Google announced a big real estate move about two hours ago: listings can now be viewed on any Google Map by clicking on the “More” button, a position heretofore reserved for photos, transit information and other overlays.
Being able to successfully represent clients will define the future of this profession. There is much online competition for the real estate industry – Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Google - that will fragment real estate search. Picking up the pieces by representing clients and their best interests will define the successful Realtor. No amount of online data will replace a walking into a basement and immediately knowing whether there has been water infiltration recently, or whether the wood floors are real 3/4 inch wood or a laminate-type product.
Those Realtors who depend on the MLS as their sole (or primary) value-add need to find new careers.
A good (or great!) Realtor offers at least the following:
- Local knowledge
- Data Interpretation
- Counseling, psychology, philosophy, market predictions, market interpretation
- And a whole lot more.
One of the benefits of writing a real estate blog in Charlottesville for nearly five years is the archives.
Looking back at what I wrote in 2005, it looks like Google has improved a little bit:
Limitations (to the former Google Base):
- simply too much information
- mapping aspects of Google are limited; identifying specific property addresses is not accurate. I have had to identify the properties with the town or the zip code rather than the actual property address.
- the search aspect is not yet refined. How can someone search for a three bedroom, two bath home with at least 1800 square feet on at least .3 acres in the Henley Middle School district?
- there is not yet a consistent search criteria used by all posters
- The search results (at least for now) seem to be too easily manipulated by bulk submitters.