Google Maps Exiting The Real Estate Listing Game

Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow

This week Google announced that as of Feb 10, 2011, it will no longer display real estate listings on its Google Map pages.  In case you weren't familiar with what this looks like today, here is a screen shot:

Google maps real estate

In the blog post making this annoucement Google said, "In part due to low usage, the proliferation of excellent property-search tools on real estate websites, and the infrastructure challenge posed by the impending retirement of the Google Base API (used by listing providers to submit listings), we've decided to discontinue the real estate feature within Google Maps...".

Of course people can still type normal real estate search terms into Google and be presented with helpful website options, so SEO and sponsored search are still important marketing strategies.

But what this says to me is just taking real estate listings and putting them on a map isn't interesting enough to generate a substantial audience - even for Google!  This means a lot of different things to different groups of people. 

To agents, is the highlight or only functionalitiy on your website an IDX search?  While it is clearly important to have listing search capabilities on your site, what color or other interesting and UNIQUE content can you add around this?  (hint: maybe you have a blog with interesting perspectives on what is happening locally...)

As someone who works for a national website, we need to think about the same thing.  Just taking listing feeds isn't how you attract and sustain new viewers or grow an audience.  We need to keep thinking of unique ways to help consumers through the real estate process, like offering Agents Reviews or an interactive Mortgage Marketplace

Lastly, there are so many APIs and widgets to help build out your site with really cool data at little to no cost. 


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Barbara Michaluk
Weichert Realtors | Silver Spring, MD Phone Direct 240-506-2434 - Silver Spring, MD
Top Producing / Full Service REALTOR in Marylan

Sara, thanks for the update on google maps.  I had not read about this change and appreciate the update.

Jan 27, 2011 12:37 AM #1
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

A map is really not a great deal of information when you compare it to the potential of a blog. Thanks!

Jan 27, 2011 01:32 AM #2
Gerry Michaels
Glasswork Media Arts - Gettysburg, PA
GettysburgGerry Social Meida

listings on a map, nothing more, nothing less, doesn't say much to me. You are sooo right, we need to be a resource for everything in our area. Nice post

Jan 27, 2011 02:58 AM #3
Dan Cheek
Baltimore, MD
Internet Lead Management

Right on, Sara. I posted something similar to our agents yesterday. We should all take notice of what does and does not engage the real estate consumer online.

And on that note, would love to chat with you about leveraging Zillow's Agent Reviews.

Jan 28, 2011 05:42 AM #4
Vince Sadler
Dream Town - Chicago, IL

I didn't even know that google had a real estate section, I have always just used yahoo. Thanks for the update, I will have to go and check it out now.

Jan 28, 2011 02:06 PM #5
Alexander- Slocum
Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
Realty Team- Vancouver WA Real Estate
Hello Sara - I think the Google Map of listings may be helpful to some folks but, is otherwise just a Data Dump that won't easily provide digestible information for the average home shopper. I like to use map API's as an adjunct to a neighborhood search page or, a search by price range; and hopefully making a better matched set of information for my prospects and clients. Thanks! John
Jan 29, 2011 06:36 AM #6
Richard T. Dolbeare
Keller Williams Realty Maui - Kahului, HI
R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist

Hi Sara.  I hadn't heard they were dropping it, thanks for the heads-up.


Feb 10, 2011 06:50 AM #7
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Sara~thanks for the post, my office is having a Zillow presentation this week so I think we get to learn first hand on how we can best use the various functions on Zillow. 

Feb 13, 2011 12:30 PM #8
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