Social media platforms are swooping in to challenge the property portals market, attempting to woo agents to switch their spend.
So far, it has not happened in the UK, but in the States three possible models emerged in a matter of days as social media wakes up to what has been called a $27bn sleeping giant.
Facebook launched a trial of Dynamic Ads for Real Estate.
Get-to-know your neighbours website Nextdoor – better known for people in local communities to swap stuff, advertise school fund-raising events and for local restaurants to advertise – has also launched into the market, and a platform called Punchbowl has released its Modern Stamp product.
All this happened last week.
The flurry of interest has happened after researchers said US realtors spend £26.8bn on advertising a year. So far, almost all of it is going the way of giant portals Zillow and Trulia.
Facebook’s Dynamic ads for Real Estate target Facebook and Instagram users who have already searched for properties on a realtor’s website.
Nextdoor is allowing realtors to create business pages on its platform.
Punchbowl’s Modern Stamp lets agents send messages intended to drive interest and engagement.
None of the models sounds quite right for the UK market.
However, Facebook has a strong presence in the UK, while Nextdoor merged with UK equivalent Streetlife earlier this year – and could be the one to watch.
In the States, Nextdoor has launched a dedicated section for people to list their property, while also allowing agents to advertise on business pages.
It sounds as though it is trying to attract both private sellers and buyers (while taking a financial cut) and also agents.
For the time being, it would seem that Zillow and Trulia (not to mention Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket) need not feel unduly troubled.
Google ventured into the property portal market in the UK – using its mapping – but pulled the business when it failed to take off. There is silence as to whether it would re-run the experiment using different technology.
Social media are not the only ones tempted by the market: Amazon also recently had a ‘Find a Realtor’ webpage, but this was swiftly pulled.
Amazon, like Facebook, has an obvious UK presence, but again, the experimentation with the residential property market is going on over the pond.