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


BenFisher

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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?
 

Colan Nielsen

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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.
 

JoyHawkins

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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.
 

Colan Nielsen

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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?
 

JoyHawkins

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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.
 

BenFisher

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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 :)
 

JoyHawkins

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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.
 

AndySimpson

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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.
 

BenFisher

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Hi Andy,
I have a few clients that use different naming conventions, they all seem to work pretty well.

XYZ Name Keller Williams
Keller Williams XYZ Name (This is by far the most popular)
and even XYZ Team Keller Williams Realty.

Whatever naming convention you choose, your customer should update all NAPS should be consistent with the GMB listing.
 
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I"m going into a real estate office that currently has multiple agent Google Business listings all ready set up for that location. However based off from a search "keller williams" only one of those listing is actually populating for the location in the local pack. And it's not even the regional office which represents the that address! Its an Agents.

Would you suggest that I create all my accounts for example under XYZ Realtor - Keller Williams or vice versa..... and then possibly use my home based NAP?

I figure if i were to use my home based NAP I would then set my Google My Business settings up as a service based business. That way My listing doesn't display my Home under street view which would look very unprofessional. I understand that this would not include me on the map.

However this may be an option to avoid duplicate listing all together, and give credibility to my Website in regard to ranking for "keller williams"

Thus enabling me to utilize my personal "keller williams" site in the local pack to promote my lead capture marketing.

Any thoughts?
 

BenFisher

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Hey Jeremy,
I have an agent that was kinda in the same boat, it is possible that there may be a problem with the address if the knowledge graph is not showing the main office, just an agent (or the agent took over the main office by accident).

Ps. Where is the geo for that query? I may be able to get it fixed.

Either way, going with Keller Williams - XYZ Realtor is more than acceptable.

You can also use your home address as the NAP for a SAB, like you said you lose the marker and the driving directions, but may gain the search visibility.

If you go this route, you can always change the address :)
 

JoyHawkins

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Hard to confirm without actually looking at the specific query but usually when I see this it's because the ranking page is linking to a much stronger page on the domain (like the homepage and the realtor is linking to their profile page).
 
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Joy-

That would make sense in this situation as the agent's site is more developed than the regional office site. I think may set my GMB listing as a service based business for now and utilize only the Website listing portation in the local pack to acquire leads.

See how effective it is. If it seems to be weak in performance with regard to CTR then I will think about setting the address to the Regional Office Location that way it provides a directions options as well.

Thanks for all the input. I believe i will be making good use of this community!
 

TomW

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Hey all,

How about real estate agencies that have both individuals and teams? Someone posted on the GMB forum about a listing that got suspended. It appears to be for a team of realtors. I don't have much experience with realtor listings but I replied to him since he had posted about it twice and nobody had responded yet.

I found this thread when searching around for any info regarding team listings, as opposed to just individual or agency listings, so I thought I would jump in and ask you guys.

Anyone have any advice that they could share for his situation? https://www.en.advertisercommunity....een-suspended-for-spammy-behavior/td-p/644176

Thanks,
Tom
 

JoyHawkins

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Hey all,

How about real estate agencies that have both individuals and teams? Someone posted on the GMB forum about a listing that got suspended. It appears to be for a team of realtors. I don't have much experience with realtor listings but I replied to him since he had posted about it twice and nobody had responded yet.

I found this thread when searching around for any info regarding team listings, as opposed to just individual or agency listings, so I thought I would jump in and ask you guys.

Anyone have any advice that they could share for his situation? https://www.en.advertisercommunity....een-suspended-for-spammy-behavior/td-p/644176

Thanks,
Tom
Tom,

Thanks for posting here. I will weigh in the thread.
 

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