Google Street View: Virtual Tours your competitors don’t use

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Google has come a mighty long way regarding innovations pertaining to the World Wide Web.  They are much more than a search engine.  Thus far, I’ve divulged tips using Google applications such as Google Voice and Google Earth.

Today I’m going to focus on how you can utilize Google Maps when showcasing properties online.

These days it is typical for a property, especially one that is listed with a Realtor, to have a virtual tour of the interior of the house.  Google Maps will allow you to go one step further and create a virtual tour of the exterior of the house and it’s neighborhood.  I’ll show you how simple this is to add to your arsenal in the easy to follow steps below:

1. Go to Maps.Google.Com

2. Type in your address of the property for sale and click the “Search Maps” button.  For this example I’ll use a random house from good ole STL (1334 Brownell, Saint Louis, MO 63122), my hometown.

3. Once the search is returned, click on the red location indicator displayed on the map.

4. A pop-up menu will appear, you should have a “Street View” link available to you.  If you don’t have a “Street View” link, then this means that Google hasn’t sent their street van down that street to capture images, yet.  However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t choose a spot to showcase that Google does have imagery for in your neighborhood.  I imagine it’s not feasible for them to capture absolutely every street in the US.  That said, they do have an abundance of neighborhood imagery across the country.  (If your property’s street has no imagery, go to step 4a.)

4a. When you can’t get the street view of your house, you can drag the Street View mascot logo across your map to place him somewhere near your property, to showcase the neighborhood.  You may only drag and drop the Street View mascot onto a street that appears outlined in blue.  The Blue outlines indicate a Google-indexed street.

5. After the “Street View” link is clicked, you will be presented with the actual Street View of the property.  You can use your mouse to click around to get a panoramic idea of the property and the neighborhood as if your were standing there in person.  Below is the image for: 1334 Brownell, Saint Louis, MO 63122. You may click on the image to be taken to the actual interactive virtual tour.  Play around with this and get familiar,  you can click your way all across Saint Louis and further (just follow the arrows).

6. To find the virtual tour HTML source, once at the Street View of your property, you may click the “Link” link in the upper-right hand corner of the page.  You will then want to click the “Customize and preview embedded map” link.

7.  After clicking the “Customize and preview embedded map” link, you will be presented with 3-steps.  The First; customize the size of your Street View Map.  The Second; your preview of your map.  The Third; the raw HTML output that you can copy/paste into your MLS listing, eBay auction, blog, or even CraigsList (you will need to follow the same tutorial steps, except take a screen shot of the Street View image).  If you’d rather not embed the HTML of your virtual tour you can just grab the hyperlink.


View Larger Map


So that about wraps up another tip that can be used to give you an edge over your competitors.  Realtors, especially you should be using this extra bell/whistle to leverage your domination of the relocating-buyer niche in your market.  I broke this down so that it should be simple to follow.  If you think this is too difficult, get your kids to help you.  Or as always if you have any questions, technical or otherwise, leave a comment or hit me up at @Schwaps on Twitter and I’ll respond as soon as I can and am glad to help.

About Author

Justin McClelland (G+), is a real estate investor in Houston, TX. Visit his blog MyInnerG where the rule is: Get fit, Get money, Globe trot, Give back. Socialize with him on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. This is a powerful product from Google but this feature is not available in all countries. I played around with it and it’s really amazing, using foreign address just to take a peak and it’s really, really cool…just exactly as posted.

  2. I use this quite a bit! If I am thinking a property is in a bad area, I look it up on Street View and see if the neigbhorhood is as bad as I think it is. Sometimes, I decide to go anyways, but it saves a lot of time.

    Good Tutorial!

