At a Glance

What they wanted to do:

  • Replace their self-mapping efforts with an easy-to-use third-party mapping solution
  • Provide key data beyond price and location

What they did:

  • Integrated Google Maps into the mapping solutions they provide to real estate professionals

What they accomplished:

  • Provided a robust set of mapping tools for real estate professionals
  • Implemented a simple solution that enables property mapping with only one or two clicks

“Going forward with Google Maps increased personalization and made our products more interactive.“

—Andy Woolley, vice president for business development, eNeighborhoods

About Google Maps API

Google Maps API makes it easy for companies to include fully interactive Google Maps on their public and internal websites. The Maps API helps your customers and employees make the right business and purchasing decisions by visualizing important information on a familiar map.

For more information, visit https://enterprise.google.com/maps

"We did further research on the flexibility of their API and figured out what kind of licensing we could get, and quickly narrowed down to Google."

—Andy Woolley, vice president for business development, eNeighborhoods

eNeighborhoods provides intuitive mapping and marketing tools to leading real estate companies across the U.S. with Google Maps

Business

eNeighborhoods is a leader in providing a comprehensive set of tools to help real estate professionals attract and retain home buyers and sellers. From their headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida, the company provides real estate professionals with up-to-date, localized information available about properties, neighborhoods and schools. Current eNeighborhoods clients include some of the world’s largest MLS providers and RE/MAX International, through the management of remax.com. The company also has strategic alliances with the National Association of REALTORS and many of the world’s largest real estate franchisors, including RE/MAX International, Realogy, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, EXIT Realty, GMAC, Keller Williams, Prudential, and Realty Executives.

eNeighborhoods is a division of Dominion Enterprises, a leading media and information services company headquartered in Norfolk, VA, serving employment, real estate, automotive, recreation and industrial markets.

Challenge

eNeighborhoods spent nine years overlaying their own user interface on a third-party mapping product. This self-mapping effort became a source for concern as flexible mapping applications like Google Maps began taking off. “We decided we no longer wanted to handle the mapping on our own,” says AndyWoolley, the company’s Vice President for Business Development.“ We looked around and saw that others were beginning to pass us up. We said, ’Mapping is not a core specialty, let’s find a mapping provider.’”

To move to the front of the pack in the mapping arena, the company needed a solution that offered extra features that home buyers and sellers seek. Providing key data beyond price and location is essential in a competitive market where real estate professionals build strong client bases by providing a maximum amount of current information to help them make the smartest choices when making the tremendous investment of a home purchase.

Some market information can now be accessed online by potential clients before choosing an agent. Because today’s real estate consumers are more informed, they can also be choosier when looking for an agent. The key to attracting them lies in the ability to present comprehensive market analysis in an eye-catching manner.“ A big part of a real estate professional’s business is attracting new customers,” says Woolley. “Our products assist real estate professionals in marketing themselves to potential clients.”

To take and keep the lead in real estate information, eNeighborhoods must stay on top of market changes and give clients an increasing amount of useful information, which they can then pass on to buyers and sellers. It also means being able to move forward in the changing face of internet usage by clients. To best accomplish these goals, the company needed a mapping product easy for IT to keep up with, easy for clients to use, and dependable for regular information updates.

Solution

eNeighborhoods compared several mapping products, including Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google Maps for Enterprise. "We did further research on the flexibility of their API and figured out what kind of licensing we could get, and quickly narrowed down to Google," says Woolley.

Numerous factors fed the decision, a key one being the great quantity of information a Google Maps search can quickly return. "Our products blend data from a variety of sources, enabling real estate professionals to produce a comprehensive comparative market analysis," says Woolley. "Going forward with Google Maps increased personalization and made our products more interactive," he adds.

Results

After showing Google Maps integration to real estate professionals, Woolley says, “In short, they love it. They are really impressed at how quickly users can access information. With most other real estate search portals, it’s about eight or ten clicks before you get to the listing information, and if you use their map search tool it’s so complicated. It’s not easy for the average computer user you have to zoom in, and zoom in and zoom in before you get to a level where you can actually see properties. We’ve moved to one or two clicks with Google Maps.”

And eNeighborhoods is also pleased with Google support. “With Google, there has proven to be a greater level of partnership than what we expected. That may not have been the case with some of the other mapping providers we looked at,” says Warnock. “With them it was more like, Here’s the license, goodbye, good luck.’ Google is helping us figure out what we can do on the road ahead.”