Zillow Rental Manager is a known property management software for landlords that also comes with features for buying or selling property. It is a SaaS platform that simplifies the complete rental process – from application and tenant screening to leasing contracts and rental payments. Zillow is an online real estate marketplace company that runs one of the largest real estate markets. Its online platform was created as a low-cost tool to list properties directly on Zillow’s network, advertise the listing, screen tenants, and create leases.

Zillow is a known name in the world of rental property management software. Recently, they started devoting efforts to expanding their scope and adding some new features and tools. Many landlords use the platform for advertising their vacancies, but now they’re facing notable charges for their listings. Until recently, the rental manager Zillow was free to use, but landlords now need to pay $9.99 per unit/per week to list their properties on the platform.

Because of the new fees, people are now thinking about whether they should continue using the platform and whether it’s worth paying for in order to keep their business running. Let’s take a closer look for an insightful Zillow Rental Manager review and also discuss some alternatives to the platform.

Zillow Rental Manager’s New Pricing

The new Zillow Rental Manager pricing got everyone thinking about what to do next. Should they switch to an alternative and make changes to their income property rental strategy? Or start paying and keep going their way? There are no tiered plans for Zillow Rental Manager because they charge on a per-listing basis with fixed weekly fees.

Costs for Tenants:

  • Online Rent Payment: $9.95 debit card fee, 2.95% credit card fee, and free ACH (bank-to-bank) money transfers.
  • Background and credit reports: $29

Costs for Landlords:

  • First listing: Free
  • Each additional listing: $9.99/week/unit
  • Online rent payment
  • Online leases (Available only in certain states. Read more about it further in the text under Online Rental Applications and Lease Agreements)
  • Tenant screening with credit and background checks (applicants pay thee fees)

Zillow Feed Connect is necessary for people who use another property management software or rental listing site that list a rental property on Zillow. It’s what allows third-party listings across Zillow’s real estate network. If you’re subscribed to other platforms and wish to syndicate to Zillow, you will need to pay $2.45 per listing per day.

A Costly Rental Listing Platform

What makes Zillow one of the costliest listing platforms is its weekly pricing per listing. And you won’t be able to place one listing that services several units, as each unit needs its own one. The upside is that the said pricing mechanism doesn’t apply when the listing is not actively advertised on the platform. When inactive, you won’t need to pay the monthly fee to access rent payments, online leases, and other services. In other words, paying to list your investment property via Zillow Rental Manager makes good sense if your unit leases quickly. Otherwise, your costs can mount quickly.

Benefits of Using Zillow Rental Manager

Zillow Rental Manager brings a few useful features and benefits to the table. We’re about to dive into the platform and examine its features that make leasing and renting easier.

Rental Listings

Listing across multiple sites used by tenants during their accommodation search is crucial to avoiding long vacancy periods. With Zillow Rental Manager, you are able to publish your listing across three websites: HotPads, Trulia, and Zillow. Tenants regularly use the sites to find properties and you will definitely get some exposure. However, you will miss the opportunity to publish your listings on Zumber, Apartment List, Apartments.com, and Realtor.com®, which are the fastest-growing sites for rental properties right now.

For new landlords, the first rental listing is free. Each additional active rental listing will cost you $9.99 per week.

Creating a listing is quick and easy and is done in a matter of minutes. Type in the property details, upload some nice photos and videos, write a compelling description, and click “Publish.” You also get a free 3D home tour app that comes really handy if your potential tenants live too far to come and check the listing in person.

As for the pricing, Zillow offers the Rent Zestimate tool that can help you set the right price for your listing. The Zestimate rental property analysis tool relies on your property’s physical properties and amenities, comparable properties in the market, and other public data to help you set the rental price.

Online Rental Applications and Lease Agreements

After setting an active listing for your income property and uploading high-quality photos of it, you can now expect potential tenants to reach out to you. Now, it’s time to provide them with a rental application to fill. Landlords using Zillow Rental Manager get access to free tenant screening reports and rental applications. Tenants are responsible for covering the $29 fee for a credit and background check.

Users are also able to create and sign online lease agreements (for all 50 states) without hiring a lawyer. It is possible because Zillow works with local law firms to create lease agreements that comply with local laws and ordinances. The leases can be customized and signed digitally for free. However, the tool comes with some limitations. It is only available to landlords in Florida, Alabama, Colorado, Missouri, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Indiana, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oregon, and certain markets in Illinois and California.

Rent Collection

Anyone who knows how to invest in real estate also understands the why. An investment property is also an income property, meaning that it’s a business that generates income. It does so through regular monthly payments – the rent. Landlords can use the rental manager Zillow offers to collect rent. The service is free for landlords, while tenants need to pay a $9.95 debit card convenience fee and a 2.95% credit card processing fee. Tenants can also set automated payments that allow automatic withdrawals of their rent withdrawn from their account.

Rent Analysis Reports

Rent Zestimate helps with rental property analysis that should guide your rental pricing strategy. To understand rental comps in your designated area, you need to conduct some research. Zillow’s rental market analysis report can be an excellent starting point in determining your pricing strategy, but it’s not comprehensive enough.

To start looking for and analyzing the best investment properties in your city and neighborhood of choice, click here.

Related: Rental Comps: What Are They and Where Can I Find Them?

Downsides of Using Zillow Rental Manager

Probably the biggest downside of using Zillow is the delay in posting new listings compared to the MLS. When compared to the MLS, Zillow’s listings come in much slower. In some slow-moving markets, it is not so bad; however, in faster markets, such delays can have you lagging behind the rest.

