Technology

Will Properties and Advertising on Google Maps Change the Real Estate Market?

Anthony Marshall
Anthony Marshall
3 Sept 2009
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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Google has never hidden the fact that whilst it is a company driven by innovation, it also needs to drive revenue and profit and the most prevalent route for this is has been through advertising (via pay per click). However, as Google now broadens its offerings, it appears to be taking advantage of other revenue streams.</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">A few months ago Google launched property search functionality through Google Maps in the US and Australia and this is soon to be followed by launches in the UK and other countries: view </span><a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;hl=en&amp;q=london&amp;mrt=realestate&amp;utm_campaign=en&amp;utm_medium=lp&amp;utm_source=en-ha-na-us-gns-trs&amp;submit.x=0&amp;submit.y=0"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Google Maps with property listings in London, UK</span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">. Google also appears to be investigating geographically targeted advertising within its mapping. If you want more details please refer to the </span><a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-10319511-265.html"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">blog article </span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">by Tom Krazit.This begs a few questions:</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">1. How will property portals that currently use </span><a href="http://maps.google.com/"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Google Maps</span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> react to Google Maps being a competitor? Examples include, </span><a href="http://www.propertyfinder.com/"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">PropertyFinder</span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">, </span><a href="http://www.fish4.co.uk/homes/"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Fish4Homes</span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> and </span><a href="http://www.your-move.co.uk/"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Your-Move</span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">?</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">2. If you are an Estate Agent with Google as your default map, how would you feel if other competitor company’s adverts start appearing on the map in your site?</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Until now, using Google Maps has been the default position as it has often been free to use (though there is some debate about the interpretation of the license agreement) but if adverts for your competitors start appearing on Google Maps or if Google have become your competition, will that persuade portals and estate agents to leave Google Maps and migrate over to other APIs such as </span><a href="http://www.bing.com/maps/"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Bing Maps</span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">, </span><a href="http://www.multimap.com/"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Multimap</span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">, </span><a href="http://www.mapquest.com/"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">MapQuest</span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">, </span><a href="http://www.openstreetmap.org/"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">OpenStreetMap</span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Tahoma; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> etc.  Many of these do attract a license fee but in return they offer service levels and guarantee that no adverts will appear on the maps to mitigate against the cost.</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">It is also worth noting that Google has been very open about these developments and you can pay for a commercial license including support and no adverts and use this in your own site.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">From our point of view, at </span><a href="http://www.earthware.co.uk/"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Earthware</span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">, we try and stay agnostic and recommend the best mapping API for each client based on their needs and the merits of each mapping API. However, we suspect that the recent moves by Google are likely to shake up the market for property mapping and rather than default to using Google, estate agents and property websites are going to have to be much more deliberate about which mapping they use to advertise their properties online.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">If you would like to talk to someone in the Earthware team about how this is likely to impact your business and what your options are then please drop us a line to </span><a href="mailto:enquiries@eartthware.co.uk"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">enquiries@eartthware.co.uk</span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> or call +44 (0) 845 642 9880 and ask to speak to Lauren.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Neil Osmond</span></p>
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