Facebook Marketplace Rentals vs. Craigslist! ...and your ILS. Oh, and maybe even Google too.
Facebook Marketplace Rentals just happened. And it's about to get real for Craigslist first, but also Internet Listing Services (ILS). Heck, Facebook could even bite into Google's piece of the pie if users really go for it.
First, let's back up a bit. If you're an owner/property manages of a small to mid sized portfolio, then you needed to get the best return on their small marketing budget. So Craigslist, being free (and pretty clunky), was an obvious initial go-to option for many.
But Craigslist can take a lot of time, and depending on your target demographic, maybe didn’t even return that many quality leads. Then you got entangled with a pricey ILS contract. Hopefully that's doing something useful for you. And now you've heard about advertising on Google and on Facebook. But which would work better for you?
It used to be a no brainer for us.We'd pick Google for your budget first every time. That's because the difference between the two is that Facebook is "interest" based and Google is "intent" based.
Interest vs. Intent and Why it Matters
If you're looking for a Mexican restaurant or a new dentist - you went to Google or Google Maps. That's intent. (It's also making me hungry for tacos and slightly nervous to make that appointment I need)
Facebook was just for expressing which movies, books, sports, etc. you loved. That’s interest.
Most people who needed to find something, used a search engine (which usually means Google). They don't go to Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook.
Then about a year ago, Facebook came up with its Recommendations
feature that allowed people to "ask the audience
." And the audience was your FB friends. Those people whose opinions you probably care about more since you actually know them. Or you just went to high school with them decades ago and like to "keep up" with them. #surethatsit
Facebook Marketplace Rentals - Set to Grow
But now Facebook has potentially changed the rental listing game in a big way
. #RIPCraigslist #yourILSisnext
Facebook Marketplace Rentals follows up on the success they saw earlier this year with used cars being added:
“Since January 1, 2017, Facebook says search volume for the Marketplace tab has grown 3x worldwide. The new addition of vehicles and now, rentals, were driven by how people were using the service, the company notes.”
And exactly how are they able to do this? By partnering with Apartment List
to get their listings, plus allowing individuals to post listings.
Oh yeah - and since Facebook recently enabled paid advertisements for used cars in the Marketplace, our guess is that it’ll only be a short matter of time before ads are allowed in the Facebook Marketplace Rentals section as well.
Well Now What?
We used to caution small-mid sized property managers against using their limited marketing budget on Facebook ads, and instead point them to Google. Since Google has 2/3 of the search traffic, it's got the best search ROI. And few (if any?) people out there are interested in apartment hunting, but when they need to find one their intent is high.
But I know over the upcoming holiday break, I’m going to be exploring Facebook’s new feature to see what services we can offer interested clients. I’ll report back on the results (vs. Google ads)!
In the meantime, we’d love to hear if your property is going to try listing in Facebook Marketplace Rentals or if you already have.
Do you think Facebook Marketplace Rentals is a game changer? Or will it be just another advertising channel in a crowded space?