What if I told you there was a FREE way to help grow your business?
No strings attached. You don't need to outsource or pay referral fees or do anything really extraordinary except learn how to do something online and then put it into practice?
And the net result is you may get more calls and more business?
It's all about putting yourself on the map!
You do have an account with Google, right? If not, go sign up for one before you go any further. It's Google's free tools that are going to make a difference. Since Google loves itself and its tools (YouTube, maps, etc.), making use of what Google provides for free can give you an edge over your competition who doesn't understand that nor take advantage of what's available.
So....you've gone to Google.com and you're signed in? See that 3 x 3 grid of black squares in the upper right corner? Click that to access Google apps.
First way to increase your business: scroll down and find "My Business".
Click "add location" and from there follow the prompts (I'm not going to provide a step by step, Google has you covered). You're going to tie your real estate business to Google maps. Do a good job of filling out the details and providing material to your My Business location and you just might be the answer to "real estate agents near me" queries. We've gotten 2 listings so far this year where we've been the match to that search. If the other agents in your office don't take advantage of this Google app, YOU are now the agent being found when people look for agents in the area of your business. And it doesn't cost a dime!
Second way to help your business? Custom Google maps.
Again, Google loves Google, so creating custom maps and using them in your posts can help you get found. And depending on how you use them, you can REALLY clarify your posts. If you look in our blog signature you'll see our "Service Area" map. Google custom map embedded in the post.
Writing a post about a particular subdivision? Take a few minutes and create a custom map outlining the community. Embed that map in your post, some extra Google Juice thank you very much.
Writing a localism post? How about a map of all the area farmer's markets? Dog parks? Your favorite restaurants? There's no end to what you can do with this.
So how to do it? Back to your Google account again. Click that apps square and look for MAPS.
Okay, now we're going to go step by step on how to make a custom subdivision map that you can embed in your blog, your Wordpress site or wherever else you can drop some code.
Click the apps grid, then MAPS.
Now click the three line section to the upper left (it doesn't normally have a Where's Waldo cap).
That brings up the following, then click YOUR PLACES.
Click MAPS on the top menu bar, then you'll see a list of maps you're created if you have them, but to make a new map go to the bottom and click CREATE MAP.
Okay, now we're getting into the nitty gritty. Use the controls in the bottom right to zoom/pan into you get to the area you want to map.
Click "Untitled map" to bring up a pop up. Change title, add description, etc. Click Save.
Click "base map" and then select style of map from the drop down grid. I tend towards the aerial view for subdivisions.
Now use the tool bar to customize. You can add pins for specific locations. For subdivisions I like "polymorphic" mapping (drawing custom shapes). Click the icon of the three dots and lines, and then on the map you can click to start, draw line, click, draw, click, repeat until you're outlined the community and reconnected with the first dot. When the shape is complete, another popup. Add title, description, and you can even attach photos. Click Save when done.
Once you've hit Save, more edit options. Click that tilted paint bucket and you can shade the box and thicken the borders. Pick your colors and how transparent.
Go back to the tool bar and add Pins if you want. Same process as the outlining.
Change the security settings to allow Public to see (yes, you can do Private and controlled audience maps too). Click Share to get to the menu you need. Then Click Change. Then select Public. Save.
Click the dots to the right of the map title, then "embed on your site" (I can't capture that one so no extra photo).
That brings up a pop up with the html code to embed. You can change the dimensions if you want. Make sure you copy and when you get to the ActiveRain or Wordpress editor, switch to <> view so you can drop in the html code.
And with that you've completed a map (see below for the result of the work above). Repeat as needed, or hire a virtual assistant or someone on Fivver.com to make them for you! You can go back and edit maps (new phase for the community?), add pictures, etc. Once you've done this a few times, it's just a handful of minutes to complete a basic custom map. Good luck increasing your business!
Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help!
Bill of Liz and Bill aka BLiz