Google Search Magi

Change Is Coming To Google Search

If you haven’t heard already, Google is set to launch a new AI-powered search experience, codenamed Project Magi, this month. The overnight popularity of AI from the likes of ChatGPT and Microsoft’s AI-powered Bing put Google in panic mode. Add to this the Amazon phenomenon that has taking ad dollars away from Google search and Samsung smartphones reportedly considering replacing Google with Bing as its handset default browser. Google has to change their search experience.

The company intends to focus on serving young people globally and to move away from the traditional “10 blue links” format of presenting search results. This shift will involve incorporating more human voices into the search engine’s results, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Wall Street Journal

How will this affect Real Estate websites in search?

It’s not news to say that people don’t peruse website link after link when searching anymore. Nor is it news to say that Zillow is where many go to do their home searching. This reality has been happening for years. Consumers simply prefer to spend their online time in apps that get it right. Whether that’s for social needs or house hunting.

Google has been accommodating to this for years and they are hoping to get in front of it with the new ‘Magi’ search experience. So searches will become more ‘visual, snackable, personal, and human’ with help of AI. And, so, we can expect to see even less of a list of websites meaning more erosion of click-through rates (CTRs).

What can you do to adapt to the new search experience?

We still don’t have first hand experience with the new Google Magi project…so it’s imposssible to say how this will play out. Here are some ideas though to avoid being caught flat footed.

  1. Put this on the radar of your website hosting company. They have likely heard about it…but ask for monthly updates.
  2. Individual Agents: Adapt your website to be a better online business card. The listing feed you have is a plus but it won’t beat Zillow’s app experience.
  3. 70% of all US digital media time comes from mobile apps. Think about getting your own simple branded real estate app. It’s easy to get and likely more affordable/effective than your website.
  4. Don’t panic:) You have time to adapt…unlike Google.

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Georgia Festivals

Georgia Festivals

If you’re looking to network or enjoy some good food, craft beer, music, or people watching this spring and summer, you’ll find plenty events with this ultimate guide to Atlanta festivals and Georgia festivals.

Investors retreat from Atlanta housing market

According to Redfin, investors bought 24.6% of Atlanta homes purchased in the fourth quarter, down from more than one-third (36.2%) a year earlier. While that’s still an enormous ammount, Atlanta is still the third-largest market share of investor home purchases.

Investor home purchases in metro Atlanta plummeted 62.8% in the fourth quarter of 2022 when compared to the same three-month span in 2021, the Redfin analysis showed. Investors accounted for a 24.6% share of purchased homes here in the fourth quarter, down from a 36.2% share in the year-ago period in 2021.


Temporary Positive Relief

That’s positive news for Atlanta Buyers Agents, for the time being. They have less competition with fewer bidding wars. So, for now, enjoy the tremendous housing opportunity!

It’s possible that investors will start to wade back into the market this year given that mortgage rates have ticked down from their 2022 high—especially if home prices show signs of bottoming

Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari.

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Google For Real Estate Agents

Part One: What is it all about?

If there’s one thing you can count on with Google, it’s their influence on how people perceive your business. While many Agents get leads from referrals, Facebook, or other methods, sellers and homebuyers are still going to check you out on Google. They want to see if you exist, if you look professional, and if you have good reviews. It may not be the direct source of a lead, but it will influence wether or not someone will do business with you.

If your business hasn’t adapted to this, your business almost doesn’t exist.

Perusing websites has slowly become a thing of the past. Largely because we have shorter attention spans and we want small bite size information. Google knows this and has evolved themselves to serve just that. They have redesigned much of the search experience into online functional business cards. If your business hasn’t adapted to this, your business almost doesn’t exist.

Where does this show?

The best way to think of Google for real estate at the entry level is to picture it as your online business card. Your profile will show images of you, your contact and website information, your reviews, and possibly links to your social media. It will display when someone types in your name. It also has the chance to show up when people are looking for Agents in a specific area. Mostly Agents running ads will show up this way at the top, but if people are using Google maps, you have a chance.

To see how Google puts this to use, try typing “Chinese Food” into your browser on your phone or laptop. What comes up at the top are Google Business Profiles with reviews, menus and call buttons. It’s the same if you type in “Atlanta Real Estate Agents”. Now that you see this, you know just how important it is that you, not only have a profile on Google, but that it is properly set up and has positive reviews.

