Google+ is an Internet marketing tool that you can use to grow your property management business. If you’ve never used it before, think of it as an updated and digital re-creation of the yellow pages. It provides the same service to a local business by providing a category and a specific location for what you do and where you are. When your property management business is on Google+, anyone searching for a company like yours in your area will be able to find you. For example, if a landlord in San Francisco is looking for a local company to manage some properties and he searches Google for “San Francisco Property Management,” those companies will show up in the search results.
Not only will you see the company’s name, you’ll also get a map pinpointing the locations of those property management companies. If you’re a San Francisco property management company, you’ll want to make sure you’re on that map. This means you need a Google Local page with a verified address. You also need to properly categorize your business so it shows up in searches.
At least that’s the plan. Often there are more property management companies than there are available pins on the Google map. So how do you make sure you’re there?
That depends on Google. And as we all know – Internet technology is constantly changing.
We can tell you how to increase your chances, however. We know with total certainty that if you want front page placement for free on Google, you have to connect your Google Local listing with a Google+ Business Page. More importantly, you have to make sure your profile is complete.
A complete Google+ profile includes:
• Business description
• Correct business categorization
• Verified address and phone number
• Links to your website
• Photos and images
• Links to your YouTube channel
That sounds like a lot and you may be wondering why you’d bother with all this. It’s worth the time and attention, though, because all of your reviews, videos and other company information are there in one place. You boost your visibility and your SEO and you do it all in one easy to find location.
Google has recently combined a number of its features into the Google+ product. It’s meant to be user-friendly and similar to other popular spots like Yelp, Facebook, MapQuest and Yahoo Local. Don’t be intimidated. There have been a few concerns some businesses have raised, and Fourandhalf works with clients all the time to better manage their Google+ listings. Here are a few things to watch out for:
1. Your business address is old. If you created your Google Places page two years ago when you had a different address, Google will mail its verification to the old address.
2. There is no address. You can run into trouble if you don’t have a physical location or you have more than one.
3. Someone else set you up. If a third party got your Google Places account going with a non-Google email address, verification may be difficult because Google+ will require a Gmail address or an email account from Google Apps.
4. A password left with an employee. If the person who set up your Google+ page has left and no one else knows the password, you’ll have trouble activating your account.
A little legwork is required to work these issues out, usually including a phone call to Google. If you’re confused and overwhelmed, Fourandhalf is here to help. Things change fast and Google+ can be confusing even to the most Internet-savvy property managers.