Tenant Management, Tenant Screening

Best Free Online Ways To Advertise Property For Rent

advertise property for rent online

Update: This post has been updated with new scoring and winners based on changes or upgrades to some of the products and services. We have also included new products that have come to our attention since the last update. Read on to see our winners for the best free online ways to advertise property for rent 2023:

Any landlord knows that having rentals sit vacant will quickly turn the ink on their balance sheet from black to red. Reaching and attracting new prospective tenants is the first step in filling vacancies. Online property management software products can dramatically streamline the process of marketing empty units. As you’ll see in this and other articles we’ve written, we believe strongly that these products improve the ease and profitability of managing rental property. We take a look at leading software providers, many of whom offer free online ways to advertise property for rent.

Note: As of 4/20/23 Avail’s Unlimited Plus subscription pricing has been updated.

Best Free Online Ways To Advertise Property For Rent – Our Top Picks

  • Availwinner checkmark Winner: Best Overall for Advertising Properties for Rent Online
  • RentRediwinner checkmark Winner: Best Mobile App for Advertising Properties for Rent Online
  • Hemlanewinner checkmark Winner: Best Hybrid Platform for Advertising Properties for Rent Online
  • TenantCloudwinner checkmark Winner: Best for Advertising Properties for Rent Online, Large Portfolios
  • Rentec Direct – Full-Featured Software for Small Landlords or Property Managers Alike
  • TurboTenant – All-In-One Rental Property Management Platform with Integrated Education
  • DoorLoop – Rental Property Management Software Made Easy
  • Innago – Free Online Property Management Platform, With Great Customer Support for Landlords
  • Landlord Studio – Powerful All-In-One Rental Software Solution That Reduces Paperwork and Streamlines Your Bookkeeping

Choosing the Best Online Site to Advertise Properties for Rent

Each of these companies offer features that allow landlords to advertise properties for rent. Choosing the best service depends on the factors that are most important to you. We chose five important factors to consider when you’re making your choice, and an extra credit feature. 

1. Avail

Winner: Best Overall for Advertising Properties for Rent Online

  • Vacancies are syndicated (posted on) a broad range of rental listing sites, reaching a huge percentage of people searching for housing online.
  • The user interface is attractive and easy to use.
  • A customizable online application is a click away from your vacancy page.

Among free online ways to advertise property for rent, Avail is our Overall Winner.  Avail is an end-to-end property management software that helps small landlords create online listings, receive applications, run screening reports, collect rent, and get instant access to lawyer-approved leases and electronic signing. It does a lot of the work for you, including contacting former landlords for references, so you can fill vacancies quickly with qualified tenants. Here’s our full product overview.

Reach of Listings: As soon as you activate your listing on Avail your listing is syndicated across virtually all high-traffic rental property advertising sites, including Zumper, Apartments.com, Padmapper, Hotpads, Rentable, ApartmentList, Doorsteps.com, Realtor.com, and Walkscore.com. If you’ve set up a paid account with Zillow, your listing will go live on their sites as well. The Zillow group includes Trulia and Hotpads.

Visual Presentation: Avail’s overall aesthetic is clean, casual, and simple. While there isn’t a lot of flash to the listing presentation, we think the friendly feel is approachable and easy to take in. Large urban apartment buildings may want a more glossy approach, but we think Avail’s design is a great fit for us independent owners and managers.

Cost: Advertising as many units as you’d like is completely free on Avail. We only have two small quibbles; tenants are charged a $2.50 fee per online rent payment transaction, and a full screening report bundle including credit, criminal, and evictions is a bit more expensive than other services, at $50. Landlords can choose to have applicants pay that fee, of course, or pay it themselves. Avail also offers a $7 per unit per month subscription, which eliminates the tenant-paid transaction fee, shortens bank transfer times to 1-3 days instead of 3-5, and gives landlords the ability to edit and customize the 50-state localized lease documents.

Quality of Application: Avail offers customizable rental applications where you can insert personalized prescreening questions. Their application also asks for five years of residence history and employment and income verification. Once the application is completed, landlords can review the results within their Avail account.  

