Zillow Steps Beyond Free – Rental and Search

Zillow released a new product today.

What does this mean for consumers?

1 – If you’re listing your house for rent on Zillow, it will cost you 10 bucks.

2 – When searching for homes for sale, you will be able to search by monthly payment – homes for sale and for rent.

3 – The spammy craigslist will see some real competition

4 – Eventually (I’d wager) Zillow is going to charge for everything they can.

5 – They’re still not accurate in the Charlottesville, Virginia real estate market.

6 – Zillow continues to innovate, and that’s a very good thing. Competition is good.

7 – Zillow is on track to have a comprehensive database of every parcel in the country.

Real estate blog roundup:

Zillow starts charging for listings – 1000WattJoel

Zillow adds Rental Listings – Charges for them – Tribus

Zillow Adds Lease Search, Fills in a Critical Gap in the Their Offering – AG

Zillow to Go Head to Head With Realtor.com, RPR & Your Wallet? – AgentGenius

Announcing: Rental Listings and Search – ZillowBlog

Zillow Adds Rentals – RCG

Zillow Play Zanta – Craigslist finds a lump of coal – The San Diego Home Blog

My notes from the phone call yesterday are below.


One property record for any property in the country* – House is either for sale or rent.

Target: Craigslist.

In the Charlottesville Current market – a lot of homes are for sale or rent. Being able to list a house only for sale or for rent will limit its effectiveness.

How do you scrub the data? Ensure it’s accurate?

Rental Zestimates?

Not launching with rental zestimates – they don’t have a rental database history

Rentals are a paid product.

Four million for sale listings. 3% are manually posted. That 3% will start to pay – will this drive out unrepresented sellers? (FSBO’s)

Potential comparable recent solds will pop up when sellers are manually valuing their own houses.

* Sounds like RPR.

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  1. Sara Bonert December 15, 2009 at 11:01

    Sara from Zillow here. Nice succinct summary!
    Just want to make it clear that if you are paying us for a listing (rental or for sale) that the listing wouldn’t just be put in the basic listing mix, it will be Featured. This means that it will show up at the top of searches (usually getting 6xs more views).

  2. Jim Duncan December 16, 2009 at 15:52

    Sara –

    Thanks for stopping by and clarifying. Zillow’s still not very accurate in the Charlottesville market, but I expect that will change.

    What is the percentage of properties in your database that are currently listed for sale? Any idea on what percentage will be for rent?

    I mentioned this elsewhere, but what about the properties that are for sale or rent?

  3. Sara Bonert December 16, 2009 at 15:59

    Hey Jim- If you go to our home page, we always have all the property record counts posted. Today it is:
    Property records: 93,419,631
    For Sale: 3,876,108 (FYI – about 3% of these are manually upload, and thus affect by the change)
    Make Me Move: 21,917
    Rentals: There isn’t a count yet, but I bet there will be soon. We just started yesterday and about one hour in, we were at 25! Haha. That will grow. It would be a shot in the dark for me to guess any type of number at this point. Once we can ingest feeds, that will impact the number greatly (hopefully early 2010).

    With regards to your last question, right now you can’t dual market a home.

  4. Tony Sena January 2, 2010 at 18:15


    I just checked my area and I am only showing (1) property for rent in Las Vegas and it is obviously featured. How many properties will be featured on a page once you begin to add inventory?

  5. Sara Bonert January 3, 2010 at 10:32

    Right now there isn’t any plan to cap it. We’ll obviously have to keep our eye on this. But the Featureds will only show up based on user seach criteria, so that limits how many will actually show up.

    Right now, since we don’t have the ability to accept Rentals via feeds (yet), the only way to get a Rental property on the site is by manually uploading and thus, making it Featured. Once we get feeds in place, this will then provide a difference between Featured and non-Featured properties, making the difference more clear. (targeting early 2010 for feeds)


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