How To Build An App Like Zillow in 2022

Build App Like Zillow

Building a dream house is still a dream for many in the days when it will literally cost you a fortune to buy a space that you can call your home. However, the ever so difficult task can seemingly become a tad bit easier for you with the help of the Zillow app.

With a wide range of features along with the ease of accessibility, the application has proved to be quite the talk of the town. Whether you wish to buy a home for the people you dearly love or planning to list one, Zillow is the one-stop shop to get the job done. 

Building an app that can give tough competition to Zillow is a difficult task but not impossible. It is rather suggested that you should conduct thorough research to understand the Zillow app better. This will provide you with the extra edge you need to overtake the already popular real estate listing application.

In this post, we will extensively explore the growth timeline, distinctive features of the Zillow application along with that of the business model of the application. Read on so as to learn the peculiarities of the above-mentioned aspects. 

Growth Timeline

One might wonder why Zillow is considered the benchmark when you are planning to build a real estate listing application. To explain it in plain words, creators of apps like Zillow understand the audience and its demand so well that these applications are considerably successful in meeting the demands of the users. 

This, in turn, attracts more numbers of users in addition to the recurrent users, making the application extensively popular. Looking back at the launch of the application in 2006, Zillow was an instant hit in the real estate community with its ‘Zestimates’. 

Zillow was founded by Rich Barton, who himself was looking for a bigger home back at that time. It was his realization of the fact that how difficult it is to gather real estate listing and rental information led to the birth of an amazing idea which was soon transformed into an application for U.S residents. 8th February 2006, Zillow launched ‘Zestimates’ for more than 40 million houses in the U.S. There were more than 1 million visitors on the 3rd day. 

Currently, Zillow has over 245 million users, and as far as revenue is concerned, Zillow is making about $3.3 billion. The credibility of the application is pretty high, which contributes to the continuously increasing user base.

Other than this, what makes Zillow work so well is the fact that it is beneficial for every single entity involved in the real estate business.

  • Buyers

Zillow presents the buyers with one of the largest openly available home listing databases so that everything a buyer needs to check out is available on one platform. 

  • Sellers

Considering the user base of the application, Zillow presents the sellers with a great opportunity to market a house as a great part of the audience of Zillow are buyers.

  • Industry experts

Over the years of its existence, Zillow has proved to be one of the most effective networking solutions for professionals.

How does Zillow Work

How Does Zillow Work?

Zillow is often referred to as the common friend to both the buyer and seller in the real estate business. But before one can make the best out of the application, it is essential to learn how to put the data and tools offered by the application to the best use. Read on to learn how one can use Zillow to buy or sell a real estate property. 

  • For A Sale Price 

The most common rookie mistake you can commit while selling your home is not quoting the right amount of money. The two possible scenarios are either you quote an unreasonable high price, and no buyer is interested in buying your home, or you can quote less than the worth of the home and end up suffering a loss; both of these scenarios do not work in your favor.

But when you have an app like Zillow by your side, you can successfully choose a fair asking price without getting involved with a listing agent. Zillow will get the market analytic search for you within no time. Check out the comparable homes, recent sales, their listing price, and you can come up with an estimate which is almost perfect. The chances of you making more money when you have research backed up by reliable data are quite high. 

  • Compare Your House To Other Area Listings

The most essential aspect of selling your home is to read the market and the environment correctly. You need to be on the edge of your seat so that no other seller can bag your deal. Zillow can help you with that as well. The application allows you to explore if any other home is listed around your house, so you can compare your home to those of the others. 

This is in-depth research that enables you to explore all of the features offered by a listed house, along with the price and pictures of the house, to present you with all information you might need to compare the two properties. Explore what sets your property apart from the others and highlight that feature when you plan to list your home in order to attract more buyers.

  • To Sell Your House 

Update the information associated with the property that you plan to sell on Zillow as soon as possible. Once you have added the initial information, you can always go back and edit it as per your wish, and this allows you to have more time to get hold of potential buyers. Make sure to add some nice pictures of your home; this way, not only will you be setting yourself apart from other listed homes, but it will add a professional touch to your listing as well. Other than this, the pictures will increase the credibility of the property.

There are different modes that you can switch to and from depending on the current status of the property whether you plan to sell it out. After claiming your home on Zillow, you can change the status to “Make Me Move” when you are actually ready to sell the property. This way, you will be able to analyze the pre-market as well, which is somewhat difficult to do without paying a hefty amount of money. However, that is definitely not the case with Zillow. 

  • To Find Out If You’re Getting A Deal On Your Home 

The Zestimate features prove to be a great factor in making Zillow a leading real estate business app. This feature enables you to check out the estimated values for different areas. Even if you are selling your home any sooner or not, you will still have the information you need when you plan to. 

  • To Check Property Taxes In Different Areas 

The historical data offered by the application is another exciting feature that makes Zillow great. You can explore the property taxes associated with a particular area so that if you wish to buy a home in the vicinity, you will be well aware of what you are getting yourself into as buying a home is a very serious decision and you must take into account of every factor involved financial or otherwise to help you in making the right choice and eventually a smart buying decision. 

