Facebook has announced that is partnering with Apartment List and Zumper to expand its marketplace listings to include thousands of Facebook rentals listings.
Users before could post their own listings on Facebook, but pulling in the listings from these two partners greatly expands the number of listings and takes on Craigslist.
Facebook told Mashable in an emailed statement that the two sites offer "hundreds of thousands of house and apartment rentals" that users can browse. Sellers can also upload photos of their properties directly to Facebook.
Facebook said in its email, according to AdWeek, that the addition of housing rental unit listings to Marketplace, as well as the new features for car shoppers that were announced last month, “are driven by how people are searching and using the service,” and the social network will continue to “explore a variety of new opportunities to partner with businesses.”
Product manager Bowen Pan added, “Marketplace is a popular place for people to look for a home to rent. Now that we’re adding listings from Apartment List and Zumper, people can search even more options in the U.S. to find a place to call home. First with vehicles and now with housing rentals, we’re partnering with businesses to bring more ease and convenience for consumers.”
Are Facebook rentals about to revolutionize apartment marketing?
“This is potentially a significant development for the multifamily industry. That said, it is still very early so at this point there isn't much we can say with certainty, though there is much we can speculate about,” Meador writes.
He says “several years ago we published an article explaining why Google has generally been a better marketing platform in multifamily than Facebook. The answer was that generally speaking social media handled interest-based industries really well but search was far better on intent.”
Meador’s blog explains there is one thing we know, Facebook has always wanted to do more in the commercial space, and three we do not know.
- Bad blow to Craigslist – Craigslist seems to be on the decline in multifamily. Many of our clients are not as dependent on Craigslist for traffic as in the past.
- This could also be a blow to Google – Apartment marketing has been moving away from online directories and toward search engines for some time. People are already using Facebook—so they don't have to take some significant extra, intentional step to use Marketplace. They can just click a button inside the social media network that they are already actively using.
- Facebook is large enough that this could work – Facebook rentals has an advantage here that ILS's and even Craigslist have not possessed: They are so huge that they can easily and cheaply acquire an enormous number of users. Because of Facebook's clout, you can't simply ignore things like this Marketplace experiment of theirs.