Scheduling: Avail allows landlords to schedule showing times. This includes the showing date, start and end time, and the number of minutes for each showing. They also provide notification options for prospective tenants.

Extra Credit – Rent Estimator: Based on similar units in nearby areas, Avail provides a rent estimate to help you decide on a rent price. Avail partners with RentRange to provide the Rental Analysis Report, which costs landlords $19.99. They also offer a rental property calculator that can calculate the cap rate, cash-on-cash return, gross rent multiplier, and internal rate of return on a real estate investment.

2. RentRedi

Winner: Best Mobile App for Advertising Properties for Rent Online

  • Interface is easy to use for applicants and landlords.
  • App makes it easy to communicate with tenants and applicants while on the go.
  • Ability to upload video tours.
  • Screening reports are easily available.

RentRedi’s app is truly convenient and enjoyable to use, for both landlords and tenants. Advertising your vacancy can be managed easily from any mobile device, allowing you to correspond easily with prospective tenants from anywhere, in real time. In addition to advertising your properties, you can easily screen applicants, receive payments, manage maintenance requests, and more. Here’s our full product overview. 

Reach of Listings: RentRedi provides free listings to Doorsteps.com and Realtor.com, both of which have high traffic numbers. They also allow you to post to Zillow, Trulia, and HotPads for $1.75 per day, charged weekly. Each of your units will get a free professional-looking marketing site that’s easy to share on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or elsewhere.

Visual Presentation: The RentRedi app has a very nice interface, which is easy to use for both landlords and applicants. Overall, we really like the look and feel of RentRedi’s app and marketing sites. Another nice feature RentRedi offers is the ability to upload a video tour to your vacancy listing.

Cost: Paid annually, a RentRedi subscription costs $9/mo and includes an unlimited number of units and tenants. You can also include as many team members as you’d like, so looping-in assistants, spouses, contractors, or other parties are all free. Our only complaint is that vacancies do not reach as many eyeballs as on some other platforms.

Quality of Application: With RentRedi, all applicants fill out a 10-question pre-screening survey that is built into the platform. Tenants can also securely submit and pay for screening reports. These reports all include a TransUnion credit score, criminal background check, employment history, and rental history. Using the information from RentRedi’s comprehensive tenant screening reports, you can determine whether or not to accept a tenant’s application. Screening reports cost $35 per report and are paid by the tenant. 

Scheduling: RentRedi does not provide a system for scheduling showings, however, they allow landlords to set times when they are available to be contacted.

3. Hemlane

Winner: Best Hybrid Platform for Advertising Properties for Rent Online

  • Syndicates to over 30 rental listing websites.
  • Provides credit reports and background checks of tenants.
  • Easy-to-use online rental payments.
  • Gives owners tools to self-manage, and options to outsource as many duties as they want to.

Hemlane syndicates vacancy listings across 30 additional listing sites and streamlines applications, screening, and rent collection. Hemlane charges a flat fee per unit, and at their upper tiers, they take the burden of managing repairs and filling vacancies off of the owner’s shoulders. Here’s our full product overview. 

Reach of Listings: Hemlane hits all the major listing networks, including Zillow, Zumper, Padmapper, Facebook Marketplace, Apartments.com, Realtor.com, Walkscore, and ApartmentList. The syndicate list includes 30 sites at their Basic level. Without purchasing a Premium Listing, you are unable to syndicate to the Zillow network, including HotPads and Trulia. 

Visual Presentation: Hemlane helps landlords build a clean & attractive professional site to showcase their rental properties. The aesthetic is clean, modern, and clear. Data and photos are stored for each unit, so creating a new listing when a vacancy comes up only requires the adjustment of pricing and the availability date. Hemlane does a great job of automating rental marketing with reminders, scheduling, and listings that are both thorough and attractive.

Cost: Hemlane’s basic tier is a $28 base fee plus $2 for each unit. This subscription level gets your listings syndicated to over 30 sites. To add the Zillow network sites, Redfin, and Rent.com, you’ll need to purchase a Premium Listing for $89/month per listing, giving you additional exposure to tenants. Hemlane also offers an “essential” tier for a base fee of $28 plus $12 per unit. This tier offers state-specific leases and repair coordination on top of the basic tier features. They also offer a “complete” tier, which has a $28 base fee plus $32 per unit. This gives you access to a local leasing agent, as well as a network of vendors for maintenance. Hemlane also offers leasing services starting at $400 and eviction services for a flat fee of $375. 

