St Augustine, St Johns County Real Estate & Home Staging


Google Plus adds Communities -The Perfect opportunity to get Customers

Google Plus adds Communities - The perfect opportunity to use G+ to get Customers

I've seen a lot of conversations over the last several weeks that I've been using Google Plus that it's a great community, but Facebook is still better for finding customers. Well, I think that is now about to change. 
google plus communities for business
Probably the best thing about this is the fact that it will connect you with those who have similar interests. If you love scifi (like I do) then maybe you want to join the Star Wars community, or Scifi community. Everyone here probably should join The Official Google + Real Estate Group. Our very own Bill Gassett is one of the moderators. Since I joined that group I already have had about 20 new agents circle me. 

New Opportunity to Circle and be Circled

When you circle others, you start to see their information in your feeds. This means that you now have more opportunity to learn and engage. (Personally, I find the level of engagement and education on G+ to be far superior to any other social network. The fact that this also means that my authority for blogs that I write here on AR or on my other outside blogs rank better as a result is a huge value for me.)
When others circle me, then similar to above, my blogs appear in their feeds and it's another opportunity for interaction and authority ranking. To speak on this, I've only been actively engaging on G+ for about two months, three tops. Since then, over 1400 people have added me to their circles. I tend to add about 20 a day on days that I'm not active on G+. It's closer to 30 on days that I am active. The growth is unbelievable!

Communities are an opportunity to Share, Network, and Grow

I've added a couple of my own communities for interests that I have that I know some of my other G+ friends have. Crafts & CreativesDecorative Painting, and perhaps the most important one for me Jacksonville, FL
While everything starts slow, we are adding members to the group since late last night when I created it. This morning when I woke up there were several members who I didn't know, they came from someone else's invitation to the group. This gave me the opportunity to make friends with local businesses (one of which I actually need) and find general users who also are local. Yeah.... that last group may in turn become customers later!
Think about it, find or create a community for your area, then put the word out to get others to join you. You may just find the perfect business and social support group to not only add more Google juice power, but future business. 
If you are on Google plus and we aren't friends yet, please circle me. If you are in the Greater Jacksonville area, please come join our Community!


 Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging

For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at, Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).


Comment balloon 40 commentsMelissa Marro • December 08 2012 06:41AM


I am on Google+, trying to figure that whole thing out still. I guess Pinterest is next...

Posted by Johnny Davis, Where SOLD Happens! (Florida Realty Investments) over 7 years ago

The target is the buyer, seller and herding with other agents, brokers, REALTORS is fine and dandy. But in the audience, put most of your energy into the buyer's needs for area, local community media information first if new to the area. And then roll out the cart of property listings and say "Let's Eat". Less time around the water cooler with others wearing the "R" frees up time to do more media work for area, property listings.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 7 years ago

Excellent Melissa and i have a couple passions i follow outside of real estate (like Pinterest)...however, i do feel that some G+ ers are just shoving their listing and posts out there without making it worthwhile to the group..use the hash tags, etc....i have now muted certain communities because of this issue.  We need to be careful how we share and not just pour it out because we wrote it!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 7 years ago

HI Melissa, I have been following a few groups on google + and agree that the level of interaction is a higher level there than on facebook. thanks for the post, you have insprired me to start a group for my local area.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 7 years ago

Love the info thank you for that, I am going to share it with my team

Posted by Randy Bocook, Selling Coastal Georgia (Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners) over 7 years ago

Johnny - Pinterest is fun, but I don't think it will do tons for RE biz.

Andrew - You see, it starts around the water cooler, then it leads elsewhere, if you know how to look. Right now there is only one other Realtor in my Jacksonville community. The others are small business owners, like photographers, a pet sitting biz, a shop owner, a dentist, etc. Tools are just that, tools. How you use them is up to you. I have zero listings in my group. It's not to say that i won't eventually put them out, but it's not the first place I go.

Ginny - I always try to make my feeds a mix of ideas and interests. It's one of the reasons that I created groups for my creative side, and not just my biz side. I need others to get to know me in multi facets to get the best results for my time.

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 7 years ago

Michelle - Have you joined Sally Weatherley's Home Staging group

Randy - Awesome. Thanks for the feedback.

