Rental listing sites are used by landlords, property managers, real estate agents, and brokers to market properties and find tenants. These websites are a must for finding tenants in this day and age. Seventy-two percent of renters use the internet first when searching for an apartment, which goes to show how important it is to have your rental listing widely visible to potential tenants through online media. These sites offer rental listing features as well as other helpful tools for pricing your rental and distributing it to multiple sites.
We reviewed more than a dozen rental listing sites and evaluated each based on the number and variety of rental property listings, ease of use, company reputation, customer reviews, pricing, and more. Here are our top picks for sites that can meet the needs of landlords.
The 8 Best Rental Listing Sites of 2020
Best Overall: Realtor.com
A well-known real estate site for both sales and rentals, Realtor.com started out as a closed network solely for members of the National Association of Realtors in 1996. It has since grown into a residential real estate listings site operated by the News Corporation subsidiary Move, Inc., which also powers other listing sites including Doorsteps.com and Move.com. We chose it as our best overall rental listing site because its multiple platforms provide great exposure for rental listings and it is a reputable resource that most prospective tenants have already heard of. It also has robust features for both tenants and landlords including information on nearby schools and neighborhood amenities.
Some Realtor.com features include:
- Rental listings
- Senior rental listings
- For sale listings
- Real estate news and tips
- Home value tools
- Mortgage calculator
- Directory of local realtors and mortgage brokers
- Rent affordability calculator
- Landlord tools to help with listing your rental
- Neighborhood information and school ratings
Landlords can use Realtor.com for free for both long-term and vacation rentals. When they sign up, they’re also given access to a dashboard to manage and update their rental properties—and you can list properties right away. Realtor.com's parent company Move, Inc. has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 2016. The company has mixed reviews, including some customers who love the up-to-date real estate information, as well as others who complain about site functions and customer service.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Zillow Rental Manager
Zillow Rental Manager is a division of the real estate powerhouse, Zillow. Founded in Seattle in 2006 by former Microsoft executives, Zillow is an easily recognizable name on the list of best rental listing sites. It offers rental and sales listings on multiple platforms, an app, a CRM, and marketing tools for agents among others. We chose Zillow Rental Manager as our runner-up for best rental listing sites. We made this choice because of its name recognition and reputation, robust features for tenants and landlords, and its distribution of your listings to multiple sites for more exposure.
Some of Zillow Rental Manager features include:
- Agent and property management tools
- Rent affordability calculator
- Mortgage calculator
- Agent and mortgage broker directories
- Search by type of rental such as apartment or single-family home
- Online rental payments
- Owner portal to help manage rentals
- Pricing suggestions to price your rental correctly
- Online tenant screening
Your first listing on Zillow Rental Manager is free. Additional active listings are $9.99 per listing per week. The site offers a lead guarantee which guarantees that you will receive at least one lead within a week or it’s free to keep your listing on the site until you either receive a lead or eight weeks is up. You can create an account and profile, upload your rental information, and get started right away.
Zillow has mixed customer reviews, with some users that are pleased with their recommended agent and others who complained about the quality of leads and the slow customer service response time. Keep in mind these reviews are based on Zillow as a whole and not just the rental division.
Best for Big Markets: Craigslist
Founded in San Francisco in 1995, Craigslist is a website for classified advertisements of all different categories including real estate rentals, sales, and roommates. It may surprise you that Craigslist made the list for best rental sites because it does have a reputation for attracting scammers and spambots, but it’s still a contender, particularly in big markets. However, it doesn’t offer as many features as other sites, so it’s best to use it in conjunction with other rental listing sites.
Renters can often find a for-rent-by-owner property or pay lower broker fees by finding properties on this site. We chose Craigslist as the best rental listing site for big markets because it’s another site that tenants have heard of and tend to check for rentals. Also note, it has made some changes to help reduce scams, it focuses on metropolitan areas, and you can create a posting in just a few minutes.
Features of Craigslist include:
- Postings in many categories including rentals, real estate sales, furniture, cars, etc.
- Easy and fast to post your listing
- You can post your listing multiple times a day with different keywords and photos
- Manage your listing with just a few clicks
Craigslist postings are free except in New York City, Boston, and certain parts of California. Craigslist has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not accredited. It has mostly negative reviews and customers complain about their posts being flagged and lots of scams. The ratings and reviews reflect the site overall and not just the rentals sections.
