Google continues to make real estate listings more prominent inside Google Maps, and in doing so, it continues to inch closer to being a full-fledged real estate search engine. The company announced today that a new “real estate” option has been added across Google Maps. It appears under the “More” tab, along with Photos, Videos, Wikipedia, Webcams, and Transit.
When a user clicks on the Real Estate checkbox, Google Maps immediately switches the left column and shows its basic real estate search engine. Users can search by price range, listing type, number of bedrooms and/or bathrooms, and square footage. The “For rent” checkbox next to “Listing Type” is also new — Google didn’t previously offer rental searches in this interface.
The new checkbox on Google Maps looks like a small change, but it gives Google’s real estate search much more prominence. Before today, the real estate search options would only show if you explicity searched for a real estate-related term first. Now, it’s available under the “More” tab for every Google Maps user. And as I wrote back in July, it’s another shot across the bow of the Zillows, Trulias, and MLS systems in the U.S. Google is obviously taking real estate search very seriously.