Google maps improved for Estate Agents
23 February, 2010 | Web design
Estate Agents are watching Google's move into property listings on Google maps like a hawk with a magnifying glass. They know that any major change can have massive implications on the way properties will be viewed online.
The latest development from Australia has got tongues wagging. Google are partnering up with L J hooker, one of Australia's biggest Estate Agencies, to place 16 big Google Map 'Pins' all over Sydney, in an attempt to get people to automatically go to the internet to search for property. It sounds slightly ludicrous but Australia already has a rich culture of 'big things' - including a big pineapple and the first 'big thing', a big banana.
The marketing campaign will also include a few advertisements using the little yellow Street View man you drag onto Google Maps to access and view what areas Street View has available.
To date Google links to over 1,000 Estate Agent websites in Australia including Ray White, First National and Century 21. At this moment in time, there are no mentions of any partnerships with Australia's top two property portals, realestate.com.au and domain.com.au.
So far the team at Google seem unfazed by this. Andrew Foster, product manager for Real Estate search on Google Maps stated that Google is happy to take listings from anyone and that he has seen genuine enthusiasm from the property industry. Andrew Foster then went onto display some new features that Google Maps will have on Google.com.au.
Firstly users will be given the chance to narrow their property search to view the properties that are right for them. Options such as sale/rent, minimum price, maximum price, property type, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, parking and preferred area.
Users can toggle on and off another layer of photos, videos, Wikipedia articles, webcams as well as a live traffic monitor. Once someone has found the property that they are interested in, they are presented with more detailed information with price, address, photos, floorplans, a small Google Map and Google Street view and a link to the Estate Agent's website or a property portal.
Troy Stanley, CTO of Resource Techniques commented on Google Maps in Australia, 'These are exciting developments showing that Google are making a real push to ensure the success of property listings on Google Maps. Unfortunately no comments were made on any developments in the UK.