ForRent.com will integrate its apartment listings into Facebook Marketplace through a new partnership with online classified provider Oodle.
The company began powering classified ads on Facebook about 18 months ago to help boost usage of the social network's marketplace section launched in 2007.
ForRent.com, which has more than 50,000 apartment listings, aims to harness the social interactions of Facebook users to drive leads and referrals for property managers and owners nationwide that advertise through the site.
ForRent.com listings also appear on Oodle.com, which is integrated with Facebook Marketplace so that logged-in Facebook members can use the same features as on the social network, like posting comments or sharing apartment ads with friends. Oodle, which has 14 million users overall, also powers classifieds on AOL and MySpace.
"Our partnership with Oodle provides a human element to our customers' listings and brings a trust factor to the rental process, since users can see how their friends and friends of friends are connected to listings, ask questions, receive feedback, make comments and respond to listings," stated Brock MacLean, senior vice president, national sales and development at ForRent.com.
In addition to standard listings, apartment advertisers will have the option to upgrade to Marketplace Expert, a package offering priority placement in search results, more photos, online video, advanced social interaction reporting, and Facebook page development, among other services. That option will be offered free for a limited time at the outset.
Oodle CEO Craig Donato emphasized that it's crucial for building managers and apartment owners to establish a presence on Facebook. Dedicated pages for their properties can attract fans and help generate word-of-mouth among users and connections between residents they may know on Facebook. The pages will also provide another way for people to access and act on a company's apartment ads.
"We're trying to promote the benefit of using Facebook to this community," said Donato, who noted that monthly traffic to Facebook Marketplace had gone from about 100,000 to 6 million since Oodle started running the service. The company added more social features to the marketplace in December.