Facebook enters the UK property listing market
Facebook has entered the UK property listing market today by partnering with Zoopla and OnTheMarket (OTM). Facebook Marketplace will start listing properties from these two websites. They are starting with rentals initially and then moving into properties for sale.
This is big news to the property market and is another big shake up for traditional high street estate agents. Many are already struggling to deal with sweeping technological changes.
This announcement shouldn’t really be too much of a surprise though. Facebook has been trialing property ads on Marketplace in the US for some time. This update to Facebook is part of the company’s continuing efforts to monopolise user buying and selling by aggregating listings within Marketplace.
Details aren’t 100% clear at this time, but it seems as though Zoopla and OTM will act as feeder sites to Facebook. It seems that if you want to get your property listing on Facebook Marketplace you can either place the ad yourself, directly on Facebook, or get your property advertised on Zoopla or OTM. Zoopla / OTM will then send the property details to Facebook.
It looks like Zoopla and OTM will be listing their properties on Facebook alongside private sellers. How they are going to deal with duplicate listings is unclear at this stage.
Not just anyone can post an advert on the property sites (known as property portals). In order to list a property on those sites you must be a property professional, such as:
- a registered estate agent
- a letting agent
- a new home developer
I posted a blog post just yesterday about the cheapest way to get your property listed on Rightmove. Rightmove is the current number one property portal in the UK. By placing an advert via 99home.co.uk for just £99 you can get your property listed on Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location.
The website Directors Talk Interviews has posted an interview with OTM CEO Ian Springett about the listings being available on Facebook Marketplace.
List Your Property on Facebook Marketplace
Are you thinking of selling your property and want to get it listed on Facebook Marketplace?
Facebook provides instructions here on how to do it yourself.
Whether you should do it yourself is another question! Is your advert going to look professional? Is your advert going to look legitimate and trustworthy to a potential buyer? A buyer isn’t going to have the protection of the Property Ombudsman if things go wrong with a private seller. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Facebook have teamed up with Zoopla and OTM, where only legitimate estate agents can place adverts.
How are Facebook going to maintain the quality of property ads?
By partnering with Zoopla and Onthemarket and using their ads, Facebook will get quality property adverts as only property professionals can place property listings on their web sites.
The vast majority of people now start their property buying journey by searching online. Will buyers and tenants be opening up Facebook Marketplace as their first site to search? Time will tell. Interesting times lie ahead for estate agents, however it seems obvious to me that those embracing technology and online marketing are the ones that will prosper.