The traditional way of buying or selling a real estate property used to be with the help of an agent or broker. The broker is generally familiar with all of the builders in the city/town they work in and are being regularly updated by the builders of the available properties for selling/buying.
So whenever a new customer wishes to buy the real estate property they contact the brokers. The broker depending on the budget & requirement of the customer shows different properties for a physical tour.
Usually, a buyer and seller have taken time out of their busy schedule to take the property tour and after checking out multiple properties the customer decides on one property to be purchased.
On finalization of the deal, the broker is paid a certain percentage of the transaction value as brokerage fees by both the buyer and seller. These brokerage fees are an extra dent in the customer's pocket be it a buyer or a seller.
As mentioned earlier this method is a traditional one and the millennial generation believes in breaking the tradition of the past and inventing easy and convenient options for everything that can be accessed or fulfilled with the help of the internet.
Real estate app like Zillow is one such making of the internet revolution that swapped the world with the easy and convenient option in buying and selling real estate properties.
Zillow app connects buyers and sellers without the need of the broker in between for the transaction. A property seller registers on the platform uploads the details of the property like the land area, build-up area, condition, how old is the property, maintenance cost, uploads pictures of the property, creates a virtual video tour, expected cost, etc.
Now once the properties are registered on the platform the buyer who is looking for good property registers on the platform. Searches for property types like flats, bungalows, and office spaces in the designated location. The properties available on the location are shown to the buyer on their web or app screen. Based on the icon images the user checks out the property details along with a virtual tour and if the property is worth consideration they contact the seller directly within the app for a physical tour of the property.
On real estate property meeting the desired requirement the deal is finalized and the brokerage cost is highly saved by the buyer and seller which is the benefit of both the parties
If we are going to develop a real estate app like Zillow then it is important to understand the competitors in the space. So let us look at some of the online real estate competitors.
Zillow is considered to be one of the front runners in the online real estate space. Be it launching new properties or creating a better user experience for the property buyers.
The list of competitors of real estate app Zillow that are fast trying to cover the market and are head to head with Zillow are
• Trulia (Now acquired by Zillow)
• Yahoo Homes
• Apartment Guide
There are many other real estate apps operating in the USA but the major share of the market is covered by this real estate website and apps.
Once you are aware of the competitors in real estate apps it is time to study each in detail and list out the features that help them stand apart from their competitors in terms of unique offerings and user experience.
So let us briefly understand the features required in real estate app like Zillow as features are the direct cost affecting factors behind developing an app like Zillow.
1. User Registration & Login
If the user visiting the app is a first-time visitor then they should be easily able to register themselves or is a repeating user then should be able to login with the login credential unique to each user.
2. Search with Filters
A user once registered will start looking for properties by filtering the results with location, type of property, budget range, amenities, buy/rent, etc.
3. Access to Property & Neighbourhood Info
On the results/listing page, the user should be able to check the basic details like image, price, location, and type of properties. The user should be able to get detailed info on the property like the space details, neighborhood details like nearby hospitals, schools, etc.
4. Property submission feature for Seller
A buyer would not be able to find anything if there are no properties listed by sellers. So a property listing features for sellers should be available for people who wish to sell their properties on the platform.
The seller should be able to submit high-quality images that assist in the decision-making process of the buyers.
Geo-location features help the user filter properties based on location as well as find navigation routes when physically visiting properties.
6. CRM Integration for Builders
Most properties listed on real estate platforms are by the builders of the properties. So a feature to integrate the platform with the CRM system of the builder will make managing the properties and customers convenient for the builder.
7. Heat Maps
Heat maps are an analytics feature that helps the seller and knows which part of the property is deeply researched by the buyer. This feature helps the marketing team to focus on the area of properties most searched by the buyers.
8. Cost Calculator
The cost calculator is used when the property allows customizations in the amenities offered. The cost calculator should be automatically able to find the cost involved for certain amenities.
Notifications are one of the primary reasons some businesses prefer to develop an app. Notifications help you in keeping your customers updated about the promotions or any other event that be of use to them.
1. Video Walk Through
This feature lets the buyer take a video walk-through uploaded by the seller. The video walk-through reduces the time of checking put each property physically by the buyer and the seller.
2. Satellite / Map / Street View
This feature lets the buyer check out the nearby areas in all of the views which makes the decision-making process quick and satisfying. This feature can easily be integrated with the use of map API.
3. In-App Message & Call Feature
To maintain the privacy of the user and the builder, the app should offer an in-app chat/call feature so that the personal data of both the individuals involved is not shared.
4. Dark Mode
This is not the must-have feature but now a day’s people find browsing in the dark mode less tiresome as it reduces the screen impact on the eyes. The dark mode also reduces the battery usage of the mobile phone and tablet.
5. Home Loans
This feature can be a game-changer for 2 businesses at once. The online real estate business should partner with the housing loan providers like banks, NBFCs, etc. to offer loan options to their prospective buyers.
6. Homes on rent
The app should offer options for users to purchase or rent the property or filter based on the properties available for rent. This is an added advantage to attract more users to the platform like those looking to rent the properties.
The technology stack used for the high performance of real estate app like Zillow is the major factor that is directly proportional to the cost. The highly advanced technology means the greater cost involved in development.
• Location Tracker
• Google Places API
• Realm Framework
• Zillow API
• Facebook SDK
• iHome Finder
• Spark API
• Firebase SDK
The monetization model is a subjective thing that depends on each entrepreneur’s model of the app. There are various ways through which you can monetize the services you offer with real estate app like Zillow. Some of the suggested and common monetization models for real estate app like Zillow are
• Advertisements revenue from property owners
• Property management solution for builders
• Commission model on Buy/Sell & Rent
• Fix cost of listing for property owners
Considering all of the above-explained points like basic + advanced features, business model, and technology stack, for developing a real estate app like Zillow. The cost to build an app like Zillow can somewhere be derived in the range of $30,000 — $75,000.
The above costing is just the ballpark view of the cost involved in building a real estate app like Zillow. For a detailed and exact cost involved in developing an app like Zillow feel free to ask for a free quote from the team of WebClues Infotech.
One of the most important factors in deciding the agency that can build your real estate app like Zillow is the creative suggestions they offer that can improve as well as reduce the time duration for the app to be successful.
• Use Blockchain Technology
• AR/VR for a virtual tour of the Property
• AI for personalized suggestions
• Update the details in real-time
• Exclusive properties only available on your app.
The explanation offered in this article to develop a real estate app like Zillow has many assumptions to it. So it is important to get a personalized explanation based on your requirement to develop a real estate app like Zillow.
I hope the article helps you get a clear picture of the factors involved in developing an app like Zillow. For a further detailed guide read our guide on How to create a real estate marketplace like Zillow.