Zillow Announces New Tools That Allow Renters to Apply for Apartments, Pay Rent

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ZillowIn a bid to be all the things, Zillow announced just minutes ago that it has launched new tools that will not only allow property owners and managers to collect rent and vet prospective tenants more easily, but will also provide renters with the ability to submit multiple applications for apartments at once and pay rent online.

The tools will also screen prospective tenants by performing background checks, the company said in a press release.

Renters can apply for multiple rentals by paying $29 to Zillow, and will only have to fill out one application.

“The 35 million renters who visit Zillow Group’s rental sites and mobile apps each month want the rental process to be as easy and seamless as other transactions in their life, like ordering groceries or booking a ride,” the company said in its press release. “According to the upcoming 2018 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report, the majority of renters want to send applications (59 percent) and pay their rent (57 percent) online.”

In a typical apartment hunt, renters can fill out at least three applications, spending $40 or more per application, making the one-stop shop Zillow has set up (provided it gets the buy-in from enough property owners) a real boon.

Zillow says that for $29, renters can submit one application to as many properties as they need in one month. The online application includes an Experian credit report, eviction history and background check (conducted by Checkr).

“Renters also can offer any additional context and explanation on their rental and credit history,” the company said.

To pay their rent online, renters can choose payment type (debit or credit), and then pay their rent. They can also set up automatic payments.

“Property managers no longer need to collect payments, instead having them delivered directly by Zillow Group,” the company said.

Landlords and property managers who already use Zillow Rental Manager to manage their rental listings and want to begin collecting applications and rent payments through it can simply enable the feature on their account.

“Renters tell us they want the entire rental process to happen online, from search to application to payment,” Zillow president Jeremy Wacksman said in the release. “However, most landlords don’t have the resources to offer these services. We’re excited to provide the technology to help renters and landlords have a better experience.”


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Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson lives in a 1961 Fox and Jacobs home with her husband, a second-grader, and Conrad Bain the dog. If she won the lottery, she'd by an E. Faye Jones home. She's taken home a few awards for her writing, including a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Online News Association, the Education Writers Association, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and the Society of Professional Journalists. She doesn't like lima beans or the word moist.

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