Marketing your rental is the first step to finding a great tenant for your property. Utilizing online listing sites is key to getting your property seen by as many potential renters as you can. Facebook Marketplace is one of the best places to post your property as it’s easy and fast, plus an efficient place for landlords to market. If you’re not familiar with the social platform’s buying and selling feature, it was launched in 2016 and is used by one in three people in the U.S. Everyone who has a Facebook account can easily view Marketplace listings in their area and share them on their walls which, in turn, increases the number of people seeing Facebook rentals.
We sat down with Sarnen Steinbarth, TurboTenant’s founder and longtime landlord, to hear his experience with Facebook Marketplace and why it’s advantageous for landlords.
Why is Facebook Marketplace a good place to market your rental?
Facebook Marketplace is becoming one of the main listing sites in the United States, and we are seeing more leads from Facebook than any other single source in the United States – you want to be where the people are, and the people are on Facebook.
Facebook Marketplace is said to be the newer and better Craigslist, why do you think it is better than Craigslist?
Generally, you want to market your listing to as many places as possible – with this in mind, Craigslist is still a relevant and important tool, but Facebook has gained a lot of traction especially as the world becomes more and more comfortable with making big purchases or decisions that impact their life and money online. People spend more time on Facebook and a lot of people are attracted to the interface and social aspect of Facebook which makes sharing rental listings easy. It’s still smart to take the time to post to Craigslist as it is one of the original buying and selling websites, and the goal is always to expand your reach as much as possible so you can find a great renter.
What are the disadvantages of Facebook Marketplace, if any?
If there is a disadvantage, it’s almost in some ways a part of its advantages. Because so many people are on Facebook, someone might look at rentals when they’re not quite as serious. So you may get interest or an influx of leads that are not quite ready to make a move. This will make tenant pre-screening, the online rental application process, and selection process extremely important so you can identify the most serious and qualified prospects.
To get the most leads, what additional sites would you recommend marketing your rental property on along with Facebook?
While TurboTenant will automatically post your property onto a variety of websites, it’s also a good idea to publish your property on local rental search sites if you have them in your area or metro. I have found these sites to be extremely helpful when looking for a tenant, especially in college towns such as Fort Collins.
What do you think are the biggest advantages Facebook Marketplace has over Zillow?
Zillow has gone to a paid posting model in most states, but Facebook remains free and has more monthly active users. As Zillow continues to roll out their paid model in more states, I think landlords will start to look for alternatives, in an effort to keep costs down while still having a broad reach with their listings, and Facebook Marketplace is at the top of that list for me.
How can landlords trust that they can get reliable and trustworthy leads from Facebook?
I think finding reliable, trustworthy leads is a concern regardless of the platform. A lead is the just the first step to filling your property – it’s your initial intro to someone interested in your property. To narrow down your leads, things such as lead questionnaires can help in that department. But regardless of where you’re getting your leads, you always want to complete due diligence on all of your leads which means you will need to screen your tenants, as well as having tenant criteria, such as a minimum credit score requirement, decided. Doing things like pre-screening, getting basic information, having an online rental application, and running a background check, credit check and eviction history will ensure you find the best tenant for your property.
Have more questions for TurboTenant’s Founder, CEO and resident landlord? Drop us a line at [email protected] and let us know!
Editor’s Note: As of June 23, 2023, TurboTenant no longer offers its extension to post to Facebook Marketplace.