Inaccurate Information

According to the company, most Zestimates fall within 10% of a property’s market value. However, the said 10% figure can sometimes be the difference that is worth tens of thousands of dollars. In other words, you should use other methods to determine your prices.

Zillow’s data can also be found lacking because it feeds off user-reported information and government records. For instance, what happens if a property has incorrect property tax records or has undergone renovations? Zillow may price it lower or higher than its actual value. The property evaluation process is completely automated, and it can lead to more issues and inaccuracies.

Property Information

You can get some basic info about the property, such as square feet, year built, school districts, etc. But without more comprehensive data, you won’t be able to protect your real estate investing efforts.

For instance, Mashvisor pulls the data from reliable sources such as MLS, Airbnb, Redfin, Realtor.com, etc. Want fresh and in-depth information about the traditional housing market or Airbnb pricing fluctuation in a specific area? Mashvisor can tell.

Can’t Go Hyperlocal

Zillow doesn’t provide the most comprehensive local resources that you’d otherwise get with MLS listings. It is still a multinational company (with field offices) and cannot help you with a more detailed search.

With Mashvisor, you get access to both state-level and local data. Want to find out the price per square foot in the Italian Village in Columbus, Ohio? How about the monthly traditional rental income or cap on cap return in Ridgewood Park in Tampa, Florida? With Mashvisor, you can use all the said information with our rental property calculator and decide whether renting will pay off.

Delayed Listings

Imagine getting hyped up about finding the perfect home only to find out that it’s already under contract. It may happen to Zillow users, who become victims of delayed listings. Compared to hiring a real estate agent to list your property in the MLS or using quicker or more accurate tools, Zillow may take days to get the listing posted.

What about the properties that get rented or sold before even hitting the market? Such houses can be bought thanks to a Pre-MLS or something similar, but the thing is – they go under contract without making it online. And since they’re staying on the market very shortly, they probably won’t even make it to Zillow’s database.

Mashvisor gives its users access to off-market properties by leaving you with the owner’s data, including their phone number or email, so that you can reach out directly.

Related: Why Real Estate Investors Don’t Need MLS Access

Summary of Pros and Cons of Zillow Rental Manager

To pack things up in a nutshell, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of using Zillow Rental Manager.

Pros:

  • Relatively efficient and quick
  • Comes with a mobile app
  • Info readily available
  • Cost-efficient for people with enough time to rent and personally manage each one of their properties

Cons:

  • Doesn’t provide real protection against non-paying tenants
  • Cannot conduct personal interviews with potential renters and cannot measure the human interaction and connection
  • May not offer lease signing options (depending on the state you live in)
  • No reliable assistance in the case of eviction
  • The landlord still does most of the work

Mashvisor for Real Estate Investors

Whether you’re interested in long-term or short-term rentals, Mashvisor offers excellent tools and fresh data to help you make data-driven investment decisions. The tools we offer are numerous, but they all work cohesively to make rental market analysis and calculating potential return on investment less demanding.

If you operate several properties and are experienced with real estate investing, the Zillow Rental Manager cost may probably compel you to look for alternatives. Paying additional fees whenever you’d like to add a new active listing will cost you more than Mashvisor’s Professional Plan at $74.99 per month.

To get access to our real estate investment tools, click here to sign up for a 7-day free trial of Mashvisor today, followed by 15% off for life.

It is great for newbies

If you’re just learning about how to invest in real estate and few to no properties, Mashvisor is an excellent and cost-effective choice. The platform’s content-rich real estate blog is there to help you start and guide you through the world of real estate. And our tools are there to enable you to put that knowledge into action.

Find great investment properties and analyze their investment potential

With Mashvisor’s Property Finder, you’ll be able to analyze any real estate market across the entire U.S. However, finding a suitable property in a top location for residential real estate investments is only half of the work. You still need to determine if it offers positive cash flow potential with a high return on investment. With our rental property calculator, you can conduct neighborhood analysis to check the median home prices, rental income, occupancy rates, and other key metrics.

Zillow Rental Manager - Mashvisor's Rental Property Calculator

Mashvisor’s Rental Property Calculator allows real estate investors to perform neighborhood analysis and check the median home prices, rental income, occupancy rates, and other key metrics related to property investments.

Analyze your property’s return on investment and create the most optimal rental strategy

The data Mashvisor uses is much more comprehensive and detailed than Zillow’s, with the rental property calculator developed specifically for investors and renters. And yes, the data is accurate and can go hyperlocal. You can use it to ensure that you will be investing in a property with high returns. The numbers will also dictate your pricing for the property and help you decide whether you should rent it as a long-term or short-term rental. A successful real estate investment depends both on location and the rental strategy.

Invest in off-market properties

Mashvisor refreshes its data in almost real-time, and it also offers homeowners data. It allows you to find and invest in off-market properties, which itself comes with many upsides, like better prices, less competition, and more choices.

Related: 16 Best Ways to Find Off Market Properties

Conclusion

We hope our Zillow Rental Manager review clarified any of your confusion about its power and potential for real estate investors. Bringing in leads on Zillow was once affordable and easy, but things are different now. Several alternatives are available, offering services that are more comprehensive and at a lower cost. We recommend you analyze your real estate endeavors and think about your priorities when deciding if listing on Zillow pays off.

Mashvisor comes forward with easy-to-use tools, detailed analytics, and a large database. Use your 7-day trial to test the platform and find out the ways you’ll benefit from your subscription.

Schedule a demo or learn more about how we will help you make faster and smarter real estate investment decisions by clicking here.




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