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Google Trends Can Be Used to Predict The Real Estate Market

Want to track rhythms and patterns in the Nashville real estate market? Google Trends is the perfect tool to track trends.


Tracking the trends, patterns and rhythms in a market is vital to making smart property investment decisions. Many market sectors are using complex data science to track what their customers are searching for and optimize their business based on what’s trending.


Those in real estate can now take advantage of these smart methods of data collection through Google Trends. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of using Google Trends and how Nashville real estate investors can track what people are searching for in the vacation rental market.


What is Google Trends?


Google Trends is a tool maintained by Google that allows anyone to track what search terms are currently popular over time. There are over 5.4 billion searches on Google every day, and the search platform records all of these search terms so the search volume can be analyzed.


This data is publicly accessible through Google Trends. Google collects metadata for every search, allowing them to record the approximate location of each user. This is how Google can collate all of the recent searches in your local area.


What does this mean for real estate investors?


Through Google Trend’s location explore tool, real estate investors can see exactly what people are searching in a given rental market area. This helps investors accurately predict what consumers are demanding at the moment, and what they’ve been searching for in the past.


For example, an investor in Nashville may be looking to see how many people commonly search for winter breaks in Nashville. This will tell them the rough level of demand for certain types of properties, helping them decide on what property to purchase.


As Google’s search data is updated in real-time, studies show that using Google Trends is more predictive than models using macroeconomic and transaction-level data.


For emerging markets – for example, a highly specialized type of vacation rental – there is usually a data availability issue when an investor is trying to perform data analysis on the current level of demand. By using Google search volume data through Trends, you can pick up on search – no matter how niche the search term is.


Access to other data sets relating to real estate can be costly and slow, whereas Google Trends has been made available for free to everyone. For anyone looking to see how many people are looking for hotels or Airbnbs in Nashville, Google Trends is a vital data analysis tool.


How to use Google Trends for Real Estate Data Analysis


How to search for real estate terms on Google Trends?


Traditional methods of data analysis can be difficult, convoluted and time-consuming. Luckily – as Google Trends is designed to be used by anyone of any skill level – Trends is incredibly easy to use.


To get started, head over to trends.google.com and you’ll be met with the homepage.


First, select your country in the top toolbar. It should already be set to your country, but just in case, click the drop-down list and select United States.


To carry out your first search query, click the search bar Enter a search term or a topic and enter whatever you'd like. For this demonstration, we'll look at how many people are searching for hotels in Nashville.


You’ll then be met with the search term analysis screen. Here we can see at the data Google has about your term.


The first panel is Interest over time. This indicates how the interest in your search term has changed over time. It’s presented in index form where 100 represents the point at which the most people were searching for the term.


We can see from our example that hotels in Nashville were most popular in July 2021, and demand has decreased somewhat since then – but is still relatively high.

If you want to see how the interest has changed over a longer period of time, hit the time period drop down (where it says ‘Past 12 months) and select the period.


The next panel is the location breakdown of interest. Again, this works on an index where 100 is assigned to the subregion (state) with the most searches for your term. We can see that people form Tennessee are far more likely to search for hotels in Nashville than any other state.


You can hit the drop-down button to change the resolution of your location data. For example, you can search exactly which metro areas are searching for Nashville hotels the most.


As we can see, those in Bowling Green, KY and Nashville TN, are the most likely to search for Nashville hotels – the most local metro areas to Nashville.

The final panel may be the most important one to real estate investors. It showcases the related topics and related queries to your search query.


In our example, Google Trends is showing us what else people who are looking for Nashville hotels are searching for. It’s showing us the Rising (also known as trending) search queries – showing us that pet friendly hotels are particularly popular in Nashville at the moment.


This is a vital tool for real estate investment decisions – as it gives you an insight into exactly what type of vacation rental property people are looking for. By changing the time period of your search, you can track how those tastes and trends have changed over time.


Finally, you can compare the interest in your search term to another search term. For our demonstration, we’ll compare the interest of Nashville hotels to Nashville Airbnbs.

Our example shows that whilst demand for Airbnbs and hotels were fairly similar in early 2021, more people are searching for hotels than Airbnb properties.


Final Thought

Google Trends is a powerful tool to track what people are searching for and how their search habits have changed over time. It’s this information on consumer demand that real estate investors can use to make smart purchasing decisions.

Head over to trends.google.com to have a play around with the search functions and compare search terms. You’ll gain a deep insight into the rhythms and patterns of the short term rental market in no time.

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