Zillow, the popular online real estate search engine, just announced that it has closed its previously announced (and rumored) $40 million acquisition of RentJuice. With RentJuice, Zillow now owns a rental relationship management service for landlords, property managers and rental brokers that helps them market their inventory and client relationships. RentJuice is currently being used to manage one million rental units and their rental listings.
As the U.S. real estate market slowed down over the last few years, Zillow started to focus more on rentals, too. Now, Zillow considers rentals to be one of its three core businesses besides real estate and mortgages. According to the company’s own data, 6 million renters currently visit Zillow every month, “browsing hundreds of thousands of rental listings.”
The market for rental listings is, says Zillow, still highly fragmented. RentJuice serves about one million units, but there are more than 43 million rental units in the U.S.
Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff argues that he sees “a huge market opportunity in rentals. More than seventy percent of movers each year are renters and rental units turn over six times as frequently as homes for sale, yet the professional market is highly fragmented.”
RentJuice launched in 2009. The company raised a total of $6.2 million before the acquisition, with Joel Yarmon and Highland Capital Partners as its lead investors. The RentJuice team will continue to work out of its San Francisco offices (Zillow is headquartered in Seattle, WA and also has an office in Irvine, CA). The company’s founder and CEO David Vivero is now vice president of rentals at Zillow.