Best Property Management Software 2021

Avail vs Zillow Rental Manager: Compare Rental Property Management Solutions

Is Avail or Zillow Rental Manager the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best rental property management solution for your business needs.

Avail and Zillow Rental Manager are two rental management solutions that provide renters with a seamless rental experience by managing every process from advertising to marketing to leasing and maintenance. It's important to find the right solution for your needs, so take some time to compare these solutions before selecting one.

Our guide offers a head-to-head look at several key features when comparing Avail vs. Zillow Rental Manager.

Comparison Summary

Both Avail and Zillow offer a variety of tools for property managers, landlords, and renters to use.

Avail is a tool built specifically for DIY landlords that makes the rental process easier and more cost-effective. Busy landlords or someone who prefers doing everything themselves will find Avail's platform simple and easy to use. Additionally, Avail offers rent analysis reports that provide landlords with rent estimates, confidence scores, and graphs with insights based on local trends for similar properties.

Zillow is a real estate website that provides information on homes for sale and rent and neighborhood data. Users can also use it to compare mortgage rates and the values of homes in the area. In addition, Zillow offers rental property management software through its subsidiary, Zillow Rentals. Zillow Rental Manager is designed to assist property managers with managing their portfolios and providing tenants with an all-in-one rental experience — from viewing listings to applying online and paying rent electronically.

You'll prefer Avail if:

You have a variety of rental types and want a single platform to manage them all on the same dashboard, or you want a property management solution that's highly customizable. Reasons why property managers select Avail instead of Zillow include:

  • Syndicated listings: Avail provides syndication to 12 sites, providing homeowners with increased exposure, leads, and traffic.
  • Custom website: Landlords can create a custom marketing website that displays all their properties to potential renters.
  • Rent collection: It can automate the sending of rent reminders and notifications, the collection of rent and late fees, tenant messaging, and the reporting of rent payments to credit agencies through CreditBoost.

You'll prefer Zillow Rental Manager if:

You want your property listing to reach a wider audience and have specific needs for managing your property. Reasons why property managers select Zillow instead of Avail include:

  • Tenant screening: Zillow offers more advanced tenant screening support at a lower price than Avail does.
  • Brand recognition: Zillow is a more widely recognized brand and has a fuller support team on-staff.

Table of Contents

Avail & Zillow Rental Manager Price Comparison

Both tools offer free, basic services that should be sufficient for most landlords, but both charge certain fees for specific advanced features. Let's compare pricing here:

AvailZillow Rental Manager
Premium FeaturesUnlimited Plus, $7 per unit per monthPremium listing: Flat fee of $29.99 for 90 days
Transaction fees
  • Unlimited (free), tenants pay $2.50 per bank transfer
  • 3.5% processing fee for debit and credit card transactions
  • Tenant debit card payments: $9.95 convenience fee
  • Tenant credit card payments: 2.95% fee
ACH feesWaived ACH fees in pro planOnline rent collection using ACH bank transfer is free
Try Avail TodayTry Zillow Today

Avail & Zillow Rental Manager Feature Comparison

When deciding on a rental property management system, there are many factors to consider, such as price and features offered. Below is a feature comparison of two popular platforms for managing rentals: Avail and Zillow Rental Manager.

Rental listings

Avail has the advantage when it comes to rental listing. Here's why:

Both solutions automatically syndicate your property listing to partner sites. As a result, a landlord's listings are more likely to pop up in search engine results from these leading websites as well as the many other niche apartment directories.

A landlord's Zillow listing will be automatically distributed to Zillow, Trulia, and HotPads partners. In contrast, Avail lists on 12 different sites, including Avail, Zillow Group (which includes Trulia and HotPads),, Doorsteps, Zumper, Padmapper, and Apartmentlist.

Syndicating your listing on various sites increases visibility and exposure for landlords, and Avail offers more distribution options than Zillow does.

Tenant screening reports

Zillow Rental Manager has a slight edge in this category. Here's why:

The tenant screening report is the primary function that both Avail and Zillow use to verify prospective tenants.

Avail and Zillow offer tenant screening reports that are a great way to evaluate potential renters before they move into your property. The tenant screening report is one of the most important features for any landlord, as it is essential to ensure that you are renting your property to a qualified tenant.

Both Avail and Zillow Rental Manager provide tenant screening reports with similar features and options. Avail provides comprehensive online tenant screening services, including TransUnion credit reports, tenant background checks, and eviction history reports. Zillow's Tenant Screening Report includes similar data points. The reason Zillow moves ahead of Avail in this category is because Avail's most comprehensive report, with all data points included, costs significantly more than Zillow's most comprehensive tenant reports; these reports cost $55 and $29 respectively.

Rent collection

Avail is the better option for rent collection. Here's why:

Instead of relying on renters to manually pay their rent, Avail and Zillow automatically collect and process payments. This saves time and increases the likelihood that renters will pay on time and consistently. Both systems allow landlords and property managers to designate which utility bills are automatically paid by the tenant, but they usually charge processing fees depending on the payment method.

We found that Avail is more robust and efficient in this area because it has various payment services: payment tracking and reporting, security deposits, and pet fees are chief examples. Tenants can benefit from the following features:

  • Recurring payments with autopay
  • Direct deposit from their checking account
  • Automatic reminder emails and payment receipts
  • Flexibility to make payments with a debit card, credit card, or bank account.

Payments on both platforms are deposited into the landlord's account within three to five business days, depending on the renter's payment method. However, Avail's Unlimited Plus customers can take advantage of its FastPay service, which can deliver money to their account as soon as the following business day.

Maintenance tracking

Avail is the better option for maintenance request tracking. Here's why:

Zillow doesn't have maintenance tracking built-in, and landlords or property managers may need to use a third-party platform to manage it.

In contrast, with Avail's Maintenance Request system, renters can simply upload photos of damage and send a request directly to their property manager. Avail offers built-in functionality for tenant communication photos and automatic maintenance records, while Zillow does not.

Lease agreements

Avail tops this category. Here is why:

Avail and Zillow offer a customizable lease agreement that allows landlords and property managers to add rules and clauses for their properties. However, Zillow's lease agreement features are only available in some states and selected markets.

Conversely, Avail provides landlords with customizable state-specific leases, and its LocalAssist feature will automatically include all required location-specific clauses, attachments, and disclosures at no additional cost to the landlord or property manager.

These documents can be signed electronically from anywhere and stored digitally on a secure server in the cloud, eliminating any confusion about submitting them and making them accessible to all parties involved.

Bottom Line

Avail and Zillow are both excellent tools. They allow you to list, advertise, and find rentals in your area. Most landlords and property managers will find either tool useful for their needs. However, a few features might make one of the tools more desirable than the other, depending on what you’re looking for.

If you’re a small-time landlord who wants an all-in-one platform that provides a comprehensive toolset to manage your rental properties, then Avail may be the best option. If you're a large-scale or professional property management company, Zillow is likely better suited for your needs because they have a larger user base, making them ideal for advertising vacant units.

The best rental solution provider for you depends on your situation. SoftwarePundit recommends taking some time to go through the different offerings and figure out which service will work best for you.

Aminu Abdullahi

Aminu Abdullahi is an award-winning public speaker and a passionate writer. He writes to edutain (Educate + Entertain) his reader about Business, Technology, Growth, and everything in between. He is the co-author of the e-book, The Ultimate Creativity Playbook. Aminu loves to inspire greatness in the people around him through his actions and inactions.

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