Google Maps adds real estate options for USA - what about South Africa?
Google has made it a lot more easier to find real estate listings on its map service by added the one-click 'real estate' option to its Google Maps in the USA. (it was also available previously but only through the search dropdown option). Read the official Google blog release here.
This will put a lot of competitive pressure on USA property portals like www.zillow.com and www.trulia.com. You simply cannot discount the impact that Google will have on real estate search judging by the impact it had on navigation companies like Tom Tom and Garmin with their shares falling by more than 15% after the day of announcement of google navigation.
Overseas I think it is starting to be a threat for MLS organisations, also read Matt Cohen's blog on this.
We think it will be a matter of time before Google launches real estate search for South Africa on its http://maps.google.co.za site.
Estate agents in South Africa should prepare themselves to disclose the physical location of their listings if they want it to be displayed on Google Maps. There will also be an impact on local property portals, but I think less significant in South Africa, since property locations are not made available by 90% of estate agents, which will make a google real estate map search not that usefull with very limited stock.