You’ve probably heard the horror stories. Embarrassing party photos, inflammatory political screeds, an early morning mugshot – for an average professional, having these items pop up when somebody searches their name puts jobs, opportunities, and a reputation in jeopardy.
For an accountant or engineer, then, the right online presence might be as simple as Facebook and Instagram accounts set to private and an informative, professional LinkedIn page. Real estate agents don’t have the same luxury. Playing defense online isn’t enough to build the reputation you need, and will cost you leads, clients, and business.
Instead, real estate agents need to actively develop a positive online reputation. If consumers search for you online and can’t determine that you’re a trustworthy, competent agent, they will take their business elsewhere. Even worse, many people look more broadly for local real estate services, with searches such as “real estate agents near me.” If you don’t appear in those search results, consumers won’t know who you are, you won’t get new business, and your competition will get ahead.
Fortunately, there is a simple, effective way to ensure you have the online reputation necessary to attract new clients: consistently solicit positive reviews to your Google Business Profile.
Attracting the reviews you need doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or stressful. Homesnap Pro+ members receive support:
- Setting up a Google Business Profile
- Getting the reviews necessary to rank on local search results
Overall, Pro+ ensures that consumers will see your information when they search for a real estate agent and that when they do, it’s evident you’re the right choice to help them buy or sell a home.
A Google Business Profile Establishes Your Legitimacy
Google is clear: Agents who want to attract new clients online need to have an up-to-date Google Business Profile.
The Google Business Profile appears to the right of Google search results, and is filled with business information such as contact information, recent listings and deals, business hours, an agent bio, and, crucially, reviews from clients and other connections.
When consumers search your name, the Google Business Profile is what tells them how to reach you and whether you have the recommendation of past clients.
Think about the last time you looked for a restaurant online: You probably looked at the business’s Google Business Profile to learn its hours, peruse the menu, establish the location, and maybe even read customer reviews. You want to provide home buyers and sellers the same courtesy, and ensure that they recognize the real estate expertise you have to offer.
Homesnap Pro+ agents have a Google Business Profile set up for them, populated with all their relevant business information, recent listings, and consistently refreshed photos. If you’re a Pro+ member, people who search for you online will know that you’re a legitimate agent who is ready to do business.
Google Reviews Help You Get Found by Real Estate Searchers
Having a professional Google Business Profile is great, but on its own is not enough to attract new clients online.
Agents must also solicit positive Google reviews in order to become Google verified, appear at the top of real estate search results, and earn new leads.
While every agent wishes that consumers searched specifically and only for them, the reality is that people considering buying or selling a home are likely to search first for terms such as “local real estate agents.”
When people conduct such searches, agents who are verified appear as “Google Screened” at the top of search results.
Notice how the 3 top featured agents all have more than 30 reviews, and ratings at or close to 5 stars. With the quantity and quality of their ratings, these agents have indicated to Google that they are experienced, well-regarded, and a good match for people ready to business.
Some searchers will click on “more real estate agents,” and when they do, they’ll be served with an even longer listing of agent results.
By clicking on an agent, people have access to their Google reviews, ratings, number of years in business, and location. Home buyers and sellers can use these listings to call agents directly, making it essential that agents appear towards the top.
There’s a hard reality to these listings: Agents without reviews won’t become Google screened, and agents who aren’t Google screened won’t appear at the top of the results and be found by searchers.
At minimum, agents need 5 reviews in order to be Google screened, but in competitive markets, the top listed agents have many more than that.
For Pro+ agents, this isn’t a concern. Using the One-Click Review Tool, Pro+ agents can solicit reviews from clients, colleagues, friends, and family with the click of one button.
Pro+ agents who use the One-Click Review Tool get 3x more positive reviews than other agents, and agents who use the tool 5 times or more have an average Google rating of 4.95 – which puts them in strong contention to rank on Google local search results.
Your online reputation might currently be preventing you from getting new clients, but with Homesnap Pro+, you can develop the Google Business profile and reviews necessary to establish your real estate bona fides and appear at the top of listings when consumers search for agents.