Zillow launches Android app for rentals (podcast)

Larry Magid talks with Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff about the company's new Android rental app.

If you've ever been curious about the price of a particular house in America, chances are you've been to Zillow.com. That's the site that lets you type in an address to find out its estimated sale price (called a "Zestimate") along with details about the house and, in most cases, the exact date and price it last sold for as well as information about property taxes, nearby schools, and neighboring homes.

In addition to sale prices, the company also estimates rental prices and displays rentals in your area.

Zillow Rentals Android App displays listings of nearby rental units Screen shot by Larry Magid
Having all this on the Web is great, but if you're looking for housing -- whether to buy or rent -- at some point you have to go out and look at properties, which is when mobile apps are key. The company had earlier released listing apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, iPad and even the Kindle Fire. But now it's offereing a rental app for Android, designed to help people who are looking to rent houses, apartments, condos, or townhouses.

The new app allows users to enter their location or draw on a map to select the area they're searching in. They can specify the type of housing they're looking for and get notifications when new rental homes that meet their criteria come on the market. They can also compare homes to side by side.

In an interview (scroll down to listen to podcast), Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said the new app has "hundeds of thousands" listings, rent Zestimates, and other data on rental properties." There is currently no dedicated iPhone rental app, but the general iPhone real estate app does have rental estimates. He said that rent estimates typically come in within 7 percent of actual rental prices.

Audio interview with Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff Zillow.com

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About the author

Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safety advocate. He's been writing and speaking about Internet safety since he wrote Internet safety guide "Child Safety on the Information Highway" in 1994. He is co-director of ConnectSafely.org, founder of SafeKids.com and SafeTeens.com, and a board member of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Larry's technology analysis and commentary can be heard on CBS News and CBS affiliates, and read on CBSNews.com. He also writes a personal-tech column for the San Jose Mercury News. You can e-mail Larry.

 

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