Estate Agents, vendors and landlords are now able to upload their properties at no cost to Google Maps. Many organisations are contributing their listings including Zoopla, PropertyLive (the lastest Countrywide plc brand), Ezylet, SmartNewHomes, Vebra, Property Pal
, Spicer Haart, Countrywide, and Zoomf.
Countrywide the large estate agency chain supports the launch with Grenville Turner, Countrywide Chief Executive saying "As industry leaders we recognise the potential Google offers our network and view this agreement as the latest milestone in our online strategy. We are delighted to be one of the first estate agency groups in the UK to feature our properties on Google Maps and our customers now have an even greater platform to market their homes to the widest online audience."
To have a look at click the following link: Google Property Maps Link
. It appears that the Google mapping tool places red dots over the map and property purchasers are able to zoom into their local area to link to the property that they wish to see more details on. Links to Street View and other Google tools enhance the offer.
In the Financial Times Grenville Turner welcomes the Google portal. He is quoted as saying that this new competition will stop portals charging estate agents unlimited fees for their services. The Financial Times also speculates that this portal will not replace other portals but merely become another source of information for home buyers.
So what impact will this innovation have on the conveyancing market?
Most major portals run a model where the estate agent pays a fee for the portal services. One agent we spoke to this week pays over £500 per month to one of the major portals. Given the large fees paid to these portals by estate agents portals are unwilling to sell conveyancing or other related services that estate agents also sell. They don’t want to jeopardise their estate agent monthly fees.
The Google model is very different it is a free service for home sellers and estate agents and it is reported that Google will make its money from advertising. At the moment the site merely has a small number of Google Adword pay per click adverts but it is likely that this will develop over time.
For those conveyancers who understand how to sell their services over the web it is likely that their adverts will start to appear somewhere on this new Google service and they will no doubt welcome this development. For those that don’t it may well be that this is yet another channel of competition that conveyancers need to contend with to sell their services.