Establishing The Local Presence Of Your Reverse Mortgage Business Online
Wouldn’t it be great if prospective reverse mortgage borrowers would seek you out? Well they may just be doing that, and you may be missing out.
Google Places & Seniors Sheltering in Place
In this day and age, we all know that “Google” is widely accepted as a legitimate verb… at some point, we have told someone to “Google it”. So when a potential borrower is considering a reverse mortgage, one of the first things they will likely do is “Google it” in the hopes of finding information on a trustworthy and well established reverse mortgage lender in their area.
The question is… will they find you? Have you established your Google Places listing? These listings are the first results to appear in Google searches related to local businesses. They are what you see in the map results, and what a large number of people use when seeking out a particular business in their area.
Why are the Google Places results so appealing to “searchers”?
- This is obvious, but they are the top. People want the information they are seeking as quickly as possible.
- They immediately provide people with contact information – phone number, location, directions.
- They lead people to your website. A Google Places listing has the option to add a link to your business website, so even if your business website is not on page 1 in Google, this map listing that is at the top of the results will lead them directly to your website where they can gather more information about you.
- They can include reviews. People can learn about the reputation of your business, which often gives them that extra motivation to make that call to you. It’s imperative that you ask your previous clients and even strategic referral partners to leave a review.
- They provide an established third party summary of your business. A business must verify to establish it’s Google Places listing, so it gives people an extra bit of comfort that you are who you say you are.
- Also, these listings can include images, summaries, categories, links, and give people an overall picture of your business.
Establishing Your Google Places Listing
As daunting as internet marketing can be, getting yourself listed in Google Places is something you can do yourself.
- Create Your Account – First you need to create your Google Places account.
- Follow The Prompts – Once you have created your account, you will be guided through a series of steps that take you through the process of establishing your listing.
- Locate Or Create Your Listing – You will be asked to search for your business. If your listing exists, you will be asked to verify it right away. If it is not yet established, you will be asked to create the listing, and then verify it.
- Verification – You will be given the option to verify by phone or by postcard. The phone verification is immediate, but you must be able to accept a call at that moment at the phone number of your place of business that will be on the listing. The verification postcards come within 2 weeks of you prompting a request for one, but some people prefer these if the phone verification is difficult – for example, if your business has an automated phone system, the automated Google verification call cannot get through it, so you will need to select the postcard option.
- Develop Your Listing – Once your listing is created and you have verified it, you will be able to edit it and add information, categories, and images. Adding these items is important to give your listing credibility and to attract interest.
Maintaining Your Google Places Listing
Once your listing is established, it will serve as a significant part of your local business presence in Google and online in general.
- Keep Your Information Current – It will be important to always make sure your listing has your current contact info, website address, etc., as this will be a highly visible representation of your business. People calling the wrong number or looking for your business at an outdated address could turn them off to working with you. Keeping the information current establishes reliability.
- Respond To Reviews – You cannot control the reviews people will leave you but you can take time to respond – to positive and negative reviews. If reviews are positive, thank people for their kind words and for using your services. Other searchers will view this as you having a good rapport with your clients. If there are negative reviews, take the high road and leave a cordial response. Apologize for their negative experience and offer the person the option to contact you to discuss their issue more. This often shifts the negativity off of your business because people see that you are concerned about your service, and that you are willing to work with people.
- Encourage Positive Reviews – Whether it be through your website, Facebook page, or in person, encourage your happy clients to leave you reviews on Google. When a list of results comes up, those positive reviews can be the difference between someone choosing your business over another listing right next to it.
Taking this small step today can have long term positive benefits for your business, so establish your listing, and when people are told to “Google it” for a great reverse mortgage business in your area, they’ll be likely to find you!