Quality of Application: Using an algorithm, Hemlane can also help you determine whether or not you should accept the prospective tenant. 

Scheduling: For a flat fee of $400, Hemlane will handle the arrangement of tours for prospective tenants. They also provide the option of allowing tenants to give themselves self-guided tours using a digital lockbox that is installed onsite. 

Extra Credit – Rent Estimator: Hemlane provides a free rent calculator that allows you to compare your current rental rate to the current market rate. All you need to do is input the address of your rental, along with the building type, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and what you currently charge.

4. TenantCloud

Winner: Best for Advertising Properties for Rent Online, Large Portfolios

  • Easy to use for landlords with one or even several hundred units.
  • Easily manage units and tenants with TenantCloud’s mobile app.
  • Advertise an unlimited number of units.

TenantCloud is a full-service property management software tool that does a very nice job of meeting the needs of landlords managing anything from a single home to several hundred units. There are features relevant to owner-managers as well as property managers. From rent-up of vacancies, to financial reporting, to maintenance coordination with service providers, TenantCloud offers valuable solutions. Here’s our full product overview. 

Reach of Listings: TenantCloud boasts a long list of marketing partners. Any listing will appear on all the Zillow sites, Oodle, Apartments.com, Trulia, and more. TenantCloud also partners with Rentler, which is unique because of its system that identifies matches between available rentals and prospective tenants. Landlords and tenants see their matches and either party can contact the other. We see this as a valuable feature, however, Rentler doesn’t seem to have a sizeable number of renters shopping on their platform. 

Visual Presentation: TenantCloud offers a user-friendly website builder which enables you to create very attractive customized listings for each rental unit. The end product is a personalized listing site for each landlord, featuring a map showing properties, and a “Find a Rental” button so that applicants can browse your properties.

Cost: Landlords can list an unlimited number of units under any plan. There is a free plan, but they also offer a Starter plan which costs $12/mo and also includes premium leads and tax reports. TenantCloud also offers a Growth plan for $40/mo, which also includes a lease building tool and features for professional property managers.

Quality of Application: Using TenantCloud, you can customize your application by adding your own prescreening questions. 

Scheduling: TenantCloud allows prospective tenants to request a tour of your unit with the click of a button.  

Extra Credit – Rent Estimator: TenantCloud offers a Rentability report for properties in the United States only and costs $19.99. The report provides an analysis of your rental property and includes an estimated rental rate.

5. Rentec Direct

Full-Featured Software for Small Landlords or Property Managers Alike

  • Wide syndication.
  • Comprehensive management features for owner-managers and property managers.
  • Free custom marketing website.

Rentec Direct offers property management software and tenant screening tools to easily manage properties, tenants, and accounts online. Rentec Direct is good for landlords with 1 or even over 2,500 properties. They also cater to property managers with their Rentec PM option. Rentec Pro and PM subscribers can collect rent payments online, post vacancies, screen applicants, and more. Here’s our full product overview. 

Reach of Listings: Rentec Direct also boasts an impressive list of 21 syndicate sites. Among them are Apartments.com, Apartment List, Dwellsy, Homes.com, Hunt.com, realtor.com, RentPath, ForRent.com, Apartment Finder, ApartmentAdvisor, Doorsteps, Move.com, rent.com, and Zumper. 

Visual Presentation: To our eye, Rentec Direct is particularly well-designed for larger-scale landlords and property managers.  The website builder is less slick and feels a bit less modern than other products we’ve used, however, the functionality is broad and is a good fit if you’re setting up a site to present a full portfolio of real estate.  Essentially you’re setting up a property management company site. The resulting presentation is not the most stunning we’ve seen, but the capabilities offered are valuable if you’re managing a number of properties.

Cost: Rentec Pro starts at $45/mo for 10 or fewer units and the prices increase gradually with the addition of units. They also offer Rentec PM, which is for property managers that are managing for owners, starting at $55/mo. Rentec Direct also offers a two-week free trial.

