Given its huge reach, influence and audience – and as a place where photos, videos and words can be shared instantly between large numbers of people – it’s perhaps surprising that it’s taken this long for Facebook to officially enter the UK property market. But now it’s happened...
Rental property listings will soon feature on Facebook Marketplace, a recent announcement by portals Zoopla and OnTheMarket revealed. While the social media platform has been used by owners trying to sell their property, and certain online agents have used Facebook Live to carry out live viewings, there has never been an official partnership between the tech giant and the UK property industry.
Now, though, that is set to change. Marketplace, which allows consumers to search for properties through Facebook, has been successful in the US and will now be on offer to UK tenants.
Would-be renters will be able to browse nearly 300,000 rental homes from Zoopla Property Group's (ZPG) websites, in addition to all of the available listings from the tens of thousands of agents on OnTheMarket’s books.
Listings can be sorted by various search criteria, enabling prospective renters to narrow down their search as they would on the portals themselves – or letting agents’ websites for that matter. And then, just as would be the case on the portals, people can contact the relevant agent about properties that catch their eye.
Charlie Bryant, managing director of ZPG Property Services, said of the move: “This is great news for our agent members who will now get wider distribution of their listings as well as increased brand exposure with people looking for property to rent on Facebook Marketplace.”
John Milsom, OnTheMarket's brand director, said the ‘quality of OnTheMarket agents’ property content’ integrated with the ‘considerable scale and reach of Facebook Marketplace’s brand and service’ was a perfect fit.
Is Facebook about to become a major player in the property market?
Many people have been waiting for the arrival of the social media giants into the property industry, believing it to only be a matter of time before it occurred. Now that Facebook has dipped its toes into advertising homes for private rent, there is the strong assumption that it will become a popular medium through which tenants can search for rental properties.
We know that most people now start their search for property online. We also know that many people use Facebook – some 30 million people in the UK access it every day, in fact.
Facebook Marketplace is also huge - over 800 million people across the world used Facebook Marketplace to buy and sell things as of April 2018 – so the UK property market tapping into this active and successful service makes sense on many levels.
It’s been apparent for a quite a while now that social media is here to stay. It can no longer be written off as a short-term fad, and most agents – even those who were sceptical to begin with – have now embraced the power and reach of the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn.
With this latest move, it’s more important than ever that agents embrace tech or risk being left behind by the competition. Portals have been established for many years now, but portals advertising homes through Facebook is just the next step in the property market’s evolution.
It could prove a rich source for your agency to tap into. If you can tell your landlord clients that their rental homes will be advertised to a huge national audience on the world’s biggest tech platform, they are more than likely to be impressed.
An all-round approach is key
To ensure you can get the most from exciting new avenues like the above, your existing processes need to be in fine working order. A slick, well-functioning website is absolutely crucial in this day and age, while property software that allows you to run all aspects of your business in a seamless fashion will make life so much easier.
To compete in an increasingly tech-led, digital world, cutting-edge, all-in one software – which enables you to manage your team and workload online, at the click of a button, from anywhere in the world – is vital.
Our cloud-based system also allows you to share more across a number of media channels, and in particular social media, integrating your website and your agency’s social media presence (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) in a smooth manner.
At Gnomen, we design websites that look the part and work very efficiently too. To make your website stand out from the rest, we offer a number of cutting-edge features, including social media feeds, property and map search, and localised mapping with schools, transport and more.
Keeping landlords and tenants informed at all times is also a crucial part of your business, which is where our client log-in areas come in handy – enabling you to keep all parties up to date on a regular basis.
For more information about what we can do for you, please get in touch with us on 0208 123 9019 or book a free demo here.