Zillow Rental Manager

36 Replies

Now that Zillow Rental Manager is going to start charging $9.99/wk per property, what is everyone planning on using? Is Zillow still the best avenue for advertising rentals?

@Junior Correa

I have not heard about the fee and not sure what it covers but if they spend the $9.99 tweaking/ improving their site, features and visibility, it’s a value.

I would estimate I spend more than a hundred dollars per property on initial set up time and it pays dividends when they deliver clicks, views, interested party’s and I can simply freshen the listing after each tenant.

You could easily spend much more creating visibility elsewhere or on your own.

Good luck.

I have been using FB marketplace with huge success.

It has been the most effective way for me to advertise.

If zillow is going to charge then I can live without them.

It is popular to go through Z because its also owns Trulia, and Hotpads.  I am not a bit surprised to see them charge a fee as it is overdue. Z is getting creamed and they are in lending, title, flipping homes. 

What will happen is most landlords will switch to Craigslist and join all the scammers there. There are new rental sites up constantly.

Originally posted by @Mark Fries :

@Junior Correa

This is not accurate. The $9.99 only applies to a handful of huge markets/cities...

The other 95% of markets/cities will still be no charge.

Actually, FL is about to be $9.99. Heres a snippet:

"Beginning on September 3, 2019, listing properties in Florida with Zillow Rental Manager will cost $9.99 per week while that property is actively listed for rent. Each account’s first listing is free. Read more below if you have any questions about this change." 

I wonder if they plan on charging also for listings that they get through the MLS

I think this may be a good thing. Craigslist is still free, but has been overrun by scammers. The scammers have started using Zillow too. By forcing credit card for listings, it will greatly reduce the junk and scammers. Easier for my property to stand out with less other listings. Ultimately $10 a week is very little. My properties rent in 2-3 weeks, so what is $20-30 in the grand scheme of things?

Facebook is still free, but you have to deal with all the tire kickers and flakes. Think about your time is worth people and you will see the value in paying for quality.

My biggest concern: I like to get my listings up real early so I can coordinate an open house.  It's not uncommon for me to list my rentals 1-2 months before vacancy.  I'm not sure I want to spend $80-100 for that, although it beats vacancy.

@Maya Roberts - That is a great practice to follow (generally 30 to 60 days prior); and while some of the major platforms are trying to change their listing practices, still could be worthwhile to look into a tool where one listing will syndicate to multiple sites.

@Junior Correa - if you're still looking for recommendations, I can definitely send one your way. Could be worth looking into a resource that helps with not just listing, but also tenant screening, lease creation, rent collection, and maintenance tracking :) - Check your DM, just sent you a recommendation. I hope it helps! 

It will list your rental for free on zillow, trulia and hotpads. You can also use it to do applications and backround checks

Andrew, I just read the email too. Pretty bummed as I post fairly continuously on there. We must have received the Texas email at the same time and both come to BiggerPockets looking for answers.

Originally posted by @Andrew Durosola :

Just received an email that beginning in March it will cost 9.99 per week to listen rentals in Texas


I'd be more willing to pay their fee if they would get rid of that infernal "one click reply" feature they have.

I spend a lot of time carefully crafting my ad to attract the right people and help pre-screen by including qualifying questions.  Over 95% of my replies from Zillow are automated triggers from the one-click feature, so instead of getting the information I request, I get an email that says "Joe M. is interested in 123 Main St."  This is of absolutely no help to me, so I have manually cut/paste the body of my ad into a reply to the auto-message to ask (again) for their qualifying criteria.  It burns my a$$ that I try hard to systemetize my business and this feature eliminates that efficiency.  This is a PITA but I tolerate it because I still get some good leads.  Thankfully, CL still yields about 50% of my qualified applicants.

If Zillow is going to charge me $10/week AND make me manually re-distribute my ad content to each "one-click" lead individually, I am going to give FB marketplace a try.  I have not used it yet but hear great things from others in my market that do.

@Wesley W.

You are so correct, not a single one of the leads ever sees the actual rental criteria and ends up asking the same questions just to be weeded out. Though Facebook Marketplace has the exact same issue I have made a work around and just saved my usual responses to my clipboard for easy cut & paste. Most of my leads are coming from marketplace and apartments.com (which is also still free at the moment). I guess I'll supplement Craigslist for Zillow if I still have vacancies in March.

Everyone is used to getting this service free. Does anyone think this fee is unreasonable? 

Back in the day when people advertised in classified ads in newspapers they paid fees like this. 

I think in most cases I will only need ~2 weeks of advertising with their service to find a new tenant. 

I find almost all of my tenants through Zillow, Trulia and Hot Pads.  Apartments.com is way in the back - very few responses.  Generally it takes 2-3 weeks for most units to fill.  I don’t like the fee, but from a business perspective it makes sense.  I don’t use craigslist it’s a waste of my time and very poor results especially the quality of the tenants.  Hopefully the Zillow fee will be used to improve their site.

The main problem with them charging $9.99 a week is there is no VALUE ADD to the service. Send an email to Zillow, telling them you disapprove of this. Otherwise they will roll this out nation wide. 

There are plenty of other services to use, Apartment.com, Cozy, Realtor.com & Zumper Pro. With Zumper, they will put your ad on Facebook Market. Look for other ad services that cater to your local market.

Originally posted by @Mark Fries :

@Junior Correa

This is not accurate. The $9.99 only applies to a handful of huge markets/cities...

The other 95% of markets/cities will still be no charge.

 No, by February llinois, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Delaware, South Carolina, and North Carolina by March it's rolling out to Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.

It's coming to every state on a scheduled roll out.

Even I got the same email. Zillow is going to Charge $9.99. Though I am get enough leads from Facebook Marketplace and Sandora.co and all for free.Facebook gives me direct contact to the potential leads but I face issue closing the deal. This is where Sandora comes into the picture. It gave me all the solution in one single platform. From Posting a porperty to getting leads, scheduling a visit and sigining a rental contract. #Happyclient

 So, Bye Bye Zillow. 

Interesting about Sandora. Looks like a wannabe Zillow, but so far has no content in East TN at all. I've never heard of and doubt renters here have, either (and if they did? There are literally zero places listed there, not even major apt buildings).

As a Realtor I usually list my own properties in my local MLS, which then automatically syndicates to a lot of other platforms, including Zillow, Trulia and Hotpads...of all the platforms, Zillow by far generates the most leads for me.

Curious if anyone knows what will happen to this MLS-->Zillow feed? I don't see them easily charging a bunch of agents for this autofeed. And it seems to me that Zillow will lose a big piece of their marketplace function for renters if they cut out the MLS feeds...If all those MLS listings drop from Zillow, they will become less relevant for renters...

Anyhow, still searching for an answer to this piece of the puzzle if anyone knows!