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Top 5 Google+ Features for Mortgage Brokers

A common question we get from mortgage brokers is – what exactly does Google+ do and should I be using it?

Google+ is the Internet giant’s take on social networking. At the beginning, Google+ was mainly used by people in the technology industry. However, the social platform has recently made moves into the mainstream audience.

Growing at a staggering rate with already over 500 million registered users in December 2012, Google+ has even attracted high profile celebrities like Conan O’Brian and Richard Branson to join in.

So what sparked this recent growth in popularity?

Part of it has to do with Google’s recent integration of Google maps listings into Google+. This update has created a huge incentive for small businesses to jump into Google+ and as a result, consumers are likely to adopt Google+ as well.

Now is a good time for mortgage brokers to get familiar with Google+ and its features. In this article, we will be covering the top 5 Google+ features for mortgage brokers and how to leverage them in your marketing.

#1 – Google+ Local

Google+ Local
As we mentioned at the start of the article, Google has changed the way businesses create Google maps listings. To create a listing on Google maps, you will now need to create a local page on Google+.

Google will be porting over existing listings into Google+ Local, so if you already have a listing – don’t worry, you won’t have to start over.

As a part of this update, Google has also made enhancements to the listings, making it a lot easier for people to provide reviews and share your services within the Google+ network.

#2 – Circles

Google+ Circles
Google introduced a new concept of Circles in Google+ as a way to better organize your contacts.

The idea behind Circles is that people belong in multiple social circles in real life and their communication can differ depending on which social circle they are interacting with.

The Circle feature allows you to share, communicate and interact with specific circles instead of having to communicate the same message to your entire social network.

For mortgage brokers, the Circle feature can be useful for segmenting your marketing message between different customers. For example, you can have a different circle for customers and prospective customers. Another way is to segment your contacts based on the type of mortgage service they are interested in such as renewals, refinancing, investment properties, etc.

Organizing your network in different Circles will allow you to pinpoint your marketing message to a specific audience.

#3 – Google+ Communities

Google+ Communities
Google+ Communities offers a great platform to position yourself as the mortgage expert in your city.

Currently, it is still relatively easy to build a thriving local community, as it is not yet as saturated as Facebook groups.

With the Community feature you can invite customers, prospects, realtors and builders to join and discuss topics that matter to them. It’s a place to share your knowledge, encourage discussion, learn and answer burning questions as the mortgage expert.

You can also find communities on Google+ like like Mortgage Network that are specifically for mortgage brokers to learn, connect and keep on top of industry trends.

#4 – Google+ Hangouts

Google+ Hangouts
One of the most exciting features for Google+ is Hangouts. You can now host live video conferences and broadcast webinars for free.

Hangouts offer mortgage brokers an exciting way to engage your customer base. You can now offer live workshops and educate people about different mortgage options and which ones are suitable for them.

As an added bonus, you can post your Hangout conferences directly to Youtube, providing an additional marketing channel for potential customers to find you.

An example of how Google+ Hangouts is being used effectively in the mortgage industry is Canadian Mortgage Hangouts.  They do a great job of engaging their audience by bringing in different mortgage and real estate experts to discuss industry trends and news.

#5 – Mobile-Optimized

Google+ on mobile
The Google+ social network is highly optimized for mobile devices.

For mortgage brokers, this means being on Google+ allows you to be found easier by people searching for mortgage advice on their smartphones. Google maps listings has been revamped to offer a smooth user experience, allowing people to quickly read reviews and contact you instantly.

Managing your Google+ profile is also smartphone friendly. The Google+ app for your phone allows you to easily communicate, share and interact with Google+ account from any location.

In Conclusion

Many people are still new to Google+ but with the latest move to attract small businesses, we expect the social platform to continue its exponential growth in 2013.

It’s time to give Google+ a spin and familiarize yourself with all of the different features. That way, when Google+ reaches its height in popularity, you will be ready to take full advantage of it rather than being left in the dark.

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