Harcourts has signed an agreement with Google for its listings to be included in Google Base, the latest online initiative of the search firm. Jason Wills, chief technology officer, says in a press statement Harcourts has opted to get onboard to ensure clients’ properties have maximum exposure, with potential buyers searching online having options to find Harcourts’ property listings.
He believes this makes Harcourts the first real estate group in Australasia to provide its clients properties’ with automatic exposure across all of Google search websites, including the new Google Base site the company has under development.
Google Base (see www.google.co.nz/base) is an extension of the web company’s existing content collection efforts. People can upload their content to the Google Base database and then assign it various “attributes” which will drive that content’s inclusion in search engine results.
Wills learned about the development of Google Base when he attended a real estate conference in San Francisco where Google staff were among the speakers.
Wills says Harcourts is an industry groundbreaker in real estate technology. He says they were the first real estate group in New Zealand to launch a website and one of the first to integrate Google maps. Harcourts also opened an office in Second Life in 2006, one of the first real estate companies to do so.
“Google Maps has definitely proven to be a successful addition to our online offering and in time we expect Google Base will be an increasingly popular tool too, particularly when it’s further integrated into the main Google search engine,” says Wills, who is also the company’s chief information officer.
“According to comScore, more than 56 per cent of all internet searches on ‘real estate’ and related terms are conducted on Google and their partner sites,” says Wills in the press statement. “So it’s vital Harcourts is up at the forefront with Google’s new initiatives, given their sites are such a key source of enquiries.”
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