Is Facebook a serious challenge or a great opportunity?

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Facebook formally entered the rental property listings business in the UK yesterday, but we wonder how many Facebook users know it’s already offering property listings in Thailand.

What’s different about the initiative in the UK is that is working with two major property portals.

In Thailand right now, individual agents and property owners are able to list properties for sale and rent at no cost through its Marketplace tab (pictured).

How long will it be before Facebook starts to work with Thailand property portals, and would this be a good thing?

Not all UK property portalshave started working with Facebook, but those who have suggested the additional exposure will benefit both agencies and property owners.

Facebook’s entry into the UK rental property listings sector follows a similar venture in the United States, which was reported to be “highly successful”.

Its users can search for property for rent in the same was they would use a property portal.

Enquiries can be made, and bookings confirmed, through Facebook.

Marketing exposure of any kind must be welcomed, but there are questions that need answers.

In time we are certain that Facebook will seek to monetise their property listings in some way. When they do it could mean extremely challenging times for some of Thailand’s property portals that make the vast majority of their revenue from listing fees.

Facebook also has the potential to take page views away from websites that currently offer property listings, whether individual agency or developer websites or property portals.

Those page views are an important selling point to acquire further listings and paid-for advertising.

Only time will tell what impact Facebook’s property listing offering will have on the sector, and whether it will improve the customer experience.

Andrew Batt
The author of this article is Andrew Batt, the founder and editor of Andrew has been writing about property and real estate issues in Thailand and Southeast Asia for more than 10 years. He has worked for PropertyGuru Group, DDproperty, Dot Property Group, Hipflat and AsiaRents. He has also produced content for leading Thailand property developers and real estate agencies.

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