Google Maps Highlights Real Estate

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Google Maps has announced changes to its real estate listings. Its real estate category is now more prominent, and rental listings have been added in the US. A new Comparison Ads tool has also been announced that is geared towards the mortgage market.

The Google Maps “more” menu, which allows users to select layers displaying photos, videos and other categories, now includes the option to choose a real estate layer. Once selected, listings appear as dots on the map as well as information in a panel to the left, both linking back to the original listing source.

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As well as using listing information from free classifieds search engine Google Base, the Google Maps real estate search is now displaying listings that link back to sources such as century21.com and realestatebook.com in the US, and smaller portals allhomes.com.au and homehound.com.au in Australia.

Google added property listings to Google Maps in July this year and now includes them in the US, Australia, New Zealand and India. propertyportalwatch.com has previously pointed out the challenges Google will need to overcome before its real estate search will impact on property portals, including building a comprehensive database of active listings. The addition of rental properties in the US is another step towards achieving this goal.

Google’s new Comparison Ads tool, launched in a select number of US states last week, prompts users to compare the sponsored advertisements that appear at the top of a search results page. Mortgages are the first product to be covered, but the Google AdWords announcement explains that more categories will be included in future.

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The Google Maps blog post does not give any clues as to what future upgrades to its real estate search might be, but it seems safe to assume Google’s interest in real estate will only increase as time goes on.

Comments

  1. well done Google – about time why pay when you can list for FREE ,ever thought who invested $100M’s in making php code accesible maps ,street view and sat view.etc
    all property portals need to look carefully why so many new portals pop up literally every day.the market is completely Saturated no one can demand space to list when there are so many sites more every day
    most portals now free listings
    generating revenue streams in other ways
    tech innovation has become cheap
    global coders free lance :-)
    .
    If your still charging to list in this environment your being simply greedy
    think out side the box

    what’s really sad is that the ppl or the subscription model has no gas left in the tank – guys it reallly wont work much longer
    3 words

    AFILLIATIONS MERGER and MOBILE TECHONOLOGY

    move on … next gen next platform and next consolidation next tech

    trevor

  2. Trev, your post is a troll right?

    If not, the dominant players is most market places are subscription businesses and will continue to be for a long time.

    People who think the free model is the answer everywhere clearly have no idea of the expense in running a major portal or the consumer behavior that supports them.

    Consumers dont care if an agent pays a membership or not. They want quality content (not just MORE listings) and a nice experience. From what I have seen, most of the free sites just dont have the cash to develop great sites or hire good people.

  3. Java you reinforce my view,

    Free listing will continue to grow and become more sophisticated at a fraction of the cost with quality content at the cost of big websites as more code and main mainframe infrastructure from Google Firefox Mozilla made available to programmers ;-). Who are in abundance -working at a fraction of the cost from all corners of the globe.
    You are so wrong if you think pumping cash into these big portals may help them like the past 10 years. This business model does not work anymore in such a fragmented market.

    The market is completely saturated with subscription and ppl sites. Developers’ and Agents can simply take organic growth and put their listing on all the free listing sites and it’s still better than paying

    globrix – luv in the city and telipo in the uk / redfin of the us- are a fraction of the ever growing free sites with many more to come

    Agents and developers DO care if they have to pay

    Users just want quick acessable information on property , there is NO Brand loyalty or experience in todays cyber world.

    Users Don’t Care if the portal cost alot to set up and how many US$ AUS$ £ and Euros have been poured down the plug hole – that’s the portals business models problem Deal with it…
    :- /

    maybe the pill is bitter to swallow for some even is free PPW is free and a great site with low set up tech costs
    its simply the truth
    muttons dressed as lambs do not tally anymore
    Trevor

  4. My my, we have been reading Chris Anderson’s latest book haven’t we?

    In most markets it will be a long long long time before we see a free to list service at number one…in many of the established markets they have already missed the boat. Thats my point.

    Defiantly not saying free to list doesn’t have a strong place in our industry but again, good luck knocking off the rightmoves and realestate.com.au’s of the world.

