GOOGLE has added a real estate search to its Google Maps application in Australia – letting users quickly check out a property’s “location, location, location” online.
The search covers buying and renting and lets users filter properties by type, price, location and real estate agent.
The properties are then displayed on the map, which automatically updates with relevant listings when panned or zoomed to another suburb or when the criteria is changed.
As a member of the IM Club this could be an interesting development if you wanted to get into providing the listing service for customers.
Clicking on a marker or a small circle provides more information about the listing, as well as the contact details of the listing agent and a link to their website.
Google spokesman Andrew Foster said the company had worked with local agents to provide a bank of listings before today’s launch.
“Google Maps gets used a lot as a research tool,” Mr Foster said. “People use things like Street View to check out a street before they go past the house to look at.
“Real estate companies can also integrate their property management systems and listing systems directly with maps so that when the status of a property changes they can send that update directly to it.”
The feature also allows independent sellers to list their properties for free, so long as they are shown on a website.
“People can upload a feed of all of their properties and they can do that one or more times a day to keep the information up to date,” Mr Foster said.
According to Nielsen statistics, 87 per cent of Australians looking for real estate are using the web to find properties.
The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) is one of the first Australian companies to list their properties on Google Maps.
Spokesman Greg Brier today said the industry was always trying to keep up with changes to technology.
“The industry has become very strongly focused around information technology and websites play a critical role in that,” Mr Brier said.
“With cities like Perth being so remote from the eastern seaboard, this kind of technology will be an advance for interstate investors who can do their research and go on virtual tours that they might have not seen.”