Google Is Eliminating Real Estate

ClosedThis just in. Google has announced that they will be removing all listings from their Google Maps platform on February 10th of this year!  We have written in the past about gaining exposure via Google Maps and also about the fact that they include foreclosure data in their system.

Below is an example of how the listings currently appear using 90210 as the example zip code.

The move by Google to remove real estate listings raises several questions for me.:

1. Does this matter at all?

2. Have you ever gotten a lead via Google Maps?

3. Are they simply pulling the data out of the Google Maps to add it to a more robust platform in the future?

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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55 Comments
  1. Kevin Marciniak January 26, 2011 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    I don’t see that being a good move on Google’s part but they always have a method behind the madness!

  2. Michael McClure January 26, 2011 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    Chris,

    Here are my thoughts: Google needs to stopping waiting around and they should take over real estate right now.

    I’ve felt for a long time that it is inevitable that they would get into real estate at some point. It makes too much sense for them not to do it.

    Here’s my “Open Letter to Larry and Sergey” that I just posted a few minutes ago: http://budurl.com/eyl7.

    The next thing they need to do? Hire me and you…

    Best,
    Michael

  3. Chris January 26, 2011 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    Working on that Mike 🙂

  4. Randall Brennan January 26, 2011 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    In answer to your questions:
    1. I thought the foreclosure data was helpful. It was a way of graphically showing folks in trouble that theirs is not an isolated incident. Logically, they know that, but still try to keep the secret because of so many believe that they are the only ones around in trouble. Everyone *knows* that all the foreclosure trouble is in Detroit and points beyond; it’s certainly not in *my* neighborhood.

    2. I’ve never gotten a listing from google maps, but I’ve never tried to, either.

    3. I have no doubt that google will find a way to win out of this. Take away something we have found to be useful, and make us feel the pain — we’ll pay to get our candy back.

    RJB

  5. Kelly Lindsay January 26, 2011 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing…always great updates!!

  6. Mike Murray January 26, 2011 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    I’m sure they are plotting something…bidding through eBay…loans from Billmelater…settlement thru Paypal.

  7. Robert Mickalson January 26, 2011 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    I don’t think it’s a big deal at all, because their (Google) display format for listings is ugly and confusing, and in that sense, not consumer friendly. They say in their press release about this move, that it’s partly due to low usage. They even admit there are better consumer options out there basically. And there are. As long as us agents are either presently diversified or working toward that end with respect to our online presence, this should have zero impact on business. I’m pretty sure very few people find my RE listings and subsequently contact me due to Google Maps. Now Google Places is another animal. Hopefully they never get rid of that. I always get new prospects through that.

  8. Matt DeFede January 26, 2011 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    I have never ever gotten a lead from google maps, I think they are going to come up with their own Real Estate platfrom why would they just throw all that data away.

  9. Marilyn Urso January 26, 2011 at 11:16 pm - Reply

    I agree with Robert. I’m sure they will revise and come out with soemthing better and maybe we’ll have to pay for it but we can use the money we’re not spending on print!

    You can only go to work for them if you promise to always be the TechSavvyAgent guy! lol

  10. Paul F Stillwaggon January 26, 2011 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    It won’t make any difference, there were to many, no one goes around following the dots.

  11. Ilya at The HOME Team January 26, 2011 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Facebook has a better chance in developing a more used and useful real estate listing platform. Now, if Google buys Facebook… that’s a different story

  12. Christopher Rocca January 26, 2011 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    Never had a lead or a sale related to the maps. But they were useful as a visual aid for both buyers and sellers. All of the other demographic information related to the maps interesting though, the stuff from the census.

    My guess is that Google will fold this dynamic data into some other offering of theirs one of these days.

    It’s not a big thing, one way or the other.

  13. Yalda Alawi January 26, 2011 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    I am not sure how this will affect me. I don’t think it going away will for now. But I may be paying for their ‘new’ services in the future… who knows?

  14. Jean Richer January 26, 2011 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    I don’t think that this will impact anyone’s business. When people are looking for Real estate they will go to where the most up to date & accurate information is located.

    I do believe that Google is taking a step back right now but they have not gone forever. They will most likely be back with something bigger and better, why wouldn’t they?

  15. Frank Chimento January 26, 2011 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    Google is larger than real estate. They don’t need it. And, with their nepotistic relationship with our government, Washington D.C., doesn’t like seeing a national map littered with red foreclosure dots… at least not until another Republican is elected, then they’ll let the dots fly.

