Investor’s Guide: The Ultimate Selection of Apartment Rental Sites for Your Property

Finding reliable tenants for your multi-unit property can be a daunting task. Every day your property sits vacant, you lose money. That's why it's crucial to fill vacancies with tenants who respect your property and...

Finding reliable tenants for your multi-unit property can be a daunting task. Every day your property sits vacant, you lose money. That's why it's crucial to fill vacancies with tenants who respect your property and pay rent on time. Thankfully, there are numerous apartment rental sites that can help you quickly find quality tenants at an affordable cost. In this guide, we'll break down the best apartment rental sites for your real estate business.

Zillow Rental Manager: Unlocking Unlimited Potential

best apartment websites

Zillow Rental Manager takes the crown as the best overall apartment rental site. With the largest rental website and extensive inventory, Zillow attracts the highest site traffic. It also offers a range of integrated landlord services, making it a comprehensive solution for your property management needs.

Pros:

  • Huge Database: Zillow boasts over 135 million homes and apartments for rent or sale, even including properties not currently on the market. The abundance of listings ensures high web traffic from prospective renters.
  • Effortless Tenant Screening: Zillow streamlines the tenant screening process, saving you time and effort.
  • Intuitive Listings: With Zillow, you can create attractive listings that incorporate images, videos, and amenities in just three simple steps.
  • Mobile-Optimized: Zillow's mobile app allows you to manage listings, communicate with applicants, run screenings, and collect rent on the go.

Cons:

  • Limited Categorization: Unfortunately, Zillow doesn't allow you to categorize your property to a specific neighborhood, which can hinder promotion in desirable areas.
  • Higher Cost: While the first listing is free, each additional listing costs $9.99 per week. This might be more expensive than other apartment rental websites, but the increased web traffic justifies the price.
  • Complex Landlord Services: Zillow offers a variety of tools for managing security deposits, pet fees, and more. However, some of these tools may be difficult to use, and certain features like Lease Builder are only available in select markets.

Apartments.com: The Tenant Screening Champion

Apartments.com takes the spotlight as the best apartment website for finding highly qualified applicants. By charging applicants to apply for listed properties, Apartments.com filters out those without serious interest. This process encourages thorough review of the listing, ensuring a good fit in terms of price, size, and location.

Pros:

  • Application Fees: charging applicants $24.99 for up to 10 applications in a 30-day period significantly reduces the chances of applicants backing out last minute. This fee ensures that you attract only committed tenants.
  • Map Overlays: Apartments.com offers several map overlays, enabling renters to run targeted searches for ideal properties.

Cons:

  • Buggy App: Some users have reported occasional glitches with the mobile app.

Avail: Unveiling The Power of Tenant Screening

Avail shines as the best apartment website for tenant screening. In addition to criminal background checks and credit history, Avail provides eviction histories and advanced checks like terrorism and sex offender screenings. Moreover, Avail offers robust management tools for landlords.

Pros:

  • Extensive Screening Reports: Avail offers more screening reports than other listing websites, and the best part is that the tenants pay for these reports.
  • Management Features: Avail serves as a rental management platform, allowing you to easily track property repairs, rental credits, tenant expenses, and communicate with tenants. It also enables syndication of listings on other platforms.

Cons:

  • Limited Inventory: Although you can syndicate listings on other apartment websites, Avail has a limited inventory and lacks a variety of search filters. Additionally, it currently does not have a mobile app, which might deter prospective tenants.
  • Tenant Fees: When using Avail's free plan, your tenants have to pay fees for each payment, which might discourage some from signing a lease with you.

Cozy: Where Rental Management Meets Simplicity

Cozy stands out as the best apartment website for rental management. With its user-friendly design, Cozy makes it a breeze to create and market listings, as well as manage your properties. Recently acquired by Apartments.com, Cozy will soon become a landlord-oriented platform hosted within Apartments.com.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive Tool Suite: Cozy's highly visual dashboard offers a suite of tools, including listing creation and syndication, lease customization, rent collection, and overall property management. Its simplicity sets it apart from other rental management platforms.
  • Good Tenant Screening: Cozy provides various background checks, including credit scores, employment history, prior evictions, and sex offender investigations.

Cons:

  • Needs Digital Enhancements: Currently, Cozy lacks a mobile app, although the recent acquisition by Apartments.com might change that soon. Also, tenants cannot electronically sign leases through the platform.

Zumper: Filling Your Vacancies with Lightning Speed

Zumper is an excellent apartment website when you need to fill a vacancy quickly. Its "Instarent" feature allows prospective tenants to browse listings, place a reservation by paying a small fee, and even complete the lease signing process digitally. With Zumper, you can potentially fill a vacancy within 24 hours.

Pros:

  • Instarent Feature: Zumper's Instarent is the fastest way to find a tenant when you urgently need to fill a vacancy.
  • Virtual Tours: Zumper allows you to create virtual property tours, saving time for both you and prospective tenants.

Cons:

  • Limited Coverage: Zumper is currently available in only 10 cities. While there is a possibility of increasing its reach, you must live in one of those cities to use the platform effectively: New York, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto, Los Angeles, Vancouver, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Denver, and San Diego.
  • Lower Web Traffic: Compared to major sites like Zillow and Apartments.com, Zumper's web traffic remains lower. However, this may change as Zumper gains popularity.

Rentometer: The Renter's Compass for Pricing

Rentometer is your go-to apartment website for rent comparisons and setting prices. It offers detailed rental comparisons based on property type, size, location, and more. This platform helps you determine the ideal rent price to maximize your income and effectively compete against other properties. It complements larger apartment websites like Zillow perfectly.

Pros:

  • Incredible Rent Comparisons: Rentometer quickly provides detailed rent comparisons, including average and median rents, building types, and the age of listings. It's an invaluable tool for assessing your property and planning your rental strategy, even before purchasing a rental property.
  • Affordable Cost: The Pro version of Rentometer costs $19 per month or $99 annually, delivering exceptional value for real estate business owners.

Cons:

  • No Mobile App: Rentometer doesn't currently offer a mobile app.

Homes.com: Amplifying Lead Generation for Your Business

Similar to Rentometer, Homes.com acts as a complementary platform to the larger apartment websites. It excels in lead generation, automatically sending you leads of people interested in your rental property when you list it. Homes.com also provides digital marketing tools to help you create impactful follow-ups.

Pros:

  • Ideal for Real Estate Businesses: Homes.com's lead generation and marketing tools prove invaluable in acquiring tenants if you own a rental property business.

Cons:

  • No Syndications: Unfortunately, you cannot syndicate your listings on larger apartment websites.

Summary: Finding Your Perfect Fit

The best apartment rental sites include Zillow, Apartments.com, Avail, Cozy, Zumper, Rentometer, and Homes.com. Zillow takes the crown as the best overall apartment website due to its vast number of listings and comprehensive tool suite. Smaller websites like Rentometer and Homes.com are excellent tools for real estate business owners, even though they might not offer complete coverage.

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