I’ve been wondering for a long time when Google would make a more sophisticated step into the real estate space. We might be seeing the first signs.
Much like Trulia, Zillow, Frontdoor and others, they’ve been quietly suctioning in real estate listings into Google Base over the last year or so (see Trulia Lands the Big One). They first rolled those out into the organic search results when they populated a link on geographic search terms — e.g. portland real estate — to a generic housing search page (see Another Hint at Google Real Estate?).
Now they seem to have quietly pushed that feature up to Google Maps as well (see Google Maps Adds Real Estate Search) and added a search for ‘real estate’ on the main page of that site. To reveal it click on “show search options” and then choose ‘real estate’ from the drop down menu.
Unfortunately, listings (depending on the Metro area) are pretty sparse right and are mostly drawn from 3rd party sources like Postlets. One could imagine how this could quickly fill up should they turn on the firehouse of data they’ve been accumulating from their broker relationships.
Google Maps is a product I find myself using more and more in my real estate searches. Usually when I’ve found a home I’m interested in (whether it’s on Trulia, Zillow or Roost), the very first thing I do is click over to a new tab, Google the address and pull it up on Maps.
From there, I can get a clear view of the street layout (access to freeways etc.), the terrain (how close is it to a park). I love Street View which gives me a first person look at the neighborhood. I start Googling local business to see how far the closest pub, pizza joint, drycleaners, etc. is from the home. I can also pull up instant directions to see how long my commute might be.
Sure I could do some of this on the originating source’s site. But like with all my other Google searches, I love the speed and clean look and feel to Maps. Now if it just had all the listings, I could just cut out the intermediary step (T/Z/R) …
In more Maps news, Google LatLong is reporting that Youtube videos are now showcased on Maps if they are geocoded and/or associated with a local business. From their blog.
Local business owners can easily add YouTube videos along with other content such as business details, photos, and descriptions to their listings. To do so, simply upload your videos to YouTube and ensure that the ’embed’ option is turned on. Then, associate your video to your business listing through the Local Business Center.
Created a video profile of yourself and your business? Wondering how you can promote it? Here’s a pretty clear step you can take. Make sure you’ve added yourself and your video to the Google Local Business Center.
(h/t Ubertor Real Estate Blog)