Facebook enter the buy-to-let sector
Facebook are set to launch into property by placing rental property listings to their Marketplace function.
Initially, the listings will be supplied by Zoopla and OnTheMarket, but it is assumed that many portal-based agents will be sure to follow as the social media juggernaut will exponentially increase the visibility of their properties.
Many have speculated as to the motivations of huge corporations offering a free listing service to its partners and has left some rental portals extremely sceptical of the ‘long-term ramifications’ of embracing powerful companies, like Facebook, into the property sector.
Rightmove has distanced itself from the setup, stating: “This is not something we’re involved in.
“We’ll continue to advertise agents’ properties to the biggest home-hunting audience on Rightmove.”
Similarly, Thomas Ashdown of rental portal Citylets, said: “Networking of listings at scale carries king-maker responsibilities.
“One should scrutinise the long-term business objectives of any potential partner to understand precisely whom it is one would make king and ask if it is in the long-term best interests of agents.
“It is arguably now good practice for any portal seeking new partnerships to take a consultative approach to networking laying out the short and long-term issues.
“It is interesting these partnerships do not pertain to sales.
“Alternatively, agents may take a ‘bread today’ approach.
“Citylets has in the past witnessed the full range of reactions to networking but as the size of the potential partners increases, so too do the potential ramifications.
“The deed is done, Facebook is now here in rentals.
“Whether consumers will engage with Marketplace for this remains to be seen. We’ve had big names such as Google dabble in property classifieds in the past.”
Whether this is the first dystopic step towards Facebook usurping the property market and bombarding me with homes that are suitable to my current situation based on recent FB activity, or if they are just selflessly embracing partners and increasing the functionality of their marketplace without any ulterior agenda is yet to be seen.
Do you think that Facebook is the next inevitable step in the home buying process? Can you see a time when conveyancing services will rely on Facebook to help generate business?