What Does it Cost to Launch a Real-Estate App like Zillow in 2022 ?

June 13, 2022

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Earlier, people who wanted to buy or rent a property depended on the real estate agent. Now, since 2020 the technology has shifted drastically and overpowered the global market since the entry of Millennials into the real estate picture. As per Digital Age 2020, around 97% of home customers begin their research online.

Real-estate apps like Zillow break all the traditional marketplace approaches and sell/buy properties effortlessly. And the secret to developing a successful real estate mobile app is not to copy Zillow or Trulia app model and features.

To capture the American market, you need to develop an app similar to Zillow but has something unique that both apps failed to recognize. And to develop this app outside the U.S., you need to revise the Zillow app functionality as per the target audience.

Thus, developing a mobile app clone like Zillow and Trulia requires you to know the features of creating an app like this and understand why these applications are trending in the marketplace. Let’s dig deep into app development like Zillow and how much it costs you to develop such an app.

About the Zillow Mobile app

Zillow is the leading real estate marketplace app with around 2.17 million users. People identify Zillow as the trusted solution to looking for a flat or renting an apartment.

Other important details about Zillow

Founded: February 8, 2006

Headquarters: Russell Investments Center Seattle, Washington, U.S.

Founders: Rich Barton, Lloyd Frink

Revenue: US$8.1 billion till 2021

Availability: Web, Mobile (Android, iOS)

Why develop a Zillow Like the app?

Zillow is the U.S. market leader, counting 234 million monthly unique users. Zillow has become the market leader because it offers solutions free of cost without any fear of cheating money and time that some real estate brokers do. Also, the Zillow app has the largest database in the market, with home listening for buyers. And owners get the largest marketplace to list their houses for selling online.

How to compete with Zillow-like apps?

It seems pleasing to see others’ success, but it is impossible to repeat it with the same functionality and app model. But to develop a real estate app or any other mobile application in 2022, your app must differentiate itself from competitors. Finding gaps and filling them is crucial to giving customers a better user experience.

How does the Zillow app work?

Zillow, the mobile app, is free for both owners or agents who want to sell a property and buyers to buy the property and check an estimate for free and still make money. And the question is, how? Thus, let’s look at Zillow’s business model and how the app makes money?

Business Model

To promote buying, selling, renting, and leasing the property, Zillow aids 36 million visitors every month using four major segments:

– For sale

This category lets users look for properties for sale by filtering them using various factors like an owner, agent, foreclosure, coming soon, etc.

– Potential Listings

It has a list of properties available for purchase in the future. The type of properties are:

  • Foreclosed: Properties that will be sold because their owners fail to pay the mortgage, and the property will go for foreclosure auction.

  • Pre-foreclosure: Properties in the earlier stage of being repossessed as the owners are not capable enough to pay an outstanding mortgage obligation.

– For Rent

This includes rental properties across the U.S. Zillow Rental Manager service lets landlords accept an application and rent an apartment through an app, and it is a free service for them. But renters need to pay $29 for an application that covers a background check and credit analysis.

Revenue Model

Advertisement services for Property Management Companies

Zillow allows property management companies to advertise the property to renters. Rentals bring revenue-generating opportunities for the business as rental property managers spend $3.5 billion per year on advertisements to get new rentals.

Ad Sales to Mortgage Lenders

Zillow sells advertising rooms to mortgage lenders and other businesses like contractors, interior designers, etc., and charges mortgage lenders according to cost per click or thousand impressions.

Premier Services

Zillow takes a monthly fee from premier agents for adding their names to the property listings on the website. In turn, they charge $10 a month. Real estate agents pay according to the number of ad impressions provided to users in a selected zip code.

IMT Segment

Zillow yields revenue by selling marketing services, software, and technology solutions.

Zillow app interface

Zillow app has three interfaces or panels, Admin panel, user panel, and rental panel.

System Users User Renter Admin
Features Login/Sign Up Login/Sign Up Login
Onboarding Screens Onboarding Screens Manage User
Push Notifications Profile Management Subscriptions Management
Feedback Premium Package Advertisement Management
View Property Images Digital Document Uploading Access Digital Documents
View Property Details Upload 3D Property Tour Sort Properties
Profile Management
Integrate Maps Property Details Management Property Management
Share on Social Media Feedback Manage Feedback
Property in 3D VR Push Notifications Send Notifications/td>
Mortgage Calculator Property Image Uploading Filter Properties
Advanced Property Search Multiple Property Listing Renter Management

Feature impacting real estate app development cost

1. Sign up/log in

Signup/login options to let users sign in through social media accounts, google accounts, or phone number. To develop a trustworthy app, you must verify the identity of customers with the help of a two-step verification method by sending a message to the device.

2. Filters

The filter option lets users filter properties using location, price, and number of rooms to find the best-matching property quickly. If you are looking forward to developing the Zillow clone mobile app, you must give more options in the filter feature to give users a comfort zone in terms of reliability.

3. Photos or V.R. Tour

Photos are the most crucial feature of real estate sites as the user gets a proper presentation of the house or apartment. Thus, adding a 360 virtual tour of a specific building for a more advanced feature gives viewers instant access to decide. But V.R. requires special skills to implement.

