Google Real Estate Search: The Next Industry Takeover?


Mobile phones. Netbooks. Turn-by-turn navigation. All industries Google set out to dominate and guess what? They’re well on their way. By the looks of it, Real Estate search could be the next battleground as the Big G just made their property search portal live in the UK.

Interested in buying or renting property? The typical person uses traditional media because, well, its what everybody uses. The Real Estate section of the newspaper. Classified ads. Craigslist. Television commercials. THIS is the type of industry where Google CAN make a difference.


Supposedly you can check out the new feature by visiting Google Maps UK, clicking on “More” and choosing Real Estate. Apparently it is only available for London at the moment but I couldn’t access the feature. However, it has been available in Australia for some time so you can see what we’re talking about by visiting Google Maps Australia.

You can currently search by type of property, bedrooms, bathrooms, size, parking, price and more. Pretty darn cool. Not that there aren’t already a ton of data aggregators that provide this service but if ONE company has the capability to provide the most COMPREHENSIVE listing I would think it would be Google.

So where does Android fit in?

Google already has a bunch of applications to showcase their software and they could strike GOLD with an application/portal built specifically for Real Estate. Imagine if you could find dates/times of Open Houses and set appointments right from your phone? How about taking a tour of the house or using Google Earth/StreetView to get a closer look at the surrounding area?

I wouldn’t be surprised if some Googlers are already building this with their 20% free time because the idea and potential implications are obviously huge. Then again maybe Google has a dedicated team working on this for their 80% time.

Google wouldn’t necessarily be COMPETING with the big real estate companies but they would certainly be benefitting from them. Hundreds of millions of dollars dedicated to real estate advertising each month could be funneled out of traditional media and into Google Real Estate Search and/or Google Real Estate for Android as more and more people use it as “the” go to source for the most comprehensive and up to date listings. And if you didn’t already know, “Real Estate” is one of the most lucrative industries in terms of the advertising dollar.

What Google has done by putting themselves at the center of the search world is create a ridiculous amount of leverage. With that leverage they created more products/services that the masses clung onto and have now become the “industry standard”. Then they use those leverages and create more products/services such as Google Navigation. Guess what? Now they’ve got even more leverage…

And the leverage train continues. Businesses out there better be thinking about how to stay one step ahead of the curve, because if you don’t, Google will do it for you.

What do you think would be the coolest implementation of Google Real Estate Search for an Android Application? What industry do you think Google will enter next?

[Via Pocket-Lint]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. No offense Rob, but this feature has been available on Google maps for a LONG time. I was using it to search for houses back in June! It may have been out for much longer before that, but that’s when I discovered it.

  2. Oh, and I’m talking about the US version of Google maps…just in case anyone was wondering. Sorry, we here in the US sometimes forget that there’s “the rest of the world” out there and that we can’t just assume people know that “obviously were talking about the US”.

  3. I’ve been using this for the past couple months in my real estate search too. So nice now that they show the lot lines in the map view. Then create a shape in MyMaps of the lot. You then get a better idea of the land layout in Terrain view. Sweet stuff. Even better now is you can access My Maps on Google Maps though the phone.

  4. And it’s available in the US, too. It isn’t just the UK and Australia.

  5. Huh? This is available in the US for a while now….

  6. Also Layar has a real estate layar for both apartments and houses.

  7. You all should check out to see if it’s available in your metro area. It’s has a fantastic online real estate search.

  8. This is pretty cool and all, and I love how android is developing so far, but is anybody else starting to get a little nervous about Google’s ever expanding data amassing? In a world where information is control, it’s a little scary thinking about how much leverage and power Google is trying to position itself into.

  9. Actually google wont take over if realtors refuse to push their properties to the Google base service. Besides and MLS websites do a much better job than Google does at this.

    They are entering the game way too late.

  10. It has been out a while as some of the comments have already stated, but google seem to be pushing it interenationally now and it has the big players in the property listings business scared big style.

  11. This feature for the US has been out for over a year now. I have used it for the past two times that I have moved. My latest search revealed how powerful google has become in this market. They have indexed the MLS listings for the county that I was searching in.

    Searching for realestate via google maps, saving all the relavent and interesting listings in a personal map, then going through and updating the placemark, comments, and pictures, I was able to prioritize the listings, then sync it to my G1, and do drive bys with my nav app.

    I spent close to 10hours scouring google+MLS listings and creating a map, which cut down on my inperson search time.

    Last night, I signed on my new place to rent all thanks to the efficent google.

  12. As I scrolled down the comments I was thinking, “OK, where is the real estate agent who will defend the status quo by sticking their head in the sand?” and there it was at #9.

    My company combines the accurate data that real estate brokers can get from their MLS with Google Enterprise search appliances to produce a Google-like user experience that has up-to-date listings.

    Our strategy is designed to get brokers out ahead of Google while they still have some control over the best data via the MLS, but even I don’t think that will last forever.

    The industry retains control by walling off the upload. There is something to be said for that: By vetting who can upload to MLS (has to be a licensed broker) the MLSs are imposing some QC on the listing data. When houses sell, they get dropped, for example.

    Since Google cannot get the data from the horse’s mouth, it indexes sites that are based on MLS data, but this index of real estate listings once removed lags in accuracy, giving the industry the advantage it is clinging to.

    Here’s the problem: Access to the upload is WAY, WAY more expensive and restricted than it needs to be. Just like classified ads on newspaper sites were before CL came along. All Google has to do is offer a free upload with the same fields, including expiration date, open house dates, etc. and it is Game Over for the MLS.

    The only question is, why haven’t they done it by now? What do they have to lose? It would probably help, not hurt, Adwords sales, so there has to be something else stopping them and the only thing I can think of is liability — Google just wants to index data, not be responsible for its accuracy, and that simple fact *may* be the reason Google lets the inefficient, overpriced MLS system live.

  13. You all should check out It is by far the best online real estate search for buyers and sellers, provided by their real estate agent. Check to see if it is available in your area.

  14. Just to notice that Real Estate searches are available in France, but only in English, and with English descriptions and ads. Weird, isn’t it ?

  15. How is a homeowner

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