In a deal that has been on the burner for some time, Google and real estate search engine Trulia will host the 500,000 property listings of the Realogy Corporation. Realogy Corporation owns well known real estate firms Century 21, Coldwell Banker and ERA.
Real estate listings online are nothing new, but as the success of online exposure has grown, so has the number of search engines and portals trying to service the industry. This splintering of sources has diminished the value of each, as there is no single comprehensive place for potential buyers to view their real estate options.
While the new Google deal won’t address this issue immediately, it does make sense that the search engine that emphatically services the world’s search needs also consolidates real estate search online.
The real estate listings will be stored in the Google Base system, which is Google’s free online listing/classified database populated by users (think Craigslist). I would expect to see renewed exposure of Google Base listings in Google’s search results pages (SERPs) especially when relevant real estate queries are entered.
Although Google Base is still in beta, it’s been around since October 2005. It surprises me that the real estate industry has taken this long to embrace this free service. Considering that Google services approx 58% of real searches online (ComScore Nov 2006), that’s a lot of exposure lost by realtors.
Now that the precedent is set and a major group has paved the way, expect to see more real estate companies from around the world following the lead of the Realogy Corporation.