a complete and optimized Google business profile, and update it regularly with fresh content.
Our proprietary One-Click Review Tool also makes it easy for you to ask current and past clients to leave a five-star review. We’ll send you alerts when you receive new reviews so you can review and respond to them, and we’ll also help you minimize the impact of any negative reviews that wind up on your profile. Homesnap is the only real estate tech company that partners with Google and your MLS to make this happen.
Discover all the perks of Homesnap Pro+ membership.