Applying for an apartment rental is about to look a lot like submitting a job application online. As anyone who’s been through the hell of apartment hunting can attest, finding a home can be a grueling experience, and Zillow is looking to simplify it by centralizing the entire process. Starting today, Zillow is offering renters and landlords property management tools for apartment applications and rental payments online, as reported by MarketWatch.
Renters can pay $29 to submit an application to as many apartments as they want within a month, which includes an Experian credit report and an eviction history and background check from Checkr. This is a lot less time-consuming than submitting individual applications, and it’s cheaper than credit checks that can range anywhere from $50 to $100. After renters move in, they’ll be able to pay rent online through Zillow, with a small processing fee if they pay by credit card.
Landlords will be able to use the service for free through the existing Zillow Rental Manager tool, which will now prompt them to accept applications and rent payments online if they don’t have it enabled.
The features will also be available on Zillow-owned brands Trulia and HotPads, but they won’t yet be available on the New York real estate site StreetEasy. This is a good first step toward demystifying the apartment hunting process — like submitting one résumé through job application portal sites like Indeed, minus the “personalized” cover letters.