by Danielle Mason June 23, 2019 4 min read

Considered the leading real estate marketplace, Zillow provides an online platform for users to search millions of properties for sale or rent, compare home values and connect with local real estate professionals. Their service, Zillow Rental Manager allows you to list your rental property for free and be distributed to approximately 26 partner sites, including Zillow, Trulia and HotPads.

For these reasons, Zillow is an obvious "go-to" site when you need to list your rental property. However, no site, no matter how sophisticated or popular, is going to fill your rental property with the perfect tenants, if you do not include the right information in your listing. 

Here are our top tips to creating the perfect Zillow listing...

The Basics 

If you know that writing rental listings is not your forte, at least nail the basics. This means including the following key information: 

  • The amount of rent (per week or month); 
  • The amount of any bond, deposit or fee; 
  • The number of bedrooms and bathrooms; 
  • The maximum number of tenants allowed to live in the property (if applicable); 
  • Whether there is a garage; 
  • Any shared amenities (for example, a pool or courtyard); 
  • Whether the property is furnished or unfurnished; 
  • What appliances come with the property; 
  • Whether the property has any storage;
  • Your policies (for example, pets, parking, smoking, noise or parties); 
  • The approximate location and any amenities in the area (public transport, libraries, supermarkets, schools, etc) 

Although it may seem like we are stating the obvious, it pays to have a checklist of key elements you should not miss in your rental listing.

After all, 77% of renters agreed that price was their biggest concern when finding a rental, 60% listed having their preferred number of bedrooms as a top requirement, 63% gave priority to listings with air conditioning and 41% looked for pet-friendly policies (for more information, see Zillow Group Wants & Needs).  

Don't worry about using fancy sentences to list your ideas. In this case, using bullet points is a great option for landlords who aren't confident writers or simply like to make their listings clear and to the point. 

We recommend using bullet points to list basic features, so that prospective renters can quickly work out whether your rental property is for them. The use of bullet points can also help space out the page, so your listing is easy on the eye. 

The Look and Feel 

writing a great rental listing

Often, landlords or property managers do not use the right language in listings to describe the look or feel of a property. Prospective renters then walk away from a property viewing feeling disappointed or they don't even bother looking at a listing at all. 

Avoid wasting everyone's time and make sure you attract the perfect tenant, by creating a listing that accurately tells your property's story. 

Avoid words like 'amazing' or 'fantastic', which aren't going to add any real value to your listing. What does an 'amazing' kitchen actually look and feel like? This will vary depending on the taste and preferences of the renter. Instead, use descriptive words such as 'spacious', 'modern' or 'well-designed'. You can also identify the materials used in the property, such as 'marble bench tops' or 'polished wooden floors' to help create a better visual.

At the end of the day, the Zillow rental listings that always stand out are the ones with great, high quality photos. Make sure that photos are high resolution and recent (there is no point uploading professional photos from 10 years ago - not only will these be out of date, they will likely be of poor quality).

The experts at Zillow recommend uploading at least 10 photos and we would agree, however you may require more depending on the size of your property. Make sure you have photos of at least one image of every room in the house, ideally from different angles. It can be helpful to use a fish eye lens, especially if the room is small and hard to capture. 

Don't know where to start when it comes to taking a great picture? Stick to the basics. Open blinds and curtains so that renters can see what is outside a room and maximize natural light.

Make sure the property is tidy and there are no distractions (laundry in the corner of the room is never a good look). The better you present your property, the better quality of tenants you will attract.

The Wow Factor 

writing a great rental listing

Ah, the wow factor. Every property has one (sometimes, it just takes a little creative thinking to find...) 

Your property's wow factor could be something as obvious as high ceilings or a water fountain in the garden, an ensuite bathroom or off-street parking in the middle of the city.

If your property is slightly rundown, price might be your point of difference or you could highlight your pet-friendly policy ('one of the only rentals in the neighbourhood where Fido can stay!)

Whatever it is, find it and roll with it. There must be a reason you invested in the property in the first place - don't forget to include this in your Zillow listing. 

We hope you found this blog interesting! However, do note that it should not be used as a substitute for competent legal and/or other advice from a licensed professional.

Danielle Mason

"Danielle is a specialist content creator with a keen interest for real estate and tenanting issues. She loves travel and works remotely when she can. Prior to joining LandlordBoss, Danielle wrote for companies in the technology, retail and start-up industries."


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