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[Best of 2018] 5 Things You Didn't Know Google Maps Could Do
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in February and is #4 in our countdown. See #5 here. Google Maps does much more than get you from point A to point B. Maps actually has a whole list of functions – some more useful than others. Here are some cool ways Google Maps can help your real estate business run more efficiently.
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Research Properties with the RPR Map
The RPR map is a powerful way to visually search for properties and uncover market trends. From aerial, road, and overhead views, to schools, parcels, estimated values, heat maps, overlays and more, we'll show you how easy it is to draw or designate your map in ways that suit every type of interest or need.
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5 Things You Didn't Know Google Maps Could Do
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[Best of 2017] Hidden Features: 3 Google Maps Tricks Agents Should Know
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in April and is #3 in our countdown. See #4 here. Google Maps is a free tool with a lot of neat features that real estate agents can appreciate. While we've talked about ways that agents can leverage Google Maps in the past, the program has advanced leaps and bounds since then. Did you know Google Maps offers a personal safety app now? Neither did we. And that's just one example—there's a lot more where that came from. Here's a look at the latest Google Map features you may not have heard of just yet:
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Hidden Features: 3 Google Maps Tricks Agents Should Know
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How Real Estate Agents Can Use Waze to Keep Their Clients (and Family) Happy
Aside from Uber drivers and bus drivers, real estate agents may put in more road time than any other profession. And while you're always focused on getting from one place to the next in record time, you may not be handling your drive time as efficiently as possible. Today, we'll talk about the best mobile apps for real estate agents on the go. Why Waze? We'll start with Waze, which uses real-life traffic reports to ensure that you get to your destination just a bit faster. Waze is especially helpful in urban areas, or in neighborhoods where there are plenty of alternate routes available. Note: Because Waze helps you to avoid trouble spots, you can also end up taking a more circuitous route. If you are in an area you're not familiar with, or get stressed out when you have to make several turns in a row, Waze's benefits may not outweigh the disadvantages. Waze's secret weapon for real estate agents By using Waze's directions, you're likely to get to a destination faster than you would on Google Maps or Apple Maps. But the app also has another feature that we're absolutely in love with. The Send ETA feature allows you to send your exact arrival time to your client, friends or family any time you are about to begin (or have already embarked on) a car trip.
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Leveraging Google My Maps for Real Estate
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Are Your Relocation Resources Lacking the WOW Factor? Create a Personalized Map!
If you've never relocated, understanding how difficult it is to rebuild your life in a new city can be tough. The friends you played disc golf with on Saturdays are gone, the park you barbecued at on long weekends isn't an option anymore, and even basic errands require a map. However, there are things you can do to make it a bit easier for your relocation buyers to turn a strange, new city into home. Google's My Maps makes it easy to create and share personalized maps highlighting your area's best attractions and restaurants. You can even attach notes, pictures, and videos to locations to explain why the places you've marked are local favorites. Share copies of the map personalized with your relocation buyer's workplace, homes they're considering, schools their kids would be zoned for, etc. About the Neighborhood My Maps lets you add layers to your map to differentiate between location types. Create a map layer that identifies popular neighborhoods and subdivisions in your area. Use the "Draw a Line" tool to block off individual subdivisions, then add a paragraph describing each area. At the end of your description, include links to active properties in the subdivision and to your website's area page.
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Easily Find New and Improved Points of Interest on RPR Maps
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How to Leverage Google Maps for Real Estate
Google Maps is a wonderful (and free!) tool that's more than just a handy navigational guide. When leveraged in the right way, it offers real estate professionals an easy way to show off their local expertise. The simplest way to do this is to create your own map and share it with clients or embed it onto your website. Imagine the applications--before multi-home tour with your buyers, you can create a map of all the properties you'll see and share it with your clients so they can follow along on the map and get to know the neighborhood better. You can even highlight nearby attractions in the map so they better understand what the area has to offer. Or, in the spirit of the season, you can create a map that marks where all the best holiday light displays in your town are and embed it onto your website. How about making a map of local schools and parks for prospects with children? The possibilities are endless! Creating your own custom Google map is easy. Just follow the steps below to get up and running in just minutes: 1. Go to maps.google.com. 2. Click the Menu icon (it's the three horizontal black lines immediately to the left of the search bar). 3. Select My Maps, as highlighted in blue in the image below:  
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RPR New User Series: Mapping Your Property’s Story
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Two Approaches to Commute Calculation
Offering information about commute times to people shopping for a new home is, quite simply, a great idea. This is particularly true in our current culture, one focused on reducing expenses and protecting the environment. Today, we'll take a look at two different approaches to doing just this – courtesy of Trulia and Walk Score. My Commute Matters I should explain that I don't live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago or another thriving metropolis. However, I do have a commute to work (about 35 to 45 minutes, in fact). And it's a huge part of my day. Lengthening or shortening that commute will be a major consideration for me in making my next home purchase. I'm not alone. Many Americans are hampered by a long commute, and are looking for ways to cut it down. They want to save time, spend less money on fuel, and be kinder to the environment. So, like me, as they make their real estate choices, the length of the commute could be an important factor. Smart real estate professionals will recognize this priority, and will respond by offering information about commute times. New online tools, like the ones we're about to discuss, can be a great first step. Trulia's Commute Map I was actually inspired to write this article after spotting a recent post on the Trulia blog announcing their new Commute Map. I decided to give it a try for myself. Before I share my experience, I want to point out that Trulia's Commute Map lives on Trulia.com. In order to recommend this tool, agents will have to direct their clients to Trulia.com – away from their own website. However, the Commute Map represents another feature that Trulia offers to provide a richer home searching experience to online visitors and may encourage visitors to spend more time on the site (and, in a perfect world, more time viewing any listings that you have syndicated there). Alright, that being said, here's my experience with the Trulia Commute Map.
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Trulia Launches Crime Maps
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