Real estate sites like Zillow and Trulia have been hard at work for the last few years, offering social features to house hunters and homeowners. And now real estate sites are getting more competition from a rather prominent Internet company: Google.
Yep, Google’s making a land grab with Google Maps, as SEL cleverly puts it. You can find real estate listings by entering the term “real estate” or bringing up the search options (the link to the right of the search button on Google Maps) and selecting Real Estate from the pull down menu. Type in a location and you get a map with results, the options to narrow your search in the left panel, and the first ten listings below that. (Also note the text ad at the bottom of the map.)
Naturally, Google also has listings for the individual properties. Aside from vital stats, however, the listings don’t offer much.
The feature has also launched in Australia and New Zealand. House Hunters International, anyone?
Hitwise reports on Google’s growth in this area:
Hitwise data reveal that last week, Google Maps sent 2% of its US traffic to websites in the Real Estate industry, making it the #19 downstream industry (among more than 160). Yahoo! Real Estate, Realtor.com and Trulia all accounted for a larger volume of traffic to real estate listings than did Google Maps.
These other real estate sites currently offer many more social features—property comparisons, values over time, etc. But since this is just the beginning for Google, I foresee plenty of growth in this area.
What do you think? Will Google work to make this product more full-featured, or is this just a side offering of Google Maps?