Greg Vincent

Google Announces Vision For Working With Real Estate Industry << Udated (Latest Google Videos)

Since Google announced their Real Estate based search on Google Maps, there has been a lot of debate over how this move will impact the real estate industry and the dominance of the major portals like realestate.com.au, domain.com.au, etc.

At a Sydney press conference today, Google announced their “vision for working with the real estate industry”.

That vision for the industry involves a marketing partnership with LJ Hooker, one of Australia’s most well known real estate franchises.

As Alice Allan from Property Portal Watch explains,

“This new marketing push will see physical representations of the Google Maps “pins” appearing across 16 Sydney locations, from shopping centres to cinemas and even on Bondi Beach. Google says the co-branded pins are meant to encourage more Australians to head online to begin their real estate search, but with 87 percent of the population already doing so according to Nielsen, it’s clear this is a push to get Australians thinking “Google” when they think of online real estate.

Karim Temsamani, general manager of Google Australia and New Zealand, said today that Google Maps now links over 1,000 real estate websites across Australian and New Zealand. Along with LJ Hooker, Google also includes Ray White, First National and Century 21 amongst these partners, as well as smaller portals such as homehound.com.au and myhome.com.au. As pleased as Google seems to be with these partnerships, one big question remains: what of Australia’s market leader, realestate.com.au, and the number two player domain.com.au?

When quizzed about the relationship with the two portals, Andrew Foster, product manager for real estate search on Google Maps, remained diplomatic. “We’re happy to take listings from anyone,” he said, while confirming that there is currently no arrangement to take listings from either portal. “At this stage they’re choosing not to provide listings,” he said.

“We’re not sitting back and waiting for large providers,” Foster continued, emphasising that Google’s coverage is “diverse and comprehensive”, and that there is “genuine enthusiasm to be seen on Google” from the real estate industry.” (read more here)

Whilst this move may exert some added pressure on realestate.com.au, domain.com.au & realestateview.com.au to join in with others who are already uploading listings onto Google Maps, I don’t see any of these companies moving from their current stance any time soon.

And while many agents feel that Google may impact on the duopoly that currently exists within the Australian real estate portal market, they should also bear in mind that as Andrew Foster said “We’re happy to take listings from anyone,” which also means private sellers can upload their properties onto Google Maps for FREE.

Update: Here are the latest Real Estate on Google Maps videos.


Google Maps – Now with real estate listings across Australia


How to get driving directions from real estate listings on Google Maps


How to refine your real estate search on Google Maps

What impact do you feel Google will have on the real estate industry going forward?

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10 Responses to “Google Announces Vision For Working With Real Estate Industry << Udated (Latest Google Videos)”

  • I for one, think it means that agents will need to keep lifting their game – offering service way beyond that of the past. For example, one of the “carrots” when talking with Private Sellers and convincing them to list with us, was the incentive that we could load and promote their properties on the two major internet sites. Now that these private sellers can upload directly to Google Maps, this effectively removes this “carrot” from our arsenal. Once again, we as an industry have to keep improving and lifting our game otherwise we may become extinct!!

  • Great point Terri. Agents will need to be able to demonstrate real benefits & value for money to remain relevant going forward.

    As an agent I wouldn’t be making a big deal out of having listings appearing on Google Maps during a listing presentation. I’d consider that to be only a feature of an agent’s service, not a benefit.

    Remember, people buy goods & services based on benefits, then reinforce their purchase decision based on features. Not the other way around.

  • Too true – so we as an industry, need to be emphasing those benefits which are only available with listing with an agent and the emphasis here – once again – is about the level of professional service, expertise and committment that only an experienced agent can provide.

  • Gosh it’s an exciting time with so many changes in the industry. So many of the tech changes that are re-shaping the industry will see unprofessional agents fall away and tech savvy professionals dominate. With consumers demanding more for their money and becoming inceasingly tech savvy themselves, I believe we are at or near a tipping point in this regard.

