Zillow’s New Tools Tackle Pain Points for Renters and Landlords

New features with Zillow’s new tools make the entire rental process faster and more efficient — from applying to checking backgrounds to collecting rent.

Today, Zillow, part of the largest rental network on the web, introduced new tools that give time-strapped renters a competitive edge and save landlords the hassle and time of screening prospective tenants, performing background checks, and collecting rent.

Now, using Zillow’s new tools, renters can apply for multiple rentals with one application – including background and credit reports — and pay their rent through new features on Zillow.

The 35 million renters who visit Zillow Group’s rental sites and mobile apps each month want the rental process to be as easy and seamless as other transactions in their life, like ordering groceries or booking a ride. According to the upcoming 2018 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report, the majority of renters want to send applications (59 percent) and pay their rent (57 percent) online.

Many renters live in highly competitive markets and are on tight timelines – half of the renters have less than three months’ notice to find a place to live– so speed is also important. In a typical search, renters fill out three applications with an average cost of $40 each, so a feature like online applications will streamline the process and help renters secure their next home quickly, efficiently, while saving money.

New features with Zillow’s new tools include:

  • Online applications. For a $29 fee, renters can submit one application as many times as necessary during their search within 30 days. The online application includes a credit report provided by Experian®, and an eviction history and background check powered by Checkr®. Renters also can offer any additional context and explanation on their rental and credit history.
  • Online payment. Renters can choose the payment type — debit or credit — that best fits their needs. Renters can also set up automatic payments. Property managers no longer need to collect payments, instead of having them delivered directly by Zillow Group.

“Renters tell us they want the entire rental process to happen online, from search to application to payment,” said Zillow president Jeremy Wacksman. “However, most landlords don’t have the resources to offer these services. We’re excited to provide the technology to help renters and landlords have a better experience.”

For landlords and property managers, not only do these new features remove the hassle and time commitment of managing additional vendors for background checks and collecting rental payments, but they also can request and collect applications and process rent payments within Zillow Rental Manager, the same platform where they manage their rental listings on Zillow. To start accepting applications and payments, users simply need to enable them within their Zillow Rental Manager account.