  3. Good article Justin but there is a better solution out there right now than Street View. Its called Dasher Virtual Drive and we use it at our association in Florida. It is different to Street View mostly because it only services the needs of businesses like ours where exactness and reliability are essential. They also provide:

    Coverage of all public streets within a city/county

    Exact address match – from an entered address, click on a map, or a multiple listing number we or our customers get placed exactly at the front door of that selected property

    Many photos for the same address, providing multiple vantage points and the ability to “drive by” a selected property

    Virtual Drive By (Streets and Neighborhood Tours) –video like behind the wheel of a car looking in several directions

    Route with automatic Virtual Drive

    Imagery Maintenance Program (proactive and reactive) – they keep our images refreshed and can react immediately to a home owners or listing agents needs

    Advertising of our Listings – providing location based advertising and several additional ways to display advertising within each frame – like our virtual “For Sale” signs

    Also, Blue Dasher invented its own viewer technology and is able to provide us with the functions listed above as well as not being restricted by the limitations and slowness of Adobe Flash

    Its a cool technology we are having fun with and selling more homes with while spending less time in the car. Check it out.

    Regards, Mark

    • Mark,

      The Dasher Virtual Drive looks like an interesting alternative. But, you can’t beat “free” which is what Google street view is. However, perhaps once the service is more established and has a wider coverage area in the US, I’ll do a comparison.

      • Thanks Justin but as the old saying goes: You get what you pay for. We have Dasher Virtual Drive integrated within MLXchange and are able to send links to our perspective buyers and then track that activity to see who is really interested and who we should spend our time with and what homes we should actually go out and see. This saves us tons of time and money.

        The google street level image, if available, is just that. One image. It doesn’t drive a neighborhood. It’s not much different than the street picture often taken by a realtor and uploaded, only the google quality is not as good as our still photos.

        The process for imbedding a Google street view link into a document or listing is very cumbersome. Blue Dasher is already imbedded into the MLS. All the work is done for the realtor. The functionality as a tool for the realtor is far greater than one link to a Google street view. We have one button to touch in order to drive all the surrounding neighborhood and the ability to share this drive with customers.

        Listing agents advertise their listings with a virtual “For Sale” sign seen by all who navigate in the neighborhood and again, we get a detailed reports showing the amount of activity each advertisement receives.

        Overall, the ease of the application, the functionality of the Dasher Virtual Drive and the analytic reports provided by Blue Dasher make it a far superior tool for real estate professionals.

        • Mark, it sounds like a good product. Too bad the coverage is so limited right now. Post another comment here to notify us when it’s available in all 50 states, so we can all give it a try.

  4. Good Morning Justin. I don’t really know about the other parts of the country but here in Central Florida we have full coverage for 30,000 agents – within our 13 Shareholder Associations/Boards of My Florida Regional.

    Have a great Thanksgiving,


  5. The google street level image, if available, is just that. One image. It doesn’t drive a neighborhood. It’s not much different than the street picture often taken by a realtor and uploaded, only the google quality is not as good as our still photos.

  6. Friends,

    Here is a note for everyone, but mostly Dick Rosen who wrote above on this blog. Take one of your listed properties: 3927 Upton Ave N Minneapolis MN 55412, and try to use Street View.

    It will not function because there is no coverage. Again, I would prefer to pay a few dollars each month with Blue Dasher and have a service I can count on.

    Regards to all,


    • And to you, Mr. Reid, take any property in the 49 states other than Florida, and attempt to find it in Blue Dasher. It won’t be available, because Blue Dasher only covers a tiny fraction of the United States. Maybe some day it will be a great service that has wide coverage, but at present it has very little use for most people in this country. Your blind fanboyism (or is it shameless promotion?) was rather irritating for this web surfer to read.

  7. Gordon,

    As a realtor in Florida, I am only interested in my region and only have access to MLS data in my region. Our MLS data partnership is with MarketLinx/First American Corp., the largest in the country and Blue Dasher is their integrated street-level imagery provider across the country. It is a business solution we have within MLXchange (if you know what that is) and is not open to the public. It would be impossible for me, you or anyone to gain access to properties in their other regions or to use Blue Dasher.

    Lighten up Gordon, it’s the holidays.

    Best regards,


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