Quality of Application: Rentec Direct gives you access to a customizable online application system, allowing you to have full control over prescreening for prospective tenants. They also offer credit, criminal, and background checks and they make it easy to collect application fees and tenant screening costs through the application. 

Scheduling: Rentec Direct doesn’t currently offer a showing scheduling feature.

6. TurboTenant

All-In-One Rental Property Management Platform with Integrated Education

  • Landlords average 28 leads per listing.
  • Premium tier is quite affordable at $8.25/mo.
  • Easily upload virtual tours of your units.
  • Free Rent Estimate report.

With TurboTenant, you can easily syndicate your property to over 50 rental listing platforms. They also offer a pre-screening questionnaire, as well as credit, background, and eviction checks. TurboTenant can also help you with creating state-specific lease agreements for $39, or for free with the Premium tier. Here’s our full product overview. 

Reach of Listings: TurboTenant has over 50 syndication partners in the platform’s network. This includes Zumper, Apartments.com, Redfin, realtor.com, Dwellsy, Apartment List, and PadMapper. They will also generate an ad for you that can be posted on Craigslist. 

Visual Presentation: TurboTenant offers a detailed yet simple layout, especially for advertising your units. You can easily manage incoming leads by viewing and responding to potential tenants. Like RentRedi, TurboTenant boasts an attractive app for managing rentals on the go.

Cost: TurboTenant offers both free and premium tiers. The premium tier costs $8.25/mo and is billed annually. This subscription includes an unlimited amount of connected bank accounts and free state-specific lease agreements, lease addendums, and e-signatures.  

Quality of Application: TurboTenant also provides a pre-screening questionnaire that asks potential tenants about things such as pets, vehicles on the property, and if they smoke. 

Scheduling:  TurboTenant doesn’t currently offer a showing scheduling feature. 

Extra Credit – Rent Estimator: TurboTenant offers free rent estimate reports. All you have to do is fill out information about the property. They will then email you a report with the range of rent prices in the area for similar properties. 

7. DoorLoop

Rental Property Management Software Made Easy

  • Attractive custom marketing website.
  • Custom applications.
  • Four free syndication sites, and more if you want to upgrade your plan.

With DoorLoop, you can easily market your properties, using their website designing feature. You get to customize a website that will help you to attract prospective tenants. They also offer syndication to platforms like Zillow, Trulia, and Hotpads. Tenants also pay the application fee, which includes a background, credit, and eviction check. Here’s our full product overview.

Reach of Listings: DoorLoop offers syndication with platforms such as Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, Apartments.com, and more.

Visual Presentation: DoorLoop allows you to completely customize a website to help you list your properties and attract the attention of prospective tenants. You have complete control over everything, down to the website colors, logo, and URL. 

Cost: Pricing with DoorLoop is based on the number of units that you have. If you are managing 20 or fewer units, the starter tier costs $49/mo, their most popular pro tier is $99/mo, and their premium tier is $149/mo. However, as the number of units that you are managing increases, so does the monthly price. 

Quality of Application: Once prospective tenants fill out an application, they pay the application fee, which includes full background, credit, and eviction checks. 

Scheduling:  DoorLoop doesn’t currently offer a showing scheduling feature.

8. Innago

Free Online Property Management Platform, With Great Customer Support for Landlords

  • Attractive interface and mobile app available.
  • Advertising is syndicated to several major listing platforms.
  • Build your own custom application.
  • Listing templates for commercial, student, and residential rentals.

With Innago, you have complete control over your listings. They allow you to create your own custom listing page, as well as build your own application. They offer an app, making it easy for you and renters to communicate on the go, and listings can include video tour URLs.  Innago also offers tenant screening tools, which will give you a report of their credit, criminal, and eviction history. Here’s our full product overview.

Reach of Listings: Innago syndicates to a wide range of additional platforms, including Zumper, PadMapper, Microsoft Bing, Realtor.com, Doorsteps, and RentLingo. 

