Home listing sites like Zillow and Redfin may be shaking in their cloud-based data boots. They will be facing what could be a towering social media competitor. Facebook is going full-speed ahead with rental listings in its marketplace section. And plans on a significant expansion into the for-sale market.

If you haven’t explored Facebook’s Marketplace section, you will find a Housing tab with Property for Sale and Property Rentals under that tab. So, Facebook has already dipped its toe into the real estate pool. But now the social media goliath is moving forward more quickly with rental listings.

This must be somewhat intimidating for other online real estate websites. As of the third quarter of this year, Facebook had more than 2 billion monthly active users. That’s double what it was five years ago, in the third quarter of 2012. And the number of active users is continually growing.

Facebook Connects Landlords with Tenants

Facebook doesn’t participate in the actual business of renting homes or apartments. It only gets the two sides together. To make that happen in a big way, Facebook is partnering with Apartment List and Zumper for their rental listings. Landlords or property managers who want to advertise a rental unit, must have a Facebook page and an account with one of those two sites.

It’s got to be a sweet deal for both Apartment List and Zumper, as well as for landlords and property managers! Facebook already has an extensive audience, and the Marketplace section is growing in popularity. Facebook says search volume under the Marketplace tab has grown 300 percent worldwide since the beginning of the year.

Apartment List CEO, Chris Erickson, told Housingwire, “We’re thrilled to partner with Facebook to deliver our robust network of properties to their expansive and diverse Marketplace community.” He said, “Together, we will provide renters everywhere a best-in-class experience and powerful resource to help them find their next home.”

Zumper’s CEO Anthemos Georgiades is equally as pleased. He said, “Working with the Facebook Marketplace team was like working with a like-minded, rapid growth startup.” He said, “We got our feed integrated quickly and were able to showcase our accurate, real-time rental listings on Marketplace overnight.”

Expanding into the For-Sale Market

While the rental listing feature is heating up, Facebook says it will gradually roll out a more robust listing service for homes. Right now, the feature has homes for sale posted by users but if the latest development for rental listings is any indication, it would appear Facebook might want to partner with an online listing service for its homes-for-sale section. There’s no word yet on that. But, Facebook has recently formed new partnerships with auto dealers to provide more options for car shoppers.

In a news release it stated users will be able to browse through inventory from websites like Edmunds, Cars.com, Auction123, CDK Global, and SOCIALDEALER. Facebook is providing advanced filtering features so users can search by year, make, model, mileage, vehicle type, and transmission. It will also show Kelley Blue Book ratings, and allow users to contact dealerships by way of Messenger.

Facebook says it is also testing other new “categories” for jobs, ticketing to events, and shopping. It says of this expansion effort that it will “continue to explore a variety of new opportunities to partner with businesses, in addition to optimizing the consumer-to-consumer product experience.”

Could this also be the start of a new Amazon competitor?

This podcast was originally published on the Real Wealth Network on November 22, 2017. Click here to listen.

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