I expect to now see virtual mapping in all real estate websites, otherwise you lost my business.


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I’m obviously not just thinking of buying a property in the US but I’m also selling property in Australia. In doing this, I’ve scoured all the websites I can find, that carry out listings in both regions.

The one thing that really has stuck with me are the real estate sites that don’t make use of mapping technology such as Virtual Earth / Live Search Maps (oh and the other teams version heh).

Seriously, if you’re in the real estate business and you’re not making use of mapping technology at all, you may as well call it a day. It’s the same as not having a product listing gallery or a shopping cart in an e-commerce site.

It doesn’t necessarily end with "look this is where the house is" it’s more to do with "look this is where the house is, here are some others around it too".

I’ve gotten into the habit of expecting this to occur as I know my current location really well, but I know little about my destination. So I’m looking for visual queue to make this process easier for me, in return I’ll happily contact whom ever you put in either the form or phone details within the house I click on.

A lot of sites do this today. If you know a company that’s not, encourage them to do so!

This is now even more critical with economies around the world going through some stabilisation pains, folks are either looking to sell or buy and are more interested in figuring out financial benchmarks more so than ever and virtual maps are the perfect starting point to visually representing this.

Check out Virtual Earth SDK, especially some of the new changes that have been made.

http://maps.live.com/

Bronwen and John from Soul Solutions (two friends & MVP’s) have done a lot in this space, ask them for the heads up on all this mapping buzz – should you not have caught it yet.

Comments (3)

  1. Arnaud Weil says:

    Well said. A few months ago I went to a real estate company looking for a house to buy. The guy used Google Earth to show me the house from above, its location in the city, the surroundings, the house’s garden and parking, and other houses.

    No need to say that I didn’t go and see another real estate company, as I had planned to. I didn’t even compare and went with that one, because I was so amazed at how they answered my questions!

  2. Too right.  mls.ca, are you reading this?

  3. Hey Scott,

    the Perth SQL Server User Group recently had John O’Brien and Bronwen Zande present on the topic of Windows Live, in particularly Live Maps and this came up in conversation as well as it’s an amazing visual tool that’s highly under utilised.

    I spoke to a real estate agent (who shall remain nameless) who had no idea what exactly Live Maps was – so i showed it to him and he was really, really amazed. A problem popped up tho, which he said would most likely prevent him from doing it – less face-to-face time.

    as a salesman he relied heavily on his "charm" and if people had these tools available to him, they’d stop coming to the houses and he wouldn’t be able to show the property/land in "person". At least that was his opinion. I explained to him that this was a preliminary tool and wouldn’t replace seeing the properties in person, but would greatly enhance the visibility instead.

    Still, being a near techophobe it would be a big step for him to start using this…

    i’m still thining the idea of actually getting something like this up and running for the real estate maket is great..something nice like a WPF application for maintaining listings and displaying them to customers..