OK, I know there are a bunch of options out there, and yes there are also a bunch of EXISTING threads out there on various websites and syndication services. Yet I still find it confusing and all over the place so please forgive me on posting yet another one.
A bit of a background. In the beginning my rental ads are quite simple. I advertised on Postlets which syndicated to Zillow, Trulia and Hotpads. I also posted on Craigslist, and I put a sign up on my yard. I get my properties rented. After a while I noticed most of my leads were coming from Zillow and Trulia. None from Hotpads. None from CL. I soon dropped the CL ads. I also do not get much out of the sign, I also have plenty of referrals from previous tenants. So I stopped doing the signs as well.
Then Postlets became Zillow Rental Manager, and I started to see bugs, "features" get scrambled, my single story single family home suddenly is listed as having elevators and doorman. Some photos are gone. I usually hid my phone number and prefer initial contact by email, suddenly was getting calls, for some reason my phone number is now listed even the toggle was to hide it. A bunch of features used to be on Postlets are no longer available on Zillow, plus now a weekly fee to advertise. Yet I am still using it because it seems to have the widest reach.
I started to look for other sites.
First I looked at Realtor.com, and it redirects me to Cozy. On Cozy I filled out a new listing. Seems simple enough. Here are my notes on Cozy. Cozy syndicates to Realtor.com, Move.com and Apartments.com.
What I like about Cozy
- Easy user interface
- Has a video tour option
What I don't like about Cozy
- Many of the fields like descriptions and amenities have a maximum character limit. There is nothing more frustrating when you pasted a well thought out description and you are 34 characters too long. There shouldn't really be a limit, we are not back in the days of IBM punch cards or DOS 1.1, come on!
- Unable to hide unit number in an apartment. This was a useful feature of Postlets that Zillow took away too. You may have an 8 unit building where you show the address, but unit 5 is vacant but you don't want to publish unit 5 is the vacant apartment.
- Photos has to be selected from a list, can't drag and drop like 99.9% of the web site today.
- If you do not wish to use their screening and application services, it may not be the best place to list your properties. For example, they have a choice on the site to turn on and off whether to use Cozy's screening and Cozy's application. If you turn them OFF, your listing will say SCREENING IS NOT REQUIRED and APPLICATION IS NOT REQUIRED. This makes the interested renters think I don't require screening nor application. I just don't want to use Cozy's!
- There is no place in the ads dedicated to "Terms" such as month to month or 1 year lease, how much to move in, minimum income requirements, and how much application fee...now this is probably they expect all these to be part of the Cozy screening, but I don't even want to BEGIN to screen or show until I do the pre-qualification and I want to state those up front.
So next I looked at Apartments.com. I don't have any problem with it's software or user interface. Process seems to be smooth. A few things I like and dislike.
What I like about Apartments
- Super easy user interface
- They have an option where you can get a free yard or window sign put up for you at your rental. This may work for some. I don't publish my phone number and want to prequalify by email first before giving out phone number and schedule showings so that doesn't work for me.
What I don't like about Apartments
- My account goes into pending mode and will not activate until its been reviewed.
- The listing goes into pending mode. Then you get an email saying someone from their team will call me personally to validate the listing. When will that be? Monday?
Next, I tried LiveLovely.com. I guess I don't really understand this site. The front page says copyrighted 2015. Does it mean it has been on autopilot since 2015? I clicked on Help and Feedback and it goes blank. I found a page about creating a listing on there and the page has a security issue my browser rejected, saying it has a misconfigured page or a expired certificate. So I moved on.
Next I looked at RentDigs.com. It supposedly will syndicate to Oodle, Trovit and RentJungle. However I was turned off my it's front page. Lots of ads and some popups, about free credit scores, free this, free that, really annoying and I don't see myself survive the process of creating a listing. I think they make money on clicks more than anything, so I moved on.
Next I looked at ZumperPro,com. It will syndicate to Padmapper.com as well. I created a listing on Zumper Pro. Software seems OK, fairly standard. It also has integrated screening and application. A few things I don't like.
What I don't like about Zumper Pro
- Some parts of the listing creation is buggy. There are fields that are "optional" but if you don't click and fill in the "NEXT" button stays disabled.
When you dragged in photos, there is no provision to put a caption next to each photo.
If you have a photo you added which you would like to delete later, it seems you can't.
No video tour.
Would like to see what else is out there that may be worth it to give it a try. My experience on some of these are very brief, so if I miss something please set me straight.