What Is Zumper?
Zumper offers a real-time, searchable inventory of more than one million rental home, condo, and apartment listings across the US and Canada each month. In fact, their listings are so current they promise you’ll find new inventory before other competitors like Craigslist, Zillow, or Trulia.
Their ‘Instant Apply’ feature also gives members the ability to maintain a current Experian credit report and application on file, and then quickly send it over to listings they’re interested in. This could potentially help them “jump to the front of the line for competitive apartments and avoid crowded open houses”—while saving a few trees in the process.
Together, Zumper believes that renting an apartment should be as easy as booking a hotel. And if you need assistance along the way, they have a team of rental experts standing by.
But the big question is: Can they really help you find a perfect apartment? Even if they can, should you put all of your eggs in one basket, or also focus on some of the competition? Let’s start helping you find some answers by looking at Zumper’s functionality.
How Does Zumper Work?
After entering the appropriate city and state on Zumper’s home page, the following screen will display relevant results in map or list format, which can be narrowed by:
- Property type – Apartments, houses, rooms, condos, other
- Minimum or maximum rent
- Number of beds and baths
- Whether or not pets are allowed, and what types (cats or dogs)
- Long term or short term
- Minimum square footage
- Unit Amenities – Air conditioning, assigned parking, balcony/deck/yard, furnished, in-unit laundry, etc.
- Building Amenities – Business center, concierge, elevator, fitness center, swimming pool, on-site laundry, etc.
After entering a city, Zumper will display matching results, which can be modified based on criteria like price, number of beds and baths, and whether or not pets are allowed. Credit: Zumper, Inc.
According to the company, all of their listings are monitored by spam filters to help “prevent any shenanigans, duplicates, or scams when you hunt apartments.”
You can also save your searches and set up real-time alerts, which will allow you to receive notifications any time a new rental becomes available that matches your criteria.
Once you find a rental that you like, you can click on the listing to learn more. This will include additional pictures, floor plans, rent ranges for different models, detailed description(s), and unit and building amenities, along with average rent, trends, and walk score for the area.
Each floor plan for a property will feature a ‘Check Availability’ button next to it, which allows you to send a message directly to the management. Credit: Zumper, Inc.
Compared to many other rental websites (more soon), Zumper gives members the ability to securely create and save an Experian credit report (this “soft pull” will not affect your credit score), along with a rental application, in less than five minutes.
All you have to do is create an account by entering your name and password, or by linking your Facebook account. Then, you’ll complete an Experian credit report by entering your date of birth, Social Security Number, and your current address, and choosing security questions.
From there, Experian will run a credit report, display the results, and store them for later use.
Zumper’s online rental application involves much of the same initial process (without the credit check, of course), but you’ll also need to list your previous residences, current occupation, financial details, and references.
When you’re ready, any properties displaying an ‘Instant Apply’ icon (currently only available for listings with purple badges in the Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, and Houston markets) will allow you to use Zumper’s unique feature, which will also guarantee that management will review your application once it’s sent.
Even for those that aren’t part of the Instant Apply program, you can “offer to share your application with any other listings on Zumper, or securely share it with a landlord or agent's email address.”
Outside of their listings, Zumper also provides easy access to a wide variety of generic and city-specific rent reports, as well as rental guides.
What’s the Difference Between Regular Zumper & Zumper Pro?
While Zumper’s main service is consumer-facing, their Pro program promises to help make it easy for agents and landlords to post rentals—not just to their site, but also through syndication to other top sites like PadMapper and Realtor.com. They can also screen tenants (US-based customers only), including nationwide eviction and criminal checks.
Pro members can set their own application fee, which is paid by applicants directly online with their credit card.
How Much Does Zumper Cost?
Zumper’s Standard version is free. According to their FAQ, Zumper Pro accounts are also free if you have a PadLister account (again, free), and are posting a listing outside of New York City.
If you have additional questions, support can be reached via the contact form on their website.
What Can We Learn From Zumper User Reviews?
On Yelp, we encountered 11 Zumper user reviews at the time of our research, who had given the site an average rating of about 1.5 stars. Common complaints referenced less-than-stellar functionality (especially on the landlord side) and customer support.
Between more than 11,000 combined reviews on Google Play and iTunes, the Zumper app had a much higher average rating of about fours stars, with most compliments revolving around ease of use and quality listings, while the relatively few complaints related to bugginess.
From a company perspective, Zumper, Inc. is based out of San Francisco, CA and has been in business since 2012. In 2018, the company acquired PadMapper, which they claim “will be used by over 40 million people to move home.”
Zumper held a B+ rating with the Better Business Bureau as of 3/14/18, with no closed complaints.
Are There Other Home & Apartment Rental Sites Like Zumper?
There are perhaps hundreds of national, regional, and even city-specific (especially for competitive markets like San Francisco and NYC) rental websites available to choose from.
In fact, Zumper mentions some of the biggest competitors directly on their website, including Craigslist, Zillow, and Trulia, along with other options like HotPads, Rent.com, Apartments.com, and Realtor.com (to name just a handful)—most of which are also free to use.
From a landlord perspective, there are also many other sites (some of which are free) that assist with tenant screening services, such as Cozy, MySmartMove, and MyRental.com.
However, we didn’t encounter any other options that combined a free rental search service, tenant screening for landlords, and credit report and application services all under the same roof, at the time of our research.
So, if you’re looking for something exactly like it, Zumper is currently the only game in town. Does this necessarily mean you should use them, though?
Our Final Thoughts About Zumper
We found Zumper’s website super easy to use, with quality, in-depth listings that provided high-resolution images, detailed descriptions, and all of the important information renters would need to take the next step.
On top of this, both their standard and Pro versions are completely free, so you might not have much more to lose than a few minutes of your time if you give them a try and find they don’t meet your needs or preferences.
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