4. Property details

To make your platform a worthy option, add all the required details, such as the price, photo, video, property types, monthly mortgage breakdown, number of rooms, locality, sq. ft area, contact person, etc., of the property listed in the mobile app. It allows users to decide after knowing about schools and the community.

5. Cost calculator

You must add a calculator feature to let your users estimate the interest rates for a home loan or determine the property price per the taxes, loan amount, and other factors.

6. Chat & Call Option

The chat and call feature allows users to contact real estate agents via mobile app to get more details about the property. The more easily customers will get details, the faster will be the sales process.

7. Geolocation

With the geolocation feature, the map displays nearby houses, and for real-estate kinds of apps, this feature is beneficial.

8. CRM integration

For real estate companies who desire to build a mobile app, you can get real-time analytics about your leads and sales by implementing this feature. After gathering the data, you can prepare your promotion and marketing plans, giving relevant offers and updates.

9. Location maps and Heat maps

With the help of this feature, property details can be easily presented using a map. Using varied colors, you can mark the areas with medium, high, and low crime levels. By selecting the search criteria, users may select how they want to see the information.

10. Database

Everything related to the success or functioning of the app leans on database integration in the real estate mobile app development process. Your database must be massive and timely updated to keep users curious about your app.

11. Onboarding

The first few steps that the customer takes after installing a mobile app are crucial. The simple your app is, the greater the chances of users not leaving your app the very first time. You can also integrate social media API to make onboarding a matter of a few clicks.

Technology stack for real estate app development

  • Google places API

  • Firebase SDK or Apple push notifications service

  • Facebook SDK

  • MapBoxGoogle Maps APIs

  • CoreData or Realm frameworks

  • SimplyRets, iHomeFinder, Spark APIs

  • Zillow app API

  • The onboard informatics community, Spatial neighborhood APIs

Moving on to other factors that affect real estate mobile app cost

Other factors that impact mobile app development costs are the country and team size of skilled professionals to develop a mobile app. For example, the hourly rate in the USA for a professional mobile developer is $110-150/hour; in Germany, it is $35-55/hour; in India, it is $20-55/hour; and in Ukraine, $30-35/hour.

The final cost of real estate app development includes:

  • Business analysis

  • Mobile native engineering

  • Quality control

  • Front-end development

  • UI & UX design

  • Back end development

  • Post-release maintenance.

A mobile application like Zillow requires around 700 hours to develop by professional developers. Therefore, if we take the average hourly rate of an app development company is $30, then Zillow clone mobile app will cost you around $21000.

How to get a competitive edge in the real estate app space?

1. Low listing fees

Charging less will keep advertisers and realtors jumping from one app to another. Waiving the listing fee is unprofitable but keeping it low is the best way to allure customers. And in the start, you can waive off the fees for the users for some time.

2. Detailed information

Providing every detail about the area, security society, market valuation, etc., will make your app more than just a property listing platform.

3. MLS integration

The popular complaint from the user is about the outdated database. The property listed is already sold out, or the price range quoted on the app is outdated. The solution is an introduction to promising integration with MLS. The closer your app is to the MLS, the more updated your app is.

4. Real-time messaging

Let homeowners, homebuyers, and your agents connect through the app in real time.

As per your users’ needs, you can implement these tools to facilitate communication:

  • Callback request

  • In-app chat

  • Book a consultation

  • In-app chat/call

  • Voice and video calls

– AR

If you are thinking of building an app for the target audience in America, you need to think of something noble that is not like Zillow. For example, with A.R. (augmented reality) technology in your real estate app, you let users virtually design their homes in consultation with professional designers.

– E-signing

A real estate app must be protected from theft and using the e-signing feature, you can make users scan their I.D. to decrease the risks of scams. Thus, by implementing blockchain technology, there is a double possibility to boost app security and let users safely e-sign contracts and make online payments.

Challenges of real estate application development

  • Your mobile app needs to be unique to be ahead of your competitors. Hiring an experienced team that commits the learn-build-iterate approach to the mobile app development process to make it successful.

  • The more complex features you add to your real estate mobile app, the cost will be huge. Thus one of the methods to lessen real estate app development costs is to add important features yet make it simple.

  • To develop a real estate mobile app, you need to define the specialist and the requisite skills needed to implement the app functionality completely. But if your team can’t provide you with those skills, hire a third-party app development company.

Final Words

Real estate mobile apps are convenient, and the demand for real estate apps in the marketplace will increase in 2022. Besides a leading app like Zillow, people are still looking for other similar apps. So, it is on you how you can develop your real estate app that your audience will love.

When deciding on features and platforms, always let app development professionals develop a user-friendly app with a simple and easy interface.

About the Author Sandeep Kumar is a Director at RV Technologies. Having an inclination towards software development, Sandeep always ensures to stay on top of the latest development technologies and how to implement them in real-world projects. He is always ready to share his insight with the developers so that they can also leverage the modern-day tech stack and build futuristic digital solutions for clients. Apart from overseeing all the development projects, Sandeep also likes to write down and share his insights with the world to familiarize people with the latest technologies and their potential in our everyday lives.

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