Google's Maps' real estate listings just got a lot better.
Back in July, Google began fetching real estate listings directly on Google Maps. Gone were the days that users had to specify "real estate" from the search options menu. You could simply enter a query for homes for sale or apartments to rent and you would see a one-box of listings.
But as I noted earlier this week, Google has been boosting the usability and layers in Google Maps, which just got more useful and more layers for real estate.
Instead of specifying a real estate search, you can now select the "real estate" option from the 'More' button on the top right of any Google Map and you'll automatically sees balloons on the maps of listings, as well as a pop-up real estate refinement panel on the left.
From there, you can refine what you're looking for by checking the boxes for renting or buying and apartment or house, as well as price range, square feet, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and foreclosure listings. The red arrows highlight both the real estate option and the panel:
Google says the rental options are for the U.S., but you can also search real estate in cities and towns in Australia, New Zealand and India. Give it a try.
Google also pointed out things I wouldn't have noticed, not having been in the market for a few years.
For example, you'll see icons on the map calling out businesses and prominent features of the neighborhood as you navigate the neighborhoods where you're looking for land, or at least a room. Super useful for the person or family relocating to cities unknown for work.
Google is also inviting real estate agents to list homes on Google Maps here.
As Search Engine Land points out, Google Maps is still no Zillow or Trulia, but I don't think aping those Web services is the point.
As long as users find Google Maps useful, they will keeping searching on Google and the ad dollars will roll in.