Comparison of Property Search Options
Should you pay to do an Apartment Search online, or should it be free?
Paid Apartment Search
There are a lot of web sites that charge renters to view their listings. Is it worth it? There are a few approaches to creating a web site that advertises rental properties. One way is to allow landlords and property managers to list their properties for free and charge tenants to find results. By doing this the web site owner feels they will have a good supply of properties for you to view and that list is worth paying for.
In some cases, this can be a good approach. With a very well established company that works with hundreds of property managers in a very targeted area, the web site should be able to generate enough listings to make your payment worth while. This works well because realtors with hundreds or thousands of listings will use these sites as a free way to advertise their properties.
However, even in a great area, some web sites donít generate enough listings to make this cost effective for you. Realtors donít want to waste their time dealing with web sites that donít generate leads even if they are free. Individual landlords
know that web sites who charge renters to view listings lose out on a good portion of the tenants who wonít pay to view results and also have to compete with the realtors. They need results fast and will pay a few dollars to get them.
Pay for Performance
Another approach for web site owners is to charge a small fee to the owner or managers if the property gets rented as a result of the listing on that site. This is a beneficial approach to both the web site owner and property manager or owner. Very few web sites undertake this approach because it requires a lot of effort to prove a specific site was responsible for renting the property and also to collect their fee from the rental property.
Free Apartment Search
Finally, many quality apartment search sites offer listings for free to view. These sites charge the landlord or property manager a small fee to list their properties
on the site. Renters doing an apartment search can view the listings and call the owner or manager directly. These sites tend to have a lot of quality listings where the landlord or property manager took their time to create the listing they are paying for. Realtors who pay for listings will also make sure their listings are current.
While each approach has their merits, knowing that you can view the results for free on some sites makes the most logical starting point. When searching for an apartment or house rental, try using sites that have a free search first. After several days or weeks, if you donít get the results from your search, then consider using a site where you will pay to view results.