The Best SF Housing Listing Sites for Bay Area Apartments

November 5, 2018

The San Francisco Bay area is extremely lucrative for landlords, yielding some of the highest rents in the USA. In addition, there is a high demand for SF housing from business professionals working in the tech industry. Advertising your rental property to the right crowd is paramount to keeping vacancy rates low. Likewise, understanding how these types of tenants search for a property to rent is essential when deciding where to list your rental.


Rental Searches

Renters now use mobile phones as a search tool and rely on apps for the most up-to-date and accurate property searches. Significantly, tenants searching for SF rentals prioritize the following features:

  • Walkability
  • Neighborhood amenities
  • Close proximity to public transport
  • Fully furnished properties
  • Home amenities; garage space, parking and washer/dryer facilities

Along with the traditional methods for property listings, landlords can actively market their properties across tech-centric platforms. In addition, there is a new wave of technology that’s changing the way renters search and find a property. In the Bay Area, this includes real estate bots operated remotely that guide prospective renters on tours of available rentals. Notably, tech is pioneering the way information is distilled. Renters can watch videos of nearby attractions local to available properties, or view data on competitive prices in the area through info-graphics. Similarly, virtual tours of available properties can be watched online rather than in person.

guy with turquoise long sleeved shirt and brown pants laying on a white couch with his laptop open on his lap

However, some renters prefer traditional face-to-face assistance with property searches and viewings. Traditional listing sites and property managers are still popular methods for searching rental property in San Francisco. Therefore, we recommend keeping your mind open to all methods for listing your property:

  • Traditional listings
  • Rental Marketplace Sites
  • Social media
  • Apps
  • Property Manager

With this in mind, we have selected the best place we recommend for listing a San Francisco Bay area rental:


Sites and Apps


This leading rental marketplace site provides renters with data and local guides on searches. Notable search filters include maps with drawing features to circle preferred areas and the app offers users immediate notifications when new listings hit the market. In addition, landlords can list SF housing free of charge, which includes syndication to their 26 partner sites.


This site is popular for corporate renters in urban areas across the United States and is an affiliate of Zillow. Hotpads pioneered the first-ever map-based search and is the leading map-based apartment rental search tool with five mobile search apps.


Trulia sources insights straight from locals. Offering over 34 neighborhood map overlays, SF housing listings are in-depth with area-specific data on quality of life. Furthermore, the site and app provide area stats such as the breakdown of local demographics by age, profession and household income.

This site caters to millennial renters. The free-to-list properties are verified and feature HD photos, 3D floor plans, and certified ratings and reviews from actual residents. Their app allows users to create notes and add photos to favorited properties.


A location-based apartment rental search engine with real-time filtering. The zooming feature magnifies maps and loads available listings. They currently list over one million apartments, condos, houses, and sublets for rent.

Urbandoor caters to corporate professionals. Therefore, all apartments come fully furnished with work-life essentials, wifi and cable, kitchen utilities, linens and cleaning supplies. The site side steps property brokers, connecting directly to instant booking typically offered at 40% less than similar hotel-style accommodation. is for renters, property owners, and property managers to connect online for quick and easy rental home searches. Their database features apartments, condos, and duplexes. In addition, they offer a search guide that refines by local amenities and neighborhoods. To help rent your property, they offer tips on how to increase views by what features of your rental to advertise.


Traditional listings


With its “keep it simple” interface, Craigslist continues to attract 50 billion page view per month. San Francisco is no exception where site traffic alone makes it a good option for listing your SF apartment. Despite a basic interface design and the possibility of fake listings, this site is still an essential online advertising space. is a listing site which is free to browse, rentals are updated every day with sublets, short-term housing, and furnished apartments. Landlords can place ads here for free, with optional tenant screening, employment, and criminal background reports.

Social media


Facebook is used by renters as a familiar platform to find a place to live and connect with like-minded groups. Advertising listings in targeted Facebook groups specifically searching for SF housing directly targets tenants posting for vacant property. Furthermore, listing on the Marketplace platform allows landlords to upload 360-degree photos and use relevant hashtags to attract tenants.

Property Manager

Conversely, a property manager offers a personal relationship. In general, they will list ads tailored to the standard of property and type tenants you are looking for. Typically they place listings on free and paid listings sites, in print publications and place signs outside properties.



man and woman packing up moving boxes getting ready to relocate

To effectively list a rental, landlords should use all the available tools and resources we outlined to market property strategically and rent out quickly. At Blueground, we embrace hospitality-tech to transform the experience of big city living. We take care of listing our properties to multiple classifieds sites for maximum exposure to the right audience of tenants.

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