Internet listing services (ILS) providers, including the Zillow Group, Zumper, and Apartments.com owner CoStar, had a crazy year in 2022. Tenant Turner examined inbound lead data from 2022 and discovered seven web sources accounted for the many leads received nationwide. Many websites will automatically post your advertising for you if you use a syndication feed from Tenant Turner, requiring no additional work. Based on where your potential tenants are looking for residential rentals, we’ve included some of the top free and paid rental listing sites below.
On the Tenant Turner leasing automation platform, Zumper unexpectedly overtook Zillow Group in 2019 as the ILS that produced the most tenant leads. Later, in 2020, Zillow Group reclaimed the top spot and maintained it through 2021. The Zillow Group is the undisputed leader for the year and is expanding its market share. However, it isn’t relatively as high as in 2017 and preceding years, when they accounted for about 78% of tenant leads.
A careful inspection of tenant lead source by month reveals a competitive race between Zumper and Zillow Group for most of 2021, with Zillow Group taking a clear lead towards the end of the year.
What led to this? In September, Facebook Marketplace stopped allowing Zumper to post rental feeds, a major source of their tenant lead traffic. A short time after Facebook made that choice, Zumper began charging for listings, which decreased the number of listings on their site and, consequently, the number of tenant leads they produced. Before October 1st, all single-family rental postings on Zumper were free. They now only permit a maximum of five free listings per month.
This change benefited not only the Zillow Group but also Apartment List, CoStar, and Realtor.com, in 2021. RedFin just acquired RentPath and intends to breathe fresh life into Apartment Guide, Rent.com, and Rentals.com after they had been dormant for some time.
With its recent purchases, CoStar has made the most significant stride forward and now controls many websites, including Apartments.com, Homes.com, HomeSnap, Houses.com, and ForRent.com. Although it has continued to develop steadily, less than 7% of tenant leads come from Realtor.com. Without a purchase, their growth will probably continue at a slow pace.
Both Zumper and Apartment List currently account for roughly 5% of tenant leads after raising over $150M in VC capital, closing on their Series D in 2020. We’ll watch how they make more investments to increase their market share. Although RentPath still has a lot of catching up to do, they have a chance to have a bigger impact in 2022 after being acquired by RedFin for $608 million in April 2021.
List of the top 7 rental listing sites
#1: Your Website for Property Management
Nothing can be better than your own website when it comes to rental listing sites. There are two benefits to posting your current listings on your site. One, you showcase all your vacant rentals in one location, along with descriptions and full-color photos. Users may view all your listings in one place.
Two, adding listings to your website enhances SEO. If you’ve used the appropriate keywords, your listing will show up higher in the search results if someone is looking for a home in your area on Google.
There are a few things to remember:
- To prevent your site from loading slowly, resize and compress your photos.
- Listings and images should be mobile-friendly. Most consumers use their mobiles to do online searches.
#2: Zillow Group
Out of all the rental listing sites, Zillow tops the list.
The Zillow Group consists of HotPads, Trulia, and Zillow. Although there are many other free options, using Zillow has advantages. Designating your ads as “Verified Listings” displayed at the top of search results will set them apart from the competition. Additionally, Zillow provides premium assistance and nightly listing updates to paying customers.
#3: CoStar Group
With sites like Apartments.com, Homes.com, HomeSnap, Houses.com, ForRent.com, and many others, CoStar Group offers the most extensive and rapidly expanding network of listing websites. There is no additional work required on your part to increase the reach of your listing because the sites also accept syndication feeds. CoStar provides an exemption from payment for single-family rentals and structures with fewer than five units.
This website has been around since 1996 and is well-respected. While property managers use Realtor.com for rent and sale listings, it also runs DoorSteps, a different rental listing website. But according to Tenant Turner, in 2021, only 7% of tenant leads originated from Realtor.com.
When you list with Zumper, your properties also display on the US and Canadian website Padmapper, which allows users to enter a location and price and view a map of nearby listings.
#6: Apartment List
Apartment List offers a white-glove apartment search experience individualized to your target lead’s tastes. Renters can easily find apartments close to universities using the search functionality, or they can use keywords like “luxury” or “affordable” to narrow their search. Although Tenant Turner technically offers a free listing service, they also provide a more comprehensive pay-per-lease program.
#7: Social Media
Don’t underrate the influence of your social media channels. You can post your listings as per availability. You can schedule posts and post concurrently on various websites using tools like Hootsuite.
Be unique with your posts. Advertise in local groups on Facebook. You can use IGTV on Instagram to stream walkthroughs.
Remember to post there as well if you use Nextdoor. Users of Nextdoor can join their area on this hyperlocal social networking platform. An estimated 27 million people use it each month.
Last, don’t undervalue the potential of creating a personal online identity. Please include a photo of yourself, describe your ideal rental, and explain how people may get in touch with you. As internet rental listing sites evolve, these channels might become more crucial.
We advise against posting to Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Fake listings made by con artists are present on both platforms. Use a watermark to protect your images and keep them away from these sites.