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?