As an authority in the SEO space, I’m constantly exploring new ways for businesses to amplify their digital visibility and dominance in local markets. One real estate marketing strategy I highly recommend for brokerages is encouraging agents to optimize Google My Business (GMB) profiles.
There is no denying Google’s prominence in how people discover local services today. Recent surveys indicate that over 85% of consumers now use search engines like Google when looking for a real estate agent in their neighborhood.
Savvy brokerages that guide their agents in optimizing GMB profiles will reap multiple benefits, from dominating these high-intent local searches to attracting more talent by signaling their commitment to agent success.
In this post, I’ll walk through the data-backed reasons brokerages should motivate agents on GMB optimization, including increased brand visibility, strengthened authority, top talent recruitment, added value for current agents, and offsetting reliance on third-party lead sources.
Optimizing GMB transcends individual agent benefits – it’s a winning strategy for the entire brokerage’s market dominance and reputation. My goal is to highlight the immense value of leaning into this under-utilized but highly potent local SEO tactic.
Why Agent GMB Profiles Are Key for Brokerages
As I often advise my clients, a compelling local SEO tactic for real estate brokerages is developing an interconnected network of optimized Google My Business (GMB) profiles for their roster of agents. Too often this high-impact strategy goes overlooked.
By taking the time to build out and optimize GMB profiles for each agent, brokerages can reap manifold benefits that boost their collective success in the market:
- Increased local visibility and authority by amassing signals pointing back to the brokerage across multiple prominent map listings.
- Inheriting the existing online presence and credibility of experienced agents who join the brokerage.
- Offering new agents the brokerage’s authority signals to give their SEO a head start.
- Reinforcing recruiting efforts by demonstrating investment in agents’ success.
- Compounding brand awareness, reviews, and other trust metrics across the group.
- Expanding digital reach and direct lead generation touchpoints.
The advantages of constructing a local search network of fully populated and optimized GMB profiles around the brokerage are clear and compelling, especially considering the relatively low implementation effort. In the following sections, I’ll explore the payoff of this strategy in greater depth.
1. Dominate Local Searches with Expanded Brand Visibility
One of the foremost advantages of developing a network of optimized GMB profiles is expanded visibility and prominence across Google’s many properties. This allows the brokerage to dominate local searches in their market.
By having each agent populate their “Employment” section with the brokerage’s details, it multiplicatively increases appearances in the coveted map pack for relevant searches like “Miami real estate agents” or “Upper East Side apartments for sale”.
The brokerage name also gains visibility on YouTube and Google Assistant whenever users search for top local real estate professionals on those platforms.
Additionally, agents can utilize posts on their GMB profile to highlight new brokerage listings, share market updates, and reinforce service areas or specialty expertise. This creates fresh, localized content flows pointing back to the brokerage.
With a comprehensive network, the brokerage taps into the unique value of each agent’s profile while compounding their collective reach. This expanded visibility across Google Search, Maps, YouTube, and other properties allows the brokerage to blanket the market and leave no searches uncovered.
2. Strengthen and Inherit Brand Authority
In addition to amplifying visibility, a developed network of optimized GMB profiles also serves to meaningfully strengthen the brokerage’s brand authority in their local market.
Optimized GMB profiles lend an air of credibility and trustworthiness to brands. By association, the brokerage absorbs some of the reputation equity from agents profiles that showcase years of experience, positive customer reviews, and other expertise indicators.
The more 5-star reviews that agents accumulating on their profiles, the more this rubs off on the brokerage brand as well. This effect compounds exponentially the more high-authority profiles the brokerage can synergize.
By investing the time and resources into maintaining this network, the brokerage also signals to consumers their sincere commitment to establishing a prominent local presence online and in the community.
In essence, the brokerage moves from just being “a name” to becoming a recognized and respected authority site-wide across Google platforms. Consumers see them as an established, reputable leader in the space.
3. Attract the Best Talent
A well-developed GMB profile network delivers another advantage to brokerages – strengthening talent recruitment efforts by attracting top-tier real estate agents.
When prospective agents evaluate brokerages to join, they pay close attention to to the visibility and successes of their current roster.
Seeing multiple agents GMB profiles ranking locally for quality search terms signals to them that the brokerage invests in each agent’s success by providing the support needed to maximize their personal brands and compete digitally.
Conversely, brokers with lackluster GMB presence will struggle to court experienced agents who want to maintain their established online authority. Top talent goes where their digital footprint will be nurtured, not made an afterthought.
By devoting resources into building this robust GMB ecosystem, the brokerage shows promising new hires that the team’s collective success is prioritized over quick individual transactions. This emphasis on enabling agents to rank well is pivotal in recruiting negotiations.
