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Zillow Ends Free Rental Listings. What Now?

November 17 2020

hsnap zillow ends free rental listingsWill Zillow's price gouging ever end?

Starting in January 2021, rental listings currently syndicated through MLSs will no longer feed directly into Zillow. Instead, agents and brokers wishing to publish a rental listing on the third-party platform will need to do so via Zillow Rental Manager, which is contract-based and starts at $9.99 a week.

While the company claims the decision was made to "empower" its partners, in reality, the move is little more than a blatant cash grab. Revenue stemming from its main moneymaker, Zillow Premier Agent, has stagnated in recent years, and Zillow Offers, its direct home-buying platform, continues to lose thousands of dollars per transaction. Switching a free service to a paid one was the easiest way to satisfy pressure from investors.

Still, it's disappointing—although not particularly surprising—that Zillow once again chose to bolster its balance sheet at the expense of agents and brokers.

What are your alternatives?

Instead of pouring more money into a company hostile to real estate professionals, agents can continue to list rentals for free on Homesnap—that has not and will not change. Or, alternatively, MLSs can opt into Facebook Marketplace via Homesnap so all rental leads appear automatically on the social media platform. All leads generated are delivered to agents free of charge.

Marketplace charges no listing fees or commissions, and its mobile-optimized interface and personalized customer experience ensure that property owners, managers, and agents can create tailored, browsable listings with minimal effort and investment.

Renters are able to easily search listings to find exactly what they're looking for using filters such as location, housing type, price, bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, pet friendliness. With Messenger/chat integration built in, questions can be answered in real time and potential leads fielded and converted quickly.

How effective is Facebook Marketplace for rental listings?

Since launch, MLSs that have opted into Facebook Marketplace through Homesnap have seen, on average, a 9.8 times increase in free leads and 4.3 times increase in views for rentals.

Sound too good to be true? You don't have to take our word for it. Facebook saw such impressive results with rental listings published on its marketplace through Homesnap, it published a case study on it on the company's Facebook for Business platform. You can read it here.

MLSs, brokers, and agents interested in promoting their rental properties on Facebook Marketplace should send inquiries to [email protected].

To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.