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I Wouldn’t but They Are….

How do buyers find you?

Everyone knows I am big on lead generation and have no problem sayin’ it. One of the things that I have noticed is how the consumer is searching. It is a way that I would not have believed but it is happening so consistently I wanted to share.

Now the other interesting thing is the potential buyers are searching my companies name. The back end of my web site shows me how they found me with the exact string the home shopper put in. ex… Keller Williams agent Ann Arbor.

Now I would NEVER search by a company name, as I am sure you wouldn’t. I would just want to search for a “Realtor in Ann Arbor”, “Ann Arbor MLS”, “Ann Arbor homes for sale”, you know the normal way. But, is there a normal in how buyers think?

Now if you go to Google Search and put in Keller Williams Ann Arbor, my site comes up first with a map. Then I have four other positions on Google for that same search term with two more of my web-sites and my two blogs.


If you haven’t added your name and location to Google Local, it would be a good idea to do that. If I had seen this only once or twice I would never pass the information on, but this is happening five or six times a week.

One other way I am seeing the buyers search which is funny is Ann Arbor House. Not home, not plural but house. Weird, huh?

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Written By

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.



  1. Elaine Reese

    March 27, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Missy, good advice. I’ve noticed the same thing. I create maps for each listing (and link to them on my blog & web site). I also took the time to make one for the homes I’ve sold in my farm area. Basically, if a map is warranted, I create one in the “My Maps” section.

  2. Mack

    March 27, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Last fall a buyer searched on Google for my office as he and his wife lived in an apartment near by. He contacted me via Google local and we ended up about 6 weeks later at the closing table.

    BTW~I enjoyed meeting you last week at RETechSouth. Thanks for sharing your insights.


    March 27, 2009 at 9:20 am

    With the economy being the way that it is and with the housing market making a gradual climb, every positive tool to assist with housing sales is greatly needed. This is a team effort. We need all of the realtor info that can be accessed. Maps are a must. Anything that saves time is greatly appreciated. Take a look at what AGAPE’ Soldiers are doing. Every house sales brings us that much closer to economic recovery and stabilization of our economy. Thank you for providing ways to making real estate transactions easier.

  4. Brandie Young

    March 27, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Great job, Missy. I think many people will find this quite helpful. And, how impressive that you constantly monitor and refine – letting the data tell you what to do.

  5. Missy Caulk

    March 27, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Elaine, very cool, I added all my listings to a map too but they are spread out all over Washtenaw County so I need to figure out how to make them smaller or would you suggest a map for each listing ?

  6. Missy Caulk

    March 27, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Mack, good for you.

  7. Missy Caulk

    March 27, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Dove4Peace, thanks for commenting and being encouraging. You are correct every home sold brings us closer to a recovery. I have not looked at Agape Soldiers but I will I have two sons in the Navy.

  8. Missy Caulk

    March 27, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Brandie, I thought it was so interesting as I had never thought about searching or trying to optimize that way.

    And if you read Mack’s comment it worked for him too.

  9. Elaine Reese

    March 27, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Missy, for listings, I do a single map since they would be too far apart as you say. For these, I include a link to the Google map.

    I have a special section on my blog for my neighborhood. I’ve sold 42 homes here so have put all those homes in one map as a reminder for my neighbors. I embed the map into that blog page so it is seen without further clicking.

    When I do the ‘local scene’ videos for my blog, I make a map.

    Where you used Google Local, I did the maps in MyMaps section. Not sure what the difference would be in doing that.

  10. Elaine Reese

    March 27, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Just thought of one more thing regarding the office search map (that you show in your post). Apparently the public can leave comments on those maps. I noticed that for one of the local real estate offices here, a disgruntled client had posted a nasty comment about an agent that worked at that office.

  11. Missy Caulk

    March 27, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Elaine, well lets hope that doesn’t happen. I will play around some more and take a look at your blog. Good geo tagging I am sure.

  12. Matt Thomson

    March 28, 2009 at 9:11 am

    In terms of the “House” search, I had found the same thus two of my main domain names are and, and the sites reflect that verbage. Lots of traffic that way.
    Now on to Google/Local…I haven’t done that yet.

  13. Matt Thomson

    March 28, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Okay, now I’m curious. Can I add to more than just Gig Harbor? For example, can I put myself on the Port Orchard local even though I don’t have a physical address there. Also, what maps do you use for your listings? Is good, or is googlemaps better?

  14. Elaine Reese

    March 28, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Matt, for my listings you can see an example on the home page of my web site ( and click on the link below the slideshow of the home.

    To see an embeded map of the homes sold in my own neighborhood, go to and scroll down a bit.

    Hope that gives you some ideas. As I said, I created these (and others) in the MyMaps section of Google. Also, be sure to include the listing address in your alt tag.

  15. Matt Thomson

    March 29, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Great, thanks!

  16. Kim Wood

    April 1, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Thank you Missy! I didn’t put it off and quickly added myself to the GoogleLocal ! You are so full of information – thank you for sharing it with us!

  17. Karen Goodman

    April 4, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Missy – Thanks for a great tip. I often read things in blogs that I mark to save for another day. Rarely do I stop and immediately take action as I did from your post.

    I just added myself to Google Local. Hope it will work for me as well as it does for you and I’ll get some additional traffic.

    I’ve been using Google My Maps for my newsletter restaurant reviews. I do a short blurb on a local independent restaurant in every issue. On the map, I include my review, contact info for the restaurant and the date of the issue it was reviewed. I always have a link in the newsletter to the map so people can see all prior reviews. So far I haven’t gotten any traffic to my blog from this map, but it is one of the more popular features of my newsletter.

    I like the idea of using the maps to identify listings.

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