Woman on phone

Zillow improves rental tour scheduling 

Apartment hunters can now book tours instantly, thanks to Zillow's focus on tech that powers both consumer and agent experiences.

January 23, 2023
2 minutes

Key points:

  • The company aims to make the apartment-hunting process easier for renters and property managers.
  • It’s the latest in a series of scheduling features to simplify touring for buyer, renters and the agents they work with.

Zillow is continuing its rollout of products with the goal of making scheduling easier, turning its attention this time to the rental market.

The company announced on Jan. 23 announced its new automated tour scheduling feature. Renters can now instantly book an apartment tour online, much like booking a restaurant reservation. Previously, renters had to provide their contact info and wait to hear back from a property manager.

Prospective renters who book tours will also receive automated email and text reminders about appointment times.

The addition of instant tour scheduling serves the needs of renters who want and expect such features. The Zillow Rentals 2022 Consumer Housing Trends Report found 71% of recent renters reported taking up to four in-person tours. In 2021, 58% of recent renters said they preferred to schedule in-person tours online. 

This new feature is the latest in a series of moves focused on improving both for-sale and rental transactions. Earlier this month, Zillow announced new services for agents on the ShowingTime+ app like Listing Media Services, dotloop and Bridge Interactive. Listing Showcase is expected to arrive later this year. 

The apartment booking feature utilizes integrations with Knock CRM and Funnel Leasing, and reflects Zillow's broader goal of building a better touring experience for all of its customers — renters, home buyers and agents.

"Touring is a major milestone in the journey of finding a rental, and it's due for innovation," said Michael Sherman, vice president of Zillow Rentals, in the news release. "Allowing renters to instantly book a tour removes barriers and delivers a more seamless and convenient experience for renters and property managers. Freeing up the time it takes to coordinate schedules allows renters to focus on finding their perfect place without worrying about when they'll get a chance to see it, and gives property managers valuable time back for other important tasks." 

The new technology could also be helpful for real estate agents and brokers who are managing or building a portfolio of investment properties themselves, or who serve renters in addition to buyers. The streamlined system means they can focus on other aspects of their business.

Currently the feature is available for more than 2,600 apartment buildings, and Zillow expects adoption to grow. Renters will soon be able to specify the type of tour they want to take (in-person, self-guided or a live virtual tour) when booking.  

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