How to Build Real Estate Apps Like Zillow? – A Comprehensive Guide

Mahil Jasani
blog updated dateUpdated Date: Apr 3, 2024

How to Build your own Real Estate App like Zillow

“Home is where the heart is.”

But how would you find a new place? We are all aware of today’s wrenching competition in the real estate industry.

So, starting with a real estate app is a better option rather than looking for a real estate agent. On average, 1 out of 5 people use a real estate app to find, buy or sell a property.

Do you know the most used app for searching for a house?

Zillow App!

According to a well-known property management website, we have fetched the below statistics related to the Zillow app.

  • launched in 2006
  • Zillow users view 420 million homes per month on mobile devices.
  • 75% of Zillow visits come from mobile users.
  • 4.4 million Apple users give the app 4.8 stars out of 5
  • 92,366 are Zillow Premier Agents.

Almost 95% of real estate agencies in the market own a mobile application, so why not you? It would be ideal for taking a tiny little step and visiting the best mobile app development services company to create home apps like Zillow.

Therefore, promoting your realtor business through digital marketing and smart gadgets is to bring in prospective buyers and sellers.

Let us dive into the pool of information about apps like Zillow- its working model, features, benefits, and most importantly, how much it costs to make a similar app.

Firstly, let’s find out what is the exact reason for developing a real estate app?

Reasons to Invest in Real Estate App like Zillow

With the rapid increase in real estate apps, some applications are booming in the real estate industry. One of which is the rental apps like Zillow that currently runs successfully in the USA as the best home buying app.

Apps for real estate are not only moving in a promising direction but a convenient idea for real estate agents and buyers. While everything is moving towards digitization, mobile apps for the real estate industry increase profit and continue their online presence with professional activities.

What Factors Contribute to Zillow’s Success?

As mentioned above, the statistics of Zillow apps state that the demand for real estate apps tends to grow in dozens of cities and definitely it is not a bad idea for a newbie.

Zillow app is used by over 160 million active users every month. Real estate companies are already digitized with websites and property listings, and all you need to do is to start making a website and a mobile app.

According to the National Association of Realtors, there are zillions of people who use mobile apps to buy, rent or sell homes. Other apps like Airbnb work on different Airbnb business model and features, where it offers people airbeds and space to live for a few days.

Therefore, every real estate business has different features, and so does the Zillow rental app. But wait, if you make a similar app like Zillow, why would anyone use it if they have the original one?

Well, that’s the catch.

While taking the best market practices, you can add new features and something unique to make your app stand out in the market. Let us check out the features and benefits of the Zillow app, which may help you understand how the application should be.

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Must-Have Features for Real Estate Apps like Zillow

Zillow app has the best-in-class features without which any real estate app would not exist.

Login Profile

There are different profiles that you can log in for. One is for buyers, and the other is for sellers and agents. To save time, users can opt to log in from social media or with an email address. There are a lot of databases of the user and owner in the application; therefore, negotiating on database security is impossible.


Multiple listing services are the easiest way to get recent property listings. It is one of the largest real estate collections to exchange listings information. You need to become a member of MLS to access the information as the database is integrated with the APIs.

Platform Listing

There are multiple alternatives to MLS, and by choosing API, you can offer a real estate type or a particular location.


You might go in a different direction and work directly with the agencies or owners. You may have a pool of real estate businesses that might be interested with no listings to add their property.

3D Home Tour

A virtual representation of any upcoming project will give the end users a real-like view of the house or property as they use 3D images and graphics to show the final project. This app includes VR tours and access to buyers looking for property, saving users a lot of time.

Push Notifications

While building an app for your business, real estate apps like Zillow clone need to have a push notifications feature to get the attention of potential buyers, even if they were once seeking a property. It showcases new property updates, real estate price drops, and any listed property.

With the features listed above, you can start creating an app for your real estate investing app to gain profits like Zillow. If you are looking for more reasons to invest in a real estate app, let us add to your knowledge the benefits of developing an app for real estate like Zillow.

Benefits of Rental Apps like Zillow

Benefits of Rental Apps like Zillow

To create a marketable real estate application, you must ensure the target audience and their needs. For any on-demand service or online service, there are three types of users, buyers, sellers, and realtors, and creating an app panel for each will fetch them amazing benefits.

