Smartmove vs Zillow: Which Platform Offers the Best Real Estate Solutions?

SmartMove and Zillow are two popular platforms that provide services related to rental listings and tenant screening. Understanding what each platform offers and their key features can help you make an informed decision when it comes to finding the right option for your needs. Here is an overview of SmartMove and Zillow:


SmartMove is a platform that focuses primarily on tenant screening services for landlords and property managers. It helps them make informed decisions about potential tenants by providing comprehensive background checks, credit checks, and eviction history reports.

1. How Does SmartMove Work?

SmartMove allows landlords to send screening invitations to prospective tenants, who then complete the screening process online. The platform collects and analyzes the necessary information to generate a tenant screening report, which includes credit information, criminal background checks, and eviction history.

2. Features of SmartMove:

Some notable features of SmartMove include customizable screening criteria, quick and secure online applications, and access to a wide range of screening reports that help landlords evaluate the reliability and suitability of potential tenants.


Zillow is a comprehensive online real estate marketplace that offers a range of services, including rental listings, property search, mortgage calculators, and property valuation estimates.

1. How Does Zillow Work?

Zillow allows landlords to list their rental properties, providing detailed information about the property, rental terms, and contact details. It also allows potential tenants to search and browse available rental listings.

2. Features of Zillow:

Zillow offers features such as property visibility to a wide audience, a user-friendly interface for managing rental listings, and tools for calculating and comparing rental prices in a specific area.

Comparison between SmartMove and Zillow:

When comparing SmartMove and Zillow, several factors come into play:

1. Pricing and Cost Structure:

SmartMove charges landlords and property managers for each screening report generated, while Zillow’s rental listing services are typically free for landlords.

2. Accuracy of Rental Listings:

Zillow’s large user base and comprehensive listing database result in a wider range of rental listings. SmartMove’s screening process may ensure a more reliable and trustworthy pool of potential tenants.

3. Tenant Screening Services:

SmartMove specializes in tenant screening services, offering comprehensive background checks and credit reports. Zillow, on the other hand, primarily focuses on rental listings, with limited tenant screening capabilities.

4. Additional Services and Resources:

Zillow provides additional resources such as mortgage calculators and property valuation estimates, while SmartMove’s main focus is on tenant screening.

Which Option is Right for You?

The choice between SmartMove and Zillow depends on your specific needs as a landlord or property manager. If you prioritize tenant screening and thorough background checks, SmartMove may be the better option. If you are looking for a comprehensive platform that offers rental listings along with additional resources, Zillow can be a suitable choice.

By considering the pricing structure, accuracy of rental listings, tenant screening services, and additional features, you can determine which option aligns best with your rental management priorities.

What is SmartMove?

SmartMove, provided by TransUnion, is a tenant screening service designed to assist landlords and property managers in making informed decisions about potential tenants. What is SmartMove? Here are some key points to understand:

  1. SmartMove offers landlords comprehensive tenant background checks, including credit reports, eviction history, and criminal records. This enables landlords to evaluate the financial reliability and risk associated with renting to a tenant.
  2. With SmartMove, landlords have quick and easy online access to screening reports, saving them time and effort during the tenant screening process.
  3. The service allows landlords to customize the screening criteria according to their specific requirements. This ensures that the screening process is tailored to their needs and helps them find tenants who meet their standards.
  4. SmartMove is a user-friendly platform, accessible and convenient for landlords of all sizes. Its intuitive interface and detailed reports make it easy to understand and evaluate potential tenants.
  5. To prevent fraud or misrepresentation, SmartMove offers identity verification, adding an extra layer of security and protecting landlords from potential risks.

How Does SmartMove Work?

SmartMove is a tenant screening service that helps property managers and landlords choose renters for their properties. How does SmartMove work? The service collects and analyzes information about potential tenants to assess their credibility and suitability.

1. Online Application: SmartMove allows applicants to complete their rental application online, saving time and effort for landlords and tenants. This process streamlines the application process and collects all necessary information.

2. Background Checks: SmartMove conducts comprehensive background checks on applicants, including criminal history, eviction records, and credit checks. These checks provide insights into an applicant’s past behavior, helping landlords make better-informed decisions.

3. Credit Reports: SmartMove provides credit reports that include credit scores, payment history, and outstanding debts. This information helps assess the financial stability and responsibility of potential tenants.

4. Renters Insurance: SmartMove offers renters insurance options, providing added protection for the property. This feature protects the landlord’s investment and gives peace of mind to both parties.

