Google Products for Estate and Lettings Agents.
Google Products are your virtual shop window for key properties.
In our extensive local analysis, several estate agencies have already positioned themselves above their competition by effectively using Google Products.
Sales, Lettings & Commerical?
No matter your sector – commercial or residential, sales or lettings – you can use Google Products to highlight select properties in your local portfolio to entice buyers and sellers.
The only requirement is that your business premises has a verified physical address.
Why Are Google Products Useful For Estate Agents?
The Products feature provides estate agents with another opportunity to showcase their key local properties.
As a result, your agency impresses buyers, sellers and the rental market.
Both visually; with your appealing property photographs, and as an agency with a professional stance to property marketing – using the latest tools to tap into a business directory service used by millions.
Like many features in Google My Business, Google Products are underutilised.
Partly as they are a new feature, but mostly because businesses do not realise their true potential – it’s not well known how powerful Google My Business is to leverage local search, that certain features have SEO value or that there is a considerable amount of customer interaction with specific features… Some of which help you stand out against the competition.
We have seen greater engagement, calls and click-through to websites when Google Products are used effectively.
However, ongoing management of products is quite a time-consuming task which can’t be automated, yet.
Added to that, mismanaging Google Products is a significant customer dissatisfier: out of date properties, incorrect pricing and broken links all effect an agency’s reputation by confusing customers and wasting company time.
To avoid these pitfalls, be careful to optimally and professionally manage the Google Products space.
The Specifics Of Using Google Products.
Google My Business is a business listing for local businesses.
Within this, Google created a number of features to promote products and services.
These are not complicated or sophisticate, rather, they are a free platform to showcase different parts of an estate agency business.
What Is Google My Business?
To clarify: a Google My Business account is how businesses setup the workings of their customer-facing profile which appears in Google Search and Google Maps – where their company name, information and a review section appears as default.
However, there are considerably more features within Google My Business to add to a public Google profile. Such as ‘Google Updates’, and soon ‘See What’s In Store’.
Google Products are a relatively new feature which appears to customers searching Google via the Maps panel, and in Google Maps on both mobile and desktop.
Essentially, Google has left it for businesses to interpret what their products are and the information to put with them.
These Google Products must contain an image and description, while there are optional sections for pricing, links to websites and one-click phone lines.
It’s really that simple, as long as you can fit your product information into the modest format that Google provides. Note that you can categorise properties too – a tab for lettings and one for sales, for example.
A Common User Experience:
Think of the common user journey: searching for directions in Google Maps, comparing local offerings in Google search or directly seeking your estate agency by name.
The one thing they have in common is your Google My Business profile, and yet many businesses are not capitalising on this additional advertising space within Google My Business – Google Products – which is the virtual display window for your local presence.
Our research shows that Google Search and Maps are where customers most commonly compare local businesses.
So it’s really important to manage this content to ensure you stand out from the competition.
While reviews, NAP and store-front images count, the visual appeal of this section is really the defining feature that draws customer attention.
After all, they are seeking or comparing your services – so a clearly presented professional gallery of property is very attractive.
How do Google Products Appear To Your Customers?
If you can, find and click on Google My Business page (which, appear as the business title with reviews beneath) for a company that’s using Google Products – they will have a feature called ‘Products’ in this window that appears. Clicking ‘view all’ in the products section brings up another a panel of properties with pricing, often categorised by lettings and sales.
Note how prominently this section stands out. If the options are used correctly, clicking on each property brings up a description as well as links to call directly, buy or order online via their website. Underneath, you will see similar products or categories – another feature which attracts attention and keeps customers interested in key properties.
The Google Search experience is similar on mobile, although next to ‘Overview’ and ‘Updates’ there is an individual tab named ‘Products’. Click ‘view all’, and you will see key properties displayed. Alternatively, scroll past the reviews on the main page to see the products panel. If used correctly, clicking a property brings up a description, pricing and links. Note that searching via Google Maps includes the products in the main section on mobile, rather than a sperate tab.
Google Maps Dominates Navigation.
As this Google interface is streamlined for the user experience across all devices and is commonly used, it is both accessible and user friendly – reducing time to navigate key properties in a products portfolio versus a website.
It goes without saying that maps and search are dominated by Google, and searching for an estate agent in most local areas is highly competitive.
So, to complement the user experience and capitalise on this free advertising space, it is especially important to provide key properties in the Products section of Google My Business.
Many estate agents are also taking advantage of ‘Google Updates’, yet another section that can be used for key properties, bookings, offers or news.
Why Are Google Products Free?
In essence, Google releases lots of new features and leaves it up to the business community to figure out how to use them. Why? They are attempting to create an attractive ‘sticky space’ that is the go-to ‘free’ space for everyone…while also driving revenue through paid adverts.
Managing Google Products
To reiterate: The other half of the tale is that these products are simple to setup but can become difficult and time consuming to maintain.
It’s all too common that businesses leave outdated images, links and descriptions online. This doesn’t just look bad; it actively deters your prospects. Or worse; mismanaged products create inquiries that waste your time by confusing customers, while your business may gain negative reviews in the process.
Similar to your NAP, any Google Products displayed need to be up to date.
Ultimately, it has become essential to manage all aspects of Google My Business if you want a valued profile within Google.
The more you manage and control your Google My Business, the greater the rewards.
When using Google Products, be sure to have accurate information in the right categories and enticing images alongside working links.
As you already go to the effort of keeping your website and high-street window updated, why not see Google Products as an extension of this – your Google shop window.
Depending on how effective you are at managing your content, some people will gravitate towards certain listings over others.
Strategies for Estate Agents:
- Mange and update your Google Product Listings regularly.
- Use categories to separate: lettings, sales, property of the week and services.
- Use Google Products for several key properties.
- Include the best eye-catching image of each property.
- Raise the profile of high-value properties.
- Tap into organic search with SEO for Google Products.
- Rent properties quickly with increased bookings.
- Catch the attention of buyers and sellers.
- Increase your visibility as a business in Google Search results.
- Get more clicks and calls.
- Garner attention and views with high-value properties.
- Sell key properties faster.
- Stand out from your competition.
- Raise your local profile in search results.