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Written by rosalind renshaw

A clash of the titans looms between Google and Rightmove over UK estate agency listings as this week it emerged that the new UK Google property engine appears to be already getting almost every estate agency property that is listed elsewhere online.

The notable exception is properties that are only listed on Rightmove and nowhere else.

This is because the new Google mapping property portal is picking up properties via the UK search engine Home, which does not ‘scrape’ or ‘index’ properties which are only listed on Rightmove – as Rightmove does not sanction this.

However, according to Home only about 5,000-10,000 properties out of a total 660,000 currently on the market are listed solely on Rightmove.

Whilst Google may still not be giving out official announcements on its portal, it is clear that the launch is already well under way.

Home has confirmed to Estate Agent Today that it is effectively powering the new Google property portal, Google Real Estate UK.

Director Doug Shephard said: “We are sharing our property search engine data with the property mapping portal with a view to helping even more home buyers find more properties for sale and further widening our already growing audience.

“The marriage of our specialist property search technology and the excellent Google mapping makes for a very powerful property search tool.

“Google Real Estate UK is very much in its infancy but we expect user numbers to grow significantly.”

It is known that Google – which has been talking to agents, but emphasising its more readily known search engine rather than its mapping service – has only a small team in the UK. The new UK portal is being planned instead by its Australian operation.

Rightmove has insisted it is not worried about the Google threat, saying that its brand is to property what Amazon is to books.

See also our later story for more context.


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    IF home.co.uk are supplying the properties to google and then accepting private house sales could this damage home? Will agents stop them from crawling their properties, similar to the Fish4 Tesco fiasco?

    • 19 December 2009 17:18 PM
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    Hello Stating the obvious. I have participated in precisely two threads. This one and another one. If you do not like being challenged by me, that's one thing, but to assume that I'm in here to insult people is ridiculous. I am entitled to my opinion as much as you and I should be able to make it without a self-appointed forum head girl calling me names every five minutes. I don't really care if you don't like it that I don't huddle together with all the other EAs. I am different. Get over it.

    • 18 December 2009 17:08 PM
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    Jimmy, in other articles you have proceeded to offend every person that works in the estate agency business so do not be surprised when people are rude to you. To try and play innocent after the comments you have made on a website that is targeted towards agents just shows what a complete idiot you are. You think you are some sort of industry commentator and yet you are clearly clueless.

    • 18 December 2009 14:21 PM
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    Google will not take over the world of estate agency, as neither any of the websites before them, or the newspapers that previously had a dominant market condition did. As long as we do our jobs well and provide a service which people have consistently demonstrated they are prepared to pay for, our businesses will be safe. However, I emphasis that we must do our jobs atleast 'well' and in our business we are aiming for 'excellence'. This is the way we will not just survive, but prosper. However, I have just noticed that our properties are appearing on Home.co.uk which we will be having removed as I do not intend to support a website that in effect competes with my business. I suggest that everyone takes a look at what websites their properties appear on and decide if that website is assisting them in their business.

    • 18 December 2009 11:35 AM
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    I am not convinced that the masses will start to add their own property onto Google to sell, surely we all know that advertising the prop is only a small part of what an estate agent does, plus as a buyer I would always be wary of a self listed property

    • 18 December 2009 10:26 AM
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    Bacause a vendor can privatley list their property on google without you! they accept them and are on now that's one reason!

    • 18 December 2009 09:40 AM
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    "So what are EAs plans if (when) Google goes ahead and starts properly? Will you drop Rightmove like hot stones? Does this change your model? Do you feel threatened? Will this mean you lower your fees?"

    If google offers everything that our website does at the moment (unlimited pictures, unlimited text, ability to change pricing, text, pictures at a moment's notice), then possibly - but I don't think Google will have all this.

    Will we drop Rightmove? No, because I/we don't use RM at the moment. It doesn't dominate everywhere in the country, and it doesn't dominate in my local market.

    No reason to change current model, don't feel threatened, and - WHY does the introduction of a different type of property search via Google lead to an expectation of a fee reduction?

    • 17 December 2009 23:29 PM
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    I'm chilled.I was just curious to know why people are being rude to me when I only asked a question. It makes me think the fault lies with them and not me. All I've done is ask : So what are EAs plans if (when) Google goes ahead and starts properly? Will you drop Rightmove like hot stones? Does this change your model? Do you feel threatened? Will this mean you lower your fees?

    • 17 December 2009 21:19 PM
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    I'm with AceofSpades.
    Handbags down ladies.

    • 17 December 2009 20:22 PM
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    Who says I am not an estate agent? Why are you so rude? Can't you take a differing opinion to your own without throwing your toys around? Calm down and grow up.

    • 17 December 2009 18:51 PM
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    Jimmy- because you are not an Estate agent and make offensive posts perhaps??? Get off an EA site into your own world or is that boring too? Glad he offended you.

    • 17 December 2009 17:33 PM
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    Put your handbags away.

    • 17 December 2009 15:11 PM
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    Stating the obvious....can you remind me which were the comments that I made that were "ridiculous" and then try to calm down. This is called debate, not hurling personal insults around every time I post.

    • 17 December 2009 13:21 PM
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    Well I would have to say that just being 'Google' is not enough to completely change the way property hunting works.

