Facebook has always played a supporting role in the marketing portfolio of real estate professionals: historically, agents have been twice as likely to advertise on a listing portal than on social media. For its part, Facebook has never built features that cater directly to real estate consumers and professionals. Earlier this year, that changed—signaling a shift in strategy with major implications for real estate portals.
Facebook announced a major update to the “Property Rentals” section on Facebook Marketplace, launching a new front-end that allows mobile users to search for rentals using a variety of new filters: rental type, location, number of bedrooms, pet friendliness and more.
Facebook Marketplace’s Property Rentals
Paired with this product update are new partnerships with Zumper and Apartment List—two of the most prominent online rental platforms, which collectively receive millions of unique visitors a month—which will directly syndicate “hundreds of thousands” of rental listings to Facebook.
This is the second major step that Facebook has taken into residential real estate in three months. September saw the launch of Dynamic Ads for Real Estate, which lets brokerages and real estate websites promote live listings to Facebook users.
What do these features reveal about Facebook’s real estate strategy, and what does Facebook’s growing interest in real estate mean for portals? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Facebook’s recent moves into residential real estate, assess its motivations and forward-looking roadmap, and discuss the implications for existing players, especially real estate portals.
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