Google Local Guides Are Great For Real Estate

by Victor Lund on June 13, 2017

Google Local Guides

If you remember the rage about FourSquare years ago, its coming back again. But this time, Google is leading the way to create local experts and Google Maps is the platform. So set up your account on Google Local Guides and get going! If you participate a lot, (hit 50 reviews), you will be highlighted as a top reviewer on Google Maps for Apple’s iOS and Android. Why? Well, that is only something that you can answer. Like so many other social media strategies, it needs to be something that you enjoy doing. Also, consider this – Google Maps is the most popular mobile maps product on the planet – you and your brand will show up when people are using the map. Here is something kinda funny too. A lot of broker websites use the Google Map API to map properties. Imagine if consumers on your competitor’s website saw your name next to popular area hotspots surrounding listings. Funny right? (PS. If you are worried about this happening on your website – talk to your website vendor – they may need to upgrade you to premium maps). With Local Guides, you get points for validating things like writing reviews, validating that a business is still in business, validating their hours of operation, taking photos, adding new places, etc. If you do a really good job, you get badges and can become something like the Mayor of your community. Curate Neighborhood Experiences Local Guides have another feature that allows you to create lists. These can be a very cool way to give a new home owner the lay of the land around their home. Here’s how. Create A Neighborhood Map Open the Google Maps App. Tap Menu – Your Place – Saved In the bottom right tap Add + Enter the name and description of your Neighborhood Tap Save Adding Places to the Neighborhood Open the Google Maps App Search for a place or tap it on the map At the bottom, tap the place’s name or address Tap Save Chose a list. To create a new list, tap New List + Share List Open the Google Maps App Tap Menu – Your Places – Saved Next to the list you want to share, tap More – Choose Option Hide/Show on your map Share List When you share the list with a client, they will be able to add it […]

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1 plus 1 Equals Video

by Victor Lund on August 1, 2013

Doing research like our 2013 Broker Website Effectiveness Study (BWES) helps WAV Group identify and measure a multitude of strategies that brokers may deploy to improve their online performance. One key trend today that is working very well is video. I am not sure how long video will help brokers gain an edge, but today it works. Some of the facts we gathered in the BWES included that Google is the #1 search engine by a significant margin, capturing 75% of all search traffic (see image) If you combine the predominance Google with an understanding of how search results are displayed, you recognize that for every keyword search, Google attempts to display a video search result above the page on the first page of results (see image insert). This has been a keynote strategy that we have long appreciated with virtual tours. Today, virtual tours by most vendors are automated. They rely on data feeds from the MLS or Listhub to acquire the data ingredients, including photos that are stitched together, price, description, etc. In many ways, the information found on a virtual tour webpage today is a comprehensive IDX display. Turn every virtual tour into a video and leverage it! Here are 4 tips for your virtual tour solution. Dynamically publish the tours to Facebook, Twitter, and to YouTube. Do not let your virtual tour provider syndicate Include the virtual tour link in your Listhub, Point2, or other broker listing feed to portals. Make sure that the URL of the virtual tour (both branded and unbranded) resolves on your domain name address rather than on the virtual tour provider’s domain name (By the way, realbiz360 constructs the domain names correctly – do not infer anything from the example). New thinking: 1 plus 1 equals video If consumers like video and google indexes video, why aren’t brokers converting every MLS listing to video? A progressive IDX solution should display video rather than images – or both. Here is another hidden benefit. Video cannot be scraped. That means that a broker’s data would be protected. About the Author Victor Lund is a founding partner of WAV Group Consulting along with Marilyn Wilson and Mike Audet. WAV Group provides strategic business consulting services to enterprise real estate brokerages, Multiple Listing Service providers, REALTOR® Associations, and real estate technology companies. Victor Lund is also the Chief Executive Officer of, the […]


Googles Next Step in Real Estate Search

by Victor Lund on June 25, 2011

Last July, search and technology giant, Google announced an agreement to acquire ITA Software for around $700 Million. ITA software is a company that cut its teeth in the travel industry powering websites like Orbitz and Kayak. Google has been struggling with supporting consumers in real estate search for many years. They have had many fits and starts, including Google Base. With Google Base, the company tried to aggregate listing data and sort it out. Google Base was a failure and they shut it down. Now with ITA Software, Google may be back on track with real estate search. Rather than trying to display the correct listing result, ITA Software will allow Google to display listing results from popular websites like Trulia, Zillow,, and others, all in one place.