Searching for Brisbane real estate? Don't Google it.
Just 18 months after launching its real estate mapping in Australia, Google has dropped the service. This seems to be one of those great innovations that just didn’t live up to expectations, and many Brisbane home hunters probably didn’t even know about it.
When we wrote about the launch we expected the maps would make life easier for buyers and tenants, and most agents’ listings would be loaded through to Google. But heavyweights realestate.com.au and domain.com.au decided to block the service by not feeding listings through. Agents could load their listings direct themselves, but this takes a lot of admin time. This agency took out a subscription with second tier portal myhome.com.au who were feeding, just so we could get our listings through to Google. But most of our competitors didn’t.
So without a good percentage of available stock, Google’s maps looked a little out of touch. And buyers and tenants will naturally go where they can see the most information in the quickest time.
The big portals to their credit have each ramped up their mapping tools, largely matching Google’s innovations in the area. Realestate.com.au even relaunched their entire site last year to ward off the giant – stuffing plenty of things up in the process but showing how keen they were to find new ways to meet searchers’ needs. We now take many of these for granted, like dynamic maps that allow you to move around and refresh the available homes as you go. You do wonder if we’d have these new tools but for Google’s pressure on the big Australian duopoly.
The rate of innovation in real estate marketing has been rapid over the past year and we hope smart new ideas continue. Hopefully there will be healthy competition to ensure Brisbane’s buyers and tenants, sellers and landlords continue to get what they need from the portals.