Best for Apartment Listings: Apartments.com
Apartments.com was founded in 1992 and its parent organization is the CoStar Group. It offers renters access to over one million available units for rent and has a host of affiliate sites including specific sites for senior housing and university and corporate housing. It has headquarters in Washington D.C. and a fully staffed retail store in Santa Monica. We chose Apartments.com as our best rental listing site for apartments because of its huge reach. It’s one of the largest rental listing sites, so can expose your rental listing to many tenants.
Some of Apartments.com's features include:
- Rental listings with customizable searches
- An entire Apartments.com network to advertise your listing on
- Research team to verify availabilities and prices
- Polygon tool to define the map search area
- Plan commute feature
- IOS and Android apps
- Screen applicants and sign leases
- Manage rent payments
You can quickly post a listing on Apartments.com usually in just a few minutes for a basic listing. However, listing on this site isn’t free. It offers different packages with features such as websites for each particular property, syndication on other sites, and property flyers. For more information on features and pricing, contact the site. Apartments.com has a D- rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not accredited. It has mixed customer reviews—some customers like it and are happy that they found their apartment with them, while others complain about the quality of customer service.
Best for Executive Housing: 2nd Address
A newer company, 2nd Address was founded in San Francisco in 2017 and is backed by investors including Foundation Capital. It was started as a way to simplify and elevate business travel while using innovative technology to present the listings online. The site offers over 8,000 furnished properties in eight markets and covers more than 50 cities. We chose 2nd Address as our best rental listing site for executive housing because it focuses specifically on executive housing for corporate travelers and offers different types of rentals, including short term, month to month, and long term. It also offers other unique features including design and management services.
Some 2nd Address features include:
- Furnished rentals for different lease terms
- Corporate and intern housing
- Management and design services including furnishing your unit
- Master leases with guaranteed rent
- Property hosting
- Professional cleaning and property checks
You can fill out an interest form with your property information and expected rate and within a few hours someone from the company will contact you to arrange an on-site visit and come up with a listing price. It’s free to put your listing on the site, but if you want to take advantage of some of the other services, such as design or property management, you need to contact the company for pricing. The company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and is accredited. The company has mixed reviews, with some customers complaining about the condition of the rental units and customer service and others liking the site and the number of rental options.
Best for Short-Term Rentals: Airbnb
Another well-known site on our list is Airbnb. This site is synonymous with short-term and vacation rentals. It was founded in 2008 in San Francisco, California, and is now in over 100,000 cities worldwide and has more than seven million listings. It’s the largest short-term rental marketplace and offers accommodations and activities provided by individual local hosts. It promotes person-to-person connections and provides an alternative to staying in a hotel for many users. We chose Airbnb as our best short-term rental listing site because of its name recognition, millions of users, and the fact that it specializes in short-term rentals so it attracts that type of tenants. It also has a variety of helpful features for property owners.
Some Airbnb features include:
- Vacation rentals
- Short-term rental listings ranging from a few hours to several months
- Local experiences and activities
- Furnished rentals
- Domestic and international listings
- Host protection insurance
- Screened renters
- Ratings so hosts can see renters ratings and vice versa
- Smart pricing tools
It’s free to sign up as an Airbnb host and you can typically create your listing within an hour but then it needs to be verified and approved before it’s active on the site. Once your unit is rented you’re typically charged a 3% fee and any applicable local taxes. Airbnb has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau but is not accredited. It has mostly negative reviews, with users complaining about false listing details, being ripped off, and Airbnb not helping get their money back.
Best for Online Services: Zumper
Zumper was founded in 2012 in San Francisco, and its subsidiaries are Pad Mapper, Inc., and New Service, LLC. It has offices across the country and was started to make renting less stressful and more seamless for the tenant and the landlord. The site gets 15 million visitors per month and advertises more than 20,000 properties. We chose Zumper as our best rental listing site for online services because it offers a mobile platform for on-the-go renters and the entire leasing process can be completed online.
