There are two ways the ‘location’ field in search can work. The presence of Google Maps API key for server side geocoding in Realteo Option determines which one is used.
If the API key is added (and configured properly – it can’t be restricted) the address typed in ‘location’ field is geocoded to latitude and longitude and all properties that are in the selected radius of that point are returned in search results. This is explained here. The radius value can be set by default in Realteo Options (it’s 50km by default) or you can add Radius field to search form and let user decide how far from the point he wants to search.
If there’s no API key added, the search is strictly text based, the text typed by user is compared to the content of property, property title, and every custom field attached to property to find matching results.
We’re working on a solution combining results from both search results ( it will be optional of course)