Thursday, Dec 03, 2009

I wouldn’t bother talking to the agents myself...

FT.com: Google set to enter UK property market

Google is in talks with British estate agents to launch an online property portal, which experts say could pose a serious threat to existing property websites and local newspapers.
The US internet search company launched a property portal in Australia last August through which estate agents list properties for free, showing both pictures taken from its Street View service and details on a map.

Posted by nopensionnohouse @ 07:44 AM (1636 views)
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13 Comments

1. paul said...

Google won't have any choice but to talk to estate agents.

Perversely and incredibly, the least trusted profession in the country has protected legal status in the UK. If you want to take money for introducing buyers and sellers to properties, you are classified as an estate agent by law.

Thursday, December 3, 2009 08:02AM Report Comment
 

2. Alan Lubin said...

But once they get it off the ground I am sure they will allow the public to add their own houses to the service.

Thursday, December 3, 2009 09:05AM Report Comment
 

3. watching with amusement said...

@Paul

Wouldn't it be that the protected legal status is that which means the Estate Agents can continue as the least trusted profession - if they didn't have such a status others would soon be able to take over their markets?

Thursday, December 3, 2009 11:04AM Report Comment
 

4. paul said...

Yes, there is a causality feedback loop there. Much like the arrangement between the local mafia and the police in hot countries.

Thursday, December 3, 2009 11:12AM Report Comment
 

5. contrails are not a conspiracy (formerly npnh) said...

rightmove shares down 9% on the news! Can't be a bad thing then.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/marketforceslive/2009/dec/03/rightmove

Thursday, December 3, 2009 12:26PM Report Comment
 

6. tpbeta said...

EAs would be committing suicide to use such a service because Google would just wait a couple of years then allow the public to access it directly. Then no-one would need EAs.

Thursday, December 3, 2009 01:08PM Report Comment
 

7. timmy t said...

tpbeta said...EAs would be committing suicide to use such a service because Google would just wait a couple of years then allow the public to access it directly. Then no-one would need EAs.
But the EA's have no choice - they will be out of business anyway. The internet promised to deliver new business models for things like Estate agency but it hasn't so far. Sites like Rightmove could have replaced EA's but they didn't, they replaced newspapers instead. They now can't cut the EA's out because they are their only customers. Google has the muscle to come into the market using EA's, then market the service directly and cut them out. It will be too dominant to care if it upsets a few EA's on the way. The same is true in recruitment... Monster and the like used to preach about making recruitment agencies a thing of the past, now the only people advertising on their job boards are recruitment agencies and the only people who have lost out are the papers. Job-boards can't sell direct without p***ing off their biggest customers. Someone will come into the market, probably Google, and do what should have been done years ago - stop thieving agents making stupid sums of money for pushing paper.

Thursday, December 3, 2009 02:12PM Report Comment
 

8. growler said...

What is an estate agent? There are pre-sale and post sale duties. Pre-sale is the easiest. Advertise houses somwhere buyers are looking. The internet is the easiest solution, and google more than sorts this. Post "sale agreed" there needs to be a chain-chasing service, a surveyor service, a valuation service and a legal service. All of it can be "extras" that sellers or buyers can use online. The service provider earns commission from any of the professions that are used. No need for vast EA fees - simply a menu of options.

Thursday, December 3, 2009 02:21PM Report Comment
 

9. timmy t said...

Growler - agreed. Maybe a tie up between Google and an e-bay type service, where Independent EA's can sell their services to folk who don't want to do it themselves, and then users can rate their services...

Thursday, December 3, 2009 02:25PM Report Comment
 

10. greenshootsandleaves said...

I don't know about the other post 'sale agreed' services mentioned by growler @8 but one thing is certain: lenders etc. who, in the past, were happy to settle for valuations based on little more than the postcode will positively welcome images provided by a car with a periscope!

PS Just noticed Aled Jones on BBC's Escape To The Country property programme. Will he too end up in the House of Lords, sitting next to la Krusty and Baroness Beeny?

Thursday, December 3, 2009 06:21PM Report Comment
 

11. greenshootsandleaves said...

I don't know about the other post 'sale agreed' services mentioned by growler @8 but one thing is certain: lenders etc. who, in the past, were happy to settle for valuations based on little more than the postcode will positively welcome images provided by a car with a periscope!

PS Just noticed Aled Jones on BBC's Escape To The Country property programme. Will he too end up in the House of Lords, sitting next to la Krusty and Baroness Beeny?

Thursday, December 3, 2009 06:21PM Report Comment
 

12. Fallingbuzzard said...

#1 I dont know where you get that from Paul. Google wouldn't be acting as an estate agent. I think you misunderstand the Google model. There is absolutely no cost to either seller, agent or buyer because listing properties creates no value in itself.

Thursday, December 3, 2009 10:32PM Report Comment
 

13. ben said...

If you want to see what the new Google Property site will look like, take a look at their existing site in Oz:

http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=courtyard+in+neutral+bay+NSW&mrt=realestate&&utm_campaign=en&utm_medium=lp&utm_source=en-lp-apac-au-gns-re&utm_term=box1

Friday, December 4, 2009 10:01AM Report Comment
 

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