In the next part of this series, we’ll talk about how to make your profile and some best practices. For the do it yourself Agents, I’ve put some helpful links below.

Helpful Google Profile Links

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Atlanta the top real estate market in 2023?

Atlanta is trending towards being the housing market in the U.S. with the most potential for growth in the new year, according to researchers at the National Association of REALTORS®.

  • Housing affordability
  • The number of renters who can afford to buy a median-priced home
  • Job growth
  • Migration gains and population growth
  • An increase in active housing inventory
  • Less severe housing shortages.

“Atlanta has greater housing affordability than comparable cities, its population is growing more rapidly and 20% of renters there can afford to buy a median-priced home—higher than the national average—the NAR report notes. Atlanta also boasts a robust and growing job market, where many major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft and Visa, are relocating from the West Coast.”

National Association of REALTORS®

Markets were compared by weighing several housing and economic factors and comparing them nationally, including:

See The Positive

It’s wise to consider this in context with Atlanta’s real estate market cooling last year. The number of monthly pending home sales in metro Atlanta fell to a 12-year low in December, according to FMLS. Meanwhile, new listings dropped to the lowest monthly total in 10 years.

Those factors combined to make January metro Atlanta’s slowest month for home sales since January 2011. There were fewer than 2,800 sales last month, down 38% compared to January 2022 and a 67% decline from the monthly pandemic-era high in July 2020. In every downturn, however, their is a positive opportunity and Atlanta Agents and Homeowners will have one in 2023.

“The Atlanta real estate market has been rebalancing over the last several months, with the number of listings increasing and the total number of sales cooling from the records set last Spring,” reports Atlanta REALTORS® Association President Michael Fischer. “Historically, housing is in short-supply, but more balanced conditions will present Buyers with opportunities they haven’t seen in several months.”

Atlanta Realtors Association

The Metro Atlanta housing market, though, has recovered more positively relative to other markets. Although interest rates and inflation brought the 2022 real estate market back to reality, Atlanta continues to strengthen in factors that cushion more dramatic falls found in other markets.

“With interest rates continuing to pull back from recent peaks, we are expecting a busy spring market on the horizon as Atlanta continues to be a great place to live and work,” says Fischer.

Below are statistics supporting the NAR prediction.

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Google For Real Estate Agents

Part Two: Common Questions & Answers

Having worked with over 400 Agents on creating and strengthening their Google Business Profile, I found a handful of consistent questions. When you create your profile or edit it, it might help to know these and and the answers..

Should I use my home address or the office?

This answer is easy. Never use your home address. The recommendation is to use your office…although Google doesn’t require an address. If you don’t use a specific address, though, Google can’t show your business on the map. So you’ll be missing if people are searching using the map app.

Can multiple Agents use the same office address?

Yes and it’s very common in real estate. What will make it possible with Google to have more than one business at the same address is your Business Profile name. Here is a good example of a business name that helps Google understand: Susan Smith Real Estate – Your Brokerage Properties.

What should my business hours be?

You can do Monday – Sunday…but be careful not to do 24 hours a day. I know that Realtors will work all hours;) But Google finds this suspicious.

What if I get a bad review?

It’s easy to panic. Bad reviews create a bad impression. Just know, though, that it can happen. The best steps to take when this happens are:

  • Respond, professionally, in your dashboard to every review. Good and bad. If you never respond or do 2 years later, you’re less likely to be able to convince Google to take it down.
  • Request in your dashboard that Google remove the review. Google rarely removes bad reviews, but you should still ask.
  • Get more positive reviews:). If you have 2 reviews and one is bad, your average rating will be low. If you a bad review and have many positive reviews, the bad review will have little impact on your average rating.

Can another Agent give me a review?

Absolutely! They work with you and know your work ethic and results. Don’t make the mistake of paying for reviews or asking your family, though. This is forbidden in Google policies.

How often should I post images and videos?

That will be up to you and how much time you have. In my experience, if you start off with enough to make your business look legitimate and professional, then posting once a month is enough.

These are just some of the common questions that might arise as you create and sustain your profile. Below are some common FAQ that Google provides that will further help with your experience.

Helpful Google Profile Links

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