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Google My Business (GMB) is Google’s preferred method for businesses to provide information that will appear in search results, including Google Maps. When used correctly, it can be a powerful tool for real estate agents to increase their visibility to searchers and provide them with accurate and up-to-date information about your company.

This is particularly important for real estate agents because Google uses your GMB listing in two ways:

When a potential client types your name into Google (perhaps after hearing about you from a friend), Google will display your GMB listing in a featured box at the top of mobile search results or to the right of desktop search results. In this case, what the buyer or seller discovers on page one may influence whether or not they contact you.

When a potential client searches for “Portland real estate agent” or “best realtors in Los Angeles ” (or any city), your Google My Business profile may appear in the “map pack” or “3-pack” of local businesses that appear with a map.

Even if your brokerage has a Google My Business profile, all real estate agents who own their own business are eligible to claim and optimize one. However, if you own a vacation rental or have an apartment for rent, you will be unable to create a GMB profile for those properties. More information about business eligibility can be found in Google’s guidelines.

Claiming and optimizing a GMB profile is free and simple. According to Chris Amaya, a local SEO veteran, most agents “can probably put together a pretty complete profile in an hour or 90 minutes, assuming you’ve got photos ready and you’re already using a business description on your Facebook page.”