  16. Stacey Johnson-Cosby January 26, 2011 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    I think that our National Association of REALTORS’ (NAR) RPR website is wonderful with data pulled from various sources probably similar to Googles, including mortgage/public records & pre-foreclosure information on homes. So, if that was one of the benefits of Google, we possibly have that part taken care of already. The big coincidence for me is that just this morning in a social media meetup, a few of the people advised another agent that Google maps was something that buyers (including them & their friends) used a lot. I made a note to check out how I could use it. Wow.

  17. Sheri Moritz January 27, 2011 at 12:00 am - Reply

    I agree with Mike McClure. Google isn’t going anywhere far. I’ve been telling my agents for a while that the best thing I can do for them in the long run is make them tech savvy enough that Google will hire them when they take over the industry. They will be back to play with us… #SleepingGiant

  18. Keith Samuelson January 27, 2011 at 12:14 am - Reply

    I was watching to see what Google did with this. I was hoping it would turn into something great, but obviously never did. This never impacted me. Never any leads off of it.

    On a side note – Nobody can blame Google for trying. How many things have they thrown up against the wall to see if it sticks? Google Wave? Google Real Estate? I am sure there are others. I tip my hat to Google for trying new things. But that is another blog…

  19. stephanie crafrd January 27, 2011 at 12:27 am - Reply

    Surely this is only a temporary measure. I can’t imagine Google not taking the opportunity to cash in on an industry so centralized on the internet. I sure as heck would if I were them.

  20. Rick Sterling January 27, 2011 at 12:30 am - Reply

    In one way it’s good … in another it;s bad .. I use realbird and have gotten a lot of leads off realbird … which uses googlebase as its platform ….. also been great being able to add all the fsbo and foreclosures and listings nationwide via this platform. I personally think it was a ploy by the NAR, Zillow and Trulia … via pressure to gain them more revenue $$ from advertising forcing agents to spend more money on those sites.

  21. Michael @ Bellingham Real Estate January 27, 2011 at 12:40 am - Reply

    Google is surely not going away, just changing what they’re doing. we’ll just have to wait and see how.

  22. Carolyn January 27, 2011 at 12:44 am - Reply

    Google is a super giant. I am sure they have something up their sleeve… perhaps they will intergrate their application with MLS??

  23. Vickie Arcuri January 27, 2011 at 12:51 am - Reply

    I agree with others who mentioned that Google will probably create a different R.E. platform in the future. For now, I like the fact that it’s no longer included in Google Maps because of lack of data integrity.

  24. Rick Sterling January 27, 2011 at 1:17 am - Reply

    They will come up with a new platform and charge for it … either the public or more than likely the agents, like zillow taking over yahoo real estate. TIme to take back the internet and stop syndicating on auto pilot. We h
    ave no-one to blame but ourselves …we gave it all away.!

  25. Byron Underwood January 27, 2011 at 1:43 am - Reply

    What a coincidence. We were talking in a prelicensing class today at a local real estate school where I teach about Google Maps’ posting real estate listings. I’ll have to revisit this topic in class tomorrow. Thanks for your post.

  26. Bob Bickel January 27, 2011 at 1:46 am - Reply

    I am thinking here I hope they do not try to do a yahoo gig.
    But I am sure they will be back in the future with a easier platform that is more mobile friendly by putting two or three platforms together. (Apps Collide)

  27. Steve Kornspan January 27, 2011 at 2:40 am - Reply

    Google will come out with something better. What they had was good, but it was not “WOW!”. Then redevelop to be better than the rest and then monetize it. It is not about selling houses. It is selling ads

  28. Lanre Folayan January 27, 2011 at 6:36 am - Reply

    I never got a lead from Google Maps either. Heck my website looks like a Google Maps.

  29. Jen Butel January 27, 2011 at 9:45 am - Reply

    I’ve never received a lead from Google maps. First heard about the change here.

  30. Sichermove January 27, 2011 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Problem is that very few people used it. That’s one of the reasons that Google cites for dropping real estate search.

  31. Missy Caulk January 27, 2011 at 11:53 am - Reply

    I “think” they will buy Trulia and integrate it, why not?

  32. David Sherfey January 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Real estate is clutter for Google, and they need to reduce that. At this point Google has too much data and some things are very difficult to search for. While it is cool to see my stuff on Google maps I don’t see any traffic from it. Google has been berry-berry good to me and they can do what they want.

