Why Realtors Should NOT Create Google+ Business Pages and Stick to Their Personal Profiles
I know what you’re thinking. Did she seriously say that? Real estate agents shouldn’t create business pages on Google+? Well, hear me out on this one. Google+ business pages are great for a lot of different businesses and organizations, but Google+ also has functionality that allows certain types of businesses to avoid them (often times, making this whole social media thing easier). And by certain businesses I mean real estate agents.
While there is nothing wrong with creating a Google+ business page as a realtor, there are a few things to consider before you do. In my opinion, using a personal Google+ profile is the best option for realtors, the easiest option, as well as the option that provides the most for their online authority.
YouTube & Google+ Business Pages
Many agents use video to showcase their listings and their expertise online. YouTube is the most popular platform and second largest search engine there is. Since it’s owned by Google it’s no surprise that it has been integrated into Google+ directly. From your personal Google+ profile you can sync your YouTube channel directly, allowing users to find all your videos from the top navigation of your profile. As a realtor this allows you to showcase your videos on Google+, drive traffic to your YouTube channel simultaneously and have all your video analytics in one place.
Can you do that from a Google+ business page? No. Business pages only allow you to upload videos to your page manually. Which means you’ll have to upload them twice, YouTube and Google+. Additionally, you won’t be able to track your video analytics on the videos you’ve uploaded to your business page.
Sharing Content and +1’ing Around the Web
These days, most websites, publications and blogs have share buttons that include Google+. From a personal profile you can easily share and +1 content around the web. As long as you are logged into a Google application of any kind (YouTube, Gmail, Google Play, etc.) you can share content to Google+ from your Google Bar, without being on the social platform itself.
Sometimes you don’t have time to monitor your social networks all day, and your Google bar makes it easy to see your notifications, share and endorse content while you are surfing the web.
Can you do that from a Google+ business page? No. With business pages, even if you are using Google+ as your page, you won’t be able to do this. You’ll have to post and share content manually to the page. Business pages can’t endorse content from these plugins around the web, they can only +1 and share from the network itself.
Sharing with Different Circles
Now you may think a business page makes sense, and it does make sense on a platform like Facebook. But with Google+’s circle functionality you can easily categorize the people you follow and easily share content with certain groups of people, making it easy to balance both the professional side and personal side of your life from one account.
Create circles for your family, co-workers, clients, real estate influencers, local real estate friends, etc. When you share content, make sure you are only sharing with the circles that are related to that type of content. Want to post your most recent listing? Why not share that with your potential and previous clients? Want to post your baby playing in the sandbox? Why not share that with your family and friends?
Can you do this from a Google+ business page? Yes. Business pages can have their own circles just like personal profiles. However, if you can do it all from one account why wouldn’t you want to?
Claiming Google+ Local Listings
And this is where many people might disagree with me. Too many realtors create business pages under the category “Local Business or Place” and claim the brokerage address as their own. This is exactly what realtors SHOULD NOT do. Unless a realtor owns the brokerage itself, claiming the brokerage’s physical address isn’t efficient for Google users, and I would even venture to say it goes against Google’s guidelines for Local listings. Can you imagine if hundreds of agents claimed the same address? Who should actually claim that address? (hint, hint: the brokerage)
Ineligible Business Models:
You can't create a Places listing for an ongoing service, class, or meeting at a location that you don't own or have the authority to represent. Please coordinate with your host to have your information displayed on their Place Page within their Description field.
Again, I don’t recommend real estate agents even bothering with business pages. Bill Gassett is a perfect example of a realtor who uses his person profile on Google+ really well, and has even earned over 14,000 followers! He’s created an amazing, well thought out bio and integrated his YouTube channel to his page. He’s established authorship and has become an authoritative voice in the industry.
However if I haven’t been convincing enough (say whaaat?!), and realtors do decide to create a business page on Google+ because they would to maintain two pages, it should be created under the category “Product or Brand”. Not only will this be easier in the long run, since there is no verification process and realtors won’t have to update your listing every time you move or switch brokerages with another verification PIN number (that can takes weeks to get), but agents won’t be competing with their brokerage’s listing.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree?