Feeds

Google moves tanks onto property market's lawns

Making stuff cheaper for estate agents? This might not be popular...

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Google's latest target for freeing to death is, says the Financial Times, the UK property market. According to the paper, the company intends to launch a service offering estate agents free property listings early next year, and to bankroll it through advertising.

Currently UK online property listings are conducted via portals such as Rightmove, which says it hosts listings for 90 per cent of UK estate agents. Estate agents have to pay a fee in order to have their properties listed, so if Google's service can achieve critical mass and become a destination for property buyers and sellers, it will become a major threat to - or quite possibly the death of - the likes of Rightmove.

That however is by no means a racing certainty. Google has found in the past that if it builds it, they don't necessarily come, and the point of online property sites is that they only work if they have comprehensive listings. Buyers aren't going to come to your property store if you don't list practically all of the available properties in their chosen areas.

So Google will need to work fairly hard at pitching its service to estate agents, and the agents themselves aren't likely to stop paying the existing portals for listing until they're absolutely certain that Google's property service is equivalent or better.

The FT suggests that the UK service will be similar to the Google Maps-based system the company launched in Australia earlier this year.

This seems not to have destroyed Australia's existing property websites as yet, but it's clearly being pitched as a handy add-on to Google Maps, rather than as a tool to destroy the existing market. Property sites do use maps, certainly, but they don't tend to foreground them, on the basis people probably already know where they want to buy, so they'll shortlist property first, then use maps for a local area check.

So if Google really is out to kill Rightmove, we don't think they'll be using the Australian model to do it. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.