Visual Presentation: Innago’s layout is very simple and easy to take in. You have complete control over what tenants can see, as Innago allows you to create a custom listing page. You can also easily post photos of your unit, the amenities and utilities that you offer, as well as your pet policy.  You can even include a video tour URL, which helps narrow down showings to renters who are truly interested.

Cost: Innago stands out as being really, truly, free for landlords.  There are no subscription fees, tenants pay $30-35 for screening reports and $2 per ACH rent payment. 

Quality of Application: Innago offers the option of building your own application. Using this feature, you can ask pre-screening questions, as well as request additional documents. They also offer comprehensive tenant screening reports, including credit, criminal, and eviction history.

Scheduling: While Innago does not offer scheduled showings, they offer the option of posting a video tour or even a link that leads to a virtual tour.

9. Landlord Studio

Powerful All-In-One Rental Software For Landlords Focused on Bookkeeping and Accounting Features

  • Pre-screening questions avoid wasting time with the full application & screening process.
  • Landlords who are focused on financial tools can advertise separately, then have renters apply on LandlordStudio.
  • Rent payment, expense tracking, and reporting features are all robust

Landlord Studio has a simple, easy interface to create attractive listings. They also offer a long list of pre-screening questions that landlords can require applicants to answer, making it a very efficient way to narrow down the tenant search quickly and save time. However, they don’t currently syndicate ads to listing sites, so you’ll have to do that yourself.  Here’s our full product overview.

Reach of Listings: We really can’t give Landlord Studio much credit when it comes to the reach of rental listings on their platform. At this point they only post listings on their own site, however, they’re new to the listings game so that may change.

Visual Presentation: Rental ads on the Landlord Studio platform have a simple, clean appearance. Properties are presented well on the site, however, there aren’t any stand-out features such as video touring.

Cost: Landlord Studio currently offers a free option, however, this is for landlords with up to three properties. There is the Landlord Studio PRO option, which starts at $12/mo for more than three properties and is $1 extra for each additional property. 

Quality of Application: When finding tenants, Landlord Studio offers a built-in prescreening questionnaire. You can also get a TransUnion SmartMove report for $40, which can be charged to the tenant or paid by you. 

Scheduling: Landlord Studio does not currently offer a showing scheduling feature.

Takeaway: Best Free Online Ways To Advertise Property For Rent

Reaching and appealing to the maximum number of prospective tenants is the first important step in keeping your properties fully occupied with great residents. There are many free online ways to advertise property for rent, and we’ve evaluated the best products in order to help you choose the solution that’s right for you.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and Landlord Gurus may earn a commission. Our mission remains to provide valuable resources and information that helps landlords manage their rental properties efficiently and profitably. We link to these companies and their products because of their quality, not because of the commission.

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About Eli Secor

Eli purchased his first rental property at the age of 20, a fourplex in Gold Canyon, Arizona. He was lucky to have the advice of a shrewd real estate investing grandmother, as well as special incentives for first time buyers following the savings and loan meltdown in the late ‘80’s.

In 2004 Eli and his wife purchased their first property together, a triplex in Portland, Oregon. The neighborhood was improving, light rail was coming in, and the property needed a significant rehab. They traveled back and forth from their then home in California, improving and managing the property. Eli did a full remodel on the biggest unit, living in the construction zone while doing so. The property has been cashflow positive since day one, and is now worth 3-4 times its original purchase price.

Eli has been involved in residential construction since 2001, having remodeled several houses from top to bottom, rehabbed or improved rental units, and built his family’s primary residence. He leverages his knowledge of buildings to improve and maintain rental properties cost and time-effectively.

Since 2007 Eli has been managing property in Seattle for family members, and now oversees 20 apartments and 3 commercial spaces. He has a great handyman, who helps make repairs, maintenance, and improvement smooth and easy. Otherwise Eli is a DIY landlord, and single contact for all of his tenants.

When Eli isn’t managing rental property he is working on home projects, sailing, mountain biking, skiing, or spending time with friends and family. Once or twice a week Chris and Eli get together to run their dogs, Lola & Peanut. These meetings do double duty as Landlord Gurus planning sessions!

Credentials:
- BA in History from Whitman College
- General Contractor (Ex)
- USCG Licensed Captain (UOPV Six-Pack)

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