You are here: GeekEstate Blog » Google » My Thoughts on the "No Listings on Google Maps" News

My Thoughts on the "No Listings on Google Maps" News

You likely have already heard the news that Google is removing their real estate listings from Google Maps. You might have even attended the Webinar yesterday with Gahlord Dewald (Thought Faucet), Mike Simonsen (Altos Research), Dustin Luther (4realz), and Rich Bailey (Wolfnet).

But, let’s be real here. Does this news really “change” anything? What does the lack of real estate listings on Google maps mean to consumers? Nothing, zilch, nada. Have you ever talked to an home buyer using Google maps to search for their next home? That’s what I thought. Do you personally get bunch of traffic from Google base? I doubt it. Not once have I heard an agent or broker tell me they are seeing considerable traffic from Google Base/Google Maps; Zillow, Yahoo Real Estate and Trulia are still king in sending traffic and leads to brokers and agents.

So from a consumers perspective, no one — and I mean no one — should even bat an eye at this news. And from the agent/broker perspective, I’d argue no one is really going to notice the difference.

When you really think about this news, it’s just such a no-brainer for Google. They are making a killing with their existing Adwords service in the real estate vertical. Why would they spend time, effort, and money cannibalizing that revenue stream by continuing to invest in a product that’s not working? It just doesn’t make any business sense, and they obviously agree. It’s certainly a small win for the execs at Yahoo, Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com since they now have to worry a LITTLE less about Google taking over the real estate industry.

THE ACTUAL NEWS

Personally, I think the big big winners in all of this are actually the IDX vendors — a group I haven’t really heard even mentioned this week (though I was not on the webinar yesterday). There were some Google Base based IDX solutions such as RealBird who, with the imminent shutdown of Google Base, all of a sudden have to radically change their business model and real estate offerings, or cease to exist. None of these search offerings based on Google Base data are perfect, but are (were) certainly a cheaper alternative to put listings on a website for those agents who choose to go without an IDX product. Now, those possibilities are off the table — so the remaining options for those agents and brokers without IDX are to do one of the following:

  • Put no listings on their website — horrible idea
  • Only put their own listings on their website — not what consumers want, and hence not a good idea
  • Link a “home search” button off to an aggregator such as Zillow — with cobranding, this is probably the best idea of the bunch for the budget-conscious. But still not ideal.

Or, those agents and brokers can get with the program and give consumers a completely integrated search experience right from their own website. And pay an IDX vendor for that service. Let’s be honest, if an agent can’t afford a monthly payment for an IDX service to provide the home search functionality that they KNOW buyers are looking for — they don’t have a business.

Winners = IDX Vendors.

Ok, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Update: You can listen to the webinar (or read the transcript of it) conducted the other day here. Turns out IDX vendors did get a fair amount of air time.

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

This entry was posted in Google. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Although you’re right that Google wasn’t taking business away from the kings, we were all concerned that G would eventually envelope one of them. Let’s face it, G has had some good victories, and they haven’t tasted a lot of big defeats. So they were the elephant in the room we all kept an eye on because we knew it may impact our business.

  • Although you’re right that Google wasn’t taking business away from the kings, we were all concerned that G would eventually envelope one of them. Let’s face it, G has had some good victories, and they haven’t tasted a lot of big defeats. So they were the elephant in the room we all kept an eye on because we knew it may impact our business.

  • Pingback: Diet pills review Blog » Blog Archive » To download your &quot free; perdu" handbook of your apparatus()

  • I agree with Steve. The question was whether or not G would muscle/buy out whatever they needed to create a listings presence. I’ve argued that local MLS will always have better data and therefore will always be better than an aggregator/syndicator/scraper. As you’ve said, Drew, implementing that idx correctly on a web site is the key, and if you can’t do that, you’re probably not selling real estate.

    So… you’re correct that IDX vendors are the winners. I currently have 3 different IDX vendors for different sites. Just giving new businesses a shot, and it’s amazing the differences.

    • Which IDX vendor do you like the best? It would be awesome if you wanted to
      write a comparison of the three on Geek Estate — just saying… 🙂

      • Good thought…although I like to keep them all happy. They’re our rainmakers. I just started using IDXNW for some new sites and I love everything they’re doing. We’ve got LogicalDog on our main site, SeattleHome.com, and IDX Broker on a site I’m testing out that’s Bellevue school-based. They all have different strengths.

    • Which IDX vendor do you like the best? It would be awesome if you wanted to
      write a comparison of the three on Geek Estate — just saying… 🙂

  • I agree with Steve. The question was whether or not G would muscle/buy out whatever they needed to create a listings presence. I’ve argued that local MLS will always have better data and therefore will always be better than an aggregator/syndicator/scraper. As you’ve said, Drew, implementing that idx correctly on a web site is the key, and if you can’t do that, you’re probably not selling real estate.