  • Steve, I’m reading a good book at the moment & the title says it all…

    “It’s Not the Big That Eat the Small…It’s the Fast That Eat the Slow: How to Use Speed as a Competitive Tool in Business.” ~ by Jason Jennings & Laurence Haughton.

    There are some very professional companies within our industry who are holding committee meeting after committee meeting about real estate technology and how to use Social Media effectively.

    But, unfortunately many of these companies are suffering paralysis by analysis whilst the end user, the real estate customers are running rings around their agents.

    Which also leaves the door wide open for fast moving competitors to take a large market share before they even know what’s happened.

  • What is really happening is that the world is getting smaller and everyone in it each day gets a little more knowledge about a lot of things and has a need to be informed about things that matter to them.
    Buyers and sellers are simply more informed than before and have to seek ways to save time – Google maps for real estate is one very obvious way that this can be achieved.
    The main problem here in New Zealand is not whether or not Fairfax (Trademe) is contributing or whether private sellers can add their listing, but ironically, how to find it!

  • Wow! I see what you mean. There bounce rate must be huge.

    They’ll need to make it easier to find property on their site or they’ll lose a bucket load of traffic over to Google Maps.

    A map of NZ would be good to be able to click on for a region. I can’t believe that I had to know the region before being able to search for a suburb (until I finally realised that I could type a suburb into the top search bar).

    In the left hand search bar of the property search section, it would be good if you could type the first few letters of a suburb and have a selection of suburbs appear, without having to select a region.

    I suppose its good in one way, people could always buy a house, furnish it & get a pet all at the same time. :)

  • When I joined Real Estate 3 years back, the first advertising media my Senior Agent taught me was to advertise in a local English newspaper in Malaysia called The Star. It’s very popular and having great impact for agents who list their properties there.

    Very soon, lots of property web portal came into the market for eg. http://www.iproperty.com.my

    Google Maps became very handy for the property hunters especially when they are not familiar with the location. We always encourage them to check out the Google Maps for the exact location before viewing appointments.

    It’s so unbelieveable when Google is now implementing the new features of Street View of certain countries, but not in Malaysia yet. And, the users can even insert the property for sale or rent in it.

    Should we as an Real Estate Agent felt this is something interesting or at the same time threatening our “rice bowl”? I can foresee in the future, a lots of the owners will list the properties for sale or rent by themselves online, rather than listing to agents as their first priority. Should we felt worry in this stage?

    What do you see the Google Maps will evolve into in 5 years time?

  • Jeffery, it’s hard to say what will happen with Google Maps over the next 5 years, because they have so many of the great developers working for them & if they want to integrate something that other companies have developed they simply buy them out.

    I don’t necessarily see real estate search on Google Maps as a good thing for our industry, but the only thing I can say for certain is that change is happening very quickly and the ground is shifting.

    Google has just released their new product Buzz which is a social network linked to gmail accounts. They have other things like Sidewiki, Place Pages and Google’s Favourite Places. This week they also announced an experiment that they are about to embark on where download speed is going to be 100 times faster than anything that currently exists in the USA. (1GB per second download is what they are aiming for) so that alone will open doors for applications that we can only imagine.

    The major networks seem to be throwing their support behind Google & now that they have committed it will be almost impossible for them to pull out if they want to. I just hope that they know what they’re doing.

  • This court decision could make life very interesting for realestate.com.au with regards to copyright of the content within their site.

    http://www1.propertyportalwatch.com/2010/02/copyright-issue-for-realestate-com-au/

    This could lead to website developers & other portals being able to scrape their data & create competitive products. It could have some very significant consequences.

    If it does become an issue then it won’t just be a concern for realestate.com.au but domain.com.au, realestateview.com.au could also be affected.

    This judgement could also have an influence on how quickly they would them move towards feeding their listings data onto Google Maps.

    It’s going to be very interesting to see how this unfolds.

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