  • To Get Genuine Real Estate Advice 

If you have decided to go ahead with the sale or purchase of a residential property without an industry expert involved, it is highly essential for you to make sure that you are aware of all the information, tips, and tricks for a beneficial deal. This is when Zillow steps up to present you with highly reliable real estate advice, which even some of the most seasoned real estate agents may not be able to give you. 

Hence, even if there is a slight chance for you to be involved in a real estate deal as a seller or even as a buyer, it is strongly advocated that you head out to seek information and advice from the platform of Zillow. The advice section of Zillow can prove to be a great help in multiple ways.

Whether you need answers associated with the sale of a residential property, buying a home, or even the aftermath of mortgages, you can get a lot of helpful information from the experts who are an essential part of the Zillow community. You will be appalled to know how easy it is to get the needed assistance through the app.

  • To Get Mortgage Quotes

Even though one would never exclusively use the application in order to get mortgage quotes, it can certainly present you with reliable information with the help of a quote engine. It is relatively easy to use, and once you get the hang of it, there is no stopping you from acquiring the best quotes as it takes account of different factors such as down payment, price purchase, credit score, and more. 

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How is Zillow Making Money When It’s A Free Application?

Not only is the Zillow application a public favorite, but it also has been able to generate humongous amounts of revenue for the owners. This has been made possible even after the application is free for the users to list their property for sale, listing rentals, and connect with experts from the real estate world. 

Hence, the very common question that can come to your mind is how Zillow is making money to keep the app up and running. If answered in a single statement, then Zillow makes money through advertisements. But there are some different sets of ways that, upon combining together, make up the revenue-generating system of Zillow. In order to explore these ways, make sure to read on.

  • Property management companies reach out to the platform for paid advertisements that can significantly boost their business.
  • Real estate agents can opt for the premium services on the app for a minimal $10 charge every month. This is beneficial for the Zillow company as well as independent real estate agents. 
  • Mortgage lenders are also a source of revenue generation for Zillow as they can also opt for paid advertisements.

It is through the minimal premium charges and paid advertisement that the recently reported revenue of Zillow Group was $3.3 billion dollars.

Features of an app like Zillow

Must-Have Features for a Real Estate App Like Zillow

  • Advanced Search Functionality
  • App Sign Up
  • Search and filter
  • Schedule a home tour
  • Video tours
  • 3D VR tours
  • Strong databases
  • Interactive Graphical display of listings
  • “Save Search” features for customer retention
  •  Use of maps
  • Push Notifications
  • Details of the property

Suitable Team Structure to Build A Real Estate App Like Zillow

  • 1-2 iOS Developers/ Android Developers Depending on the project requirements
  • 1 Project  Manager
  • 1 Backend / Frontend Developer
  • 1 Quality Assurance Engineer
  • 1 UI/UX Designer

Technology Stack for a Real Estate App Like Zillow

Application and Data

  • Python
  • Java
  • Google Drive
  • Amazon S3
  • Android SDK
  • Flask
  • RabbitMQ
  • Flask
  • Swift
  • Apache 
  • Spring 
  • Objective-C


  • Google Analytics
  • Optimizely
  • Amazon Kinesis


  • Git 
  • Jenkins
  • BitBucket
  • Intellij IDEA
  • Android Studio
  • Source Tree
  • Apache Maven
  • Rollbar

Business Tools

Tips To Help In Building An App Like Zillow

The following is a list of pointers consisting of some tips to help you build an app like Zillow.

  • Your data set must be bigger and better than ever if you wish to make a great fortune like Zillow.
  • Make sure that your tech stack includes mapkit, coreLocation, APNS, Realm, Google Sign In, along with other top-notch technological boosters to create the best real estate listing application.
  • Conduct accurate business analysis to learn better about the market before you start building the app. 

Cost Breakdown to Build A Real Estate App Like Zillow

Here is an estimate with all the required features in an app like Zillow and the cost may vary as more advanced features are incorporated in the app:

Project specification and business analytics 95 + hours
iOS Development 420+ hours
Testing 210+ hours
UI/UX Design 150+ hours
Backend Development 500+ hours
Total  1375+ Hours

The hourly rates may also vary depending on the region of the development of the app:

Price Range North America western Europe Eastern Europe Australia
Web Developer  $130-150 $60-75$ $25-$50 $100-$110
IoS developer $110-250 $35-$175 $20-$80 $35-$150
Android Developer $150-170 $70 $35-$50 $110

See Also:

Frequently Asked Questions For Building A Real Estate App Like Zillow (FAQs)

Q1) What are some apps similar to Zillow?

A1) Some apps similar to Zillow are Redfin, Homesnap,, and Neighborhood Scout among others.

Q2) How does Zillow make money?

A2) Zillow makes money through premium charges and paid promotions.

Q3) How much time would it take to develop an app like Zillow?

A3) To develop an app like Zillow will take at least 700 hours to complete and may vary based on complexity.

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