As we quickly approach 2016, there’s no better time to start preparing for a great year. Things may slow down a bit in the real estate world (though we hope not too much!), but there are a number of things you can do to make sure that you are on top of things come January. One way we can think of is to make sure that your local listings are complete and consistent. Here is a quick guide to making sure your real estate business listings are up to par and set up for success.
What Kind of Listing is This?
The particular listing in question is not a property listing, but the listing of your real estate business on various online directories. Some top familiar places that you should be included in:
- Google Places for Business
- Better Business Bureau
- Angie’s List
- Merchant Circle
- Yellow Book
- City Search
The importance of local listings is so you have as much reach as possible online where people can find and rate you as well as to improve your SEO.
How to Get Started with Local Listings
Getting listed is as easy as either claiming your business on one of these sites or manually starting an account and listing your business yourself. Some tips to get you started:
- Make sure when you do start your own business listing that you have the right email to which your verifications and updates can be sent. More often than not, it can be an arduous process to claim or improve your listing is you have a million different emails linked to any one account.
- Ensure that all information (name, address, phone, website and description) are consistent amongst all of your listings. This not only ensures you provide the correct information for leads but also improves your SEO.
- Don’t be afraid to take the time to contact the listing service if you need help. So much time can be wasted trying to figure out listings on your own. A simple online chat, call or email can reduce the time it takes to improve, update or start your listing.
How to Improve Your Local Listings
As we mentioned, making sure you have the correct and consistent information in all fields is key to doing listings right. Using the right keywords in your description or even the title you use is important in matching your listing to what potential clients will be searching. Keeping it local, for example, may include your mentioning a particular neighborhood you focus on or the type of properties you work with. If you are especially good in a particular niche and would like to grow that niche (i.e. luxury), then include that in your business name and description.
In your description, be sure to be personable yet thorough. Bullet points help people quickly understand how you can help and what you have done to help clients in the past. What is the value that you bring to a client? Why should they choose you over another agent? Asking a trusted friend or colleague to review your listing description will be super helpful and give you an opportunity to include information that others see about yourself and your business that you may have forgotten. Look at reviews, testimonials and other sources that will give you more information that you may have overlooked about your business.
You will also want to include any photos of yourself (to make it more personable), examples of homes you have listed and even your real estate business/office.
Be sure to list your services – and be specific! You never know what will capture a lead’s attention. Some examples can include home selling, home buying, real estate guidance, among others. You’ll also choose the top two or three categories for your business. A mistake many real estate agents make is to choose additional categories that are a real stretch for their business. If you can’t expound on that category in your description, it’s best to leave the category out.
Don’t forget a call to action, too. It’s important to tell leads what you can do for the and to move them to action. Simply ask them to call or email you or to check out your website for current listings and more information on who you are.
Directing people to your website means making sure that all of your information is up to date there, too, for, again, consistency’s sake.
Dealing with Reviews
Reviews are a great way for people to connect and get third-party information about your services. Be sure to ask past and current clients to rate and review you on various sites. The most important will be Google, Bing, Yelp and Facebook. Five-star reviews will improve your SEO and attract more clicks to your website. Don’t be afraid if you receive a less than stellar review. Simply think about what they said and respond accordingly. Don’t attack the reviewer but acknowledge their statements then thank them for working with you and for the feedback. If you can, reach out to them and understand where the issues may be – they may just go back and change or add on to their review for the personal, honest attention you gave it.