Landlords who have been advertising their rental properties for free using Gumtree will have to adjust to a new regime. The listing website owned by Ebay which has been the stalwart of many landlord trying to let their property on the cheap has announced that it will be no longer free for all landlords.
Landlords will continue to be able to list 2 properties for free each year. After that they
have a choice:
• pay £9.95 for each property to advertise individually, or
• take on a monthly account at £50 pcm.
After this earth shattering news for many professional landlords. We thought we’d see if it’s still possible to market your buy-to-lets for FREE.
Property Hawk Internet trawl
Firstly, having carried out a little market research it’s clear that there are still plenty of websites where a landlord can advertise their property for FREE. A brief search revealed these:
Similar to Gumtree. Another US listing site with loads of traffic. More popular in big cities so if you outside London might not be that well used for rental properties. Rudimentary search system makes it not that easy to use for tenants searching for property
Another general listing site similar to Gumtree and Craiglist. This UK version has reasonable search facility and good traffic so might be worth a shot.
Spare room is a specialist property listing site for landlords with shared houses or a resident landlord with rooms to let out. If their stats are to be believed they have more than 1.8 million users so there should be lots of prospective tenants giving your property a once over.
If you think the celebrity effect will help you let your property. How about Sarah Beenys’ latest creation. From my brief play there seems v.few properties to rent so maybe landlords are still not convinced. A high media and Twitter profile might still save the little ladies blushes.
Slick looking site but when I tried a search no properties. A problem! If your experience is different and I’m missing something let me know.
Let a life
Not the slickest of looking websites but don’t be put on by it’s rather dodgy looking graphics. There are quite a few properties listed from my brief play around. There is also a facility to allow tenants to post up their letting requirements so in theory you could search for tenants looking to rent in your area too. Oh and off course it’s free.
Is there a drawback?
So does the motto ring true when it comes to FREE Internet marketing? Do you get what you pay for?
Certainly one of the big drawbacks with the free listing sites I’ve looked at is that they will not get your property on the sites that matter such as Rightmove, Globix, Findaproperty, etc.
Makeurmove which purports to get a landlords property on all the big property portals for ‘nowt’. Well there must be a catch? Apparently not.
The site claims to make their money by charging tenants a fee for registering and being referenced of 120 pounds + vat. It seems like a great idea. However, looking at the number of properties listed, it’s not attracting much interest.
Here is the rub with property marketing. It’s all about the number of tenants searching on the site. It might be a great site and a great idea but without any tenants using it you could be wasting your time. Time will tell on this site.
In terms of letting and selling property Rightmove still is a dominant force despite the efforts of young upstarts like Globix, Zoopla, etc. Unfortunately, landlords can’t access these rental portals independently but there is a host of websites that will do it for you for a small fee.
These are all sites that I have heard about and will get your property on the property portals that matter. Cost is about 50 quid. I’d be interested to here about your experiences.
Free vs paying to list your property
In my view despite the choice and attraction of using a free marketing site, if you are going to try to let your property yourself it’s still worth paying the 50 pounds or so to get yourself on the big portals to give you the maximum chance. Remember a rental void would be much more expensive. Gumtree’s decision to charge will obviously lessen its attractiveness for larger portfolio landlords. Still it’s always worth experimenting with one or two of the bigger free websites. When it comes to Internet marketing there is no such thing as a ‘catch all’.
What’s your experience of using listing websites? Are free sites worth a go? Which are the best?
would just add LOOT charges for property rental adverts, it was free like gumtree some years back, once they started charging, their property list shrinked, not many landlords use LOOT now, I suspect same will happen to Gumtree once landlords have found alternatives.
We do an ‘Advertise Only’ package which puts clients’ properties onto Rightmove, Zoopla, our website, UK Property Shop etc..
We charge £25.00 + VAT per month or a one-off fee of £69.00 + VAT unlimited, i.e. until let.
This works really well to offer maximum exposure for the client, and we also get the chance to cross-sell tenant referencing, inventories, tenancy agreements etc. It also offsets part of the absolutely outrageous cost of Rightmove (£950+ per month).
Let me know if it’s something that may be of interest to you, and keep up the good work with Property Hawk. A great read every time.
After reading your article about gumtree I believe you are interested in hearing about free versus paid for advertising. I am one of those landlords who use gumtree and paid for a rental portal to get my properties on the big sites. When deciding which to go for I compared the services offerings of a few of companies and my findings are thus:
Letting a property had lots of extra benefits such as landlord paperwork, but as I had these already that made little difference, they offered a £9 package (and still do) but as that just get you on their own site, if you give them £29 (+VAT) you get the benefits and onto Zoopla and Globrix, however not rightmove as you say the market leader, this silver package lasts for a month, then there is a renewal fee of another £29. Landlord Direct can advertise your property on Rightmove and others for £39 (+VAT) for up to three months. Whereas Discount Letting advertises your property on rightmove along with others on their Tenant Finder Service. Upad offers to advertise your property on multiple sites for an unlimited time for £69, which when I went back to check my findings I found that you recommend. I also in my research found Visum, charguing £29.38 for unlimited advertisement with Rightmove and other top names, this is the company which Itried and would like to recomment to fellow landlords.
I have let multiple properties through Visum and my experiance has only been positive, yes I did go with them because they where the cheapest method I could find to advertise on Rightmove, but I found that I liked their service too. For example when I needed to change to advert I could (no extra cost), I recieved timely e-mails from them from tenant enquires, when I had any questions I could phone or e-mail them and receive a prompt response. what differentiates them, I suppose from others, is that rather than charging you for an extra month, they will give you your money back if you have had no enquires about your property from the adverts in thirty days. I went for the price but the service level I enjoy is worth more, so I wish to share my experiance with other readers and recommend them.
On another note may I take this opportunity to thank you for the service you provide, I am one of your subscribers that not only reads your articles but saves them, in case I need to refer to them in the future. Being a landlord is so different from working in other sectors where you have colleagues with whom you can share work experiances: your service allows landlords to share information and keep them updated, similar to a team meeting but without the office politics. Just wanted to say thank you.