Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no doubting that Facebook is one of the biggest websites in the country, continent, or the universe (as far as we know). With that in mind, how can you use the world’s largest social network to find your next home? Using Facebook to find your next home is actually more common than you might think!
In order to help you begin, and to narrow down the tools you can use, we have sourced the four best ways that you can use Facebook to optimize your search.
For our purposes, we wanted to focus on three things to benefit your search:
- Access to listings
- Access to sellers
- Access to agents/real estate professionals
With all these in mind, here is what you can do to start your home search and how to use Facebook to find your next home.
1. Facebook Marketplace
In late 2016, Facebook released a platform called Marketplace. Developed as an alternative to Kijiji or Craigslist, Marketplace is a great place to start, whether you are buying or selling. You can browse by keywords alone, by price or even filter by category (“housing” would be a great start). As results pop up, you can make contact with the poster through your account (meaning that you can essentially broker a deal through Facebook Messenger).
2. Real estate-specific groups
Have you ever heard of Bunz Trading Zone? This Canadian startup has its roots in Toronto, but you can find it all throughout major Canadian cities. One of its subsidiaries, Bunz Home Zone, is specifically catering to those looking for homes. Specifically for renters, this is a great opportunity to find folks who are trying to sublet, transition leases, or want a tenant they can trust (or at least get to know better at first).
3. Follow agents/teams
This is going to be helpful if you are looking to buy, and less if you want to rent. A great idea would be to target specific areas and try to find some agents in the area who you might be able to “like” on Facebook. The thing about this is even though you can search for their listings, many may have “coming soon” or “exclusive” listings specifically in your neck of the woods. Especially in hotter markets like Toronto or Vancouver, this can help you take the first step (while being first in line).
4. The power of referrals
One of the easiest, and potentially best, things you can do is also one of the simplest. Whether you are looking to buy or sell, access the power of your own network and post your needs on Facebook. While you might not be able to directly benefit from this, the hope is that friends of friends may be able to either put you in touch with someone who might be looking to sell their home.
The benefits of Facebook
The benefits of Facebook boil down to one concept: access. You can find people listing homes, condos and apartments (for sale or rent) throughout the nation, all on one platform. This is incredibly helpful because it gives you a central location to start your search while being able to interact directly with those selling. It may be a great passive opportunity to make inroads in the market, before looking more seriously.
The drawbacks of Facebook
This concept of access is something of a double-edged sword because it also means that Facebook is absolutely filled to the brim with listings you may not want to see (or that may not be as reliable as they seem). For this reason, you might be spending more time sorting out the bad from the good — rather than relying on solid leads to find your dream home.
Facebook can be beneficial in your home search toolbox, but relying on it solely is probably going to do your search more harm than good — as much as you can find listings, you might not be able to find the best listings. For this reason, use it to cast a wide net to start your search, whether you’re looking for an immediate rental or a forever home. It can help but, as is the case with any social network, tread lightly even if you’re using Facebook to find your next home!