For the first time, buyers can locate properties for sale on the Internet using 360-degree imagery and travel up and down streets viewing homes – as if they were there in person. Vancouver-based BestHomesBC.com is launching the unique property search service that utilizes Google’s Street View to locate homes currently for sale throughout British Columbia.
Users simply click on the house symbol within Street View to instantly reveal property details with a link to the full-page listing on BestHomesBC.com. This includes comprehensive property information including a YouTube video, Walk Score and a link to the listing realtor’s contact information. If users see another house symbol up the road in Street View, they can move further up and compare property details.
The way that this differs from the regular Google Street View format that is found on many realtors’ web sites is that they show just one property at any given time. The Google Street View search function that has been designed and incorporated into BestHomesBC.com allows the user to see all the properties for sale in a street at the same time.
In the same way as if a user was physically walking down the street and saw all the realtors’ signs up.
“It’s an effortless way to actually see what the homes and neighbourhoods look like without viewers having to leave the comfort of their living room or even their country,” says Nicola Way, BestHomesBC.com’s owner, and property correspondent for both the U.K.’s Canada magazine and OPP (Overseas Property Professional) China where her Canadian property-focused articles are translated into Mandarin and sent directly to Chinese real estate agents who specialize in buying overseas homes for their clients.
“It is perfect for the current climate in Metro Vancouver where we are seeing an uptick in overseas buyers. This makes the process easier for them to view a particular home and get a feel for the surrounding neighbourhood, especially if they are not familiar with the area.”
Way was an early pioneer in the Internet. She created a Vancouver apartment rental website in 2000, and sold it just before the arrival of Craigslist in 2003. She then provided realtors with a forum (AssignmentsCanada.ca) to market their condo assignments when many developers refused to allow them to be listed on the MLS system. Way then launched BestHomesBC.com in 2009 to market realtors’ resale homes and developers’ presale projects.
BestHomesBC.com can be translated into 52 different languages with the touch of a button, giving access to homebuyers both within and outside Canada.