Top 3 property listing platforms: recommendations for buyers, sellers and agents

Top 3 property listing platforms: recommendations for buyers, sellers and agents

Did you know that according to the National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 51% of buyers found the property they purchased on the internet? In contrast, only 7% happened to notice their future home from a yard sign, and only 28% through their realtors.

The best place to find, sell, or rent real estate in the web is through property listing platforms. These digital solutions are booming now because they make the process of searching for real estate easier for buyers. At the same time, sellers have a better chance of getting their units seen. A win-win.

So, what are the best property listing platforms? We’ll look at the apps we at ORIL believe to drive the most value. You will also learn what features to consider if you are an agent or a buyer.

What features to look for in property listing platforms?

As the real estate software market is projected to reach $15. 8 billion by 2027, we can expect it to brim with sophisticated and high-performance platforms meant to facilitate relationships between sellers, agents, brokers, developers, financial institutions, and buyers. But how do you pick the best one from the variety of options available on the market? We suggest paying attention to these basic technical and usability parameters:

  • Website speed. Are listing feeds loading quickly? How much does it take for high-resolution images or videos to load? If it takes more than a few seconds for the page to load, this can cost you a conversion (if you are an agent) and lead to poor user experience (if you are a property buyer).
  • Responsiveness. Is the platform accessible from all devices? Are all elements displayed adequately across mobile, tablet, or computer? Is there a standalone mobile app for convenience? 74% of homebuyers search for information from their cell phones and tablets, meaning that the platform should be optimized for mobile as well as computer users.
  • Security. What measures does the platform have in place to protect confidential information? How does it ensure the privacy of both agents and their clients? 74% of companies in real estate are not prepared for cyber attacks, so make sure you pick the platform that follows the best security practices.
  • Onboarding. Does the platform provide a user-friendly demo or offer free onboarding sessions? Are other training resources available that enable agents to quickly adopt the new digital solution? Effective onboarding reduces the time users need to achieve their first value by 34%.
  • Customer support. Does the platform enable you to connect with the customer care team? What communication channels are available? What is the average response time? The survey suggests that the ability to quickly resolve the issue, real-time support 24/7, and an option to pick the desired contact method are the key indicators of a good customer service experience.

As real estate listing platforms allow their users to buy, rent, and sell property, their functionality will differ depending on your role. Below, we will break down the features we believe to be important for everyone involved in selling/leasing and buying/renting property.

Features for your property listing platform: agents, landlords, and sellers

FeatureKey aspects
Registration
  • Quick registration without confusion.
  • Several registration options: email, phone number, or social media (usually Facebook and Twitter).
  • Verification emails to ensure that the email address is valid and belongs to the user.
  • Two-factor authentication to enhance security.
  • An opportunity to browse listings and use basic site features without creating an account.
Personal account
  • An option to set the role and then switch between other roles on demand.
  • Profile completeness indicator with tips and recommendations to appear more trustworthy and professional.
  • Rating and reviews to enhance reputation.
Contact management
  • Contact categorization based on factors such as their property interests, location, or stage in the buying process.
  • Notes to jot down details about the contact, such as their specific property preferences, budget, or any other relevant information revealed during interactions.
  • Follow up with potential buyers or tenants at the right time.
  • Communication history to help understand the context and personalize future interactions.
  • Different communication channels (phone, email, messengers) in one platform for ease of use.
Listing management
  • Detail descriptions with location, size, number of rooms, amenities, and any unique selling points.
  • High-quality media support (photos and videos, as well as 360-degree images).
  • On-demand online presentations and virtual tours.
  • Bulk uploads to speed up adding multiple listings.
  • Real-time automated listing updates such as marking a property as sold or under contract.
  • Various options for promoting listings, such as featured listings or premium placements.
  • SEO optimization tools to improve listing visibility both within the platform and on the web.
Task management
  • Task assignment among team members.
  • Task tracking including status, due dates, and the person responsible.
  • Task prioritization to help focus on the most pressing tasks first.
  • Reminders or alerts for upcoming tasks or deadlines.
  • Integration with user’s calendar.
  • Project management for complex tasks that involve multiple steps or people.
  • Reporting to analyze task completion, team performance, and identify potential bottlenecks.
Contract management
  • Contract creation, tracking, and storage.
  • Electronic signatures to sign contracts digitally and expedite the process.
  • Version control to avoid confusion and ensure all parties are working with the most recent version.
  • Access control to manage who can view and edit contracts.
  • Alerts and reminders for important dates or milestones in a contract.
  • Compliance checks to ensure contracts comply with relevant laws and regulations.
  • Reporting and analytics to analyze contract performance and identify trends or areas for improvement.
Marketing tools
  • Social media integrations to share listings.
  • Email marketing tools to create and send targeted email campaigns to potential buyers or renters.
  • Lead generation like forms for potential buyers or renters to fill out if they’re interested in a property.
  • Detailed analytics to help agents understand how their listings are performing, what’s working, and what could be improved.
Payments
  • A variety of payment methods, such as credit/debit cards, bank transfers, digital wallets, and PayPal.
  • Automatic billing for recurring costs (like monthly or yearly subscription fees).
  • Invoicing to provide a way for agents or sellers to generate invoices for their clients.
  • Payment tracking with features like payment history, pending payments, and reminders for overdue payments.
APIs & third-party integrations
  • Integration with payment systems like PayPal, Stripe, or Square to handle transactions securely.
  • Map, authentication, calendar, e-signature, and video conferencing APIs.
  • CRM and MLS integrations.

