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Zillow Launches Rental Zestimates

by Mark Wellborn

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Today, Zillow launched Zestimates for rentals across the country. The online real estate database and marketplace that rivals Trulia as one of the biggest real estate websites in the country has become famous for creating a proprietary algorithm called the “Zestimate” that provides values for millions of homes. Now it will do that for rentals as well.

However, like the valuation tool for homes for sale, Zillow wants to make it clear that the rent Zestimate is just “a starting point for determining a home or apartment’s estimated monthly rent price.”

From the company’s FAQ about the new tool:

“The Rent Zestimate is pulled from public property data and similar local properties listed for rent; there may be special features, location, and market conditions our algorithms have not taken into account. Variations in rental price can also occur because of negotiating factors, special incentives, and length of lease.”

There are a number of other disclaimers that Zillow puts forth in its FAQ about the new rental estimate tool, that can be read here.

Here are a couple of examples of how rent Zestimates stack up to actual listed rent rates in DC (note that Zillow has just 111 places listed for rent in DC currently):

  • A 500 square-foot unit at 1711 Massachusetts Avenue NW in Dupont Circle is listed to rent for $1,105/month, but the Zestimate for this unit is almost $1,800.
  • A two-bedroom apartment in Southwest is listed for rent at $2,595 a month and the Zestimate for this unit is only slightly less at $2,511 a month.

While this tool could be helpful to some renters out there, UrbanTurf recommends comparing the listed rental rates of comparable apartments and taking a look at other services like Rentometer when making your next rental choice.

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/zillow_launches_rent_zestimates/3134

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