New Tool From Zillow Lets Renters Apply for Lease, Pay Rent Online

Real estate website Zillow has long been an online marketplace for finding rental properties. Now it wants to help landlords manage those renters after they’ve moved in.

The company announced Tuesday that it’s launching property management tools aimed at bringing the landlord-renter relationship online. The features include paying and collecting rent online and online applications that allow renters to apply to multiple properties with just one application.

“Renters tell us they want the entire rental process to happen online, from search to application to payment,” said Zillow president Jeremy Wacksman in a statement. “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.”

Zillow will charge a $29 fee for the online application. Experian will execute the application’s credit report while Checkr will provide a background check and eviction history.

The new features are just the latest move by Zillow to expand its business outside of the listing service that brought it to prominence. In April, the company jumped into homebuying and selling with Zillow Offers, which is expected to pour between $75 million and $250 million into homes this year, bringing Zillow into direction competition with iBuyers like Opendoor and Offerpad. Zillow Offers is currently in Phoenix and Las Vegas, and will expand to Atlanta in the fall.

The move also puts Zillow in direct competition with a number of existing property management platforms. Cozy is a platform that provides similar tools for free, as well as a rent estimate and property analysis for a fee. Houserie is similar platform that was recently purchased by e-commerce site Overstock.


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