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Essential Online Visibility: Setting Up Google My Business for Real Estate Agents

Chris Kirksey
Chris Kirksey

CEO, Direction.com

Google My Business for Real Estate Agents
Table of contents

A Google My Business profile is the key to unlocking more online visibility, credibility and client inquiries – ensuring your personal brand stands out in a competitive market.

Can Real Estate Agents Have a Google My Business?

I’m often asked if real estate agents can have a Google My Business profile (aka. Google Business Profile). The short answer is – yes.

In fact, having an optimized Google My Business listing should be a crucial part of any real estate agent’s digital marketing strategy.

Here’s why:

What are the Benefits of Google My Business for Real Estate Agents?

Google My Business profiles help real estate agents establish their brand and gain visibility in local search results.

When prospective clients search for real estate-related keywords in Google, like “realtors near me,” agents with complete and optimized GMB profiles stand a much better chance of appearing prominently on the results page.

The end-game here is to earn your spot in the top 3 map pack results on Google. Appearing in the Local Pack can transform a real estate agent’s lead generation, as studies show up to 34% of buyers will contact an agent after finding them in local search results.

This is hugely important for lead generation, as studies show that a significant portion of buyers first look for homes and agents online before contacting them directly.

What if I am Employed at a Real Estate Agency?

Even if you’re employed by a real estate brokerage, you can still setup and optimize a personal Google My Business — and I highly recommend taking this step. In fact, we recommend that brokerages create a network of agent Google Business Profiles — an extremely effective tactic for local market domination. 

Anyway, here are some tips on how agents should set up their individual GMB listing while also being associated with a brokerage:

  • Use your name and associated brokerage as the business name for your GMB profile (e.g. “Jane Doe – Real Estate Agent at [Brokerage]”). 
  • Make sure to list your role/title as “Real Estate Agent” and your association with the brokerage in the business description or other profile fields.
  • Use your personal real estate agent license number to verify the GMB listing.
  • The address should be the main office location of your brokerage where you are based out of.
  • It is fine to use the brokerage’s office phone number as your business phone for the profile.
  • Include a professional headshot photo of yourself as the profile photo as this is representing you as the agent, not the brokerage.
  • Transparency about your brokerage affiliation is important in the profile details to avoid any conflicts.
  • Optimize the profile completely focusing on yourself and your role even though you align with the brokerage brand.

What Happens if I Transfer to a Different Brokerage?

If you’ve invested significant effort optimizing your Google My Business profile, you may worry about retaining that asset when moving to a new brokerage. The good news is your GMB profile remains fully intact when transferring brokerages.

Because you own your GMB profile, the personalized branding, localization, and lead generation power you’ve built stays with you as you move companies. Your profile provides consistency and continued visibility for prospective clients to find you.

What Revisions Would I Need to Make on My GMB if I Transfer?

  • Update name of brokerage – Input the name, address, phone number, and website of your new brokerage.
  • Update brokerage license number – Add the new brokerage license number issued by your state’s real estate commission.
  • Update team names – If moving teams, update any team names or affiliations.
  • Update photos – Consider adding new photos featuring your new brokerage sign or office.
  • Update service area – Adjust your service area if needed based on your new brokerage location.
  • Update associated accounts – Connect any new social media accounts associated with your new brokerage.
  • Review profile information – Double check things like your bio, contact info, and branding are up-to-date.
  • Request new review from broker – Ask your new broker to post a review welcoming you to the brokerage.
  • Monitor changes – Check that all updates properly sync and your GMB listing reflects the brokerage transfer accurately.

How Does This Help Me Stand Out From My Colleagues?

Having a personal Google My Business profile as a real estate agent affiliated with a brokerage can help you stand out above your colleagues at the same brokerage in several key ways:

  • Increased discoverability – Your individual GMB listing helps surface your name specifically in local searches related to your brokerage brand name or real estate keywords. This gives you more visibility beyond just the brokerage’s profile.
  • Personal brand building – You can craft your own brand identity with your name, photo, bio, areas of expertise, and brokerage affiliation highlighted in your profile. This establishes you as an authority.
  • Specialization and niche focus – Your GMB profile allows you to emphasize specific aspects like luxury homes, first-time buyers, commercial real estate etc. that set you apart.
  • Review generation – Collecting more reviews under your name can showcase a track record of satisfied clients.
  • Direct leads & calls – By ranking highly in local search for your name + real estate, more contacts/leads come directly to you versus going to the general brokerage pool.
  • Credibility – Personal GMB lends more expertise and trust to you as the agent vs just the brokerage name.

Having that individual Google presence aligned with, but differentiated from your brokerage, can be a powerful asset in building your personal brand and visibility in your local market. The key is optimizing your own GMB distinctly from the brokerage profile.

What's Better: Google My Business or Google Screened Ads?

When it comes to generating more leads and conversions for real estate agents, an optimized Google My Business (GMB) profile is usually the better option compared to Google Screened Ads. Here’s a quick comparison:

Google My Business:

  • Free to create and appear prominently in search results
  • Drives direct leads by displaying agent’s full contact info and website
  • Builds credibility through reviews and complete business info
  • Gains visibility 24/7 by ranking highly for relevant searches
  • Provides analytics on customer behavior and conversions

Google Screened Ads:

  • Requires monthly advertising budget, less predictable costs
  • Leads go through screening form, less direct contact
  • Limited space for business information and branding
  • Visibility limited to ad placement and budget
  • Harder to track leads directly from ads

While Screened Ads can provide a boost, optimized GMB listings tend to generate more (and better) leads as they connect clients who are serious in taking action directly with the agent.

For most real estate agents, focusing on an excellent GMB presence with reviews, photos, accurate details and so on provides the best return on time and effort for lead generation and conversions.

Screened Ads work better as a supplement to enhance reach. But an optimized GMB profile should be the cornerstone.

In fact, when we asked our client Ryan Rodenbeck, Owner of Spyglass Realty, he said that the leads from his Google screened ads weren’t even worth his time. 

What Other Platforms Should I Be Listed On?

In addition to having a Google My Business profile, here are some other useful platforms where real estate agents should create and optimize a personal business listing:

  • Facebook – Create a Facebook Business Page to promote yourself, share listings, build an audience and generate leads.
  • LinkedIn – Have a professional looking LinkedIn profile to network, establish expertise and get discovered by clients.
  • Yelp – Build credibility with a Yelp business page showing photos, services, and reviews.
  • YouTube – Post video content like neighborhood tours and market overviews.
  • Nextdoor – Introduce yourself to neighbors to build a local referral network.

The key is to consistently maintain an authoritative, optimized presence on platforms where your potential clients are likely to search for real estate agents. This multi-channel brand visibility is essential in today’s digital landscape.

It's Time to Take Action

In closing, it’s clear that having an optimized Google My Business profile should be a top priority for real estate agents looking to boost their personal brand, leads, and visibility.

Even if you’re part of a larger brokerage, creating and optimizing your own GMB listing can set you apart and direct more opportunities your way. Focus on building your authority with accurate details, great photos, niche keywords, and garnering client reviews.

While paid ads can supplement your marketing efforts, nothing beats the power of ranking highly in Google’s local searches. And that’s exactly what an excellent Google My Business profile will help you accomplish.

So take the time to create or refine your GMB listing today. It’s one of the smartest investments you can make in your real estate business and marketing strategy. The leads and brand growth you’ll gain will be well worth the effort.

Have more questions about dominating local search? Feel free to reach out so we can discuss a comprehensive game-plan that will help you earn top positions in Google’s local map pack.

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