In summary, a flourishing network of optimized GMB profiles acts as a magnet for ambitious agents seeking a tech-forward brokerage invested in their future. It’s a recruiting package no top producer can ignore.
4. Add Value to Current Agent Roster
While the external benefits of a robust GMB network are substantial, this strategy also pays dividends internally by adding value for the brokerage’s current agents.
As any agent knows, optimizing and managing a GMB profile is a time-consuming endeavor. It takes effort to fully populate sections, maintain ongoing updates, and monitor reviews and metrics.
Many agents also do not have expertise in local SEO best practices. By handling GMB optimization and supervision centrally, brokerages can lift that burden from agents’ shoulders.
The brokerage can bake GMB profile creation and optimization into standard onboarding and ongoing training programs for agents. This saves agents precious time while ensuring consistency in setup.
With these administrative tasks covered, agents can better focus on satisfying clients, providing excellent service, and closing transactions. The brokerage handles the digital value-add.
This value proposition goes a long way in keeping agents satisfied and retained within the brokerage. Offering these support resources distinguishes an agent-centric brokerage.
5. Off-Set Reliance on Third Party Lead Sources
An additional benefit of a built-out GMB profile network is generating more leads directly, thus off-setting reliance on expensive third-party referral services.
Too often brokerages become dependent on lead generation from Zillow, Realtor.com and other third-party sites. However, the fees charged by these services cut heavily into margins over time.
With a well-optimized GMB profile network, the brokerage can take control over more of their lead generation efforts. Strong rankings in local map packs direct many high-intent searches into their funnel.
Each agent’s GMB profile also provides analytics on how many calls, requests for driving directions, photo views and other measurable actions they receive. This demonstrates tangible lead production.
While third-party sites still have value, a robust GMB presence allows the brokerage to rebalance the channels driving leads. This results in more control over quality while spending less on unqualified traffic from external sites.
In summary, producing more direct leads via GMB effectively off-sets reliance on costlier third-party referrals while also providing better analytics. It’s a shift that benefits the brokerage financially.
6. Drive Increased Referral Business
A well-executed GMB profile strategy also pays dividends by making it seamless for satisfied clients to refer the brokerage’s agents, driving more referral business.
Optimized profiles are readily discoverable across Google, clearly displaying agents’ contact information, specialty services, and past reviews from happy clients.
When a customer has a positive experience buying or selling with an agent at the brokerage, they can easily find the agent’s GMB profile again to leave a 5-star review.
Many clients will also pass on recommendations to friends, family, and colleagues directly from the GMB profile. The reviews and referral functionality convert happy clients into organic evangelists.
Additionally, GMB posts highlighting stand-out service help remind past clients of the value received. This compounds word-of-mouth referrals.
In essence, optimized GMB profiles turn one-time clients into vocal brand advocates who continue sending new business based on first-hand positive experiences. The referral pipeline stays full.
By facilitating this organic referral process through GMB optimization, brokerages reap the benefits of word-of-mouth at scale in the form of referral business from happy customers.
Optimizing GMB Profiles for Maximum Impact
To get the most out of your agent GMB network, there are a few key optimization strategies you need your agents to implement:
Complete and Accurate Information
At a minimum, each profile needs complete business information, a profile and cover photo, accurate location settings, and links back to your main brokerage website. Encourage your agents to fully complete their profiles with details like languages spoken, service areas, listings sold, credentials, and any specialty information.
One of the biggest ranking factors for local search is reviews. The more 5-star Google reviews your agents can accumulate, the better their profiles will rank in the local pack and map results. Make it easy for clients to leave reviews and remind them after closing.
Create Google Posts
Have your agents actively post on their GMB profiles to share new open house events, local market updates, new listings coming soon, awards won, community events attended, and other content. Keeping the profiles active and engaging will help increase visibility.
Update Photos Regularly
Refresh the profile and cover images periodically to show new listings, professional headshots, active open houses, etc. Google will recrawl and showcase updated imagery.
Use Google Analytics and GMB insights to track profile performance – how many clicks, calls, directions, queries they are generating. Then refine the profile content based on what is resonating most.
How Can Real Estate Agents Leverage Their Brokerage's GMB Network?
Now that we’ve covered the array of benefits for brokerages in developing a local network of optimized Google My Business profiles, it’s worth examining how individual agents can best leverage this ecosystem to amplify their personal brands.
One key opportunity is utilizing GMB posts to promote open houses, broker tours, market seminars, and other events. This draws in targeted local interest to these events by getting them on the map – literally.
Agents should also showcase niche skills and services like green housing, luxury properties, or commercial real estate deals within their GMB profile’s description. This allows them to stand out as specialists.
