Google’s ad platform is expanding, and that’s great news for real estate agents looking to market their services online! Google now offers Local Service Ads, which feature specific professionals at the top of search results to help put potential clients in touch with you faster. Real estate is one of the first industries the new ads are available for. You can even get a “Google Screened” or “Google Guaranteed” badge to display along with your listing to build credibility with customers.
Google Ads can be an excellent way to build online visibility and website traffic for your business. If you aren’t familiar with Google Ads, that’s okay, because you don’t have to have other ads set up to be able to use Local Service Ads – you can use this service independently.
What Are Local Service Ads?
Local Service Ads are different from normal search ads in that they have their own area on the results page, and will look different than other sections on the page. Through these ads, customers can call or message you directly through Google, without needing to go to your website, allowing them to get to you faster.
These ads are also different from traditional search ads because you’ll pay per lead received as opposed to paying per click on an ad – so you’ll now set how much you’re willing to pay for a lead and Google will take it from there. You also select categories that indicate the type of services you offer, as opposed to selecting which keywords to target like you would with Google Ads.
The Local Service Ads may also be displayed with a “Google Guaranteed” or “Google Screened” badge. As a Google Guaranteed business, your credibility increases because it shows that your business is both vetted and approved by Google. It also means that if a customer is unhappy with your service, Google may issue a refund for jobs booked through Local Service Ads.
What are the benefits?
It’s as easy as someone Googling “real estate agents near me” and seeing results! Customers will see a variety of options near them, along with contact information, business hours, ratings, and reviews. It helps customers narrow down their search and find someone close by who meets their needs. Google is continuing to expand its coverage in the US, so if this isn’t an option in your area currently, it could be very soon!
Some of the benefits include:
- You only pay for interested leads. Google only charges you when someone contacts your business. You don’t pay if someone simply views your ad or obtains information from it – you’re only paying for someone who wants to hire you as a realtor or get more information about your agency.
- Your business will be seen first. The Local Service Ads appear at the top of the page, so when someone searches for “local real estate agents” or “real estate agents near me”, your business shows up first, which gives you a great advantage over the competition.
- Building trust with potential clients. The Google Guarantee badge gives clients confidence in choosing your business, because they know that Google approved you.
How Does It All Work?
Typically, when you set up Google Ads, you pay every time someone clicks on your ad. If that click results in a sale or a new customer, then great! But that isn’t always the case, and if you don’t manage your ad spend carefully, you could end up losing money while trying to gain new business. This is where the Local Service Ads can be a real benefit.
When you set up Local Service Ads, instead of paying a fee every time someone clicks on your ad, you’re now setting a cap on how much you’re willing to spend to get a new lead. You can set a maximum price per lead, as well as a monthly budget.
And because you’re charged per lead, rather than per click, with Google’s Local Service Ads, increasing or decreasing your budget directly impacts the number of leads you generate. Google considers it a lead when:
- You receive a text message or email from the customer
- You receive a voicemail from the customer
- You answer a phone call and speak with the customer
And the good news is that if you receive a lead that is fraudulent, spam, or a poor match, you can dispute the charge from Google for credit.
Google also offers a super helpful budget tool so you can estimate your budget before you even get started. You enter your zip code, how many leads you want to generate per month, and the profession you’re in, and it shows you the estimated monthly expense that you can expect. You can find it on their website here, and it looks like this:
Local Service Ads are managed separately from Google Ads (AdWords) and Google Ads Express, so you will need to create a separate account if you already have a Google Ads account. But once you get that all set up, you’ll be ready to receive new leads! You can also set which areas you want leads in, so you can choose how far you want your ad to reach.
But leads aren’t necessarily confirmed clients. You can manage your leads from the dashboard of Local Service Ads. Once you review your leads, you have 3 options to follow up with an interested lead:
- Reply: You can send an email or a text to the customer
- Call: You can contact the customer based on the phone number they listed
- Decline: If you decline the request, it will be removed and the customer will be notified. You can also send a response with more information about why the request was declined. You can recover declined requests if something changes.
Google Local Service Ads make it easy for customers to reach your directly, to adjust your budget as needed, get verified to earn more business, and to manage your leads within the app. Google offers a great resource on how it works if you want additional information. Their platform is also very user-friendly and it walks you through the set up process.
This is a great resource for real estate agents because it helps potential clients find you more easily, allows them to see your reviews and ratings, and allows them to see your contact information and hours all in one location. This is also a great tool to keep in mind if you’re just starting the process of obtaining your real estate license, so you’ll have the best tools to market yourself once you’re licensed. If you want to learn more about Google Ads paid advertising in general, you can find a helpful article here.
And if you’re ready to get started with a career in real estate, PDH Real Estate is here to help. We offer competitively-priced, comprehensive licensing programs to help you become a real estate agent. Feel free to visit our website at www.pdhrealestate.com or contact us at 888-572-7324.