According to recent news sources, the two big brands of online, Amazon and Facebook are all set to enter the domain of real estate. although these two powerhouses do not list real estate in their arsenal of expertise, they have planned to hit the real estate industry, and soon.
The giant of the online shopping world, selling everything from various household items to electronics, books, and website hosting solutions. It may sound unusual for Amazon to enter the world of real estate, except for the countless customers that trust Amazon, who buy online. As such, adding real estate is just another step towards Amazon’s world domination.
Amazon commenced their real estate move by including a link on their website as “Hire a Realtor”, which raised many questions for its competitors as well as its customers. However, it may not yet be functional, it has caused many big names in real estate like Zillow, Redfin, and Movato to raise eyebrows. These big brands in real estate are a bit worried and probably should be, what if users visit Amazon to find a realtor or an agent instead of coming to their respective websites. To get listed on the Amazon Hire a Realtor service, agents will pay a small referral fee to Amazon. The idea behind Amazon’s entrance into real estate is not all world domination related, they have stated, the goal is to “prevent smugness”. We shall see.
The giant of social media with around 2 billion active users all over the world. Earlier in April 2012, Facebook purchased Instagram at a record price of $1 billion US. When Instagram merged with Facebook, it brought 700 million active users with along with it.
The combined powers of Facebook and Instagram made Facebook a powerful marketing tool for the real estate industry, which has seen real estate agents flock to the service for self-marketing. Interested buyers who use the platform frequently access these web pages to explore new listings, photos, open house schedule and video tours. Now, Facebook is actually progressing in real estate industry.
Last month, Facebook hit the real estate industry and offered advertisements to the brokers to advertise their home listings on the social media platform. The tool is named as Dynamic Ads for Real Estate. Firstly the tool asks the company to merge the data available on their websites for home listings with Facebook Ads. Upon completion of the merger, Facebook creates different ads using the listings based on the search activity of the home listing data on the company’s website. The results are displayed in a slideshow.
Facebook’s objective behind adding advertisements related to real estate is to hold the users for longer on Facebook and Instagram and generate revenue through advertising.
The hurdle for Facebook is convincing advertisers, agents, franchisees and the like to part with their protected data. Which, from our previous experience with real estate technology, is not going to be an easy sell…
Is it something to panic about?
The answer entirely depends on the person you will be asking. Zillow, one of the heavyweights in real estate, is worried about the rapidly growing competition around them. When asked the same question to the CEO of Zillow, he said, Amazon is a horizontal player in real estate and is competing as a horizontal player. Horizontal players certainly would face problems while competing with the vertical players. He feels that Amazon is certainly targeting and competing through a different area of real estate altogether [aside from Zillow]. Also, he believes that the Dynamic Ads for Real Estate, the marketing tool of Facebook will soon prove to be a competitor for Zillow. And is the key reason Zillow is investing in the same services.
This statement came later when Zillow joined hands with Facebook on somewhat similar, but a different deal known as Premier Agents Direct. The deal is all about Trulia’s Premier Agents and Zillow advertising their listings via Facebook with the help of Seller Boost Ads to gain potential clients.
To conclude, he said he is little worried about external big brands drifting into the industry without any experience. He assured the users that Zillow isn’t scared about the competition at all.
Facebook’s massive traffic and Amazon’s online excellence can certainly prove to be profitable for the real estate industry. Both the big brands will attract more sellers, buyers and professionals to their websites. Since Amazon and Facebook are biggies in online shopping and social media, a lot of expectations are linked to them. Whether the whole idea turns out to be mind blowing, worst venture or a slow and temporary success can be discovered only with time.
What we can be certain of, is the shift from portals to different services like what Amazon & Facebook propose.