Cobbling together employment history, references and financial information to fire off to landlords can eat up precious time in fast-paced rental markets. Zillow has introduced a new feature, Renter Profile, to streamline the process, theoretically offering some renters an edge over their competition while adding a reason for users to favor the listing portal in their online home search.

  • Zillow's new renter profiles let users fire off overviews of their qualifications to landlords.
  • The feature has proven very popular since launching two months ago.

Cobbling together employment history, references and financial information to fire off to landlords can eat up precious time in fast-paced rental markets.

Zillow has introduced a new feature, Renter Profile, to streamline the process, theoretically offering some renters an edge over their competition while adding a reason for users to favor the listing portal in their online home search.

The tool, which has proven very popular since launching recently, lets users hunting for rental listings create profiles that outline some of their qualifications, including personal bio, reason for moving, self-reported credit score, employment, references and desired amenities.

The profile isn’t viewable to the public, but users can choose to share it privately with landlords.

Zillow pop-up window encouraging users to fill out renter profiles.

Zillow pop-up window encouraging users to fill out renter profiles.

Since landlords are flooded with multiple inquiries for a single property, renters can benefit from engaging first and serving up a complete picture of their qualifications, according to Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow chief marketing officer.

By offering Renter Profile, “we’re helping renters reach out to more landlords with less effort, eliminating some of the stress that comes with searching in a competitive market,” he said.

In the two months since Zillow debuted renter profiles, 1.21 million have been created, according to Zillow.

Other Zillow services designed to give renters a leg up include a rental mobile app, time-stamped listings and saved searches.

Zillow Group says its network of rental-search services is the largest on the Web and includes Zillow, Trulia StreetEasy and HotPads.

Reflecting Zillow Group’s interest in the rental space, Zillow purchased Naked Apartments, what the listing portal said was New York City’s largest rental-only site, in February 2016.

Email Teke Wiggin

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