    So… you’re correct that IDX vendors are the winners. I currently have 3 different IDX vendors for different sites. Just giving new businesses a shot, and it’s amazing the differences.

  • Drew,

    Google didn’t even give real estate listings a chance! It was extremely difficult for consumers to find homes on Google, that is why majority of syndication traffic is coming from Zillow, Yahoo RE and Trulia.

    I do agree that the winners are IDX Vendors and the biggest losers are Google Based Home Search solutions such as RealBird, Tribus, and RealShout etc. (Full Disclosure: I am the founder and president of RealtySoft.com an IDX / Website Vendor to the Real Estate Industry). As we all know there is absolutely no other alternative to Google Base data, the only way they could survive is by getting RETS or FTP data from the MLS. It took us (RealtySoft) 3 years to map 110 MLSs and let me tell you its still our biggest challenge. The mapping, paperwork process and constant changes are a pain in the neck. The only other alternative is to get the data from data aggregation companies such as FNIS which is simply too expensive.

    For agents and brokers looking for an alternative you might want to consider RealtySoft FreeIDX (yes it really is free!) or RealtySoft ProIDX ($24.95 per month)

  • I’m in total agreement that individual agents got zilch from Google Base. I know I never did. I think my only hope was that it might give the listings some of that famous Google Juice when home buyers were searching other sites.

    Nevertheless, I also agree that IDX providers will win out and that agents without a good (repeat: good) IDX provider are missing the boat. I am currently changing over to a new IDX provider since the product of the actual MLS I’m in sucked so bad as to be useless.

    Potential home buyers just want good information about homes/real estate and sites that provide it will become “sticky” by virtue of their functionality.

  • Anita K

    Drew, I got a couple of panicky calls from clients that were worried about this but that is simply because they didn’t understand that Google’s retirement of real estate listings in Google Maps and the retirement of the Google Base data API would could actually help their traffic since Google won’t be in direct competition for those long tail, very specific types of real estate search queries. We will however be looking for an alternative data source for markets where the MLS fees are cost prohibitive to do business as an IDX vendor or no MLS really exists.

  • Pingback: Real Estate Roundup - Week 4()

  • Bryan B

    Completely agree – IDX vendors are the winner. However, I do think many agents lose out.

    In St. Louis MO only brokers can subsscribe to an IDX feed. And if you’re an agent that would like to have a lead generation website with real estate listings to search you have only two options now;

    1.) Frame your broker’s IDX search, which looks absolutely terrible. Think of framing a website within a website.

    2.) Setting up websites with a provider like Point2. Again, this looks like crap. Not very customizable – you have to use their [themes].

    With Google Base we were able to use a service called RealBird, that allowed us to create searches on our own branded/customized websites. It was completely based on Base API – and worked great. Now we’re back to the drawing board.

    I have a few questions;

    1.) Are there any aggregrators that currently provide an API like GoogleBase, or at least a data feed.

    2.) How did sites like Zillow and Trulia start out aggregating listings – did they simply start striking up deals with syndicators (ListHub, Point2, etc.)?

    3.) Is anyone aware of any services like RealBird, that do not use Google Base API?

  • Pingback: Graco Nautilus 3 In 1 Car Seat()

  • Pingback: Graco Nautilus 3 In 1 Car Seat()

  • Pingback: Graco Nautilus 3 In 1 Car Seat()

  • Pingback: How to get rid of Stretch Marks Immediately()

  • I think their are a lot of winners in this…including Google, who is smart enough to track usage and invest their money into products that matter to their users.

  • Pingback: Zillow + Yahoo Real Estate Partnership Goes Live | GeekEstate Blog - Real Estate Technology News and Analysis for Real Estate Professionals()

  • Pingback: How to make an iPhone App with out programming skills()

  • Pingback: Best Stocks to Buy Right Now()

  • former google maps user.

    not true. That’s the way I’ve been searching for a house for nearly 2 years.

  • talluie

    I can’t believe that this was removed…..it was the most efficient way to quickly locate properties and to have a very clear understanding of their location. I could scream……..

  • I am very disappointed. Despite the opinion of the writer of this post, many people like myself wanted to go look at the house without the real estate agent being there. I wanted to see the house without someone hovering over my shoulder and this was a great tool for that purpose. If I was really interested in the house, then I would call the real estate agent. I used this tool all the time while I was selling my house so that I could see other homes in the area. Now that I want to buy, it is gone. I would put money on it that it was real estate agents that lobbied them to turn it off.

  • Graham

    Gotta disagree with on this one. At the time of google’s departure, over 40% of the leads we received were logged from them. Trulia and the others around 20%. I would be happy to send you the charts.

    Graham
    zBestListings.com

2008 - 2017 GEEK ESTATE · ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - THEME BY Virtual Results
Hosted by Caffeine Interactive