By Claire West

The Big Property List www.thebigpropertylist.co.uk a new Google-powered, free-to-use property portal, has been launched today (11 August 2010), laying down the gauntlet to everyone in the business of buying, selling and renting property in the UK.

The Big Property List displays Google’s massive database of property in the UK in a familiar portal style, tackling head-on the search engine’s critics that suggest that users do not like Google’s map format.

Google announced in June “that UK Google Maps users will be able to search for listings from estate agents and property websites directly on the map”. This announcement led to intense debate in the property industry about the future of UK property portals such as Primelocation and Rightmove, centring on the search engine’s entry into the property market and its potential to undermine the position of established online businesses.

Many industry commentators and property portals have dismissed the threat posed by Google, saying that house hunters don’t want to search for property using the Google map view but prefer a list format. The Big Property List addresses this by combining the power of Google Property with a familiar listing design.

The Big Property List offers what everyone hunting or selling property wants — a nationwide listing service to match Rightmove, which is free to use by agents and which utilises Google’s innovation. It gives agents, home seekers and sellers on a budget, a no-cost, no frills, nationwide shop-window.

The Big Property List’s managing director, James Cole, says: “Any agent can send property adverts for free to the map-based Google system. These properties will then automatically appear — for free — on The Big Property List.”

He adds: “Estate agents fork out millions of pounds a year to advertise on nationwide sites. There will be no reason to do this anymore, with thebigpropertylist.co.uk and Google providing the same service, in a familiar style, for free.”

“At www.thebigpropertylist.co.uk we do not have to justify how we have to charge the fees normally paid by estate agents to a portal, allowing us to focus totally on what the consumer wants. If we help people find the property they want, this results in better quality enquiries for estate agents. So what benefits the consumer benefits the agent.”