Benefits for Buyers

Let’s define the benefits for the buyers based on the experience of top real estate apps.

  • Access to Information

Buyers are specific to the region, location, area, price range, type, etc. They prefer sorting their choice using filters to eliminate thousands and millions of data. Consider your audience getting pertinent information only by a few taps. The best example is Redfin, refreshing the data every few minutes.

  • Time Saving without any Physical Visits

In the earlier days, people had to make physical visits to every site they liked, and that would last for months. Today, with the help of the best real estate app like Zillow clone, buyers can easily find listings with images and other important information within a few minutes. With a 360-degree virtual view and seamless searching process, you can check the best characteristics of the app.

  • Various Filters for Property Search

Imagine your app having thousands of pieces of information, and the buyer has to go through it to get what he wants. Isn’t it too boring? A buyer would lose interest and uninstall the app immediately.

A streamlined process to filter options for hassle-free search will increase your users and save them from exhaustive information.

  • 24/7 Contact Agent Support

Dedicated experts are available to guide and answer any queries asked by homebuyers. Finding an agent feature in the real estate app helps the buyers seamlessly complete the buying process. With the link in each property listing, the app should pop up with the guidance of an expert.

  • Documentation Guidance

Paperwork is the second most important and challenging part of buying a property. By offering buyers a seamless and direct way of e-signing documentation features, buyers will value the services provided through an app.

Benefits for Sellers

Let’s check how enticing are the features of a real estate app for sellers to deliver the following benefits.

  • Set the Right Price

While listing properties on the app, ensure the pricing of each home twice. It should not be too cheap or too expensive and should attract buyers with the correct information. In this case, integrating big data into the app can help sellers to provide a home at the best price. Split the data with Zillow’s Zestimate feature to show property values.

  • Upscale Market Reach

Zillow app is used and viewed by millions of people daily, and each listing gets more than ten thousand views daily. Is there any better and more powerful way to increase the market than a well-established mobile app for real estate?

  • Showcase All Properties

Sellers can add photos and videos of the property, 3D home tours, and air views with drones to provide buyers with a view with lucrative angles. Sellers listing the property on the app will allow them to sell the home to buyers via in-app mortgage and tax calculators.

  • Speedup Property Sales

Get access to AI-powered tools and features with the app that can fetch buyers’ preferences and customer needs and send push notifications to customers to activate bigger sales.

  • Guidance in Selling Property

To make sales simple and easy, in-app guides on the process and paperwork have been improvised with an e-sign feature. Moreover, the sellers can ask questions via chatbot or contact the service directly.

Benefits for Realtors

Let’s highlight the benefits agents get from realtors if you create an app like Zillow.

  • Automation

Zillow is the best app for real estate agents for having automation as one of its features. Any agent or a broker needs to keep track of calendar versus agents, calendar for reports, and sync clients’ data daily. Such apps can take a lot of other important tasks like tracking production metrics and drafting and viewing rankings.

  • Retain Leads

With AI-based algorithms, a mobile app can turn into a CRM system where agents can save notes, share links, share listings, etc. AI helps to target the audience at the right time with valuable messages, and it will build a strong relationship and reputation with agents.

  • Revenue Stream

Zillow app offers premium services to their agents who get access to view the first connected home buyers. If you think of creating an app like Zillow, try to add this feature to help your agents to generate extra revenue effectively.

  • Brand Awareness

A customized real estate app creates your brand and identity by providing a wide spectrum of benefits under one tool. After seeing the wide range of benefits, these apps target specific user needs.

Looking to build a custom real estate app that meets the unique needs of your business?

Steps to Build an App Like Zillow

Let us briefly describe developing a real estate app from scratch.

Market Analysis

Market research allows us to get the maximum information about the industry. It is a vital step and enables us to design a cost-effective platform. Speaking about being a successful app, you can find out buyers’ and sellers’ needs and expectations. When you are in, collect the core functions and tools.

Validating Features and Options

In this stage, you need to decide on your target market and understand what they like to experience while using the application. Generally, a real estate app aims to attract customers and agents; therefore, it focuses on the category and features that interest both parties.

All the above features should be covered while developing your real estate app.

Choose the Technology

Move to the technical side. As discussed, this site will have millions of data on the app. To avoid running only on the dedicated server, it is fruitful to use external databases and integrate API that communicates between various databases. Mapping and directories are effective with API tech.


