I used to see a renter's full name, but now I only see initials. What happened?
When a renter first contacts you, you may only see their initials. This is a step Zillow is taking to help reduce the potential for bias in the rental marketplace. Once you reply, Zillow will make their full name available in all future messaging tools and emails.
Why replace the renter’s name?
This is part of our efforts to reduce the potential for bias on our platform. Studies of the rental industry have shown that based on the perceived race and/or ethnicity of a renter, some names may receive more frequent or more positive responses than others (1).
To give everyone a fair chance in receiving a first response, we’re replacing potential renters’ names with their initials. This also allows our landlords to focus on what’s most important to a healthy rental relationship, such as the ability to take good care of the property and pay rent on time.