We explore some of the alternatives to Cozy for managing your rental listings to minimize vacancies and mitigate the risks of bad tenants.
One of the more stressful parts of being a landlord is filling your property vacancies. This requires you to create a property listing, post it on the top sites, run property viewings, manage tenant applications, screen tenants, and more. Making the wrong choice on your tenant can be incredibly expensive which makes this process not only time-consuming but high pressure, and it can quickly become expensive with vacancies dragging on and costs compiling.
In this article, we take a look at some of the best alternative sites to Cozy for managing your rental listings to help you minimize vacancy periods and mitigate the risks of bad tenants.
What makes a good tenant? When choosing your tenant you should have preset criteria that they meet based on factors such as income and rental history. You are looking for someone who pays rent on time, moves in when the apartment is available, has a good rental history.
It’s important to keep in mind when you’re creating your listing not to include any language that could be construed to be discriminatory against any of the protected classes. And when selecting your tenant from all the applicants you must treat each applicant fairly and equally within the confines of the law.
More applicants give you more options so a good listing that gets in front of as many people as possible is vital.
There are a few things that a rental listing site should enable you to do. First, it should allow you to reach a large and relevant audience quickly. There are numerous websites that have thousands if not millions of visitors per day choosing the right one will depend on your location your property’s location.
Once you’ve managed to get your listing in front of a number of prospective tenants then you need to encourage them to enquire or apply. As such, the rental listing site that you use should enable you to add to your listing multiple photographs of the property, including at least one image per room as well as a floor plan and potentially even a short video tour – each of which has been proven to dramatically increase inquiry rates.
The platform that you choose should also allow tenants to easily enquire and organize a viewing, as well as have the ability to store all communications between yourself and your tenant for your records should any legal issues arise.
As a final step, many rental listing sites also have tenant screening capabilities. Being able to screen your tenants is absolutely vital if you are to choose the best tenant who will pay rent on time and in full for the entire term of the lease.
Find out more about Landlord Studio’s built-in tenant screening →
Cozy is a property management solution that has dominated the market for a few years, however, after its acquisition by Apartments.com, it has become less about the landlords who use it and more about developing Apartments.com business.
This shift in focus away from the user has caused some issues with users who are finding some of their favored functionality has been removed meaning it’s time to search for an alternative. And in order to get the best tenants in the easiest way possible, it’s always a good idea to reanalyze your rental processes to help cut costs and time where possible.
Facebook has billions of active users around the world. Most people have a Facebook account in the US. Additionally, Facebook has invested a lot in developing its marketplace over the last few years to compete against existing online marketplaces, and paired with their powerful targeting and analytical capabilities this makes it an ideal platform to get in front of a tenant.
Craigslist has been a go-to platform for tenants looking for their next place to rent for years. As such, it’s often one of the first sites that potential renters will check out when looking for a new apartment. It’s also worth noting that it has made some changes to help reduce scams over the years. It focuses on metropolitan areas, and you can create a posting in just a few minutes.
Zillow Rental Manager provides landlords with a full suite of rental management tools including posting their rental listing, screening tenants with online rental applications, and signing a rental lease. The platform receives over 30 million visitors each month from tenants across the US and each listing is syndicated across the Zillow-owned platforms which include Trulia, and HotPads.
Landlords who want to list a home for rent on the MLS need to use a local real estate agent. Although you’ll have to pay a leasing commission, the MLS is a great way to find an agent to be part of your local real estate team.
Doorsteps have partnered with several sites including Realtor.com and MLS listings from 25+ markets across the U.S. and offer direct listings from landlords and Aparmentlist.com. The site originated in 2012 as a guide for first-time homebuyers, but more recently they’ve expanded to serve renters as well.
Rentberry is another major listing site that allows you to easily reach millions of prospective tenants. Listings placed on Rentberry can be syndicated to partner websites such as Doorsteps, Oodle, Realtor.com, and Zumper. Landlords can list for free by entering basic property information, the monthly price, and the security deposit.
RentDigs allows landlords to create a free =listing and syndicate that listing to other platforms such as Oodle.com, Trovit.com, claz.org, Mitula.com and RentJungle.com.The unique benefits of RentDigs include detailed reports on the performance of your listing as well as the fact that prospective tenants don’t need to create an account to go through the site and access listings which helps reduce friction for users and increase inquiry rates.
Zumper allows landlords to post listings screen renters and even collect rent through their platform. Their tenant screening is provided by TransUnion and they have a policy of no “hidden fees”. Zumper provides some high-quality leads for landlords of SFH and Multi-Units.
CHBO (Corporate Housing by Owner) is the ideal platform for listing your property if you are targeting business travelers. Corporate housing can be a lucrative strategy for running your rentals, however, it does require a more unique and tailored strategy – and finding the right tenants is the first step to successfully renting your property as corporate housing. CHBO is the ideal rental listing website for landlords who want to target traveling executives.
If you’re in between tenants and thinking about listing your property month-to-month to generate a higher level of rent, try Airbnb. Although known as vacation listing websites, both also offer longer short-term rentals of one month or more.
VRBO is a similar site to Airbnb with millions of listings and plenty of traffic. It is known for vacation and short-term rentals however, like Airbnb you can also market slightly longer-term rentals through the platform too. Running a short-term rental comes with its own idiosyncrasies, such as the requirement for furnishings and offering additional services, however, it can be highly lucrative for the right property if you’re willing to out in the extra work. Using VRBO and/or Airbnb is a good way to get a high occupancy rate and capitalize on the higher rent rates that you can charge for short-term rentals.
A great place to start is to set up your own website. This becomes the central hub for your online property portfolio. You can feature photos, detailed information, and easily connect with your property management team.
You will want your site to be attractive, easy to navigate, and informative. Plus make sure it’s mobile-friendly!
You can build a website pretty quickly these days, how much it costs will depend on the service you use.
These are just a few of the many options that are available for getting your property in front of as many hyper-relevant prospective tenants as possible. However, you don’t have to use all of it is well worth trying out a few to determine which are best suited for your particular needs for example Facebook Marketplace has the added advantage of allowing you to quickly analyze prospective tenants by viewing the profile, it also allows you to manage all of the communications in house.
If you’re going for short-term rentals when you absolutely need to choose the appropriate rental listing platform such as Airbnb, VRBO, or CHBO if you’re going for short-term corporate housing.
Many of the available sites allow you to syndicate your listing to multiple rental listing sites simultaneously so that you can easily maximize your listings exposure. using the right combination and you should quickly be swamped with inquiries from prospective tenants.
Sorting through all of these tenants may seem a little bit of a tedious process however you must be very thorough. It is important to hold all applicants to the same strict screening criteria for example you might say that you’re the tenants must have a credit score of above 600.
To ensure the have accurate data for each of your tenants it is suggested that you first pre-screen all tenants with a selection of tailored questions and then those applicants that seem most viable get a tenant screening report done which will give you accurate information on their credit history and rental history allowing you to make an informed decision.
Run a comprehensive tenant screening report (free for landlords) in the Landlord Studio software to get all the information you need to protect your investment and ensure you select the best available tenant for your property.
Our reports include a credit report, renting history, background check, and more.
Learn how you can streamline your rental accounting and management with Landlord Studio →