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Geo the Google Way: 10 Ways to use Googles Geo Tools for Biz

placemark_example2Google is a powerhouse.  Why not make sure to hitch your cart to the power of Google to position yourself for maximum exposure to potential real estate clients and contacts?

10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Supercharge the Exposure of Your Business and your Listings:

  1. Make SURE your business profile is on Google.  Click Here to see an example of our profile (we are in the E slot).  Considering we are a small boutique firm, I think our placement right up there with 4 other MAJOR players is huge exposure.  You can add your profile in the Google Local Business Center.
  2. Create Google Maps of your local community boundariesClick Here to see an example.  In the notes section you can drop a search link for properties for each community.  You can then embed these maps on your website, blog, etc. Make sure to use your long-tail keywords. (I have 58 maps and building!)
  3. Make sure your listings are on the Google Real Estate overlay on their maps.  Many MLS’s syndicate to them and you won’t need to do anything extra, but do visit Google to make sure your listings are there.  If not, post your listing on Realbird or one of the others that is then syndicated further to make sure you are exposing your listings to Google.  More and more people are going to be using it for their real estate searches. Click here for an example.
  4. Use Google Ad Extensions to super-hone your Adwords Targeting for your business and or listings.  This will allow you to have enhanced ads which also show up on Google Maps.  Read more about Location Extensions.
  5. Create Google Maps of useful local information.  I created a map of the coffee spots in Coral Gables.
  6. Upload geo-tagged local pictures to Panormio, which then show up on Google Street Views, Maps and Earth.
  7. Add Google Street Views of your listing publication wherever available.  This is a very powerful tool to let the viewer experience the listing and encourage them to want to see more.  See an example of Google Street Views on a listing website here.
  8. Create a video and/or photo tour of your local community and then map out your route with Google Maps and embed a map of the route you used in a blog or in a link on the YouTube description box.
  9. Always make sure to add the location of your videos when you upload them (on youtube, etc.) so that they will show up on the Video Overlay of Google Maps.
  10. Mount a Webcam at your location and add it to the Google Maps Webcam Overlay.  You might be the only one in your area and the webcam links back to your site as the source.

Most of these cost little or no money, but can be very powerful tools to drive traffic to your website, blog or listings.

If you have had success using Google Geo Tools or can add to this list, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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Written By

Janie has been in the development, construction and real estate industries for over 20 years. She began her career in commerical construction and has slowly worked into all of the related industries and added residential properties to her resume 7 years ago. She is currently the co-owner of sister companies, Papillon Real Estate and Papillon ReDevelopment (a construction and project management firm). Janie blogs for The Coral Gables Story. In her "free" time, she is a graduate student of Atlantic History with a focus on the history of business and technology. She is a lover of geo-anything. She loves the story.

29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Fred Romano

    January 20, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Very interesting ideas you have… too bad 99% of agents would never touch this list IMO.

    • Janie Coffey

      January 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm

      a cynical side of me would say better for us, the 1% 😉

  2. Ken Brand

    January 20, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    So here’s what I’m wondering Janie, how do you balance a monster sized brain on your petite sized frame. This info is awesome. I just finished buffing up my business profile, only took a few minutes and now, boom, Google powered serendipity is my slave.

    Great stuff, thanks and cheers.

    • Kim Hannemann

      January 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm

      Clearly, she gains strength from buttercream cupcakes.

    • Janie Coffey

      January 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm

      Google is very powerful indeed, why not maximize what they can do for you? Especially since most of it is free?

  3. Jill Wente

    January 20, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Really great ideas on using Google Maps, Janie. I have created Google Maps for the location of grocery stores in Spring Texas, locations of the farmers produce stands, and the dog parks. I have on my Q1 project list to outline the subdivisions.

    • Janie Coffey

      January 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm

      I love creating communities. It helps better my knowledge of my market and creates embeddable maps that can be used all over. Plus good traffic generator.

  4. Matt Stigliano

    January 20, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Janie – Thanks for reminding me to update my local business profile. I hadn’t updated it since my move to RE/MAX. Oops. Interesting note however, when asked to verify I am who I am, I opted for the phone call…to my Google Voice number. Their system didn’t give me enough time to answer the call, open the keyboard (on an iPhone), type “1” to accept the call, and get the pin. After a couple of tries, it forced me to get it as a snail mail verification. Kind of ironic.

  5. mike gibbons

    January 20, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    To Fred’s point (and he’s right) there are myriad ways for Realtors to set themselves apart using the web but you have to be smart and ahead or at least “aware” of the curve – while bette than average agents are Tweeting or Facebooking their listings which is worse than free (because of the time wasted) people like Janie are doing innovative things like these 10 – I HOPE nobody reads this — thanks Mike

  6. Greg Cooper

    January 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    My hair hurts and its your fault! Well, ok, it’s my fault and I’m going to have to spend this evening fixing it. (Great piece Janie)

    • Janie Coffey

      January 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm

      glad you liked it, sorry about the hair! 😉

  7. Stillwater Real Estate

    January 20, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    The local business profile and maps of neighborhoods are great examples. But why would I upload photos to Panorimo instead of Flickr? Besides the obvious fact that Flickr is owned by Yahoo, it’s by far more popular for finding photos and also has geo-tagging.

    Google automatically has coffee shops mapped in my area. Of course I live in Minnesota where it’s cold for 9 months so we tend to gravitate towards the coffee. 🙂

    • Janie Coffey

      January 21, 2010 at 6:13 pm

      I am a HUGE Flickr junkie, but right now, I have not found a way to get my geo-tagged pics onto Google Maps Overlay, Google Earth and Google Streetviews, Panoramio does. Soooo if someone is on a Google Map and clicks the “photos” option in “more” they will see photos of the area (fed from Panoramio) ditto for Google Earth and Google Street Views. You can create a mashup, of course, with Google Maps and your Flickr photos for your blog, but I think it is also a possible benefit where 1,000s of people are looking (Google Maps)

  8. stephanie crawford

    January 21, 2010 at 3:00 am

    Agreed. This is a great post. I’ve also made a few neighborhood maps- condo locations, zip codes, neighborhood boundaries, shopping districts…:
    https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=103432177008699463961.0004506576291d3d3685b&t=h&z=10

    I love the idea of mapping out routes – this would be great for sending buyers on an open house tour.

    But like Stillwater said – Flickr is SO much better than Panorimo.

  9. Atlanta Real Estate

    January 21, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Great post, Janie.

    Lots of good information and ideas in there.

  10. Tammi Copsey

    January 21, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Great information and I thank you for sharing! Loads of ideas churning in my head for Google Earth use as well. Thanks a million!

  11. Austin Real Estate Guy

    January 21, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Did not know about Realbird. Thanks for the tip. I just loaded the code into ActiveRain and it looks great.

  12. Aaron Johnson

    January 27, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Holy Google, Batman! Thank you, Brandie, for (by far) one of the best helps in adding to my real estate web presence. If only there were a way to block this post from my local market! Oh, wait- this takes effort, so maybe I’m ok!

  13. Nick Nymark

    July 31, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Good Info

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