Zumper features include:
- Pre-qualified leads
- Single-family and multifamily rental units and community listings
- Virtual tour integration
- Badges to make your unit or community stand out
- Partner platforms include Facebook Marketplace
- Automatic syndication
- Tenant screening and landlord tools
If you’re a landlord or property manager in the U.S. with less than 25 units, it’s free to post on Zumper and only takes a few minutes (exceptions include NYC and Chicago). If you have more than 25 listings or want to feature a rental community, contact Zumper directly for pricing and feature information. Zumper has a D- rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not accredited. Zumper has mixed consumer reviews. Some customers got quality leads and others got leads from properties that weren’t theirs or even in their state.
Best for Single-Family Properties: Homes.com
Founded in 1973 in Tallahassee, Florida, Homes.com has headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, and over 400 employees. Its parent organization is Dominion Enterprises and it is the fifth-largest real estate portal. The site offers homes for rent, for sale, and rent to own. It specializes in single-family homes but also has search options for apartments, townhouses, and condos for rent. We chose Homes.com as our best rental listing site for single-family homes because that’s its niche, it has a large platform with robust features, and a broad reach to find tenants.
Some Homes.com features include:
- Rental and sale listings
- Top city and top county rental searches
- Interactive guides
- Blog with up-to-date real estate news
- How-to guides
- Home value tools
- Mortgage calculator
- Lead generation tools for real estate agents
You can create a free profile on Homes.com but if you want to purchase leads or list multiple properties, contact them for specific pricing and details. Homes.com has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 2018. Homes.com has overall positive reviews. Users liked that it was quick to sign up and that the customer service staff were helpful and responsive.
What Is a Rental Listing Site?
A rental listing site is an online platform that advertises rental properties. It allows prospective tenants to be able to search for vacant listings and customize their searches by area, price, number of bedrooms, being pet friendly, etc. Rental listing sites are ideal for small business owners such as real estate brokers, agents, landlords, and property managers to market their listings. Using a rental listing site can increase the visibility of your unit and attract more potential tenants. These sites also include helpful features such as online rental payments and listing price suggestions.
Keep in mind that these sites don’t screen the tenants for you unless you pay for those add-on services. Rental listing sites also don’t show the property for you. You will still need to show the property or hire someone to do it for you.
How Do Rental Listing Sites Work?
Rental listing sites are a place to showcase available rental units. Typically, a landlord, property manager, or real estate agent will fill out information about the property including the address, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, what type of unit it is, size, pet-friendly features, amenities, and what’s included in the rent. They will also choose a listing price and, depending on the site, it may recommend a suggested listing price. The landlord or agent will have access to an owner portal to upload photos and update the rental listing information and communicate with potential tenants.
Tenants interact with the site when they’re searching for an available rental unit. They may be searching by neighborhood and/or price and come across a listing that they like. At this point they can submit an inquiry, and the landlord/agent can respond to the inquiry and set up a showing. These sites help properties get rented by showing available units to tenants that the tenant wouldn’t see if it wasn’t listed on the site.
How Much Do Rental Listing Sites Cost?
Rental listing sites vary in features, tools, and exposure and they also vary in costs. Some sites are completely free, while others offer one free listing and then charge $9.99 per listing per week. Other sites offer paid packages with different features and price points. Generally, you have to pay for the site upfront if there’s a fee and then you pay weekly, monthly, or according to a pre-arranged payment structure.
It’s usually much cheaper to use a rental listing site than to pay a realtor to rent your property for you. Realtors generally charge one month’s rent for renting the property and then additional property management fees if you want them to manage the property.
Are Rental Listing Sites Worth the Cost?
Rental listing sites are necessary with today’s renters, who primarily look for and find rental accommodations online. You can use social media and free sites but the most effective strategy is to use a combination of paid and free sites for the best rental listing exposure. The key is consistency and to make sure that you keep up with your listings, provide quality photos, and respond quickly to inquiries.
“The cost of the advertisement is a fraction of the rent you'll gain if the ad saves you a month of vacancy,” said John Castle, Investment Real Estate Agent at Keller Williams Integrity Realty.
How We Chose the Best Rental Listing Sites
In today’s online world, rental listing sites abound. We reviewed more than a dozen of the top national listing sites and evaluated each. These are our top picks based on ease of use, number and variety of listing options, other tools and features, pricing, reputation, and reviews.
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