If you have an apartment or home that you would like leased, it’s a good idea to know where to find the best applicants and potential tenants. At the end of the day, listing your home is like listing a product in a marketplace. There are many variables to it but distribution remains the key.
There is a multitude of rental websites that can help you find a tenant for your property - all with good and bad features. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the best places to look if you’re a landlord looking for tenants.
Airbnb is a popular place to find vacation rentals, but did you know that it’s also possible to find longer-term tenants there? Increasing numbers of people are using Airbnb to book ‘monthly stays’, and some extend to 2-3 months or more.
The plus side of using Airbnb to rent your apartment is that you can often charge a higher monthly rental. However, the downsides are that it is only really suitable for short-term rentals (under six months), and your tenants have less legal liability if they cause any damage.
We talk in great detail about renting via AirBnB in this blog. It's important to note that while AirBnB can generate higher income than other ways of renting, there are tons of fees (for both homeowner and renter) and a lot of work that needs to be put in - cleaning, access, seasonality. Simply put, it's not a walk in the park.
Avail is a really handy tool for finding new tenants. They were recently acquired by Realtor.com, one of the larger players in the apartment rental space, which gives them a wider base for distribution and apartment seekers.
Avail will take your listing and post it in various places on the internet, so you have more opportunity for exposure. This includes syndication with Zumper, Zillow (if you sign their terms of service), Apartments.com, Apartmentlist.com, and more. The best part is that it's free to do so.
They also support you when doing tenant research; you can use their service to research criminal background, credit and eviction reports.
Avail.co. is an excellent service that helps you take the hassle out of finding a tenant. However, once you have used their service, you are quite tied into what they offer - which may not suit every landlord. Once you've acquire potential leads, you'll need to pay for their services for applications, leases, and more. But don't fret, it's a great place for tenant acquisition.
Realtor is a great place to list your apartment, house or condo. You can put up a listing on this website and add photos and details. A prospective tenant will then contact you on the website, and you can discuss details with them.
Realtor.com is an excellent way to find tenants at minimal cost to you. However, you will then need to do checks like credit scores and criminal background independently. The best part about Realtor is its distribution network. Because it's been around for longer than these other players, they've been vetted and trusted by larger enterprise property management firms who use Realtor.com as their source of tenant acquisition. As a landlord, it may not be the best fit.
Zumper is another popular apartment rental finder. Like Realtor.com, you can list your apartment here and wait for people to apply to you. The messaging service is not as seamless as - communication is done through email, which can be a bit clunky, though some landlords prefer this over learning a new user interface.
However, it is used a lot by tenants all over the country, so you are quite likely to find somebody to move into your property when you use this website!
Zumper has attracted a fair amount of VC funding which has allowed them to aggressively target more landlords and apartment seekers. You can list any type of home, including rooms, super quickly.
Zillow is best known as a marketplace for buying homes. It's got troves of data related to agents, loan amounts, and more, and has the highly coveted "Zestimate" for properties (though usually overvalues homes). It doesn’t specialize in rentals, but it does own variety of rental websites that you can syndicate to through their Zillow Rental Manager - Trulia and Hotpads.
Like Avail.co, it also has services that can help you screen your tenants to determine if they are suitable for your property. It has all the online leasing capabilities as well, but with the biggest distribution of all of the noted platforms.
Zillow remains the gold standard for listing your rental property. It's got millions of monthly searchers, but only does entire homes. A huge market that Zillow and its affiliates miss out on is the co-living market.
When listing your home, be sure to take these things into account.
Alcove's per-bedroom platform is a great way to find tenants searching for per-bedroom listings. The market for renters looking for rooms to rent outweighs the market for entire homes by a wide margin.
With access to these renters, Alcove allows homeowners to earn above market rates due to our per-bedroom leasing model. With Alcove, you won't have to concurrently list your home on other platforms like traditional renting models. We think it's the best option for homeowner with investment properties.
There are a few places that you can list if you are looking for a tenant, all of which are good for different reasons.
If you are looking for a short-term tenant, use Airbnb. However, if you want the apartment to be rented for six months or more, the other websites may be more appropriate.
Learn more about Alcove and how to maximize your rental income.