    There is no singular model that works for every prospective client. If there was then we would only be using one form of marketing.

    Some clients reach us because they like to tap a query into a search engine, others just click on the top AdWords box, some use Rightmove, Primelocation, findaproperty yada yada yada

    If Google make the interface extremely user friendly then they may be a challenge to Google. Most likely they will have flaws just like everyone else in the industry. Some will love Google Map search (or whatever it ends up being) others will despise it.

    At the moment it seem pretty poor show. I note that none of our property are listed there and in the lettings section were several sales properties. Details were low quality and confusing.

    Early days...early days...

    • 17 December 2009 11:11 AM
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    Me thinks one is missing the point with RM. It is only successful because you the agent list your properties on it and tell your clients to use it. It's strength from the begining was the backing of the corporates and the independant followed like lemmings. Wait till you start telling your clients to use google (it's free and a respected brand name, much bigger than RM) and traffic will leave RM. I would be very worried if I worked for RM, a revolution was way overdue as they were becoming a monopoly. Search engines were and are the future on the web. Other property portals failed or low key only because the agent doesn't feed them, stop feeding RM and it will fall. Vendors & Buyers aren't interested which web site as long as they know where it is convenient to go. This is a great opportunity for the independent agents, "Google" logos should be popping up all over the country next year and leave the corporates behind? Power to the Independents, Merry Chritmas.

    • 17 December 2009 10:11 AM
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    I lost an instruction to home.co.uk some time ago, I used to plug it as part of my marketing but then lost a vendor as they listed with them privately which I did not know about. The vendor told me that as I recommended them as part of my marketing then why pay my fee. I pulled my listings at that point!last week I had another mention Google as they had read about it and also mentioned privately listing on it (even asking my advice on how to do it!) apparently Google accept vendors direct so I can see why home are keen. I'm up for free advertising but not when it costs me listings. Is it jut me or has anyone else had the same experience?

    • 17 December 2009 10:11 AM
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    Well Jimmy, you seem to be the expert, why don't you tell us. Why do you continue to try and get involved with conversations and make non sensical points? Why would we be scared? At least wait until google is in place before you start making ridiculous statements. Why would it effect our fee's etc? If it was that easy to sell a house, as I and many other people have stated 1000's of times, there wouldn't be a need for agents in the first place. If google lists private sellers, I am sure that most sensible agents will not want their properties listed and then they are back to the drawing board.

    • 17 December 2009 09:12 AM
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    Nestoria and Globrix have had more listing than rightmove for years and yet they have not impacted Rightmove's business. Therefore volume of listings cant be the sole determinent of success.

    Perhaps the bigger challenges for Google is how they maintain the quality of the listings and how they drive traffic to the real estate section on the maps.

    For more information on what Google is doing, check out Property Portal Watch (www.propertyportalwatch.com)

    Simon Baker

    • 16 December 2009 22:23 PM
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    With RM fees on the up in 2010 or you can spend an extra few hundred pounds on additional RM products to fix your price! I wish Good Luck to Google, we need a true competitor with real internet experience to challenge RM. I just hope Google have not got "bored" at the helm otherwise they have no chance! There maybe light at the end of the tunnel bored, but your head is so far up your arse you will miss it!

    • 16 December 2009 18:26 PM
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    jimmy in answer to your question, its a no from me(apart from dropping rightmove a year ago) although i cant speak for other agents. i remember 15 years ago when this new thing called the internet was going to put a lot estate agents out of business and it did exactly the opposite so i cant see the same happening here either.

    • 16 December 2009 14:28 PM
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    @ bored - Get a life. You try starting work at 8am (or before) finishing around 7pm and working 6 day weeks and then you might have half an idea of what we actually do for a living.
    @ major H - class!
    @ article - why should RM be concerned? Unless Google has a brilliant back office system that provides archived information and the likes of RM+ there's no chance agents will change their allegiance

    • 16 December 2009 14:20 PM
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    So what are EAs plans if (when) Google goes ahead and starts properly? Will you drop Rightmove like hot stones? Does this change your model? Do you feel threatened? Will this mean you lower your fees?

    • 16 December 2009 14:04 PM
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    agent, i think bored might be a home inspector (hence his lack things to do other than pick through this web site)

    • 16 December 2009 13:59 PM
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    Bored. Why are you on an estate agency website with these views? Have you nothing better to do with your time?
    Try some porn sites maybe you won't be so bored.

    • 16 December 2009 13:41 PM
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    the info on Google map that comes via Home.co.uk is very poor, i expect a better standard of data on display once the Google portal gets under way, as soon as the feeds are arranged. Get ready for the future

    • 16 December 2009 13:34 PM
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    Try this link:

    and type your location e.g. London.

    • 16 December 2009 12:48 PM
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    Is google real estate uk up yet? I done a search on google it only comes up with news of this, but I cant find any website etc, does it only come on the maps! It doesnt seem easy to find, so I dont think rightmove will be worried to much, as if potntial buyers cant find where its advertised they wont see anything!

    • 16 December 2009 12:01 PM
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    Maybe we could get rid of all estate agents too! There maybe light to the end of this tunnel!

    • 16 December 2009 11:59 AM
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