Features for property listing platforms: buyers and tenants

FeatureKey aspects
Registration
  • Quick registration without confusion.
  • Several registration options: email, phone number, or social media (usually Facebook and Twitter).
  • Verification emails to ensure that the email address is valid and belongs to the user.
  • Two-factor authentication to enhance security.
  • An option to browse listings and use basic site features without creating an account.
Personal account
  • Profile customization to add a photo, bio, and contact information.
  • Saved searches to quickly rerun searches without having to enter the same information each time.
  • Alerts for new properties that match search criteria or any changes in the properties users are interested in.
  • Favorite listings to easily find and revisit property listings.
  • Personalized recommendations based on the user’s search history and preferences.
  • Calendar to schedule communication with agents, property presentations, etc.
  • Document storage like lease agreements or proof of income.
Search engine with categories & filters
  • Advanced filters with a variety of criteria, such as price range, number of bedrooms, property type, location, and more.
  • Map view to show the location of each property in relation to others.
  • Sorting by various factors, such as price, listing date, or proximity to a specific location.
  • Property comparison to look at homes side-by-side based on their features and prices.
  • Public transit and walkability scores to help users understand the location’s convenience.
  • School district or proximity to specific schools.
Detailed listings
  • Detailed property information like square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, property type, year built, heating and cooling systems, parking availability, etc.
  • High-resolution photos and videos of the property.
  • Virtual tours for a more immersive understanding of the property’s layout and features.
  • Price and relevant financing information such as estimated mortgage payments.
  • Property history such as previous sales, renovations, or any known issues.
  • Seller or agent contact information.
  • A map of the property’s location, nearby amenities, and information about the local area, such as schools, crime rates, and commute times.
  • Reviews or ratings from previous tenants or buyers.
  • Property’s energy efficiency, including any green or eco-friendly features.
  • A shareable link to share the property listing with others
Calculators
  • Mortgage calculator to estimate potential monthly mortgage payments, taking into account the property price, down payment, interest rate, and loan term.
  • Affordability calculator to determine how one can afford to spend on a property based on income, debts, and current interest rates.
  • Rent vs. buy calculator to help users decide whether it’s more financially advantageous for them to rent or buy a home.
  • Refinancing calculator to determine the potential savings or costs.
  • Property tax calculator helps users understand how much they might expect to pay in property taxes each year.
Contact & inquiry management
  • A clear and straightforward contact form to get in touch with the property owner or agent, with fields for name, email address, phone number, and a message.
  • An inbox for messages with a communication history.
  • The ability to mark inquiries as pending, responded, closed, etc.
  • Automated reminders to follow up on inquiries that have not received a response within a certain timeframe.
  • Contact scheduling to book a call or meeting directly from the conversation thread.
Payments
  • A variety of payment methods, such as credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, and digital wallets.
  • Payment confirmation both on the platform and via email.
  • Automatic recurring payments for ongoing costs like rent or mortgage payments.
  • Payment history to view a record of all past payments.
  • The ability to generate and download invoices for payments.
Rental property management
  • Application process to submit rental applications directly through the platform.
  • A calendar showing the property’s availability for viewing and move-in.
  • Document uploading of proof of income or references.
  • Digital lease signing to make it easier and faster to finalize a rental agreement.
  • Maintenance requests and tracking of their status to manage repairs and upkeep.

