Going All The Way: Customizing Google Maps For Showings

Brokers and landlord reps know that anything that makes it easier for a prospect to view a property is probably worth doing.  When the property is a subdivided commercial space such as a mall or an industrial facility, giving a prospect the correct specific directions to the correct subdivision in the wider property is not easy.  Malls are confusing, and “east of the main entrance” or  “two over from the Pottery Barn” are too easily misunderstood as directions.

Google Maps certainly helps with this, but it’s largely based on street addresses.  As such it’s great for showing driving directions and routes for getting prospects from point A – say, their office or their hotel — to the mall, which has a single address often enough. But how can you use Google Maps to send a prospect the more specific directions to get to the store you want to show?

I’ll show you how, using a piece of commercial property near and dear to my heart: US Cellular Field,  home to the Chicago White Sox.

Just like a mall has many stores, the ballpark has many gates. Gate 4 is the one closest to home plate, located on the northwest corner of the park. If you wanted to guide a prospect to a meeting or showing at Gate 4, the last thing you should do is tell them “go to the northwest corner of the park”, because that leaves way too much to chance (what if they aren’t carrying a compass?) and needlessly leaves the door open for stress for the prospect.   Much better to send them a map with a route drawn all the way to Gate 4, not just to the ballpark.  Here’s how:

Step 1: Create the basic route map

Head over to maps.google.com and enter two addresses – the prospect’s origin and the destination for the mall — in the box in the upper left.  In this case, I picked NAR’s HQ building at 400 N. Michigan, entering “400 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 to Comiskey Park, Chicago”

Step 1: Establish basic directions

 

Step 2: Switch from Satellite images to Map images

This will produce a cleaner visual map and make the blue route line appear more clearly.  Make the switch by clicking the box in the upper right hand corner labeled “Map”.

Step 2: Lose the satellite images for a drawn map

Note that in Step 2, the route leads to the street address of US Cellular Field, and not to Gate 4 (which is at the NW corner of the park and is where we need to meet up).  This is exactly the same problem lots of showings in malls or other subdivided properties face — how to draw the route all the way to the specific location.   Let’s do it.

Step 3: Add a destination

We’re not going to do any drawing, but we are going to tell Google to draw for us.  In order to make our route go all the way, we have to add Gate 4 as our destination.  So we point to Gate 4, and right-click, selecting “Add A Destination” from the pop-up menu that appears:

Step 3: Add Gate 4 as a destination using the popup menu by right-clicking

Step 4: Save the route, and email away.

Once the new destination is established, Google Maps no longer directs to the street address of the ballpark, but to where we want — to Gate 4.  Use “Save To My Maps” at the bottom left of the Google Maps page to save this route and email it to your prospect.

Step 4: Now you've got them going all the way

 

Neat, huh?  Try it out and let us know how it has helped your showings!

24. April 2012 by Wayne Grohl
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