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How to utilize free Sketchup & Google Earth to showcase your properties (Samples & Tutorials)

Services for Real Estate Pros with Virtual Architec LLC

Many have felt intimidated to use Sketchup or Google Earth to showcase, because it seemed to hard to try.  I am going to show you several ways you can utilize both right away.

  1. It can be as simple as putting a "For Sale" sign on location of the lot or home with a link to your website or blog where there are pictures of a virtual tour.
  2. You can put a floor plan or lot layout of a house or a whole development on location.
  3. You can put an entire house in color on location.  It could be a house you draw yourself in Sketchup, Chief Architect, AutoCad, Cadsoft Envisioneer or whatever.  You simply need to export it, (or have it exported by your designer or architect)  in a format that you can import into Sketchup. My first choice is 3DS because it will bring in all the textures and colors you have assigned ahead of time. Other formats are DWG or DXF, PSD, JPG, BMP, etc.  See the Sketchup info here: What kind of files can I import into Sketchup?

For the step by step tutorial go here: Placing a Sketchup Model in Google Earth

What will it look like?  The following are photos directly from Google Earth of  a model I just placed today.  If you want to download the model yourself in Google Earth click on the following links and save them to your computer first.  (If you don't save them to your computer they will not show up in Google Earth.)  After they are saved, simply click on the link and it will open in Google Earth. House at 415 Fall Creek, Richardson, TX. (10 MB)     Proposed Removable Deck Structure for the same property (3.75 MB)

What if you only want to put up a lot overlay with For Sale or Sold Signs?  The process is basically the same you just upload from Sketchup the photo or 3D sign you want on your lot.

See the Hawk Ridge Development Plot in Google Earth: Click here 

Lot overlay

To view a sample 3D sign on a property in Google Earth Click Here  Sample picture below.

Sample sign

The beauty of integrating with Google Earth is manifold. 

  • You can showcase all your properties as a virtual tour that you can upload to the same link.  That way it will always be your current listings.
  • You can showcase neighborhoods and location of schools, shopping, or other attractions to make it a positive experiencs.
  • You get to create a link directly to your blog, website, or virtual tour at the same time. 
  • They are likely to share the link with their friends, family etc.
  • And of course, it makes you look very progressive!

If you have any questions about integrating these features, please feel free to contact us.  We will continue to try and give you ideas that are innovative and useful.

Ed Staelens
Regards, President Virtual Architec LLC

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Daniel Bennison
Reece & Nichols Mission Hills - Prairie Village, KS

Very, Very Nice. Technology is amazing....

Dec 18, 2009 06:49 AM
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ

GOOD AFTERNOON ED!  Another piece that I can put on my "learn it for 2010" list!  I may have to contact you for some pointers! --Gabrielle

Dec 18, 2009 06:51 AM
Ed Staelens
Virtual Architec LLC - International, IT

If there is sufficient interest we could do a online meeting after the first of the year showing how to walk through the steps of actually doing it. If anyone is interested just let me know specifically and we will post some tentative dates.



Dec 18, 2009 06:55 AM
Douglas Fischer
East Oahu Realty - Selling Honolulu, Hawaii Condos - Honolulu, HI

Wow, That is simply amazing.  The good folks at Google neer stop creating, do they?  And, now Sketchup!!

Dec 18, 2009 06:58 AM
Ed Staelens
Virtual Architec LLC - International, IT

Yes, the possibilities it creates are endless.  Which of course is great for all of us in Real Estate/Housing business.

Dec 18, 2009 07:00 AM
Gerry Michaels
Glasswork Media Arts - Gettysburg, PA
GettysburgGerry Social Meida

very cool stuff, I will be looking into this further, thanks for the homework

Dec 19, 2009 03:07 AM
Ed Staelens
Virtual Architec LLC - International, IT

Your welcome Gerry.  Let us know your impressions on ease or difficulty in implementing this. I know not everyone is as keen on learning new things as I am. So if there is a need to provide further documentation it would be good to know.

Have a great weekend!


Dec 19, 2009 03:12 AM
Ed Staelens
Virtual Architec LLC - International, IT

I'm glad Rick.  Anyone can go to the Google 3D warehouse and download free models to use and modify.  Just search for signs and you will be amazed at what you might find.

Have a great week!


Dec 21, 2009 01:13 AM