With more than 10.5 billion mobile app and website visits per year, Zillow is one of the most widely used real estate platforms in the country. That makes it an ideal place to feature your rental property vacancies.

But if you’ve never used the platform, it can be tough to figure out how to list your rental property on Zillow – especially if you want to stand out in competitive markets.

That’s why we’ve created this guide. It provides step-by-step instructions for listing properties on Zillow to help you take full advantage of the platform’s massive user base. Keep reading to learn more.

What does a rental property listing include?

Before creating your listing on Zillow, it’s worth reviewing what the best rental property listings include. We cover five core items below.

Eye-catching photos

Recently, The National Multifamily Housing Council asked 221,000 renters what they consider when choosing a place to live.

Price was the obvious number one factor that renters looked at. But property appearance was number two. This underscores why it’s important to include excellent photos in your rental property listings.

People often browse through sites like Zillow by looking at pictures of apartments and clicking on the ones that look best to them. If you don’t have nice photos of the unit, it will be tough for the listing to perform well – even if every other part of it is perfect.

An intriguing, informative title

After price and photos, most apartment hunters look at the title of a listing next. Your titles need to be catchy to stand out.

When writing a title for a new listing, it’s typically best to include:

  • Price
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Neighborhood
  • Unique features

Putting all of that together might lead you to a title like – “$2,500 – 1 bedroom/1 bath apartment in Georgetown with private backyard”.

An accurate description

You also need to include an accurate description of your rental property in the body of the listing.

This is where you want to include all of the features that set your vacancy apart from others in the area. Try to use descriptive language to really make the listing come alive.

Rental policies, security deposit, and restrictions

Next, in the body of your rental listing, include important details about restrictions, policies, and security deposit requirements.

For example, you should let people know whether you accept pets or not. You should also tell them what their security deposit will be and if you have any restrictions on how they’ll be able to use the property after they move in.

Attractive destinations nearby

Finally, a rental property listing should also include some information about the highlights of the neighborhood and surrounding area.

If the rental property is in a central location, you might talk about its walkability and proximity to restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. Or, if the property is rural, you could talk about the quiet neighborhood and nearby parks.

Every area has something unique about it that’s worth talking about – even if it’s just easy-to-find street parking and fast access to the freeway. Make sure you highlight what makes your property’s area special to appeal to as many people as possible.

How to list on Zillow: step-by-step guide

Now that we’ve covered the core features of a great rental property listing let’s learn how to list your rental property on Zillow specifically. Here are step-by-step instructions to get you started.

1. Add your rental property to Zillow Rental Manager

The first thing you need is a Zillow Rental Manager account, which is free to create. However, you will be charged either weekly or for a flat 90-day fee for each property you list.

Once you’ve created a Zillow Rental Manager account, you can add the rental property that you want to list. You’ll be asked to provide the following pieces of information:

  • The rent price
  • Security deposit amount
  • Basic property details, such as square footage and number of bedrooms
  • The date your property is available 

Completing this step is fairly self-explanatory. Simply input the information where it’s requested, and you’ll be ready to move on to step number two.

2. List your property’s amenities

List your property’s amenities

The next step is listing the amenities that your property offers by ticking the appropriate boxes under the “Amenities and Rules” heading.

This is fairly self-explanatory as well. Simply click on the boxes next to the amenities the unit has, and leave the others blank. You’ll have the opportunity to provide more details in the next step.

3. Write a great property description

Write a great property description

Now you’re ready to write a great property description. We covered the details of what that should include earlier in this article.

For example, your property description should have information about:

  • Nearby destinations
  • Any standout features of the rental property
  • Details about rental policies
  • Security deposit information
  • Desired lease length
  • Qualification criteria
  • Any other details you think would be useful

One thing to note here is that your description can impact whether or not your property shows up when people search for a specific feature on Zillow. For example, if someone looks up “fenced backyard”, your vacancy may only show up if you actually include those words in the description.

4. Add photos and a 3D virtual tour

Add photos and a 3D virtual tour

Next up – add photos of the property and a 3D virtual tour to really help your rental property stand out.

Try to take high-definition photos with great lighting to make the place look as good as it can. It’s possible nowadays to create 3D virtual tours with a standard smartphone and a cheap attachment, so you should be able to film one even if you’re trying to cut down on costs.

5. Share your contact information

Share your contact information

The next step is to share your contact information. Try to give applicants as many ways to reach you as possible to avoid any communication issues.

6. Consider advertising your rental property

At this point, your Zillow listing is basically done. But you may still want to consider advertising the property to drive more attention to it.

There are plenty of ways to advertise rental properties for free. But Zillow also has paid options that place your apartment at the top of the list of search results for potential renters. You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of this type of advertisement to decide whether it’s right for you.

Listing rental property on Trulia

If you plan on listing a rental property on Zillow, then you may also be interested in posting the listing on Trulia to find more potential applicants. The process for this is very easy.

Zillow acquired Trulia in 2015. Now, any listing that is posted on Zillow’s platform is automatically syndicated to Trulia within 24 hours. No additional steps are required on your end. Just post the listing on Zillow, and it will also be on Trulia within a day.

Doorloop makes listing rental properties easier

Doorloop makes listing rental properties easier

Listing your properties on Zillow isn’t very complicated. 

But what if you want to put the same listing on every apartment platform? 

That takes a while, and it’s incredibly inconvenient. 

And how about sharing customized applications with interested applicants?

If you’re looking for a more robust rental property marketing platform, one that allows you to add to multiple listing platforms at once, Doorloop is the answer. 

It gives you the ability to:

  • Share listings across multiple sites with just a few clicks
  • Create and share custom applications
  • Find the best tenants with streamlined applicant screening processes

Doorloop is an all-in-one property management software, too. 

So once you find a tenant, you can continue using Doorloop to communicate with them, accept rent payments, keep track of your financials, manage maintenance requests, and much more.

Sign up for a free demo of DoorLoop to learn more about how we can help you get more out of listing your properties and units on platforms like Zillow.

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!