Real estate marketplace Zillow has introduced an instant tour booking feature for renters on its platform. The company now allows users to book an in-person tour directly at a suitable time without having to contact an agent or a property manager.
Until now, when someone had to look at a rental property, either they had to rely on a virtual tour on the platform or request a tour, which put them in touch with a property manager, making the process cumbersome. Now, users can instantly book an appointment — it works just like the meeting booking platform Calendly.
The company said that an instant tour booking feature is available on 2,600 rental properties with more being added at regular intervals. The proptech startup said that it is also planning to add a feature that will allow users to choose the type of tour they want — in-person, self-guided or a live virtual tour — while scheduling.
According to a survey conducted by Zillow last year, 71% of users had up to four visits to properties before deciding to rent one. So the platform thinks there is merit in making the scheduling process easier by eliminating the intermediary like an agent.
“Touring is a major milestone in the journey of finding a rental, and it’s due for innovation,” Michael Sherman, vice president of Zillow Rentals said in a written statement.
“Allowing renters to instantly book a tour removes barriers and delivers a more seamless and convenient experience for renters and property managers. Freeing up the time it takes to coordinate schedules allows renters to focus on finding their perfect place without worrying about when they’ll get a chance to see it, and gives property managers valuable time back for other important tasks.”
Zillow laid off 300 employees last October, impacting teams like Zillow Offer advisors, sales and back-end staff at Zillow Home Loans and Zillow Closing Services.