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.
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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.