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 7 years ago

I found a real estate video community that I love! I have been searching for new ideas and ways to improve my videos, so it's like the community was made with me in mind. Google+ is very cool, and very different from Facebook.

Posted by Rich Cederberg, eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque (eXp Realty) over 7 years ago

Hi Melissa,

Yet another informative post on Google+!   We, also, don't quite understand the Googl+ thing, but it's a learning curve.  We figure that if we learned how to post a photo, and embed a video on ActiveRain we can Google+ with the best of them! (Houston's MLS) has now added a Pinterest button to every photograph on the listing.  So, we're now able to create boards of all our work.  Best of all, we can show potential clients exactly how their listing will look when we've accomplished our tasks!   But wait, it gets better:  the 'pins' on our listing boards have an automatic link back to the complete listing information on  !!!!  Wow, wow, wow....

Warm regards from our team!

Posted by Alicia Barrington, Houston Home Staging Presents Alicia Barrington (THE ORIGINAL HOUSTON HOME STAGING) over 7 years ago

Melissa:  Thank you so much for providing more information on this valuable Google+ tool!  I had seen a bit of this info via Bill Gasset earlier in the week ... but your post fills-in a few of the gaps.  I need to get on Google+ and get busy!  What fantastic opportunities!!

I'm hoping that many AR members see this and take note .. and even better, take action!

Featured in BananaTude!




Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 7 years ago

Melissa.. it is interesting that you have found Facebook to be a better source of actual leads.. I see it as a chat room about not much. I still keep active, but it has not given me much business over the years. Google+ is really interesting and used properly a great way to network with others in the same fields and learn and give back.. Content should not be just shoved out there like some are doing already.. it wont last... Communities are new and the "best practice" remains to be seen.. I too am loving the interaction there and hope to set up my own community soon. =) All the tools are there but knowing HOW to use them best is so important!! Love the post to get more Rainers on Google+

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) over 7 years ago

Rich - would you share that link? I have a pinterest board with Real estate videos and this may be a great community for me to source and share for my pinterest board.

Alicia - I wish our MLS would do that... wow!!

Gene - Thank you!!

Janis - I didn't say that I thought FB was a better source for leads, only that was the commentary I keep seeing in discussions. I prefer G+ significantly more than FB these day and only get on FB to socialize.


Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 7 years ago

Melissa - I'm digging G+.  I think I've been seriously there about the same amount of time as you, and it's an extremely active social media site.  I get that for a Realtor® you'd want to start a city community, but what about a Home Stager?  Do you think it's worth starting a community for your city, or should you start a community for your city+home staging, i.e. Vancouver Home Staging Community? 

Posted by Sally Weatherley, Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C (EXIT STAGE RIGHT) over 7 years ago

Great job Melissa! You actually beat me to the punch as I was going to do this myself. Keeping drinking the Google+ Kool Aid and you will be rewarded handsomely!

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 7 years ago

Sally - I still think a city one is good because you'll inevidably get more local Realtors to join, which could mean other job opportunities. Also, you may get consumers and other small businesses to learn more about your business. Other home stagers can be good information distribution and consumption but not more work.

Bill - Thank you! I had a few minutes this morning and was just soooo excited about it.

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 7 years ago

Thanks, Melissa, that's great advice.  I agree with you.  Ok, off to create another community...  :-)

Posted by Sally Weatherley, Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C (EXIT STAGE RIGHT) over 7 years ago

Just curious, have you gotten any leads from it yet?

Posted by Rick Phillips, I care about you and your transaction. (Frankly Realty - Old Town) over 7 years ago

I am still trying to figure out Google+  I do have Debbie Gartner on Active Rain who is helping me.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) over 7 years ago

Good post, I so agree with you on the value of Google+ and it's ability to conect and engage with others. Now with the added communities, you can seek out your additional passions too!

Posted by Lynn Pineda, Real Estate Promises delivered in SE Florida (eXp Realty) over 7 years ago

Sally - you are so smart with G+ that I have no doubt your group will grow quickly

Rick - yes and no. My customer base isn't the same as most and I have used it to leverage my skill sets

Grant - Debbie rocks!

Lynn - I love that! It will really help grow connections I believe.

