Landlord News

Gumtree – Friend or Foe?

Rose - November 3, 2016

James Davis – Portfolio landlord & property expert

After being a landlord for 22 years and becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of quality tenant find services for landlords, James started Upad. Upad has mastered the intricacies of online to provide landlords a service they can rely on. In this article, James outlines the pros and cons of using Gumtree to find tenants.

Is it time to stop advertising on Gumtree?

Gumtree - Friend or Foe?

Gumtree – Friend or Foe?

Gumtree, with its village noticeboard approach to classified adverts, has long been the alternative choice for rental property seekers.

The benefits are simple: Landlords reduce costs, as they can advertise their properties without paying for magazine space or property agents. Tenants save time and money, with the ability to flick from home to home, striking deals and dodging agency fees.

Right now, Gumtree is still highly popular. But is it about to be left behind as spam, adverts and unreliable tenant leads flood its user base? In today’s digitally-focused market, should landlords forget about Gumtree?

Around the houses

Where rivals Rightmove and Zoopla have refined their user experience and functionality, Gumtree remains an unspecialised, classifieds website with a rental section, alongside used cars and musical equipment listings. This gives the specialist sites the upper hand, since their search functionality is specifically geared towards happy house hunting. Let’s look at the location criterion as an example of how specialist sites are better for users:

On Zoopla, you can draw lines on a map to define your search area, save the map and come back to it later. On Gumtree, the most refined you can get is village level, such as Hertford. There is no advanced search function to combine areas either. This is clunky and time-consuming for users who are increasingly trying to cram flat hunting into dead time, like during commutes.

Weak stock, fewer options

Gumtree’s problems mean the site only attracts a small fraction of the housing stock on the market at any one time. This might seem attractive to a landlord; a good property on Gumtree will have less competition than some of the bigger property portals.

Having fewer properties, however, means fewer tenants will bother visiting the site – supply could eventually outstrip demand. Furthermore, due to a laxer approach to posts and how they are moderated, Gumtree has become inundated with spammy and out-of-date ads.

The low quality of Gumtree’s site in turn attracts low quality users. Research by Upad found that the quality of enquiries from Gumtree users was lower than enquiries made via the leading online property portals. It took four Gumtree enquires to every Rightmove lead to successfully let a property.

To discover the most effective way to find tenants in a digital age, check out Upad, the UK’s largest online letting agent.