Tenant Management, Tenant Screening

What is Zillow Feed Connect?

lady commuting by bicycle

Whenever we research and review property management software we come upon new companies, new features, and new programs. So far we’ve written several articles about Zillow, talking about their listing fees and comparing their features against other products. However, there are a few questions we haven’t tackled. “What is Zillow Feed Connect? “How much does Zillow Feed Connect cost?” In the following article, we are going to share some information we recently gathered.

A few months ago, a Zillow representative reached out to discuss Zillow Feed Connect. She ran through the program, describing how it lets landlords create and manage their vacancy listings on outside property management software platforms while still having their property show up on Zillow’s network of sites.

In addition to Zillow, that includes HotPads and Trulia. Significantly, the company sites get an estimated 68 million visitors per month over the three websites.

Recently another representative contacted us, saying there was new pricing. So, we scheduled an appointment with her and took some notes.

What is Zillow Feed Connect?

  • A program for landlords to advertise rentals on the Zillow network, while managing their properties on a separate property management software tool.
  • Initially, owners or property managers get set up with a Feed Connect account and identify which properties they own or manage.
  • When a landlord lists a vacancy on a platform that supports syndication to Zillow, their vacancy will automatically show up on the network’s sites. Subsequently, changes to the listing will cause an update on Zillow sites as well. Some of those software platforms include Buildium, Avail, Rentec Direct, and TenantCloud.

How Much Does Zillow Feed Connect Cost?

The big news from our recent call about Zillow Feed Connect was that there has been a drop in pricing. When the program was rolled out in 2020, the pricing was $2.45 per unit per day. Subsequently, pricing will be $2.10 per unit per day.

internal link Related: The Best Rental Property Management Software: Product Overviews

What are the Benefits of Using Zillow Feed Connect?

Fortunately, at this point, there are lots of property management software products to choose from. Let’s look at some of the benefits of using Zillow Feed Connect:

  • Firstly, you can use a platform that syndicates listing to a huge range of rental advertising sites. For example, our article on alternatives to Zillow shows how many possible eyeballs each of these services serve up to your ads.
  • It’s generally accepted that Zillow draws the most potential tenants who are shopping for a new home, so it’s good to have your ads on their network.
  • You pay $2.10 to advertise by the day, instead of $29.99 for 90 days when you list directly on Zillow. If you fill your vacancy fast and cancel Feed Connect then you save money.
  • Zillow claims that listings spend 13% less time on the market when they’re placed using Feed Connect. Obviously, shortening your vacancy will easily offset any advertising fees.
  • In addition, your listings will be marked as coming from a “Verified Source,” giving potential applicants confidence that they’re pursuing legitimate, well-run properties.
  • Zillow also claims leads that come through Feed Connect are from “higher intent renters,” who are more likely to move forward with renting.  As has been noted, this seems to be a result of the “Verified Source” badging.

internal link Related: Best Free Online Ways To Advertise Property For Rent

cute vacant rental house

Zillow Feed Connect vs. Direct Zillow Listing Pricing

In order to answer the questions “What is Zillow Feed Connect?” and “How much does Zillow Feed Connect cost?” we must compare it to the experience you’ll get if you place your ads directly on Zillow.

We’ll use an imaginary rental to illustrate the pricing difference:

  Feed Connect Direct Listing Price
5-Days On Market $6.30 $29.99
15 Days On Market $31.50 $29.99
20 Days On Market $42.00 $29.99
31 Days On Market $65.10 $29.99

Comparison: Zillow Feed Connect vs. Direct Zillow Advertising Reach

As you can see, Feed Connect saves you money if you fill your unit very quickly, but starts to cost more than listing directly on Zillow as time goes on.  Another consideration, however, is the benefit of using a property management software platform that reaches many more potential renters. For instance, here is the approximate reach of an ad you place on some of the services we’ve looked at:

  Buildium TenantCloud RentecDirect Avail Zillow
Apartments.com Network 70M 70M 70M 70M  
Realtor.com Network     87M 87M  
Zillow Network 68M 68M 68M 68M 68M
Zumper Network 15M        
Total: 153M 138M 225M 225M 68M

internal link Related: Which Rental Advertising Site Is the Best Alternative to Zillow?

How Much can Zillow Rental Feed Save me?

None of us likes to pay advertising costs, but letting our rentals sit empty adds up to far bigger losses than when we fill our rentals quickly. Earlier in this article, we looked at how many renters you can reach on different rental property management software tools.

For example, using the example of a $1,500 unit, let’s take a quick look at how much it costs to have it sit empty for even a few extra days:

  3 Days Vacant 7 Days Vacant 15 Days Vacant 30 Days Vacant
Lost Rent $150 $350 $750 $1500
Lost Rent @
13% Faster
$130 $305 $653 $1135
By comparison: Lower column represents a 13% improvement on the column above.

More Eyeballs = More Leads = Better Tenant Candidates + Shorter Vacancies

Our Takeaway

Evidently, with Feed Connect Zillow has decided they don’t need to make landlords use Zillow Rental Manager tools exclusively. They’ve calculated that they will make more money by allowing landlords to use whatever property management software tool they like, while still charging to have ads placed on their sites.

As can be seen, maximizing the reach of your listings is paramount to getting good rental leads. Having listed 5 units in the last few months, our conclusion is that landlords clearly need to list them on Zillow and Craigslist. 

For instance, we’ve been surprised by how much activity has come from Craigslist recently, as our past experience had been that we weren’t getting many inquiries from that site.

So, how much does Zillow Feed Connect cost? That will depend, of course, on how quickly you fill your vacancies.

In conclusion, given Feed Connect’s “Verified Source” badging on your listings, the additional exposure you can get on other sites, and Zillow’s claim that listings get filled 13% faster, it seems clear to us that this program is worth a try.

Landlord Gurus Recommendation

We suggest signing up for Zillow Feed Connect, then listing your vacancy on a site that syndicates to a large number of advertising sites.

TenantCloud, Buildium, RentecDirect, and Avail are examples. We’ve written reviews of each service, which you can access below.

  • Advertise your property, find and screen tenants, sign leases, collect rent, and e-sign custom local leases, with tools built specifically for DIY landlords.
  • Strength: Complete Solution
  • Whether you manage five doors or five thousand, Buildium provides a simple but sophisticated property management platform to help you grow and improve your business.
  • Strength: Complete Solution
  • End-to-end property management solution. Receive payments online, advertise properties and screen potential tenants. Robust accounting and maintenance features.
  • Strength: Complete Solution
  • Designed to address the needs of DIY landlords as well as property management companies, Rentec Direct includes all the tools necessary to manage and rent your properties
  • Strength: Complete Solution

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.

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Spread the love
Tagged , , , ,

About Eli Secor

Eli Secor, Co-Founder, Landlord Gurus 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)
View all posts by Eli Secor →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *