In 2018, Zillow Rental Manager was introduced. The technology helps property managers save time and money. How? It screens prospective clients, performs background checks and collects rent payments. In turn, this saves renters time and stress. And property management gets great tenants!
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How Does Zillow Rental Manager Work?
Zillow established its Rental Manager after its Consumer Housing Report revealed that the majority of renters want to apply for rentals and pay rent online. The report also showed that renters in competitive rental markets often only have three months notice or less to find a place to live. With Zillow Rental Manager, speed is key! Here’s how the process works for renters:
- Renters pay a $29 application fee and complete an online application.
- Zillow pulls a credit report from Experian.
- Checkr conducts a background check and flags eviction history.
- Renters offer any explanations or context concerning their credit history.
- Then, renters can submit that completed application as many times as their search needs for 30 days.
- Once they have signed a lease for a property, they can continue online payment through Zillow Rental Manager. This can be with a debit or credit card.
List with Zillow Rental Manager
Basically, Zillow Rental Manager streamlines the entire rental process. This offers a better experience for both renters and property managers. Landlords and property managers of condos, houses and apartments in buildings with fewer than 50 units can take advantage of the service.
Here’s how you can use Zillow Rental Manager to list your rental listing and collect rent:
- Visit zillow.com and log into your Zillow account. (Or create one.)
- Create your listing.
- Enter property details.
- Price your rental competitively.
- Add media and photos.
- Wait for your listing to reach renters! Zillow Rental Manager shows listings across Zillow Group’s rental sites. This includes Zillow, Trulia, and HotPads.
- Manage applications and screen tenants. Contacts from Zillow and Trulia are complete with the renter’s details. This includes income, pet information and credit score, for example.
- Compare applicants in Zillow’s database to narrow down to the best options.
- Once you’ve signed a lease, you can start collecting rent online!
Tip: Zillow Rental Manager is not available in New York City, where Zillow’s partner site StreetEasy is popular.
Collect Rent with Zillow Rental Manager
So you listed your property with Zillow Rental Manager and got some stellar tenants! Now, save the hassle of tracking down checks every month by allowing your tenants to pay rent directly through Zillow. Here’s how:
- Log into Zillow Rental Manager and select the property you’d like to set up payments for. (Or, list a new property to get started. See above.)
- Choose a rent collection method.
- Verify your identity and follow subsequent steps on Zillow.
- Invite your renter to pay online with ACH, credit or debit. They can pay online with ACH for free. Or, they can pay a fee to pay with a credit or debit card.
- Collect rent and get paid automatically.
Why Rent Collection Is Easy
Zillow president Jeremy Wacksman says renters want to streamline their entire rental process online. Most landlords don’t have the resources to offer this on their own.
This is where Zillow Rental Manager comes in. We already know it can benefit the renter. Here’s how it can help you as a property manager:
- The online payment tool is completely free for you. (It’s also free for the tenant if they choose ACH.)
- You can set up automatic payments (Aka: Never wait for a check in the mail).
- Zillow’s database has teflon security. They are partnered with Strip and Plaid to keep information safe.
- Easily deposit rental payments directly into your bank account.
Why Realtors Should Use Zillow Property Manager
If you work for a large real estate firm, chances are you have a method in place to vet prospective tenants. But for independent real estate agents, this can be tedious and expensive.
When renters apply through Zillow Rental Manager, you can easily see their credit report, verified income and eviction history.
Another thing to keep in mind is that applying for a rental is a huge leap of faith on the part of the renter. (Anyone else ever forked over that $100 application fee only to find out you didn’t get the apartment?)
Applicants must have confidence that they will be approved for the apartment. They must also have faith in you as a realtor that you aren’t pitting their applications against others. And, they must trust that you will keep their information secure.
On the other hand, Zillow is a trusted name renters can be comfortable giving their information to. They pay only one $30 fee and can apply for multiple properties.
This means you as a real estate agent can be free to compare applicants and weigh them against one another. And your property owners will be comfortable knowing the tenant has been thoroughly vetted.
Zillow Rental Manager Pros and Cons
Zillow Rental Manager lets landlords log onto their online account or mobile app and manage multiple properties right from their phone. Here are some pros and cons real estate agents and property managers have expressed about using the service.
- Listings are syndicated across Zillow, Trulia, and HotPads.
- Fill listings faster.
- Receive very detailed report.
- Easily tell prospects to go to Zillow and apply.
- Know if applicants are qualified before you even show the house.
- The decision is ultimately yours, so you can always email the most qualified applicants and request follow up information.
- Zillow doesn’t reach Craigslist or Apartments.com.
- Renters must make the final decision themselves. (Opposed to sites like Resident Research that will approve, decline, or say conditional with deposit for you.)
- It is optional for applicants to enter their social security number. If they choose not to, some details may not be available.
- You can’t modify application questions.
Zillow’s Rental Manager platform seeks to lighten the burden for landlords by offering a free platform that makes it easy to attract and screen tenants. We recommend this to investors seeking a little help in the leasing process without hiring a property manager.
User Review( votes)
As a former property manager, I know how difficult managing even one rental property is. At its core, Zillow Rental Manager is not meant to be an all-in-one tool for professional property managers.
It’s simply meant to be an easy way to advertise your property, screen tenants, and collect rent. After all, these are the key functions most investors don’t have the time or expertise to do.
While I don’t think this product should be used by professional managers, it’s a great way to lighten the burden of owning a rental, and I’d recommend it to any landlord seeking a simple platform to streamline the leasing process.
Should You Use Zillow Rental Manager?
Whether you have a team of 20 or are a one-man (or woman) show, Zillow Rental Manager can make your life a lot easier. The biggest plus is that its services are completely free to you.
Many property managers have had success listing rentals faster and easier with the new tools. You can even collect rent once you’ve filled the vacancy. It’s a great option to streamline the process, and renters can apply through a recognizable, trusted name.