Facebook is seriously expanding their real estate section of their Marketplace teaming up with Zumper and Apartment List.com to list available rental units there.
This is their challenge to existing sites like Craig’s list and eBay. Presently, Facebook allows its members to post their homes for sale in the Marketplace. It appears their intent is to expand such listing capabilities to others entities as well.
For now, their jumping in full bore to the rental listing market. Through this new agreement, Facebook users will be able to search for a rental home or apartment through thousands of listings throughout the US. To do so conveniently, Facebook has upgraded their Marketplace with new features allowing a shopper to filter listings by location, price, number of bedrooms, and more. All at their fingertips!
For now, Facebook does not participate in any transaction. It acts as a conduit between renter and listing agent/owner. However, any apartment or homeowner wishing to list their unit must do so through either Zumper or Apartment List. How long before Facebook starts to control the listings and collect fees for doing so?
Facebook says this is just the beginning. They posted on their site that “Marketplace will continue to explore a variety of new opportunities to partner with businesses, in addition to optimizing the consumer-to-consumer product experience.” What’s next?
The obvious next move would be for Facebook to begin a service to list homes for sale. Why not? I would be a very similar process. So it should be simple to team up with listing entities to provide the information.
That could benefit homeowners and realtors by getting more listing out to more people. Facebook can then also list available financing options through nationwide lenders. You can see where this is heading.
Looks as though Facebook is positioning itself to be the next major player in real estate sales and mortgage financing. At first, they may partner with national firms. But, how long will it be before Facebook decides to do it themselves? Think of it; Facebook Realty and Facebook Mortgage. Not that hard to believe.
While you’re out there fighting hard for every deal, be sure to keep your eyes wide open for what’s going on in the industry and the Marketplace. Entities that may appear to be a friend today may be a major competitor tomorrow. Know your competition and know how to compete.