Apps & Software

The 5 Best Real Estate Sites and Apps

Sure, everyone has heard of RentCafe,, or Homesnap. They’re popular for a reason. But if you want to find your perfect home or your ideal new office space, you need apps with more search flexibility and more power of choice.

Take a look at these five real estate platforms and their features, and see which one lists your perfect new location.


Realtor is very popular due to its powerful filters and the high degree of versatility and customization you can give to your searches. On Realtor, you can filter properties by factors such as:

  • Price range
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Property type
  • Preferred move-in date
  • Pets policy
  • Preferred amenities

If you want to get even more specific, you can target your search via keywords (e.g. waterfront, pool, and so on). Realtor lets you directly email the property owner, and you can schedule either a live viewing or a virtual one.

Additionally, if you plan on hiring movers, you can specify that and you’ll get a free cost estimate at the end of each listing.


Similarly to Realtor, Trulia lets you directly contact property managers via a feature called 1-Click Request. You provide your information once, and Trulia saves it for sharing with multiple landlords in future searches. It spares you the hassle of looking for phone numbers or filling out inquiries for every interesting property, and this digitally streamlined renter experience makes it a fairly popular platform.

Arguably the most beloved capacity of this app is the Neighborhood feature. You get photos, drone footage, and opinions from local residents.

Surveys include questions about employment in the area, public accommodations, walkability, safety, and whether the local laws will protect residents in terms of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Each listing also has an Affordability tab. Trulia recommends renting within a third of your gross income. Based on this information it calculates the ideal earning bracket that you’d need to comfortably live in a given rental at its asking rate.

Apartment Guide

This home-hunting platform is all about finding quality apartment rentals at affordable prices in any location you can think of. Like Trulia, it relies on reviews from fellow users to give you real-life insights into the communities – and the property managers and landlords! You can contact them directly in-app, which gives you a secure channel for submitting your income information, credit score, and other data.

Additionally, there’s comprehensive feedback on things like lease terms, schools and facilities nearby, getting around, and the level of safety in a neighborhood.

You can also specify a preferred move-in date and filter for pet-friendly communities, furnishing, specific amenities you prioritize, etc. The listings you’re looking at can be displayed according to their ratings or price range. When a property’s price goes down, Apartment Guide flags it, so you shouldn’t give up on homes that suit your needs but are somewhat beyond budget.


Zillow is another widely known rental app (some say meme material, we say dream homes for people with a sense of whimsy!) In addition to filters like amenities, pet-friendly status, price range, and so on, every Zillow listing features frequently asked questions about the property.

You can get informed ahead of time about basically anything that life in that home would entail, from schools nearby, to the area’s walk score, to whether it’s amenable to eco-friendly living. Moreover, Zillow listings come with relevant legal information about things such as housing vouchers, LGBTQIA+ rights, and protection against discrimination based on source of income.

Perhaps the best feature of this app is browsing for properties in more than one area at a time. You can search by city, ZIP code, or even neighborhood, and compare asking rent between locations.

This is thanks to a feature called Zestimate – Zillow estimates the market value of each home so that prospective renters can get the most value for their money. As a convenient cherry on top, you can save your favorite searches for later reference.


This app is considered the top choice for people looking for properties in major cities. It has a neighborhood details feature similar to Trulia, so you can get info on things like walk scores, nearby schools and facilities, and so on. You can also filter your searches according to accommodation type, e.g. low-income restricted housing, student housing, or senior living communities.

If you spot a listing that isn’t quite right for you, but you think it might be a great option for a family member or a friend, you can forward it directly to them via the share button. In addition, if a certain property manager catches your attention, HotPads allows you to see other properties listed by the same person or management company.

And of course, like many other platforms, whenever you’re looking at a listing you will see a selection of similar properties available at the bottom of the page.


In conclusion, there are many rental-hunting apps out there that cater to residential and commercial searches alike. While you might have to fiddle with the filters a bit in order to tailor your search results, these platforms offer enough versatility between them that you’re practically guaranteed to find a place. It just takes a bit of patience and keeping your options open.