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  1. #1
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    Question What real estate agents and multi-agent offices need to know.

    I would love others thoughts on this article I wrote regarding how to name a real estate listing on Google Local.

    I go over the loopholes, common problems and implications of not doing things correctly.

    "We’re going to aim at answering some of the most popular questions, including:
    • How can I use a Google My Business local listing to help my SEO efforts?
    • How should I title my Google My Business listing?
    • How do I avoid problems with Google Local Listings in the future?"

    Google My Business Page for Real Estate: What’s In a Name?

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  3. #2
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    Re: What real estate agents and multi-agent offices need to know.

    Hi Ben,

    In regards to this part:

    You are not supposed to have your Real Estate’s agency’s name on your Google My Business Maps listing or your Google Plus page. And everyone else is doing it!
    What is the difference between a GMB Maps listing and a Google Plus page? I wasn't clear on that.
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

  4. #3
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    Re: What real estate agents and multi-agent offices need to know.

    Thanks, Colan, missed that in editing.

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    Re: What real estate agents and multi-agent offices need to know.

    Otherwise, super informative, and useful for real estate agents and agency owners.

    Thanks!

    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

  6. #5
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    Re: What real estate agents and multi-agent offices need to know.

    Hey Ben,

    Here are a couple things I would advise.

    First, if I was a realtor, I would totally ignore the multi-practitioner guidelines and would list my agency name (Re/Max, Keller Williams etc). There is no algorithmic monitor for this so the only thing that would change it is if a mapper came along and edited the listing. I've also never seen a practitioner listing get suspended (ever) for including the office name.

    You also said this in the article:
    There will be the temptation to claim the listing using a format like XYZ Realty – John Smith. Yet, if you do this, it will hurt you in the long haul when the main office gets around to setting up a local listing via Google My Business.

    Here is what will happen: Google seeks out duplicate listings all the time (automatically) and if your page/listing is identified as a duplicate using the same NAP (name, address, phone number) then your page could be suspended in favor of the main agency. It is really that simple.
    I would have to disagree with that. I think not listing the agency name actually hurts you because you won't show up as well for searches for that brand. Branded searches are really important for the big name real estate companies. I've also never seen a realtor practitioner listing get flagged as a duplicate. A simple way to avoid that is to use the agent's cell number as the phone #. This will help it stand out from the agency and the cell number is most likely what the agent would want on all their online citations anyway since they are rarely in the office. Using the cell number gives it a distinct NAP that won't confuse it with the agency listing, if they even have one.

    I'm a huge fan of following all the Google guidelines but there are a few that frankly Google doesn't even monitor or punish for so I don't see the point. It's not the same as creating a fake listing, keyword stuffing, or some other thing that classifies it as spam.
    Joy Hawkins
    Owner of Sterling Sky
    Author of The Expert's Guide to Local SEO [, a 260+ page training manual that is updated monthly and contains advanced tips and tactics for Local SEO that actually work and drive results.

  7. #6
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    Re: What real estate agents and multi-agent offices need to know.

    Hey Joy,

    I would still call it keyword stuffing though. I agree that it's not as big of a deal as let's say adding "Best Real Estate Agent in Toronto" to the business name. But it's still the same concept, which is adding words to your business name, that Google tells you not to, for the purpose of gaining visibility.

    Would you agree?



    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

  8. #7
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    Re: What real estate agents and multi-agent offices need to know.

    No because if they were a solo practitioner they would be fine. I would correct them if I find them on Maps but if I was being honest with a realtor on what I would do if I was them, I would list both the name and real estate company. I also think their name alone (ex: Sue Smith) looks stupid and doesn't help the user at all since they wouldn't have designations like doctors and lawyers do.

    Joy Hawkins
    Owner of Sterling Sky
    Author of The Expert's Guide to Local SEO [, a 260+ page training manual that is updated monthly and contains advanced tips and tactics for Local SEO that actually work and drive results.

  9. #8
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    Re: What real estate agents and multi-agent offices need to know.

    I completely agree Joy, that the name alone does not look good at all. This article was more mean to highlight the guidelines, which as you said, Google does not even adhere to.

    One thing though about the company name, again I agree it should be there, but if a realtors office is located in Scottsdale AZ, and they are a Keller Williams agent, located in the KW office. Then the realtor should show for a Keller Williams branded search, solely based on the fact the that while the phone number is different, the address would be the same? (basing this off a discussion I had with a Google representative) and some experience.

    In reality, I would suggest to a client that they include the office name in their listing as well with a distinct number.

    Thanks for the great input, I will be updating the article for more clarity

  10. #9
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    Re: What real estate agents and multi-agent offices need to know.

    The name you use on GMB has a huge impact on ranking (unfortunately). It's why keyword-stuffing would work so well. Having the same office address wouldn't make them show for a Keller Williams search. Only the name or the website address would. Since most Realtors have separate websites and don't use the branded one, it really comes down to the name. Again, why I think this rule is so stupid

    I totally get why you would want to advise people to follow the rules. I generally always do as well. I just know if I was the realtor, I wouldn't see the point.

    Joy Hawkins
    Owner of Sterling Sky
    Author of The Expert's Guide to Local SEO [, a 260+ page training manual that is updated monthly and contains advanced tips and tactics for Local SEO that actually work and drive results.

  11. #10
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    Re: What real estate agents and multi-agent offices need to know.

    Ben, great article, I've really enjoyed reading through it, a few little tips have been taken, thank you.

    Colan and Joy, what a great discussion between the two of you...very interesting.

    So, can I just have something clarified with what you are suggesting / recommending.

    Example:
    If I had an agent called Simon Cowell and he worked for Keller Williams

    Should his GMB name be:

    a/ Simon Cowell, Keller Williams Realty

    b/ Simon Cowell, Keller Williams

    c/ Simon Cowell

    From my understanding of what you were both discussing, Joy thinks (a) and Colan (c)

    Joy, (a) uses the full company name for Keller Williams, or should we drop "Realty", (b)?

    Additional: I think we / you should update the local team at Keller Williams with this advice so that they get all their agent listings in the same format, continuity looks so much more professional.

    Thank you,

    Andy

    Additional: Should Simon's Facebook, YELP and BING listing also be the same as his GMB, therefore ensuring that his NAP is the same for each one.

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