Facebook meets the UK property market

By Bijan Shahrezaey

What does this mean for industry?

Following its success in the US, social media leaders, Facebook have now entered the UK property listings market. The social media platform introduced its latest feature, in collaboration with Zoopla and OnTheMarket, which is set to become a triumph on its already-popular Marketplace, which attracts more than 800 million buyers and sellers globally each month.

Property searchers can now filter their searches by type, price range and bedrooms, making it easier for users to find what they are looking for. For now, Facebook’s UK venture solely supports rental properties, however, there is certainly an opportunity to introduce more than just that in the future.

So, what does this mean for industry? Well, considering Facebook currently enjoys in excess of 40 million visitors per month, the new property feature will certainly provide rental operators, agents and landlords, with not only an affordable solution to advertising and selling, but an increasingly effective one at that.

Smaller businesses are sure to benefit from this new property marketplace, as it gives them an opportunity to showcase their entire rental portfolio to the key demographic groups.

With Facebook partnering with OTM and Zoopla to provide an integrated service to house hunters, we can imagine these portals will rapidly grow and become more popular among property agents – and there may well be some other partnerships cropping up in a bid to replicate the model with other portals and platforms.

Given the rapid rate at which social media and digital marketing is evolving, I think it’s only a matter of time before the sales market catch up to this – both from housebuilders and agents. There is little doubt about the power of social media in terms of awareness and its ability to target certain users, and with the vast majority of property searches now taking place online, it was only a matter of time before a collaboration like this came to fruition. Facebook Marketplace has already been incredibly successful in connecting proper through commerce, such is the trend for ‘social shopping’ – if Facebook can prove that it can convert its users to a more considered purchase, such as a new home, this model will evolve rapidly.