The partnership will give larger multifamily rental operators access to Moody’s data on topics such as rents, vacancies and inventory.

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On an important but less buzzy front of the so-called portal wars, Zillow is beefing up its rental offerings via a data and analytics partnership with Moody’s.

The partnership is geared toward larger operators with 25 or more rental units who use any of Zillow’s multifamily advertising packages. Beginning in July, such operators will get access to what Zillow described in a statement Wednesday as “enhanced reports and analytics, powered by Moody’s comprehensive data and CRE solutions.”


“These insights will empower our partners to optimize their pricing strategies and analyze local economic and demographic trends to help them reduce downtime between leases,” the statement adds.

Among other things, the reports will include Moody’s data on rent rates, vacancies and inventory.

The partnership will also flow in both directions, with Moody’s leveraging “Zillow’s multifamily rental property database to enhance its already expansive market rent and vacancy data,” according to the statement. The companies consequently framed the partnership as a boon for customers of both Zillow and Moody’s.

The new partnership comes amid a time of intensified competition in the residential portal space. Zillow is far and away the largest residential portal, but increasingly other companies — most notably CoStar with its brand — have attempted to chip away at the incumbent’s sizable market share. Much of the attention in this so-called portal war has focused on web traffic and homebuyers, but the portals are also working to diversify their offerings on other fronts as well, such as with CoStar’s recent acquisition of Matterport.

Rentals represent another front in the struggle for portal supremacy, and other companies such as Redfin have also recently made investments in offerings for landlords. Zillow’s partnership with Moody’s shows that the company remains in the rental fight.

The partnership also comes against the backdrop of Zillow’s ongoing efforts to build a “housing super app” — which is less a specific forthcoming product and more a philosophical effort to make the company’s existing apps more comprehensive. Beefed-up services for rental housing operators would seem to fit into the overarching goal of getting everything for everyone into one place (that place being Zillow).

Michael Sherman

In Wednesday’s statement, Michael Sherman, vice president of Zillow Rentals, ultimately concluded that “data is key for our multifamily rental partners in managing their properties.”

“Moody’s robust multifamily database and expertise in data analysis make them an ideal partner to help us give multifamily buildings a clearer view of the rental marketplace,” Sherman added. “We’re excited to offer this initial report and for more valuable insights we’ll be sharing later this year.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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