Did you know around 41 percent of rental properties sit empty at some point during a year? In a business where cash flow is critical, you want to keep those properties filled.
Marketing to today’s renter means you need to step up your game to more than just sticking a “for rent” sign in the yard.
Rental listing sites get you far more exposure to the tenant market than that old-school sign. These days, most renters are young and tech-savvy, so it’s important to meet them where they are.
The best sites for rental listing have a lot of traffic so your listing gets seen. But look beyond that to ones that make listing simple and offer tools to take applicants to the next step in the process.
Because I own long-term rental properties, I’ve done the testing for you and am speaking from first-hand experience. Let’s take a look at six rental listing sites that absolutely must make your shortlist.
1. Zillow Rental Manager
Topping my list is Zillow Rental Manager because it gives you so much more than just the ability to list vacancies. The breadth of services provided gives an all-in-one solution to manage your properties. This can be a good option for you if you aren’t already using property management software since it can handle applications, screening, and rent collection.
When it comes to listings, Zillow offers the largest inventory and the most site traffic, so you’re sure to get plenty of eyeballs on your property. It’s easy to create a listing, and their mobile app allows you to manage it and communicate with applicants.
Plus, your Zillow listing will typically get cross-listed to other sites that Zillow controls, like Trulia and HotPads, for example.
All of this service doesn’t come free (pricing is $9.99 per week), and it can be a little complex managing charges beyond rent. But with easy extras like the 3D tour and amenity filtering, you can get your property filled quickly.
Plus, with the large volume of leads that Zillow Rental Manager provides, you can usually find a new tenant in one to two weeks. This means your listing cost per property will average from $10-20.
If you don’t want to waste time sifting through bad applications, consider using Apartments.com. The site charges to apply to a listing, which saves you time by filtering the pool down to serious and qualified applicants.
Despite the name, the site covers far more than apartment rentals, with categories for condos, houses, and townhouses. Once you create your listing, it’s syndicated over a network of sites to increase your exposure. Prospects can search by neighborhood, and a large amenities list gives them more ways to sort their search and find you.
You can add on extra services as well to give you a complete rental management solution. This includes online tour scheduling, tenant screening, and rent collection.
3. Facebook Marketplace
If all you need to do is list your property and you want to do it for free, Facebook Marketplace is one of the best free rental listing sites to choose from. It’s widely used across generations and by huge numbers of people.
The Marketplace makes it easy to upload photos, descriptions, and prices. As it’s become more popular for rental listings, Facebook has made it easier for tenants to search by price, number of bedrooms, and other criteria. Once a tenant finds your listing, they can contact you via private message, or you can send them on to a link where they can begin the application and screening process.
This can be a good source for tenants, and it increases the overall visibility of your listing even if you use other sites as well. Just keep in mind the free part also means you’ll get a lot of tire-kicking interest that goes nowhere and can suck up your time.
Avail’s primary use is as a rental management platform, handling everything from applications to rent collection. But once you create a listing for your property, it syndicates it out to Zillow, Zumper, and other sites for you. It also has options designed to make it easy to share your listing via social media.
Where it shines, though, is with tenant screening. The site offers some of the best screening options, including eviction history reports and advanced criminal checks. Tenants pay for these, so there’s no extra cost to you.
There are downsides to it as a listing platform, though. There is no mobile app option, and it offers a smaller listing inventory than other sites.
Empty properties equal empty pockets, so Zumper has focused on creating a product that gets vacancies filled quickly. Its Instarent option makes leasing an apartment work similar to making a hotel reservation. This makes it possible to fill a vacancy within a day!
The site does have less than half the traffic of the bigger sites, though, and the Instarent service has limited availability at the moment. But the basic service allows you to list a property, screen tenants, and sign digital leases for free. Tenants can browse for free, but then pay all the fees for applications and screening.
While Rentometer provides a quick and easy way to place a listing, the big benefit to landlords is the ability to do rent comparisons. This helps you keep your rent competitive and ensure you’re getting everything you can out of your property.
This does come at a cost, though, with monthly and annual plans. But a property search provides a lot of metrics like average rent for an area. Potential tenants get some good filtering options like the age of a building to help them find the right place as well.
Top Rental Listing Sites of 2022
When choosing where to list an apartment for rent, it’s important to choose rental listing sites that reach as many people as possible. This increases your chances of finding plenty of good potential tenants and getting your property rented quickly to keep the money rolling in. Ease of use, cost, and extras like 3D tours can help you decide which are the best apartment rental sites for your business model.
Whether you own one property or 100, keeping them occupied and producing cash flow is the goal. If you’re looking for more help with rental properties, check out these other articles on real estate investment.