Changes Google My Business Has Made in 2022
For local businesses trying to build buzz in their service area and connect with their community, Google My Business (GMB) is an invaluable resource. When local audiences enter a query in a Google search, they’ll often head right to the GMB listings before they visit the actual websites that appear in the search results. This is especially true for the multifamily industry.
Why do so many searchers head directly to GMB listings? It’s mainly because GMB listings give audiences a quick look at some of the most important information about a business (address, phone number, business hours, customer FAQs, and customer reviews.
If you’re currently using GMB for multifamily properties and businesses to connect with potential clients, you may have noticed some recent changes to this helpful buzz building tool. There’s also a lot of changes you may not have noticed, too.
In the following article, we’ll provide you with a brief overview of some of the most recent changes to GMB, discuss how they may affect your multifamily business, and what you can do to ensure your GMB profile is performing optimally.
Google My Business is now Google Business Profile
The biggest change to this tool is also the most noticeable. Recently, Google My Business changed its name to Google Business Profile. Many marketing insiders saw this change coming as Google began to replace their use of the word “listings” with the word “profiles”. This isn’t the first time that Google has changed this tool’s name (previous incarnations were called “Google Local” and “Google+”) and it probably won’t be the last.
Fortunately, this change doesn’t impact a local business’ listing/profile. It just means that you’ll have to get used to calling it a new name (which will probably happen just before Google rebrands it in a few more years).
Google Business Profile Lists Business Hours Differently
One of the subtlest changes to Google Business Profile listings has actually had one of the biggest impacts on the multifamily industry: business hour listings for apartments.
Since apartments are technically open 24 hours a day/seven days a week (including weekends and holidays), Google has decided that business hours cannot be attached to apartment building profiles.
When news of this change broke, many multifamily professionals were perplexed – and rightly so. Sure, the apartments themselves were open all the time (they’re residences after all), but the leasing offices and property management offices are not.
However, the confusion was short-lived once Google clarified its rationale. They do not want business hours attributed to the apartment building themselves. On the other hand, apartment agencies, which have leasing and property management offices, can list business hours.
If you’re currently unable to list business hours on your multifamily Google Business Profile, simply switch your business category from “Apartment Building” to “Apartment Agency”.
Google Business Profile Messaging Now On Desktops
A rather big change that was introduced with the new branding is a big benefit for multifamily office management who manage customer service needs: customer messages are now available on the Google Business Profile desktop interface.
This is a substantial shift from the messaging functionality of Google My Business. With GMB, messaging was only available and accessible via the GMB app. Now, with Google Business Profile, leasing and property management specialists can chat with customers via their desktop browsers.
This is more effective and efficient for multifamily professionals as they’re usually sitting at a desk with their computers on and operational. Now, they don’t have to bounce back-and-forth between mobile devices/tablets and their computers to answer their GBP messages.
These are just a few of the major differences between GMP and Google Business Profile that may affect your multifamily operation. There may be more coming down the road with each new GBP update and version.
Keeping up with all of the many changes to Google Business Profile can be tricky when you’re trying to manage your multifamily properties. If you’re confused by all of these changes or don’t have the bandwidth to update and manage your GBP listings, we can help.
Prelude’s experts can help you and your team harness the power of your Google Business Profiles to reach new customers and increase your leases!
Contact us today to learn more about maximizing the potential of your Google Business Profile!