Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Property marketing - the shadow of Google
Two separate events have got me thinking over my coffee & croissants this morning.
The first was a tweet from Sarah Beeny about the new property portal she has created. You can see it at http://www.tepilo.com/
It has been brilliantly designed and is friendly and easy to use. You can promote your property online for free and get online guidance throughout the process. There's even an "Ask Sarah" button although somehow I can't see her sat in an office waiting for mundane emails from all and sundry.
Rightmove, Primelocation and Propertyfinder have sown up the market in terms of listing sites for agents to post details but I think that Sarah Beeny's site has a genuine chance of influencing the market in terms of private sales. People have been trying to do this since the internet launched (and before) but nobody has really succeeded.
The second event was when I stumbled across Ben Wood on twitter. He's Head of Property at Google and you can read one of his white papers by following this link.
I guess that even Google themselves don't know in which way their "property" team is going but we shouldn't underestimate the power of what is now probably the biggest brand on earth.
When I started my French property search business in 2003 I used to send clients photos of properties I had seen for them. Now, thanks to Google I can also upload video and zoom in on the house and locality from outer space down to the tiles on the roof. Researching the area (shops, schools, parks, events) is also a doddle.
A year ago Google announced that they were going to exploit some of their existing data and technology and the Times ran a short piece with the headline "Google ventures into the property market".
Now, they have just announced a major sponsorship of this years prestigious "What House" awards.
The house buying process is being flipped on it's head as you read this post. At the moment Google are researching, innovating and hovering....pretty soon they may well swoop.