New Game Changer for Agents – Google Local Services Ads!

Once in a while something new comes along that’s a very big deal – something you need to pay attention to and jump on early because it could truly help grow your business.

That’s what I’ve got for you today – a new program from Google that could be a game changer for real estate agents who understand this opportunity!

It’s called Google Local Services Ads (LSA) and, if you give me just a few minutes of your time, I’ll explain exactly what it is, the benefits for agents and how you can get started.

(I’ll also share how Julie, one of the agents we work with, is “absolutely overjoyed” about this new Google offering.)

Let’s dive right in!

What Are Google Local Services Ads?

Local Services Ads are a new type of paid ad that can show up in Google’s results for certain types of searches.

For example, when a person searches on using a phrase like “real estate agent near me” (or any one of 100’s of similar phrases), an agent participating in Google’s LSA program can show up at the top of the page of results with their paid ad.

You’re probably used to seeing ads on Google, but these ads are very different, and much better, than the ones you’re used to seeing. (More about that in a minute…)

LSAs launched in 2019 exclusively for home services providers (roofers, plumbers, etc.). Google is always looking to expand their reach and they saw an opportunity to move into the lucrative home services industry.

These new types of ads were an immediate success, both with home service companies looking to attract more customers and homeowners searching for trusted home contractors.

We expected that Google would eventually expand LSAs into the real estate market and they did just that earlier this year – starting with limited geographic areas and steadily expanding availability throughout the United States.

How Do Local Services Ads Work?

To illustrate how this works, we’ll use the real life example of Julie, a client who we recently got set up with Local Services Ads.

Julie is a Realtor in an upscale, mid-sized town in Arizona. Like most everywhere else, the market in her area is crazy right now – with a shortage of available properties and a hoard of agents fighting for every listing.

We thought that Local Services Ads could be a unique opportunity for her to get in front of potential clients ahead of her competition, at a reasonable cost. (Spoiler: we were right!)

The first step was getting Julie signed up and approved for the program. That involved:

  • Completing her profile, including information about her and her office, services offered and locations served. (Note: The LSA information is separate from her Google My Business profile. The two aren’t currently connected, except for reviews.)
  • Choosing her LSA budget – how many leads she wants and how much she’s willing to pay for ads each week.
  • Undergoing a background check so she could earn the “Google Screened” designation. (More about that in the next section…)

The entire approval process took about ten days, and then Julie’s ads started running.

Now, when someone in her area searches on Google for a real estate agent, her ad shows at the top of the results. And, Julie only pays when someone actually contacts her from the ad – not when they just click on it!

Because this is such a new program, we only have a few weeks of results, but those early results have been fantastic.

Julie’s received multiple calls directly from her ad, which led to several listing presentations. And, from those presentations, she’s landed two new, high-end listings (so far).

These results were from new clients – folks she’s never contacted before and likely never would have heard from otherwise.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Local Services Ads have been a game changer for Julie. In her words, she is “absolutely overjoyed” with the results!

Now that you have an overview of LSAs, let’s take a closer look at the benefits for agents. Then, I’ll show you how to get started.

What Are the Benefits for Real Estate Agents?

Appear at the top of Google. Local Services Ads appear at the very tip-top of Google search results – above all other types of ads, above the map results (called the “Three Pack”) and the thousands (and thousands) of organic website listings.

There is no more valuable and visible spot on Google!

Get leads, not clicks. With traditional Google search ads, you pay when someone clicks on your ad. Then, the responsibility is entirely on your landing page to convert that “clicker” into a valuable lead worth the cost you just paid for that click.

You’ve got to convince that person to take the next step of reaching out to you – via email, phone, etc. That’s easier said than done. Those clicks aren’t cheap and it usually takes a lot of them before someone actually contacts you.

However, with Local Services Ads, you don’t have to convince a lead to reach out to you. Google’s already taken care of that for you!

You’re only charged when a searcher actually contacts you. That means they’re already a serious lead, because they’ve taken the time to reach out to you!

Earn Immediate Trust with the “Google Screened” badge. Once you’ve completed the process to sign up for Local Services Ads, and passed the required background check, your ad will display a big, beautiful “Google Screened” badge.

(The background check may sound like a bigger deal than it is. Google’s not going to look at your High School permanent record 🙂 but they will ask for verification of whatever licensing is required by your state.)

Google is one of the largest and most-trusted companies in the world and that badge is telling prospective clients that you’re A-OK as far as they’re concerned. That is some very powerful social proof!

Fully control your budget. When you initially set up your Local Services Ad account, you tell Google how much you want to spend and how many leads you’re looking for.

Then, at any time, you can adjust your budget up or down (or even turn your ads off completely), based on the results you’re seeing.

You are completely in control of your budget!

More sellers than buyers. In our experience, about 60% of searchers contacting agents through Local Services Ads have been sellers vs. buyers.

Compare that to buying leads from a company like Zillow, where the vast majority of prospects are buyers. And, that makes sense if you think about the mindset of someone searching on Google for an agent, compared to a search on a site like Zillow.

A Zillow searcher is looking at properties. They’re not “really” looking for an agent – they just know they need one to take the next step in the process.

Contrast that with a potential client searching for an agent on Google. By definition, they’re looking for an agent, not just someone to facilitate a transaction.

Right now, with the agents we’re working with, that’s meant more sellers than buyers. While that may change a bit in the future, it seems likely there will always be a healthy amount of sellers in the mix.

Limited Competition. Local Services Ads for real estate agents are new and different. As with most any new opportunity, there’s usually a small group of leaders that get in early and reap the rewards (before the rest of the world slowly catches on).

We’re exactly at that point with LSAs. Most of your fellow agents haven’t heard about this new program, and even if they have, don’t understand what an amazing opportunity it presents.

You have a clear “first mover” advantage available to you and we politely suggest you immediately jump all over it. 🙂

How to Get Started

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you that Google Local Services Ads is a great opportunity and you’re ready to jump in.

If so, getting started is fairly straightforward. Just follow this link and click the “Continue” button:

Google Local Services Ads Sign Up

The next screen will have you check for LSA availability in your area. To do that, you’ll complete the Country, State, Zip Code and Job Category fields (choosing “Real estate” for the Job Category field).

From there, you’ll be led through the steps of completing your profile and choosing your budget.

Once you’ve completed those steps, you should hear from a Google representative within a few days to complete the screening requirements.

Easy peasy!

Where to Get More Help

Signing up and successfully using Local Services Ads isn’t rocket science, but there are definitely a couple of spots where you may have questions or need a little help.

Fortunately, Google is very invested in the success of LSAs and they have a team specifically dedicated to helping you through the process.

You can reach that team here:

Also, we’re putting the finishing touches on our Realtors Guide to Local Services Ads and will be announcing its availability soon.

Our guide not only walks you through the entire sign-up process (step-by-step), but also shares advanced strategies to maximize your results from the LSA program – how to get more leads at less cost.

And, for those of you that prefer having someone else handle it for you, my team can expertly set everything up for a very reasonable fee. (Send me an email at for more info.)

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If you have comments or questions about the Local Services Ads program, this article, or anything related to real estate marketing, please send me an email at

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