  33. Jonathan January 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Hey that image looks vaguely familiar ;0) In all honesty – isn’t the internet removing the need for REALTORs in general (I meant the ones that just provide marketing and no other value.)

  34. Jeremy Blanton January 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    From reading what many agents are saying here, it doesn’t seem like they were using this function that much, which means it’s affects will be minimal I guess. We shall see once this happens.

  35. Linda Aaron January 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Positioning to purchase or have an alliance with a real estate portal perhaps?

  36. Joan Defenbaugh January 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    I can’t seem to go a day without using my droid app for Realtor.com on my EVO.

    It’s super fast, accurate and connected to GPS. You can draw a circle on the touchscreen around an area and it pops up the listings in an instant.

    Our local MLS uses Bing for the mapping feature within the listing. Nice when you are using a larger screen to view “birdseye view”, roads or aerial view.

  37. Team Ruppert January 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    I think it’s a huge deal for some! Realbird is a single property website application that integrates google maps. Blogs and websites have been developed utilizing this application. You featured ‘Coral Gables Story’ recently which is a wonderful blog/website that was developed around this application. How will they be impacted?

  38. […] TechSavvyAgent asks a few good questions. […]

  39. James Trano January 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    For those Real Estate WordPress sites using Google API, Maps & Plugins how will this affect them?

  40. Tom Jovanovski January 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    I am sure Google has some sort of plan to do something with this info in the future or with a different platform. We have never received any leads off of the Google map feature so to us it is not a big deal.

  41. Mike Schmidt January 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Google has no formal relationship with any MLS, as far as I know. Their data is always going to be suspect, not actually having access to MLS data. I see here that realbird, for one, uses googlebase to get listings from. I’d used that until recently. Saw too many listings there that were long-since closed properties…

    Perhaps they are seeing this via time on site, bounce rates, etc. as visitors see that they are not getting any real benefit. That said, Google has the time, money and manpower to develop whatever they want.

  42. Colin Storm January 27, 2011 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    One of the stories I read mentioned “lack of use” as part of the reasoning for not including real estate in the new “classifieds” resource, now to be Google Shopping API’s. This doesn’t surprise as I have never seen a real estate listing pop up while search google maps in our area.

    That said, I fully expect google will roll this back in somehow, OR a third party will do so via the API.

  43. Nick Carpenter January 27, 2011 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    It makes sense to remove the real estate listings off of already cluttered maps and hopefully they will the move the listings to a different platform.

  44. Barbara Baker January 27, 2011 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I just discovered the foreclosure map searches on Google … boo on Google.

  45. Nishika Jones January 27, 2011 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    I agree that the data integrity with Google maps was poor, but when isn’t that the case with real estate listing syndication.

    I’ve gotten traffic, leads and closed a sale from Google maps.

  46. Alysia Maher January 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    Google has been putting on a full court press ad campaign to REALTORS, in our area…Perhaps this is just another step in the campaign..To open new frontiers and perhaps to actually clear the clutter and get it better.

    They are the Wave of the future and I believe they will be heavy into the real estate business by the end of 11.

  47. Reggie Owens January 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    Doesn’t matter to me. I don’t need it. Never used it before.

  48. Patrick Steil January 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    My money is on Google buying Trulia, Zillor or Homes.com…

    I seriously doubt this is the last we have seen from Google on this front… 🙂

  49. Arthur Harris January 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    I believe Google has other plans but they have just not disclosed it yet.

  50. Scott Feirn January 29, 2011 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    It’s just another spoke in the wheel…if it breaks, there are many other spokes to keep the wheel rollin’…..

  51. Marty Corley January 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    I registered our company a few weeks ago to show on Google Maps and we got our first lead last week. It was for a showing appt. Too bad they are getting rid of it.

  52. Marci James February 1, 2011 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    I think you may have nailed it with #3. What is your opinion???

  53. 0 | Philly Real Estate Resource February 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    […] one of these days,” said Santa Fe agent Christopher Rocca commenting on a Tech Savvy Agent blog post about the […]

  54. Holliston MA Realtor December 18, 2011 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    I can ever remember ever getting any kind of lead from Google maps so I doubt this is all that important.

  55. Susan Zanzonico February 28, 2013 at 3:26 am - Reply

    I don’t think it matters at all. Most use real estate websites to find info on listings, town, etc.

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