The best property listing platforms: ORIL recommends

Zillow

The first platform on our list is the most popular real estate and rental marketplace online and one of the most downloaded apps on both Android and iOS. Zillow connects customers with helpful local professionals and empowers them with data, inspiration, and knowledge.

On Zillow, you can search for homes and apartments, list your properties for sale or rent, tour the properties through pictures and videos, connect with agents and lenders, save your searches, and receive push notifications whenever your search criteria update.

Pros:

✔️ It is free for buyers as well as sellers, agents, and landlords who sell or rent out their property.

✔️ Largest database of over 135 million properties.

✔️ Extensive criteria sorting.

✔️ Links to get pre-qualified financing.

✔️ Volumes of “how-to” guides about home buying and selling.

✔️ Ease of use – a suite of mobile apps is available so you can do your research anywhere.

✔️AI-powered natural-language search to improve the property search results.

✔️In-app connection feature in the Zillow Premier Agent app to access information about agents’ connections and the properties prospects are interested in.

Cons:

❌ Their Zestimate algorithm is limited by the information it has to work with.

❌ Realtors and lenders pay for leads on the site. If users do not wish to interact with agents, they should avoid completing on-site forms.

❌There may be a potential bias toward Premier Agents as inquiries about a property are often directed to these Premier Agents instead of the listing agent.

Zillow is the most popular property listing app due to its extensive database and ease of use. Although it may be difficult for users who don’t want to deal with agents, it is still an excellent platform for real estate search.

Trulia

Trulia is particularly attractive and famous for its large database (over 3.5 million listings) and additional information it displays on the map of each home’s surrounding area. Trulia shows you the recent sales in the area, local schools, crime rates, public transportation options, and other valuable data that is not as easily available on other platforms.

On Trulia, the listing information is generally provided by agents, website vendors, brokers, and Multiple Listing Services (MLS). However, it also gets listing details from For Sale by Owner homes listed on Zillow (Trulia is a Zillow subsidiary). The platform also has a proprietary estimation tool that helps break down the actual cost of purchasing a home into monthly installments.

Pros:

✔️ It shows the quality of nearby schools, the crime rate in the area, nearby amenities, and more on an easy-to-use heat map.

✔️ Alerts for new listings and sorting by property type, area, or other features.

✔️ Automatic display of similar for-sale and sold properties.

✔️ Ability to connect with other real estate professionals like mortgage brokers, lenders, or real estate agents directly from the site.

Cons:

❌ Some properties will have limited information if the property appraiser website isn’t easily accessible.

❌ Occasional problems with updates. The unit may still be listed as available when it is not.

❌The user interface is less intuitive and may be harder to navigate than other platforms

Although Trulia may have a smaller database than Zillow, it gives far more information per unit, and that’s a great feature. Careful though, some properties still listed as available on the site can already be sold.

Realtor.com

Realtor.com is the second-largest real estate marketplace on the internet with over 40 million visitors monthly, and it is not hard to see why. Realtor.com provides its users with a comprehensive set of features at both free and paid levels. It also has excellent tools to generate and nurture leads for you as a realtor.

While all the other platforms are primarily for users and customers, Realtor.com is for agents, helping them boost their presence and establish their businesses. It has the most trusted online listing since it is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors and linked to over 580 regional MLS. So chances are, whatever you see on Realtor.com is legit.

