I Am My Own Zillow Testimonial - Zillow Found Me A Renter!

Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow

I have two rental properties in Florida.  Needless to say, it has been a tough 3 years for us.  One property is furnished and can be rented short term.  In 2009 it had the absolute worst rental history.  There were months when it wasn't even rented for a single night, which had never happened in the 6 years I've owned it. 

In December Zillow announced that we were adding Rentals to the site.  I figured I could give up 3 days of Starbucks in exchange for paying $9.95 to advertise the property on the site for 6 months.  On January 3rd, I added the Rental Unit to the site.  I am happy (and SO relieved) to say that I just got a call from my property management company, and I now have a Renter in the unit through May 17th.  I have never had someone rent the unit for that long of a term.  

Thank you Zillow

Because the Rental search on the site is so new, Rentals aren't something that we are known for yet.  However, the I think the landlords who are getting on the site now are benefitting from being some of the first few listings.  If you do a search for Rentals in Ft Walton Beach, FL, where my unit is located, mine is the only one that shows up. 

Warning, shameless property plug coming...

If you ever vacation in the Ft. Walton Beach/Destin area and want a waterfront, affordable place to stay that has a pool, Internet, and kitchenette- please consider my furnished vacation rental unit


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Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
ActiveRain Ambassador

Can I get a free night if I feature this post? haha

Jan 21, 2010 10:52 AM #3
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

Bob- Hmmm.. maybe we could work something out with points..... :)

Jan 21, 2010 11:57 AM #4
Robert Machado
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC - Sacramento, CA
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management

We use a variety of sites and most are free.  Craigslist works good too in our area.

Jan 21, 2010 04:35 PM #5
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

I use Craig's List always; now I'll check our the Zillow, too. I'm happy for your success. Here's to 2010!

Jan 22, 2010 01:03 AM #6
Colleen Lane
Kennewick Richland (and West) Pasco WA Homes For Sale - Kennewick, WA
Realtor(r) 509.438.9344 www.LaneRealEstateTeam.com

Nice post! 

FYI, I clicked on your "Zillow Al-Star" button in the sidebar and I received this message: "Profile not found. Please try searching the directory."  Also, you might want to set that link to open in a new window so you do not lose visitors to your blog.

We have several rental properties, so your blog post today is good news for us.  :)

Jan 22, 2010 01:11 AM #7
Olga M. Rubio
RE/MAX Realty Center - Houston, TX

Has anyone tried Kijiji.com? It is free.

Jan 22, 2010 01:13 AM #8
Michael Cole
CPG Tours - Orange, CA

Hi Sara,

"Oh, ye of little faith."   ; )

Jan 22, 2010 01:27 AM #9
Karen Rittenhouse
www.JKKPropertyInvestors.com - Greensboro, NC
Real Estate Investor

In this market climate - try EVERYTHING!

Congratulations on your success.

Jan 22, 2010 02:31 AM #10
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

I use Craigslist too for other properties, and it has worked well to get lead.  Lately I haven't been impressed with the caliber of leads though.  As awesome as Craigslist is, there is definitely a opportunity for someone to create a better user interface - more pictures, mapping, more info, etc. 

Kijiji did nothing for me.  For some reason I was hoping it might better reach international people, but I didn't get anything.  (what a terrible name for a site?)

Colleen - Yicks! Thanks!  I'll update.  I need to update all of my links actually.  A little blog housekeeping is in order!

Jan 22, 2010 02:34 AM #11
Jon Sigler
Keller Williams - Greater Hartford - South Windsor, CT
South Windsor Homes for Sale 860-306-8029

Social proof is very powerful.

Jan 22, 2010 02:46 AM #12
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Thanks Sara, I'm glad that Zillow has added this feature.  Will be adding a rental property in Huntington Beach, California soon.  We use HomeAway.com and VRBO for our short term vacation rental in Hawaii and we've had great results. 

Jan 22, 2010 02:51 AM #13
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Probably a good business move for Zillow.  I know I do not want to mess with rentals myself.

Jan 22, 2010 03:25 AM #14
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

I'm glad it worked for you, but I really wouldn't like it to look like I was advising people to check Zillow to get a mortgage.

Jan 22, 2010 03:27 AM #15
Deborah Grimaldi
Grimaldi Appraisal Services - Cranston, RI
(401) 837-9633

I have been using Zillow as well, no results thus far. Glad it worked out for you Sara.

Jan 22, 2010 03:49 AM #16
Kathy Opatka
Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches

Yeah!!! Glad to hear a GOOD Zillow story!  It appears that we only hear/witness the bad about Zillow!

Jan 22, 2010 04:06 AM #17
Craig Snead
Quality Home Investments, LLC / Dearborn Heights, MI - Dearborn Heights, MI
Real Estate Investor

Zillow is growing!!!!!  It's about time they started giving more people what they need.

Jan 22, 2010 06:41 AM #18
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Sara, I have to admit that I probably use zillow daily.  it is a quick and easy way to take a peek at a clients home, and grab some quick data on it!

Jan 23, 2010 06:18 AM #19
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

Great news for you! Looks a nice, and very reasonable, rental. It's sure interesting watching the Zillow, Trulie and Google stories!

Jan 25, 2010 09:57 AM #20
Beverly Femia
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Hampstead, NC
Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are

A success story makes me want to take a harder look at Zillow. 

Jan 26, 2010 02:13 PM #21
Dana Devine
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Apollo Beach, FL

you dont have a rental in Clearwater beach do you....If not I could sell you one so i could rent it?!

Jan 29, 2010 04:36 AM #22
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