If you’re not familiar with Yelp, you will be soon. Yelp is an online directory of consumer reviews. It’s most famously known for it’s restaurant reviews, but has expanded to support almost any business type over the last couple years. We’ve always recommended adding community locations to Yelp, as it’s free, and it’s part of a “cover all your bases” strategy. However, with the release of the iPhone 5 and the recent update to Apple’s iOS operating system, Yelp is now a priority.
You may have heard all the stink over the new Apple Maps app. It’s been generally berated by many as sub-par to Google Maps (we agree) and not ready for placement within the iPhone. Despite this, Apple Maps is here to stay, and the vast majority of users will accept any flaws, real or not, of the new Apple Maps and use it anyway. The new Maps is integrated with Siri and every component of the iPhone.
So where does Yelp come in? Yelp is one of the largest providers of listing data to Apple Maps, and integrates it nicely we might add. In the past, you’ve hopefully added all of your communities to Google Places/Local or anyone of the other names Google’s maps directory has had. That listing is what allowed your community to appear when iPhone users searched inside the maps app. No more Google in Apple Maps, means that your Google Local listing is almost useless on an iPhone.
This is where Yelp comes in. It’s the easiest way to become part of Apple Maps. Below is a screen shot of an apartment community and how it appears when we search for it in the new Apple Maps. It’s very clear that Yelp is supplying this data, as the phone number is a call tracking number we’ve assigned to Yelp listings.
Based on average builder website statistics, more than 75% of home shoppers are using the iPhone. While many may be frustrated by the lack of Google Maps, the vast majority of users will use the new Apple Maps and not think twice about it. Setting up an account and adding listings to Yelp is free. You can get started here.
Don’t wait. Being found is half the battle.