  5. Chris who? Sorry Java don’t do paper just digital just observations of Joe Public who is a coder

    There are over 20 websites in Australia and over 30 in the UK and the other countries conntiuning to grow globally in numbers daily

    The momentum is growing for listing free properties unless the big portals go free like Google you have no chance keeping agents and developers who you all wish to continue to pay, who are also going bankrupt as well as the portals.
    Record traffic great, but it does not translate to income generation. Also acquiring bust websites to generate indirect traffic is really scrapping the barrel……..
    FREE FREE is the way forward developers and agents – refuse to pay and use Google and free sites.

    Boycott your subscription and ppl big property portal

    Big Property Portals Web sites Must Must look at other ways to generate money for their own survival .
    Unless they do not Google and free sites will become more and more attractive more agents and developers will be migrating every day and more big web sites going bust or being sold for peanuts

    Look at PPW Free Free which is far superior to Inman subscription pay model. :-)

  6. Sorry mate, you must live in a different (free) part of the world to me….where I sit the subscription sites are killing it with record new members on both sides of the equation.

    Dont blur the line with growth rates V real growth. Lots of the free site are quoting massive % in real terms are still growing more slowly than the big guys…..10% of 1,000,000 is still a hell of a lot mote than 20% of 200,000.

    PS – Why so anti on the pay sites? in most cases they still deliver many more leads than the free sites at a fraction of tradition media.

  7. Java, a lot of agents are negative towards big portals because they increase prices disproportionately to the additional leads they generate over a year. In other word, if you double the price you better double the number of leads it brings.

  8. Not anti – just that paying to list subscription or ppl is a 10 year old and that it is corporate greed and laziness – with all the other revenue streams out there.
    The GAP (growing) in the market is free listing.

    Look at MS operating systems and now Mozilla Firefox Chrome etc all free who will be wiping out MS OP systems 12 – 24 months.

    News Int / Guardian media all have sold of their property portal assets because subscription based model is just not viable anymore.

    UTUBE TWITTER FACEBOOK social networking (more free sites coming) which continue to grow are all free subscription and seen continued phenomenal growth and all make money from other advertising streams.

    Paradoxically you all pay other websites to list your marketing campaigns
    Who are all free to join and use.ie jobsites et al

    The big property portals are just very lazy and want to keep charging for outdated model that is just not working.
    Dividends will continue to fall if overhaul is not embraced.

    Reducing your sales force on subscription and ppl
    and delegating customer services department the job of with the accounts would save enormous amounts of money immediately.

    Drive those savings into tech innovation and other marketing work

    Oddly enough the total salary of sales force compared to income generated on ppl and subscription revenue is even keel in this market

    Auto uploads and account management

    You’re all fairly established sites so going free would bring in more developer and agent stock.

    Staring you right in the face – you all have more end users i.e. uv’s then agents and developers so why are you not capitalising on this with third party and affiliation? No Brainer

    and yet you all insist in generating the bulk of your revenue from agents and developers ppl and subscriptions

    You’ve all have bought so much to the online property industry so come move with the times wake up and smell the coffee or Google and the likes will overtake at break neck speed.
    R

  9. I agree also, social network sites are free they get advertising revenue form other streams utube face book subscription free

    MS operating systems are being overtaken by free ones like Mozilla Firefox and Chrome

    Also established portals get more UV’s yet they want to get their revenue from agents and developers. so third party and affiliation is the way forward no brainer
    use what you have.free listing would increase stock on site

    also customer services could handle the accounts by dropping sales dept saving could be diverted into innovation and marketing work.
    sales dept salary cost is even keel to amount of revenue form the subscription and ppl revenue

    unless a big rethink is taken by the big portals LISTING FREE twhich is the way forward

    there will be more portal closures revenue for dividends will also fall…. and google will continue to grow its realestate section

    tom

  10. Lets have this debate again in a few years…my money is on most free listing sites going the way of the dodo through acquisition or simply folding.

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