On January 12th, Zillow majorly changed the way they handle rentals. Now, rental listings currently syndicated through MLSs will no longer feed directly to Zillow. Instead, agents and brokers wishing to publish a rental listing on Zillow will need to do so via Zillow Rental Manager, which is contract-based and starts at $9.99 per week, per listing. Zillow’s changes affect all parties working with rentals–MLSs, brokerages, real estate teams, agents, and private owners. Read on to get prepared to understand the economic impact of Zillow’s changes, how you can prepare your budget for this change, and great alternatives to Zillow Rental Manager.
Zillow Rental Manager Announcement: What Does It Mean For You?
It’s $9.99 right now? Will that change?
Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteeing that Zillow’s $9.99 per property per week price won’t rise. In particular, many are concerned about Zillow’s history with StreetEasy, Zillow’s NYC subsidiary. Zillow acquired StreetEasy in 2017, and charged New York real estate agents to keep their listing. Over the course of two years, Zillow controversially increased its pricing by 100%.
In the past, MLS integrations with Zillow made posting automatic, with leads coming back to agents directly. Now that they won’t syndicate directly, there’s a manual component involved. It’s clear Zillow is doing an end-run around MLSs, but it’s still a little murky on what listing agents will have to do to get listings on Zillow. At the very least, it looks like listing agents will have to create a Zillow Rental Manager account, find their listing, and verify it as their own to get leads.
Will Zillow by-pass the agent?
Here’s another potential lesson from Zillow’s integration with StreetEasy. To successfully list a rental, agents using StreetEasy are required to provide landlord contact information and listing agreements. In many instances, StreetEasy would contact landlords and owners to “verify” the listing. This move left many agents feeling concerned that StreetEasy would by-pass them entirely and connect tenants directly with landlords.
However, the news isn’t good for private owners, either. Zillow’s new pricing structure will still hit landlords hard. At a difficult time where margins are tight and landlords are hiking concessions to fill vacancies, Zillow’s extra-expense will make it a prohibitive expense for landlords across the country.
What can you do to prepare for these Zillow Rental Manager changes?
Readjust your budget
Over 113 million American rent, and its no secret that working with renters is a great way to build connections with first tome homebuyers. Rentals are increasingly important to real estate agents’ businesses and Zillow’s new policies will have a huge economic impact on agents, brokers, MLSs, and landlords. See how much we anticipate those working with rentals to spend on an Zillow Rental Manager–
How do we get these numbers? We estimate the cost of Zillow Rental Manager by multiplying the number of active monthly rentals by an average monthly cost of $9.95 per week for 4 1/2 weeks. We calculate Rental Beast’s cost by multiplying the number of agents working in rentals by an annual subscription cost of $699. This assumes all real estate team members and 1/2 of brokerage members purchase an annual subscription.
If you plan to keep working with Zillow, get ready to readjust your annual cost to accommodate the price of a Rental Listing Manager!
Explore alternative listing services–Rental Beast is here to help!
Rental Beast is the smart, end-to-end rental platform simplifying the whole leasing process. Rental Beast allows agents the tools to assist you in safely and securely monetizing more than $12 billion in annual leasing commissions.
- Market rentals to millions of eager renters! Rental Beast offers more syndication offers than Zillow, and on average generates 54% more leads than other online rental platforms. Listing agents have their rentals appear on popular search portals, including realtor.com and Facebook Marketplace.
- Resources for all agents. Process rental applications and screen tenants for free with Rental Beast. Subscribe to Rental Beast and gain access to nearly 9 million co-broke free rentals not found on any MLS, add a custom rental search page to your website, promote high-commission properties on social media with a single click, and more!
And, landlords list for free (and access so much more at no additional cost!) In a few clicks, agents and landlords can list properties, collect rent payments, and screen tenants on Rental Beast’s easy-to-use and super secure platform.