A feature-rich and reliable application is the first thing discussed during the initial stage and attracts the users. A visualization will decide whether the app will sustain in the market or not. Simple UI, easy navigation, simple backgrounds, cross-page feature, swiping gestures, etc. are a few of the designing characteristics crucial for house apps like Zillow.


Next comes the development stage once MVP and wireframes are created. They give you the app before the final execution to check errors and bugs, if any. Build the app in a way that all the data is secured. Also, utilize the data to understand the users and improve the design if there are suggestions.


The testing process can add time to the development duration as it involves several testing procedures to ensure that the app works efficiently post-launch. Unit testing, user interface testing, and integration testing are essential to work error-free.


After all the testing has been completed, it’s time to launch the app on the market. The work does not get done here. There are chances where the app may not function well, or there might be bugs as and when technology gets updated. According to the real estate industry, the chance of adding more and more data is more. Post-launch maintenance is necessary periodically.

Once the application is ready and launched in the market? Monetizing the app? It helps in managing and optimizing the work.

Monetizing Your Real Estate App Like Zillow

Your App should be profitable. So post the development process, the ultimate goal is to earn more revenue. The App should be the best App for real estate investors to invest more in your application. Let us check some monetization models a real estate company should follow.

  • Professional Advertising

The most used model by Zillow is professional advertising. For agents and brokers to promote their services directly to the leads for a fee, they get the opportunity to talk to prospective leads.

  • Simple Advertising

Another way is through well-known ads that appear in every second App. You may start getting money either by views or a few taps. Keeping the App free for users will still help you
gain revenue, and the more users, the vast return you will get as users are always waiting to find something for free. The only downside is the UX of the App. Don’t dump the App with
more ads as it may look unprofessional.

  • Freemium Model

As the name suggests, this model is used for free. Although, users have to buy a premium account to use the additional features and services like no ads, access to neighborhood info,
mortgage calculator, etc.

How Much Will It Cost to Build an App like Zillow?

The development cost of any real estate app is complex not because of the API integration but because it includes an app panel for buyers, sellers, and realtors. Therefore the app should be built with different features and UX.

Launching MVP products with main features will save time and money. This will give you a fair idea of the potential of your business. However, we give you an estimation for the development cost below.

The ballpark figure for developing a home search app like Zillow is:

Basic App $18000-$25000
Advanced App $25000-$30000

To know more about the exact features, you need to add and their cost, reach out to the best mobile app development company that can help you with the entire app development process.

Why Choose aPurple for Real Estate App Development?

Apps like Zillow are famous for not only large databases but for their seamless, user-friendly user interface. Being a well-known real estate app development company, aPurple is recognized for offering modern needs and delivering the best-in-class solutions at an affordable price globally.

Here’s why we are the best choice for your business app development.

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Agile procedure
  • Dedicated teams
  • Integrity and Transparency
  • Flexible models
  • Competitive pricing

Balancing the app development requirements is not an easy task. But, we have a pool of efficient developers to work on real estate projects and deliver the best Zillow rental application with custom features per your requirements.

Connect with us now!


How do real estate apps make money?

Zillow app helps them to add a property, property management companies with vacancies, agents looking for buyers and sellers and realtors looking for borrowers. It also helps you to sell general advertisements related to the real estate industry.

How to develop a real estate mobile app like Zillow and Trulia?

There is a said process to build a real estate app. You can either create and customize your own app from scratch or use a Zillow clone to create a similar one with the same features and UX. However, both the methods are possible with aPurple- the best app development company.

Which tech stack does Zillow App use?

Zillow app uses G2 tech stack which includes 76 technology products and services including HTML5 , Google Analytics, and jQuery.

Why does Zillow have different apps for agents and users?

It is for the users and the agents to understand their work of operations separately. Users here refer to the buyers looking for a home to buy. They have features like filtering the search with location, budget, and type. Whereas, agents can list the properties that they need to sell or become an agent to the sellers who are looking to list their homes for sale or rent.

Mahil Jasani
Mahil Jasani is an enthusiastic web and mobile app development expert who always loves to enlighten readers about his experiences and the ever-evolving technologies in today's world. He has a decade of experience helping startups and enterprises with custom digital solutions to drive better ROI results across different industries.

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