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 7 years ago

Hi Melissa - well done! G+ is another very good platform to help us build our business and Communities helps us get local. My only issue to date is that my gmail gets loaded with G+ emails that I probably don't need but sure I can turn that component off. Have a great day and keep sharing! Regards Dave

Posted by David Grbich, Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484 (Realty One Group - over 7 years ago

David - Yes! I even have where to turn that off highlighted in my jpg screen shot above. You just have to remember to go back in and read them later. 

Thank you for the kind words. 

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 7 years ago

Great post Melissa - you always have such great content to share!  I have so many requests backing up for communities to join I am going to have to prioritize!  Definitely worth the feature!

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) over 7 years ago

Congrats on the feature Melissa! I'm using Communities myself...

Posted by SEO Expert: Michael George, Real Estate and Law Firm SEO over 7 years ago


Oh wow, thanks so much for this. I just set up one and plan on adding many more. I would have not even known about this!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 7 years ago

Congratulations on the feature, Melissa! I, too, see huge potential for networking on G+ and in the Communities. I'm hooked.


Posted by Julie Bentley, Saint Johns, FL REALTOR (Watson Realty Corp, Jacksonville, FL ) over 7 years ago

Thanks for posting Melissa, I think I'm ready to figure out how google+ works - better start looking for youtube videos to get me up to speed!

Posted by Chris Hayes, Your Shreveport/Bossier Real Estate Partner (Keller Williams Realty Northwest LA) over 7 years ago

Melissa, I really appreciate learning from you and your many posts.  Thank you.

Posted by Christina Sanchez Hood, #SiliconValleyHOODS | Inspired Living over 7 years ago

You are so right, Melissa.  This is a big opportunity, and those that get in there first will really have an edge. Congrats on the feature.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 7 years ago

I see this as an awakening of some sort for Google+ by building around interests/communities it organizes this space and makes it more useful

Posted by Dan Edwards 425-276-7008 (Keller Williams Realty - Bellevue) over 7 years ago

Melissa, I'm just getting busy with Google+.  I've got a lot to learn there, but I'm enjoying it so far.  Thanks for the encouragement to get rolling.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 7 years ago

Debra - You definitely cannot join every community that you are invited to. Decide which ones really work in your business plan so that you can have positive interaction and grow relationships.

Michael - Than you! 

Richard - Just be sure you focus on quality not quantity. More is not necessarily better.

Julie - me too. One of my favorite things is getting to know other agents, like you... who also happens to be in my area!!

Chris - the important thing to remember is that it is about SOCIAL media, not posting stuff. So far, it is my favorite one too.

Christina - Thank you!

Debbie - Thank you. I chalk a lot of my knowledge up to you, Bill Gasset and Rich Cederburg.

Dan - I agree that this is one of the best ways we've had to grow our communications on G+

Mike, if we aren't already, be sure to circle me. I'll check right now to see if I've circled you yet.


Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 7 years ago


Google+ is a terrific platform to be on, and the communities are a wonderful addition. I can see some grat things coming from being a member, as long as you keep it balanced. Seems we are seeing a fair amount of self promotion out there, thuogh, at least in the groups I am in. Worth it though, and you can always block.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) over 7 years ago

Thanks Mellissa. I just grabbed three local communities right off the bat.

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Melissa- Thanks for sharingas I was not awareof this.. going to set them up now

Posted by Scott Fogleman, New Home Team (New Home Team 804-573-9592) over 7 years ago

I'm bookmarking this for my Saturday reading. . I got to jump on this. .

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 7 years ago

I've joined several communities but have learned the hard way that I need to mute some members and turn off notifications.  If I get

Posted by Bryan Robertson over 7 years ago

I agree that Communities is a great new feature on Google+.  In fact, I just created a private one for our brokerage so that we can use the hangouts feature to live broadcast meetings and seminars from our Market Center in Destin, FL to our satellite offices and agents that want to attend from the web.

Posted by Scott Jacobs (Keller Williams® Realty Emerald Coast) over 7 years ago

Thanks Melissa.  I'm just starting to figure out this google+ thing.  You're the first one I've added to my circle to follow. 

Posted by Carol Semkew, Phoenix West Valley Real Estate Agent (HomeSmart) over 7 years ago


Good information.  I am bookmarking anything I see about Google + so I can do intense research during Christmas week.  I figure I won't be too busy then.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 7 years ago

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