Postlets Backstory

What Was Postlets?

Postlets was a free website that allowed landlords, property managers, real estate agents, and home sellers to advertise residential, commercial, and vacation properties for sale or rent. The Zillow Group acquired Postlets in April 2011, and in January 2016, Postlets was shut down completely and replaced by Zillow Rental Manager.

What Was So Great About Postlets?

Postlets was a free website that allowed real estate professionals and property owners to advertise residential, commercial, and vacation properties for sale or rent.

At its peak, Postlets had more than 500,000 users. The website offered several benefits.

  • It allowed anyone with a property for sale or rent, to list that property for free on Postlets.
  • Users could write a property description and they could upload photos and photo descriptions for each property.
  • Postlets offered a syndication service as well. Once users posted on Postlets, their listing would appear on at least 10 other websites. The top sites Postlets syndicated to were Zillow, Trulia, and HotPads.
  • Postlets offered a landing page where users could showcase all their listings.
  • Postlets allowed users to copy an embed code and display aesthetically enhanced listings on websites like Craigslist.
  • Once a property was rented or sold, the user could easily remove their listing from Postlets. If the listing wasn’t removed, it would expire in a month, unless the user renewed the post.

Postlets listings were designed to be basic enough to provide a user-friendly experience while allowing users to include enough property details to be genuinely informative for prospective buyers and tenants.

Users could choose from a few different fonts and color styles when creating listings. Even with the small handful of style options, the listings created on Postlets were easy to identify.

Here’s one example of what a typical Postlets listing looked like…

postlets example 1

postlets example 2

Part of why Postlets developed such a large following was because it existed during an era when there weren’t many online platforms that allowed users to create beautiful and sharable property listings for free.

It also rose to fame during a time when high-traffic websites like Craigslist allowed users to copy-and-paste the code from their Postlets listings directly into their Craigslist ad, which greatly enhanced the aesthetic quality of their listings, providing a much more professional appearance.

What Ever Happened to Postlets?

Shortly after The Zillow Group acquired Postlets on April 11, 2011,  it launched Zillow Rental Manager, which provided a similar experience to the Postlets service.

  • Users upload their listing, with a description and photos, and Zillow Rental Manager syndicates it to Zillow, Trulia, and HotPads.
  • People who had an account with Postlets were transferred to Zillow Rental Manager. People who did not have an account with Postlets can sign up with Zillow Rental Manager.
  • Landlords and property managers can accept rental applications for free that allow for screening of prospective tenants, which includes credit reports and criminal and eviction checks pulled by Checkr and Experian. The applicant pays the cost for this.
  • Landlords and property managers can collect rent using Zillow Rental Manager. This is a free service for landlords and renters if the renter pays with ACH.

Postlets was completely shut down and replaced by Zillow Rental Manager in January 2016.

Zillow Rental Manager is for landlords or property managers who want to find renters for their properties. There is currently a fee to list a property with Zillow Rental Manager.

Postlets Alternatives

The landscape has changed significantly on free public listing websites like Craigslist, which no longer allow users to embed external links or code from third-party websites (i.e. – even if Postlets still existed, it wouldn’t work with Craigslist like it once did).

For those who need alternative ways to publish beautiful listings online that get syndicated on other large listing websites, the following options can be used to accomplish the same purpose:

Rental Property Listings:

For Sale Listings:

Of course, the syndication feeds for the biggest real estate listing sites have a tendency to get turned on and off, depending on the sources they come from… so it’s hard to nail down a single, definitive list of every site that syndicates their listings and where those listings will end up, but the bottom line is – even after the demise of Postlets, there are plenty of other avenues you can use to post your listings in one place and get them to appear in a lot of other places without paying anything for it.

RELATED: 50 Websites to Post Real Estate Listings for FREE

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