Big Changes from Zillow in 2021
What is changing?
As you ring in the New Year, it is important to note that a major change in rental syndication by mega real estate website, Zillow is being launched. Effective January 2021, Zillow will end the free syndication of rental listings from your MLS. To keep listings on Zillow, agents will need to claim their listings directly on Zillow’s new Feed Connect platform for a fee. The move is receiving some negative buzz in the industry, as yet another aggressive change by Zillow. Only months ago, the company announced its plan to create brokerages.
Why the change?
According to information on the company website, Zillow’s Feed Connect is designed to save agents time posting rentals to increase their time connecting with leads. It also states their platform is the way to find high-intent renters.
Timing & Options
At a time when a pandemic has changed the real estate landscape, rentals are steadily increasing; whether from homeowners exiting mortgages, or new remote workers changing cities. The rental market is hot. And as successful agents know, today’s renter is likely tomorrow’s buyer. It is a great time for agents to find and use the rental solution of their choice.
Whether an agent, broker, or MLS, there are plenty of options out there to successfully get rental listings filled. According to MLS rental data from the rental technology platform, RentSpree, rental interest during October was up 18% year over year, indicating that prospective renters are not in short supply.
Alternative marketing options
- Check the MLS to find rental syndication sites. MLSs do a great job getting listings out to other high-traffic websites.
- Explore the possibility of posting listings onto Facebook marketplace using Homesnap– one of the most popular up-and-coming platforms for rental marketing. And it is free! For an MLS to get their rentals on Facebook Marketplace, they must go through Homesnap and cannot contact Facebook directly.
- Realtor.com is another viable option that garners significant monthly traffic.
- An agent’s website/social media accounts are always a good idea. A strong online presence is extremely valuable and can be built and leveraged from rental postings.
- Depending on the listing location, many renters still inquire about listings because of yard signs. Don’t overlook this tried and true rental marketing strategy.
Alternative rental tools
While rentals are hot, they are not an agent’s highest revenue generator. For this reason, many agents seek free platforms in the rental space.
RentSpree’s tenant screening provides an improved alternative that doesn’t require the property to be listed and costs zero for agents/brokers to use. RentSpree’s screening tool can be used across any platform and is not limited to a single platform. MLSs can even integrate these rental tools directly while simultaneously streaming agent workflows.
As we say goodbye to 2020 and prepare for 2021, it is important for all real estate professionals to stay on top of changes in technology and tools, but to also determine which products and platforms answer their specific needs.