A few new features now make it much easier to search for real estate listings directly from Google Maps. Although you can’t limit searches as neatly as you can with the map functions of some other real-estate sites — and the listings don’t come straight from MLS — Google doesn’t make you register for anything, and this map search isn’t so likely to crash your browser. The listings are integrated into the standard Google Maps interface, and links to the listings themselves are easily accessible.
You can start searching Houston listings simply by searching for “Houston real estate” on Google Maps. Click on the first result (“Real estate on Google Maps”) to see more listings, which appear as tiny dots on the map. Click on any of the dots to find more information about a particular property.
What’s most interesting about the new real estate features is how neatly they allow househunting to fit in with more everyday map activities. Real-estate obsessives, take note: Searching for listings no longer has to be such a deliberate act. Looking up directions to a friend’s house? You can scour listings along the route with just a few extra clicks. Wondering about the real estate action near one of the demos in Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Report? You no longer have to navigate to a separate site to do that.
Here’s how to try it:
Try clicking on one of the condemned properties in today’s report. When you get to the Google Map for that location, click on the “Show search options” link next to the Search Maps button. Then choose “Real estate” from the drop-down menu that appears, and click the Search Maps button. All the little red dots on the map show you what’s for sale. The first 10 get letters and a listing to the left of the map, but there are plenty more dots to click on.
This short video, produced by Google Australia, highlights a few more features:
- Improving real estate search on Google Maps [Lat Long Blog, via GeekEstate]
- Find properties on the market [Google Maps]
- Introducing real estate search on Google Maps Australia [YouTube]
- Previously on Swamplot: A Better Way To Search Houston Home Listings