It seems like technology is running our lives these days. How many couples do you see at restaurants or Starbucks not conversing with each other, but each on their cellphone instead? How many kids are pacified at dinner tables with their iPads? Too many, in my opinion! However, not all tech is bad – it’s certainly enabled us to achieve more in life, from medicine to transportation and…yes… real estate!
And there’s no greater word in tech than GOOGLE (ok, maybe Apple and Microsoft, but today we’re talking about Google!)….
So how do we use Google for real estate searches?
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you quickly find the information you seek, whether you’re a home seller, buyer or just learning about the local market. Ready? Here we go!
Group Your Search Words Together with Quotation Marks
In Google, there’s a big difference between inputting sell my house and “sell my house” [with quotes]. When you include the quotes, you’re telling Google to search for the full phrase itself as one single search term. Without the quotation marks, Google will search for all the words individually (although it’s getting progressively better at understanding what you mean even if you omit the quotes).
It’s OK to Be Negative
I’m surprised how many people don’t know about this trick. If you have a term that shows up frequently in your search results but is unrelated to your primary search phrase, you can use a – (dash) mark to keep that out of the results.
For example, let’s say you’re searching for probate but you don’t need a referral to an attorney – you just want information. Instead, you’d search for probate -attorney -lawyer . That way, Google is much less likely to give you search results that include or at least focus on an attorney or lawyer because you’ve excluded it from your query. Just remember – this trick is POWERFUL. Be careful that you don’t screen out words that could potentially be helpful.
Don’t Ignore Related Lists
Run a search, get a list of 10 results. That’s the Google way, right? But if you scroll to the bottom of your results, you’ll also see a section Google tucks in called “Searches Related To [your search term]”. That’s Google trying to help you find more relevant information or maybe point you in a better direction.
Real estate terms can sometimes be tricky – you may not know exactly what to type into the Google search bar. So just start with something good enough, and if you don’t get what you want in the results, scroll to the bottom and see if Google has included your ideal search in term and move on in a better direction…..
A Picture is Worth…..
We all know the end to that phrase. So if we normally perform a text search on Google (enter search phrase, get results in words), why don’t we search IMAGES instead? Sometimes it’s easier to look at a page of images to know where our best search results are instead of scanning a bunch of website titles and descriptions.
So how do you do this? Easy. Perform a search as you normally would, and then click “Images” at the top. Now you can choose an image from a website that may fit your search needs. Click the image and then click “Visit Page”. Easy!
But a VIDEO is Worth…..
What’s the biggest video website….ever? YouTube, of course! Who do you think owns YouTube? You got it — Google!
So why not search YouTube instead? Makes sense, right? You may find one video that gives you more information than 10 different websites.
There you have it – some basic and easy ways to make Google work a bit harder for you. There is a TON of information out there on the Hawaii real estate market. Hopefully these quick tips will help you spend more time reviewing the information you want instead of spending time just searching for it.
What other tips do YOU have?