The brokerage can also encourage teamwork and cross-promotion by having agents reference each other in posts and their profile descriptions. This showcases the depth of expertise clients can access.
Additionally, agents can publish localized market updates through GMB posts to reinforce their command of the local landscape. Hyperlocal content builds community trust.
Optimization should highlight each agent’s unique strengths and services while demonstrating how clients benefit from the collective knowledge across the brokerage.
Agents that fully leverage the network by contributing value demonstrate why they merit the brokerage investment in their profiles. This accountability also strengthens recruitment and retention.
In summary, agents gain amplification but are also expected to reciprocate value to the brokerage and clients. This parity of commitment compounds everyone’s success.
The Benefits of Executing this Real Estate Marketing Strategy with Direction.com
The Direction.com app provides a central hub for brokerages to manage optimized GMB profiles for each agent. Here are some key benefits of connecting your GMBs to our network:
1. Amplified Presence
By syndicating profile data to 75+ sites beyond Google, you can greatly amplify your brokerage’s reach, visibility and authority locally.
Our platform syncs data to the most used maps apps, voice search tools, search engines, review sites, social platforms, and business directories. The magnified exposure you’ll gain by having your agents listed on 75+ of the most popular directories will ensure you’re capturing buyer and seller attention regardless of what networks they’re using to find real estate services in their area.
2. Centralized Management
The Direction.com app establishes a two-way sync with agents’ existing Google My Business (GMB) profiles and the listings that will be created upon syncing with our network. This allows brokerages to manage all profiles from one central command center.
Any changes made to profile data, imagery, contact info, etc. within the Direction.com console will automatically sync and update across all connected agent profiles. This allows bulk updates to be pushed out to every profile with just one step, saving huge time compared to editing each individually.
3. Review Monitoring
The Direction.com app brings seamless integration across Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Judy’s Book and dozens more review platforms – synchronizing all agent reviews into one unified reputation dashboard.
Brokerages gain a comprehensive command center to monitor overall feedback, response rates, sentiment analysis, keyword mentions, and review generation metrics for the entire network of agent profiles.
With its powerful review API syncs and robust analytics capabilities, Direction.com enables brokerages to showcase agent strengths, nurture reputation, identify improvement opportunities, and take a strategic data-driven approach to managing multi-platform reviews from one centralized hub. This ultimately amplifies credibility and consumer trust.
4. Social Acceleration
The Direction.com app empowers brokerages to rapidly create high-impact social media content that engages audiences while reinforcing their unique brand identity.
Through the app’s intuitive template designer, brokers can craft customizable post templates for listings, events, market updates, and more – complete with approved imagery, logos, color schemes, and on-brand messaging tailored to their vision. Agents simply select a template, input the key details, and publish to all linked platforms in just clicks. This templated content engine makes social posting fast, efficient and consistent.
By standardizing branded assets and wording, it allows brokers to accelerate engagement across Google, Facebook, Instagram and 17 additional sites through an always-on stream of social content purpose-built to spark interest and recognition of their distinctive market persona.
For brokers seeking to dominate through owned, on-message visibility across channels, Direction.com’s templates are a game changer.
5. Owned Visibility
Direction.com operates on a brokerage-owned model where the platform access, account, generated visibility, syndication, social engagement, reviews, and analytics are fully controlled and retained by the brokerage. This means all online authority accumulated through the agent profile network remains with the brokerage.
Agents are granted access permissions and visibility while affiliated, but lose access if they leave. By retaining ownership over these marketing assets and the visibility they enable, Direction.com provides inherent incentives for agent recruitment and retention.
The all-in-one simplicity and ownership model helps brokerages execute high-impact agent profile strategies while future-proofing their local brand and assets.
Application Today Leads to Success Tomorrow
The opportunity clearly exists for forward-thinking brokerages to gain a strategic edge by focusing on local search optimization efforts. Constructing a thriving network of Google My Business profiles centered around the brokerage provides tangible benefits, from dominating hyper-local keyword searches to solidifying branding and talent recruitment.
However, the advantages go beyond the brokerage itself. Astute agents can also amplify their personal brands and differentiation by maximizing the exposure and features from their GMB presence within the network. In essence, optimization success compounds across the organization.
I advise brokers to consider GMB profile creation and management as a core competency. The relatively minimal time investment is well worth the multifaceted returns. Lean into this strategy now to expand your local authority and attract top producers in coming years.
With some concerted effort on this front, brokerages can transform Google My Business from an afterthought into a core pillar of their competitive strategy. Construct your network, build your talent base, and let your brand dominate locally. The opportunity awaits.
Need advice on getting your GMB network setup and optimized? Get in touch with our team of SEO experts for a private consultation where we’ll explore your existing online presence and provide tactics you can implement to gain an edge in Google searches.