The final inspection is over and your rental is ready for new tenants. But where is the best place to list your property to find them? The free Facebook Marketplace or NZ’s popular Trade Me website?
In October 2016, Trade Me Property saw Facebook launch a marketplace button. This gave users from New Zealand, the US, UK, and Australia easy access to a free platform to buy and sell.
A year later the Facebook marketplace introduced a ‘Housing’ and ‘Rental’ section for users to list properties for rent and for sale. This indicated Facebook as competition for New Zealand’s number one real estate and trading site – Trade Me Property.
Despite Trade Me having almost five million active users – nearly matching New Zealand’s entire population – Facebook is gaining popularity among people with properties. Auckland City alone has 568 rental listings for October 2020, and this number is likely to rise with the November end of lease rush.
With over 2.7 million Kiwis visiting Facebook each month and over 800 million people worldwide visiting the Facebook marketplace, it makes sense that New Zealanders are beginning to list their homes on both Facebook and Trade Me.
However, as Trade Me Property incurs a listing fee, we wanted to investigate the differences between the two: What are the pros and the cons of listing with the Facebook marketplace versus Trade Me?
Listing with Facebook: The pros
- The stats are on your side with Facebook. There are many statistics that show Facebook is popular in New Zealand. A 2017 study conducted by social media marketing company Mosh found that Facebook is the second most popular online destination for Kiwis after Google Search. Mosh also found that New Zealanders spend an average of 10 hours and 43 minutes per month on Facebook with 2.7 million visiting Facebook each month.
- You can list for free. Unlike Trade Me, Facebook does not charge listing fees. Although this is a major bonus of the marketplace in comparison to its competitors, it also means the services and assistance that you are usually provided with are not included.
If you want more eyes on your listing, and saving money is a factor, Facebook Marketplace might be the right option for you.
Listing with Trade Me: The pros
- It’s the number one real estate website in New Zealand. Despite Facebook having an impressive reach, Trade Me remains the largest marketplace and real estate website in New Zealand. Previously having over 6 million listings at once, Trade Me’s feat is impressive. Trade Me not only has a title but a reputation. This means more landlords will list, and more tenants are likely to look.
- Stats are on your side. The statistics for Trade Me are in some perspectives better than Facebook. While 2.7 million Kiwis visit Facebook each month, over 4 and a half million are active members of Trade Me. This is just under the entire New Zealand population. In a 2018 presentation to investors, Trade Me revealed that their app has over 2 million interactions a day and closes over 1 million marketplace deals per month.
Listing with Facebook: The cons
- Statistics aren’t always accurate. There are many things to do on Facebook and many reasons to be there. Some Facebook features include messenger, events, pages and/or groups. Although the Facebook marketplace seems like it has gained huge traction with 800 million visitors worldwide, Facebook Messenger is in fact a lot more popular. In September 2017, Facebook messenger had 1.3 billion users. This is estimated to grow to 2.48 billion by 2021.
- The marketplace is not completely transparent. Unlike Trade Me, the Facebook marketplace does not have procedures in place to protect buyers. In 2017, persistent issues with conned buyers saw Police issue a warning about the site. In an interview with Stuff, Nelson Senior Sergeant John Price said that “Unlike specialised sales apps and websites there’s no real check and balance in this Facebook system…You just put something up and someone makes an offer. You don’t even have to have an identity.” Although this should not be an issue with a property as goods are (often) not exchanged without the bank’s involvement. It does propose other annoyances such as people implying false interest through false accounts.
Listing with Trade Me: The cons
- It will cost you. A standard Trade Me listing for a rental property is $109 to $229 – depending on the rent amount, this will get you a listing for a week. An upgraded ‘featured’ listing puts you at the top of the search results with a bright yellow border around your listing. While this is great for getting your listing seen, it also means an additional cost.
Once you’ve listed, what’s next?
Whether you choose to list with Trade Me or Facebook, both involve next steps. Once you’ve taken tenants through your property and received pre-tenancy applications, it’s time to call references and conduct credit checks.