realestate.com.au moves to Google Maps (well sort of)

Realestate.com.au are now trialling Google Maps, which is a sure sign that they will be dumping there mapping system altogether shortly. This comes just a few months after the the CEO of realestate.com.au Simon Baker pretty much poured cold water on mapping and real estate saying this on his weblog….CEO Corner

“We have all heard alot about real estate sites and mapping recently with many articles being written in newspapers and magazines. While some pundits may be seduced by the sexy maps, when it comes to those that really matter, the buyers and sellers visiting the real estate sites, it is pictures and slide shows that really count.”
I think it is a good sign as Realestate.com.au’s mapping system was pretty ordinary and developing their own custom solution would just waste millions of dollars, especially when there are solutions readily available for free that are so much better and will continue to improve.

This will just be the first stage of the mapping system and it does not warrant a review as yet as this was done fairly quickly, but as they release new features we should see a really good mapping system. I just hope the make it resizable!

Before the end of the year a new mapping website that shows amazing promise will be available and I have been given access to it. The new Australia Wide wite will be FREE for agents as the operators have decided they can make their money from advertisers who want to be where buyers are.

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7 Comments

  • Phil
    Posted September 22, 2006 at 9:55 pm 0Likes

    A map is a map, I don’t see what all the fuss is about.

    It is notable however that realestate.com.au has once again copied their competitor.

    Domain.com.au led the way and realestate.com.au follows like a limp parasite.

    Weak at best.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted September 23, 2006 at 9:47 am 0Likes

    Phil – domain actually copied homehound – who in turn copied the mapping from agent sites in the UK (through their mapping provider) –

    The UK also seems to be where they got their ‘inspiration’ for their name HomeHound

    so even the leaders are copiers, and there are always instances of someone being first –

    the question really is – which applies it better? and what value does it bring to me as an agent?

    Better is good – but will a map give me leads? Raise my profile?

    Peter this site you talk about – sounds like it will just be covered in advertising ? Do you know of any articles / case studies where this model has succeeded?

  • Peter
    Posted September 23, 2006 at 10:18 am 0Likes

    Hi

    Being a copier is not a bad thing, doing it better is another thing, but I think they just wanted to get it out.

    As for who came up with the idea first. It seems that housingmaps.com was the first, using data from craigslist and Google Maps.

    Elizabeth raises some important questions.

    As an example, PBL recently announced (or someone did) that they are building a portal and rumour has it that it will be around $175.,00 per month per office. Now all that is well and good, but what if you get no enquiries? Simon Baker (CEO Realestate.com.au) understands that agents will continue to pay good fees if they provide the visitors and the enquiries.

    It is all well and good to add cool things to sites and be different, but if you cannot provide visitors and more importantly enquiries then you will not get the growth you need to be successful.

    Elizabeth I will answer your last question in an article to go live in about 1 hour….

  • frank
    Posted September 27, 2006 at 12:24 pm 0Likes

    Yes Simon Baker did say maps are not the ‘be all and end all’ of real estate websites. That doesn’t mean they are still not cool and a handy and wont attract more people to the site who will stay longer. Of course they will. Besides, realestate.com.au HAD to lose the pathetic whereis maps and the google maps was the obvious choice. What did you guys honestly expect?

    As for Phil. realestate.com.au copied domain? What a joke. Just because domain released their maps first means nothing. realestate.com.au’s sister site in the UK has had this type of mapping for years and in fact has more features.

    I am really curious why Phil is so negative and arrogant in all his comments – like he knows it all for fact. In fact, you seem to bag realestate.com.au at every opportunity you have – even when you are completely incorrect. Makes me wander.

  • Phil
    Posted September 27, 2006 at 8:00 pm 0Likes

    Gee Frank, dont wander too far, realestate.com.au is a predator on Australia’s real estate agents and I’m not the only one running that line.

  • Jon Y
    Posted September 28, 2006 at 6:41 pm 0Likes

    I remember reading Simon’s blog post about maps not being the ‘be all..’ and was a little taken aback. In an industry where location, location, location is at the core I would have thought that introducing as many ways to slice and dice information (in this case text vs. graphical) would be top of mind. From an interested retail user’s perspective, I appreciate the option of having more options and thus commend all online real estate portals that move in the mapping direction.

  • frank
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 11:16 am 0Likes

    yes they are good, but there is more to looking for real estate. When searfching for a house, primarily, it is the features that attract the purchaser and (to an extent) the location is the 2nd consideration. Providing it is in the right suburb etc…

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