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Is Facebook Marketplace the new Rightmove? asks top agent

A prominent regional agent says the industry owes it to vendors to try competing marketing outlets for property, and not to rely solely on portals - and he’s tipping Facebook Marketplace to eventually topple Rightmove from dominance.

Sean Newman is chairman of Rugby-based Newman Property Experts and a partner of Fine & Country’s activities in the Midlands; he is also an advocate of the ‘associate’ model of estate agent, working with the support of a centralised hub. 

Newman is also a devotee of contemporary marketing, using Instagram, Facebook and other social media as well as portals - he uses Rightmove and OnTheMarket. 


But he recognises that in a market with rising costs for agents, there is a need to maximise competition to existing services such as the major portals.

“I recognise that Rightmove has done and is doing a fantastic job. No one had heard of it 20 years ago when it started and now it’s dominant. But it now presents two problems to the industry” he has told Estate Agent Today.

“Firstly it could be said to be abusing its dominance by its increasing fees. Secondly, and this isn’t Rightmove’s fault, but it’s made some agents lazy because they think if they just list something on the portal it’s job done - that means they’ve become little more than Purplebricks” he explains.

However, he believes that Facebook Marketplace could become a genuine rival to Rightmove - and it’s free for agents to use.

“Anyone setting up a rival to Rightmove has an almost impossible task to get public awareness and spend enough on marketing, but that’s not the case with Facebook: it’s already known to everyone and isn’t going to close down anytime soon” argues Newman. 

“When you first look on Facebook Marketplace you say ‘oh my God’ because it’s got so much more than you anticipate. And that’s why it’s a natural for homes” he says. 

Newman believes that in 12 months time, this could become an obvious place for prospective buyers to look - but only if enough agents upload their property details.

OnTheMarket automatically puts its members’ properties on Facebook Marketplace and Newman says agents worried about the overhead of loading inventories could use OTM or other non-portal providers that can do fast bulk uploads at a low cost.

“And most of all, agents owe their vendors an obligation to market their properties as far and wide as possible - and Facebook Marketplace is ideal for that” he insists.

Sean Newman has created a four minute video about the service and he has kindly shared it with Estate Agent Today: you can see it below.

  • At a survey of agents attending the Relocation Agent Network on Friday of last week, OnTheMarket asked:”How would you rate your firm’s Rightmove subscription on value for money?” The result was: Excellent 15.6%; Good 28.1%; Adequate 40.6%; Poor 12.5%; Terrible 0%.”



  • Velgram Quaid

    " Facebook Marketplace could become a genuine rival to Rightmove - and it’s free for agents to use."

    I wonder how long it will remain free...

  • Simon Bradbury

    Thanks Sean - I had no idea about this property facility on Facebook Marketplace!

  • icon

    You have to keep in mind that owners can by pass the agent and just do this, many are already.

  • Chris Arnold

    I have to disagree with Sean on a couple of points.
    Facebook Marketplace might be free at the moment, but that's not likely to last. We've seen it with Facebook when you're asked to pay to boost your posts. It's likely that once FB has built their database, with information freely supplied by agents, has built their platform, then it will no longer be free.
    Secondly, I'm not sure agents owe it to their vendors to market the property as far and as wide as possible. Agents should be looking for the right buyers - not the widest possible reach. Those buyers are likely to come from within the local community and the ideal would be to build a platform within that community where every agency has a controlling interest. Not rely on third party platforms that control the game.

  • Andrew Goldthorpe

    If Agents adopt Facebook MarketPlace it will be yet another example of self sabotage, first gifting and then paying for the privilege of giving their data to Facebook.
    The point of PropertyMutual is to enable agents to come together in the original 100% independent platform that cannot be sold and that will curate on their behalf their most valuable asset - their data.
    Why did the founders of Primelocation want a second bite at the cherry after they sold Primelocation? They wanted the data but they had a flawed business plan and floated OTM, becoming LocationPrime or RMv2. This is the path for every non-mutual platform, all of which shift the focus from their members to their investors, driving up costs over time.

  • icon

    I remember when using Google maps was free..........until about a year or two ago when they started charging most commercial users. Classic example of "hook them in" on the freebie....get marketplace awareness and then hit them hard......Facebook won't be any different in 5 or 10 yrs time....guaranteed !!

  • Hit Man

    No such thing as a free meal, FB will likely put a price on agents listing however as long as its cheap and helps cancel out Rightmove, Happy Days ahead!


    caveat emptor. Don't make the rightmove mistake again.

  • icon
    • 26 November 2019 10:37 AM

    I don't believe you EA have fully understood how FB works.
    Those wishing to sell don't need to list with ANY EA.
    They just privately list!!
    As indeed I will be doing when I sell up soon.
    Yes it means me being my own EA.
    I'm sure I'll cope!
    Especially as I and the buyer WON'T have any large fees to pay if any.
    I have only recently become aware of the efficacy of FB .
    It has the capacity to undermine the likes of eBay and RM etc.
    A free online marketplace means no need for the existing industry players.
    FB marketplace will make you obsolete.
    I've noted there are far more FB listings for vehicles than the usual media.
    Vendors can list for free and do to the point that it isn't worth bothering with the usual media outlets.
    Exchange and Mart business model is dead with Free FB listings.
    I didn't even realise there was such a thing as FB marketplace until recently when I finally joined FB and that was just to buy a van.
    FB marketplace has the ability to completely undermine standard business models with EA being one of many victims of it.
    The nirvana for private property sellers is to be able to list for free on a platform that everyone uses.
    RM ISN'T available but FB is!!
    If I can list for FREE to sell stuff INCLUDING my property why would I bother paying vast commissions for somebody else to do so!!??
    I'm just about to buy a shed on FB.
    From a retailer for a very good price and better than anywhere else.
    Direct from factory I believe.
    The days of the middleman may well be numbered due to FB!!

  • Velgram Quaid

    "The nirvana for private property sellers is to be able to list for free on a platform that everyone uses. "

    I don't use Facebook, and neither do millions of other people.


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