The app allows you to search for homes, view pictures and video tours, compare neighborhood criteria like noise levels, and all its listings are updated in real-time.

Pros:

✔️ It includes 99% of all MLS-listed properties.

✔️ Easy to search.

✔️ Links to get pre-qualified financing and financial calculators for buyers.

✔️ Robust “find a realtor” feature.

✔️ Enhanced listing intelligence suite of features that help agents match listings with buyers based on their inquiries on the website.

✔️Gives agents insights into their listings’ level of completeness, along with suggestions on improvements.

Cons:

❌ Not as user-friendly as other listing websites, making it a less appealing option for those who seek user interface over data.

❌ No option to search “for sale by owner” listings.

❌ No option for home sellers to list their property for sale directly — only via MLS and then marked to display on the internet.

There is the sense that Realtor.com was not really built with the average user in mind as it prioritizes data over UI. It’s hard to use for everyone except realtors. Also, it only includes MLS-listed property, limiting user options. However, from the accuracy and data availability standpoint, it is one of the best.

Learn more about the best property management software
for homeowners and investors in our blog.

Zillow vs Trulia vs Realtor. com: How they stack up against each other

PriceEase of Use (1-10)Most valued features (by users)LimitationsSupport
Zillow?FSBO listings are free

? Flex referral fee – from 20% to 35% of the commission

?Premier Agent – ~$200/mo and higher

8.8✔️Collaboration Tools

✔️Access Controls/Permissions

✔️Document Management

✔️Alerts/Notifications

✔️File Sharing

✔️API

✔️Third-Party Integrations

✔️Task Management

✔️AI-Powered Property Search

✔️ Agent Profiles

✔️ Mortgage Calculators

✔️ Advertising & Marketing Tools

✔️ Premium Listings & Profiles

❌ Lack of options on the mobile view vs the desktop view

❌ Some integrations may not work out

*****

very responsive 

? Phone Support

? FAQs/Forum

? 24/7 (Live rep)

? Email/Help Desk

? Chat

? Knowledge Base

Trulia?Free to sign up and list property

?Free for agents and landlords

?$29 fee for tenants for an unlimited number of participating rentals for 30 days

8.5 ✔️ Detailed Home listings

✔️ Trulia Neighbourhood

✔️ Agent Profiles

✔️ Home Buying Alerts

✔️ CMA Tools

✔️ Mortgage, Affordability, Refinance Calculators

✔️ CRM Integration

✔️ MLS Integration

✔️ API

✔️ Advertising & Marketing Tools

✔️ Premium Listings & Profiles

❌ Can be slow to update listing information when a property is expired/ sold

❌ Filtering options may not work correctly

 

*****

very responsive 

? Phone Support

? FAQs/Forum

? 24/7 (Live rep)

? Email/Help Desk

? Chat

? Knowledge Base

? FB/ Messenger

? Twitter 

Realtor.comFree sign-up for realtors

? Users will pay commission fees to agents

7.0✔️ Listing Syndication

✔️ Listing Management Portal

✔️ Virtual Home Tours 

✔️ Custom Notification Alerts & Widgets

✔️ CMA Tools

✔️ Mortgage Calculators

✔️ CRM Integration

✔️ MLS Integration

✔️ Premium Listings & Profiles

✔️ Agent Profiles

❌ Impossible to remove map boundaries in searches 

❌ Sold homes just disappear rather than get marked as “sold”

❌ Lead management feature needs improvement

❌ No API 

****

fairly responsive 

? Phone Support

? FAQs/Forum

? 24/7 (Live rep)

? Email/Help Desk

? Chat

? Knowledge Base

Conclusion

Each of these platforms has its specific pros and cons, but they all stand out due to the wide range of tools they offer to buyers, sellers and agents. The overview we’ve provided in this article should help you determine which of these options is right for you.

Or maybe you have an idea for your own property listing platform? Let’s make it work! Reach out to our software development team for a consultation.

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