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Google Profiles a Must for Real Estate Agents

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Matt Tillotson

RISMEDIA, May 4, 2009-Google is upping the ante on Google Profiles, the service that allows you to share your personal and professional information and social media links on an easy-to-scan profile page. For real estate agents, it is time to fill one out.

By some estimates, 30% of all Web searches are now conducted to find other people and Google Profiles will become more important to this search process.

When the hard work you engage in every day to make your name well-known pays off with a Google search, you want to be easily discoverable. Google Profiles makes it simpler for prospects and partners to find you. The new Google Profile system provides up to four profile snapshots on the first page of name search results. The snapshots include a name, photo, city and employer, and it links through to the full profile. If there are more than four profiles for a given name, then a link is also provided to the full list. It’s a bit of a mystery as to how Google selects the four profiles to be included on the first page of search results, but having a more complete profile can only help your chances of appearing on the short list.

Getting started
If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to sign up for one and then fill out as much of the profile as you can. You have the option to fill out: A short bio, interests, where you live today / other places you’ve lived and links to your other profiles – Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, your website and blog, etc.

Be sure to include enough of the following information so people can connect with you on their platform of choice: Current employer, and other companies you worked for, schools you’ve attended and skills you possess.

Something you can’t find on Google
Be sure to check off “Display my full name so I can be found in search” and the option to be contacted without displaying your email address. Enabling the contact feature allows people to reach out to you via email directly from your profile. And don’t forget to upload a photo.

You also have the option to establish a “vanity URL” which will look like this: http://www.google.com/profiles/YOURUSERNAME. The only downside to this is that anyone can figure out your Gmail address because it will be the same as the username displayed in your profile.

Google could be planning something much bigger with their Profiles service. It may segue from just a directory into a new social platform to compete with the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn. So far, Google has said little about its future plans for Profiles.

But if even if Google never attempts to build further on top of Profiles, it’s still important to get onboard and fill yours out. Your Google Profile can serve as an easily discoverable social hub – a place for current and potential customers to find you, quickly learn more about you and then connect with you on the social platforms you participate in.

You work hard to market yourself. When someone is actively looking for you, make sure you’re easily found in Google. Google Profiles is a great way for real estate agents to promote their visibility and create new connections to build business.

Matt Tillotson is the marketing program director at PODS. Learn more about how PODS works with real estate agents by visiting http://www.pods.com/realestate.

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