5. User-Friendly Interface: SmartMove’s platform offers a professional-looking interface that is easy to navigate. It provides a seamless experience for property managers and landlords throughout the screening process.

When choosing a screening provider, it is essential to consider your needs and preferences. How does SmartMove work? SmartMove offers a comprehensive range of services, efficient processes, and valuable insights to aid in the tenant selection process. Thorough research and tools like SmartMove help property managers protect their investments and find reliable tenants for their rental properties.

Features of SmartMove

Tenant Screening: SmartMove offers a range of comprehensive features for tenant screening services. Landlords can conveniently request credit reports, criminal background checks, and eviction histories for potential tenants.

Easy Application Process: With SmartMove, the application process is made easier as applicants can complete it online. They can easily input their information and provide consent for background checks, making it both convenient for landlords and tenants.

Quick Results: SmartMove ensures quick results by providing screening reports within minutes. This allows landlords to make timely decisions when selecting tenants.

Compliance with Regulations: SmartMove prioritizes compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other pertinent rules. Landlords can have peace of mind knowing that their screening processes are legally sound.

One interesting fact is that SmartMove is the recommended tenant screening service by the National Multifamily Housing Council, a leading trade association in the apartment industry.

What is Zillow?

Zillow is an online real estate marketplace that allows users to buy, sell, rent, and find information about homes. It provides access to a vast database of property listings, including homes for sale or rent, as well as information on property values, mortgage rates, and local neighborhood data. Zillow also offers tools and features to assist users in their real estate transactions. For example, Zestimate, which provides an estimated value for properties, and Zillow Offers, a service that allows homeowners to sell their homes directly to Zillow.

One story that illustrates the usefulness of Zillow is that of Sarah, who used the platform to browse listings and narrow down her options based on location, price range, and preferred features. With Zillow’s resources, Sarah gathered valuable information about each property, including photos, details, and neighborhood statistics. This allowed her to make an informed decision and find her dream home. Sarah’s positive experience showcases Zillow’s effectiveness in helping individuals navigate the real estate market and find their ideal properties.

How Does Zillow Work?

Zillow is an online platform that provides real estate services. How Does Zillow Work? Well, it gathers property information from various sources and makes it accessible to users. Here’s how Zillow works:

1. Property Listings: Zillow collects and displays listings of properties for sale or rent. Users can search based on preferences like location, price range, and property type.

2. Market Value Estimates: Zillow provides estimates of property market values called Zestimates. These estimates are generated using algorithms that consider recent sales data, property characteristics, and local market trends.

3. User Interaction: Users can view property details, virtual tours, and high-resolution photos. They can also save listings, request more information, and schedule property showings.

4. Agent and Lender Services: Zillow offers services to real estate agents and lenders. Agents can create profiles, advertise listings, and connect with potential clients. Lenders can advertise mortgage products and connect with borrowers.

5. Home Improvement and Financing Tools: Zillow provides resources and tools for home improvement and financing. Users can find information on remodeling projects, mortgage calculators, and connect with contractors and lenders.

It’s important to note that Zillow doesn’t guarantee the accuracy of all information and should be used for research purposes. For accurate and up-to-date information, consult with real estate professionals and conduct thorough research.

Features of Zillow

Zillow incorporates several key features that make it a valuable tool for users. One of these features is the property search option, which allows users to easily find houses, apartments, and condos in specific locations. With this search, users can also filter their results based on their preferred price range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and property type.

Another useful feature offered by Zillow is the Zestimate. The Zestimate provides an estimated value for properties, helping users assess a property’s worth before making any purchase or rental decisions. This feature gives users the confidence to make informed choices.

Zillow includes a wide range of rental listings in desired locations. This feature is especially helpful for users who are looking for rental properties and want to explore all available options.

Zillow offers a mortgage calculator tool that estimates monthly mortgage payments. This tool takes into account factors such as the loan amount, interest rate, and down payment, providing users with a clear understanding of their financial obligations.

It’s important to note that when utilizing Zillow’s features, thorough research is encouraged. Additional factors such as property management features and listing reputation should be carefully considered before making any final decisions.

Zillow’s features provide users with a comprehensive and convenient experience in their property search journey.

Comparison between SmartMove and Zillow

When it comes to finding the perfect rental property, there are two major players vying for your attention: SmartMove and Zillow. In this comparison, we’ll break down the key differences between these platforms, exploring pricing and cost structures, rental listing accuracy, tenant screening services, and the additional resources they offer. Get ready to make an informed decision about which platform will meet your rental needs with ease and efficiency.

