Slowly but surely Google Real Estate is making inroads into the Australian real estate market with the recent signing of LJ Hooker on top of most of the major players in real estate in Australia. It will take longer for all of the smaller independent agents to come onboard, however it is clear that this is the beginning of a new era and it is time REA and Domain stepped up to the plate and opened themselves up to the Google way of life!
Why? Because not doing so will slowly end their dominance and when the decline occurs it will be so fast that no maneuvering will make a difference.
Some may argue that Google Real Estate has not made a difference as yet, but these people live in complete denial and it will only be a matter of time before visitor numbers begin declining and Google Real Estate begins its upward March.
Remember, Google only has to get comparative data to make a difference. Google also have a far greater capacity to let people know about it than all other real estate portals in the world combined.
Recently a number of videos have been produced that well and truly show how serious Google is about maps and real estate.
Finding a house on Google Real Estate Maps
Here is one to showcase real estate listings throughout Australia
Here is one on how to refine your real estate search on Google Real Estate.
Real Estate API’s
Realestate.com.au and domain.com.au must open their databases up to the general public to create a whole new wave of web and mobile applications.
I have been pushing API’s with these portals for over 2 years and yet we still have nothing. Maybe Realestate.com.au’s big announcement will include an API?
What can an API do?
As an example any website would be able to carry listings through this API, so community websites, industry websites, councils, agents, even business2.com.au would be able to carry listings, sales data etc. Portals do not need agents permission as agents have signed away all rights to the data when they join these sites.
Signing up should be simple and approval rapid and it should be accompanied by rapidly evolving documentation and examples.
Boon for portals
One other thing we will see is innovation across the board, even things we have not even thought of will take us by surprise, but the biggest boon will be for the portals. It will extend their listings and sales data reach and allow that data to be ingrained across 10’s of thousands of websites across Australia and the world.
There should be two versions of the API, the free version which carries 3rd parties adverts from the portals and is a little limited and then a paid version that carries no advertising and allows the user to do whatever they want with the data!
The flow on effect of this will flow across the industries to jobs, cars and classifieds.
Will this happen?
Don’t hold your breath, large organisations are slow at moving on these opportunities, usually waiting until it is too late. We are fast approaching a time where I think realestate.com.au and domain.com.au will start going backwards unless they really innovate with API’s.
One only has to look at the music industry and the movie industry to see how stubborn incumbents completely ruin their own industries by not embracing and innovating.