In February, Google introduced its new Google Maps to the masses (although beta testing had been on-going since May 2013)¹. The new Google Maps brings an improved user experience, with an emphasis on hyper-localized search results. And when people search for navigational directions the results will now display multiple transit options (i.e. subway, bus, train, bike, or car), with the associated distance and estimated time of arrival. Lastly, Google now provides high-quality images with a plethora of vantage points ranging from aerial views of beautiful cityscape to street views of your neighborhood. However, the most recent Google Maps update did not eliminate many of the headaches apartment owners experience when trying to secure their map listing.
So with many of those roadblocks still in place, here’s a breakdown of how apartment communities can navigate through a few of the most prevalent Google Maps issues:
Your current apartment listing has incorrect information. How do you fix it? If the information is within the name, address, or phone number you will want to correct it before you claim and verify your listing—if the listing is already claimed and verified you will need to get in touch with Google support to correct the information. All other business listing information (i.e. apartment website, hours of operation, email, and business description) can be edited without the need to re-verify.
Google doesn’t like duplicate listings, because it complicates and confuses user search. If you’re claiming your business listing and discover duplicates, I recommend that you choose the listing that has the most reviews/activity—delete ALL others. A business listing that has more reviews/ratings will be given more weight within Google’s SERPs. Brad Zook’s previous RentSauce article explains this in further detail.
Already Claimed Listing
If your listing is already claimed, there are a few different solutions: If you have access to the other account under which the listing is claimed you can simply transfer ownership to the new account. If you don’t have access, you’ll need to work with Google support to have the listing released, thereby allowing you to claim it under your current account.
Wrong Navigational Directions
Are Google Maps’ directions leading people to dead ends or to an entirely wrong location? This can be fixed. Simply report the issue through the Maps app of the device you are using. The more devices that report that the navigational directions are incorrect, the quicker the issue will be corrected.
These are some of the most frequent issues and solutions you can encounter when trying to optimize your apartment community’s Google Maps listing. Hopefully that’ll save you a few hours on support with their reps. Been there, done that; it’s not much fun.