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Time Travel Propeties with Google Earth Latest Advancement: Historical Imagery

Google just made time travelling simple and, even better, freely available to the public. With the introduction of Historical Imagery on Google Maps Street View and Google Earth, it just became a whole lot easier to visually track and document changes to any property and neighbourhood over time. With new historical imagery being continually added, for most locations you can travel back to 2007, and in some cases even further back in time. This latest Google advancement, with multiple potential uses, can become a business-boasting asset for agents. Watch the video for more information on how you can find historical images on Google.

How can you put this free tool to work for you?

  1. Documentation of changes to properties and neighbourhoods over time
    With Historical Imagery, agents can easily research changes to properties and neighbourhoods over time. Want to double-check the previous type of roof on a house? Or confirm what the former business was in your hot commercial property listing? Or document changes in sea levels around waterfront properties? Google imagery gives you that information. The ability to capture and research visual data is a valuable asset for agents that removes a lot of the guess work and estimations that occur when you have to rely solely on paper records. With visual data you now, literally, can get a very clear picture of changes to any property over the last seven years. It is another valuable tool to document public records.
  2. Demonstrate “up and coming” neighbourhoods”
    Selling homes in an “up and coming neighbourhood” perhaps just got a little easier too. Images can help persuade a potential buyer that location values are really on the rise. Suburbs with a historically dubious reputation can be easier to sell with photos that reveal improvements to an area such as the corner liquor store becoming a popular restaurant or shop. It is about showing rather than telling. When such images are shared on social media apps, it contributes to transforming the public’s negative perception of place to a positive one.
  3. Showing improvements
    If a property has had a major improvement made to it, Historical Imagery can provide the needed visual evidence that supports the substantial increase in the asking price. Having “before and after pictures” available documenting changes over time assists agents in garnering a premium price for the property. Former commercial buildings being turned into condominiums, such as factory and warehouse conversions are another example of a situation where “before and after” pictures become a valuable asset. It helps to reel in potential buyers.
  4. Social Media
    We’ve mentioned this one a couple of times above, but there is a special technique that you can use to get noticed on social media by using Historical Imagery. Make sure you post your best photos on a Thursday or Friday and tag them with the hashtags #throwbackthursday (#tbt) or #flashbackfriday (#fbf) and watch your shares, likes and audience grow. With a little creativity and sharing on social media, historical imagery can become a powerful real estate sales and marketing tool. Post the images on Instagram and Pinterest, which are two vital apps for agents in addition to Facebook and Twitter.

Historical Imagery creates a visual narrative about changes to an area or home. It tells a story about a place that can generate both nostalgia and excitement. Visually documenting processes such as redevelopment is important. It provides an additional tool to reassure a buyer about the significant strides a neighbourhood has made over the years.

And lastly, let’s face it: Who doesn’t love an eye catching “before and after picture” or a dramatic neighbourhood makeover? It’s just one more way to delight and build relationships with potential vendors and buyers by being able to see what was there before.

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