Hacks for Zillow Ads?

6 Replies

After all these years, it finally looks there's a serious challenger in Zillow to Craigslist domination. There's just too many spammy scams on Craigslist now and enough people have started to use Zillow that I think the tide has turned with most of my responses are coming from Zillow now. 

By now, I think I've figured out how to market a rental on Craigslist. But, if Zillow has become this important, then its necessary to write killer ads on Zillow too. 

But, I'm running into a couple of issues that I wonder if anybody here has figured out yet:

1) How do you make the Zillow description more readable?

On Craigslist, I could add enough html so that there would be blank lines between sentences and bullet points.

But, even though I transferred over the Craigslist code to Zillow, the Zillow description is just 1 big blob of unreadable text. 

It looks like most Zillow listings share this same fate, but then I also saw one ad that was able to keep spaces in between sentences and used graphic icons to tell you about parking, pets, etc..

2) How do you refresh a Zillow listing so that it appears higher on new listings?

If your Zillow listing is old enough to fall back on the 2nd page, the response drop significantly. On Craigslist, you could just delete the listing and repost the ad.

3) Can you write two separate ads, one for Zillow and one for Trulia?

Right now, Zillow owns Trulia and it will automatically send your Zillow ad and post it onto Trulia.

But, Zillow and Trulia ads are different. Trulia retains the html code I used for Craigslist so that the Trulia ad was more readable with space in between sentences and with bullet points. That same ad was just 1 big block of text on Zillow. 

Since more people are using Zillow than Trulia, I had to write the ad so that it was geared more towards Zillow readers by shortening the ad and deleting a lot of text. At the same time, I had to keep references to lease terms, pets, and security deposit in the text even though there's a separate section for that on Zillow because there's not that same section on Trulia. 

following, i know you can increase SEO for your listing by posting more links to your zillow property from other sites.

@Atwan Kwan is correct, AppFolio (just the one I am familiar with but can be applied to other systems) does a synchronization to all major websites. The postings may not be any more legible than others, due to the mass information pulling, but our listings are always optimized within the site and/or external search engines. 

We are able to collect large quantity of leads and, with using lean processing, can extract the quality leads, thus allowing us to maintain a less than 1% vacancy rate.

Craigslist is important to stand out due to the large number of scams and unreliable posts, but for Zillow and other reputable platforms, this isn't the case. Don't worry as much about them looking better than the competition but rather being found. Do this by being on as many marketing platforms as possible. 


@Josh L. for #1 there was another thread on this a few weeks ago and no one was able to find a way to keep the html from being stripped.  The only way I have heard of the formatting being retained is if the ad is posted through a third-party site to Zillow as they don't have the same formatting rules for syndicated ads, from what I heard.  

Originally posted by @Rick S. :

@Josh L. for #1 there was another thread on this a few weeks ago and no one was able to find a way to keep the html from being stripped.  The only way I have heard of the formatting being retained is if the ad is posted through a third-party site to Zillow as they don't have the same formatting rules for syndicated ads, from what I heard.  

What are these third party sites?

Appfolio seems like one, but its only worth it if you have enough units to justify the cost. 

I found that earlier thread and I found some limited success in improving the format of the text to make it more readable for Zillow. 

But, then checked it out on a Zillow app and realized it was all for naught because it all became a unreadable mess if you're looking for a place on mobile.

zillow has been the go to site for 2-3 yrs now. CL is long dead when it comes to even remotely quality tenants.

put more pics on zillow. have a nice house. everything else will take care of itself.

Hi @Josh L. some other sites like RentLinx or Trulia were what I had in mind.  

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