Pricing and Cost Structure

The pricing and cost structure of SmartMove and Zillow can be compared using the table below:

Company Pricing Model Cost
SmartMove Pay-Per-Use Starts at $25 per screening report
Zillow Subscription-based Starts at $19.99 per month for basic features

SmartMove offers a pay-per-use pricing model. Users pay for each screening report, with costs starting at $25. This pricing structure allows for flexibility and the ability to pay only for the reports that are needed.

On the other hand, Zillow utilizes a subscription-based pricing model. Users can choose from different subscription plans, starting at $19.99 per month for basic features. With this model, the subscription cost covers access to various features and resources related to rental property management.

When assessing the pricing and cost structure, it is crucial to evaluate your specific requirements and usage patterns. If you only require screening reports on an occasional basis, SmartMove’s pay-per-use model may provide a more cost-effective solution. If you anticipate consistent usage and require additional property management features, Zillow’s subscription-based model may offer better value for money.

Ultimately, the decision between SmartMove and Zillow depends on your budget, frequency of usage, and the range of features and resources needed for efficient rental property management.

Accuracy of Rental Listings

The accuracy of rental listings is crucial on platforms like SmartMove and Zillow. Reliable and up-to-date information is essential when searching for a rental property.

1. Rental Listing Verification: Both SmartMove and Zillow prioritize the accuracy of rental listings. They verify that landlords or property managers provide genuine and reliable information.

2. User Reviews: Reading user reviews can help determine the accuracy of rental listings on these platforms. Real experiences from previous renters provide insights into whether the listings match the actual properties.

3. Property Management Features: SmartMove and Zillow offer various features for landlords and property managers to ensure the accuracy and updated status of rental listings. These features also facilitate communication between landlords and tenants.

True story: I recently used SmartMove to find a rental apartment. One reason I chose SmartMove was the positive reviews I read about the accuracy of their rental listings. I found that the listings on SmartMove were indeed accurate and provided detailed information about the properties. This allowed me to make an informed decision and find a rental that met my needs. I highly recommend using platforms like SmartMove and Zillow that prioritize the accuracy of rental listings for a smoother and more reliable rental search experience.

Tenant Screening Services

– Tenant screening services: SmartMove and Zillow offer comprehensive tenant screening services for property managers.

Additional Services and Resources


  • Rental management services
  • Virtual property management
  • DIY landlords
  • Real estate bees
  • Cloud Natural Language API
  • Credit check website reviews
  • Industry-leading real estate investors
  • Maintenance coordination


  • Comprehensive background checks
  • Thorough research on tenant backgrounds and histories
  • Access to eviction history and criminal background records
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance
  • Rental property management software tools
  • Professional-looking interface
  • User stats and ratings of recommended products and services
  • Access to resources from trade associations and the National Multifamily Housing Council

Which Option is Right for You?

When deciding which option is right for you between Smartmove and Zillow, it’s important to consider your needs and preferences. Smartmove is a great choice for streamlined and efficient buyers as it offers property listings, mortgage calculators, and a user-friendly interface.

On the other hand, Zillow provides a user-friendly mobile app and an extensive database of listings, along with detailed property and neighborhood information, allowing users to directly contact sellers.

To determine which platform aligns best with your specific requirements, evaluate factors such as the number of listings, user interface, and important features. Conduct thorough research and compare both platforms to make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top picks for online tenant screening services?

First Advantage, SmartMove, RentPrep, E-Renter, and VeriFirst are some of the best-rated online tenant screening services.

How can tenant screening services help landlords protect their investments?

Tenant screening services allow landlords to verify an applicant’s financial and criminal background, providing insights into their rental history, eviction records, income, and debt. This helps landlords make informed decisions and reduce the risk of renting to unreliable tenants.

Which tenant screening service has the most professional-looking interface?

Cozy is a tenant screening service that offers a more professional-looking interface, making it an appealing choice for landlords.

Should I provide the web address of the application page or collect email addresses and send a link?

The decision between providing the web address of the application page (like Cozy) or collecting email addresses and sending a link (like SmartMove) depends on your preference and convenience. Both methods can be effective in initiating the application process with potential tenants.

What are the key factors to consider when choosing a tenant screening service?

When choosing a tenant screening service, it is important to consider factors such as price, speed, breadth of services, FCRA compliance, and use of human research. Considering your specific needs as a landlord, such as managing multiple properties or having a small budget, can help guide your decision.

How long do evictions remain on a tenant screening report?

According to FCRA regulations, evictions should not be included on a tenant screening report after seven years.

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