Posted by: realestatewebtrainer | January 29, 2011

Does Google Base API Drop of Real Estate Listings Mean Anything?

Google has been working actively on a new API called the Google Merchant Center fully integrated with Payment Methods and a high level of protection for both Consumers and Merchants. The new Google Merchant Center is focused on transaction based Products and Services NOT on pure advertising; this is why Real Estate Listings were dropped from GoogleBase – Consumers cannot really consume the transaction of Real Estate Sales via the Internet alone.

Some Key takeaways:

1. The Internet is a Marketing Vehicle for Real Estate – it has yet to become a fully Transactional Medium between Sellers and Buyers.

2. Mechanisms to Sell Real Estate directly between Sellers and Buyers have yet to be invented and some argue that would never happen. It is true that every Real Estate Transaction comes with layers and layers of documents, processes, financing professionals, Home Inspectors, lawyers, etc… etc… It is also important to realize that these ideas are being worked on by many entities – they are seeking to create Internet Transactional Processes in order to tap into the Commission base of the Real Estate Industry.

3. The Internet is a Marketing Medium for the Real Estate Industry and Google is the largest beneficiary of this. Through its Adwords Advertising Platform or Pay per Click it makes more money from the Real Estate Industry than any other; and it is all based simply on letting Brokers compete to place ads using a bidding process. Some markets are being bid a $10 a click – just think about that.

4. Google is already monetizing from Real Estate – so it really has no need to support the GoogleBase platform for Real Estate Listings.

5. But the bottom line is really that consumers did not embrace it as an elegant platform to Search for Real Estate Listings. Pete Flint, the CEO of Trulia, said it best: “Even with Google’s huge audience, it shows having listing data is clearly not enough to deliver a good real estate search experience and build audience.”

For me this is a non-story; the story I am keeping my eye on is Move Inc, the owners of Realtor.com, buying Listhub, the largest Syndication provider for Real Estate. Will it spur innovation or will it bring a chill to competitors?

Happy Blogging 🙂 – Key Yessaad, Real Estate Internet Strategist

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