Cost of Real Estate Web app Development like Zillow 

8 min read Jul 03, 2024

Gone are the days when buying or renting a property required you to roam around like crazy! Instead of hiring a real estate agent, most people would rather use real estate sites like Zillow to spot a perfect space.  

Well, the fact of the matter is, times are changing. Real estate professionals as well as customers want to make the most out of the convenience sites like Zillow offer. So, if you are looking to build an app to take your real estate business to the next level, an app like Zillow might just be it! 

But how much does real estate app development cost? Let’s break it down for you. But first, let’s look at all the reasons why building a real estate app is totally worth it! 

Why invest in real estate software development? 

Technology has taken center stage in almost every industry around us. While today’s consumers expect and want full transparency when purchasing a property, real estate professionals want technology to assist them with smooth management of business processes and operations. Sites like Zillow facilitate both!  

From data handling and processing to transaction management and property inspection, real estate applications cover all aspects of real estate management. Moreover, there are several surveys and statistics that suggest that most millennials and GenX real estate buyers found their dream spaces on mobiles!  

More reasons to build an app like Zillow: 

  • According to the National Association of Realtors, 97% of prospective home buyers start their search online, with 76% using a smartphone or tablet. 
  • A significant 84% of new homebuyers reported that the information they found online was crucial for their research. Moreover, 79% of buyers found detailed information about properties online. 
  • Zillow remains a leading player in the real estate market, with an average of 336.3 million visits per month. This positions it as the most-visited real estate website globally. 

If you are still looking for a sign to invest in web app development for real estate, this is it. 

Why is Zillow as popular as it is? 

Zillow is the brainchild of two former Microsoft employees who recognized the need for a portal that could estimate the value and rental rates for homes and other properties. After spending almost a year working on this project, they launched the website with real estate data from 300 cities. Surprisingly, the site received over a million users within just the first three days of its launch, uncovering the untapped potential in the real estate software development market.  

While Zillow is a truly useful tool for its users (real estate professionals, buyers, and investors), it is monetarily rewarding for the owners too. How? Zillow runs ads and promotions for the market players. 

The Zillow rental network includes names like Trulia, AOL Real Estate, MyNewPlace, Hotpads, MSN Real Estate, and Yahoo! Inc. among others.  

If you are looking to invest in real estate mobile app development, you can adopt similar monetization models. The most profitable options include selling ad slots to property management companies and offering premier services to the real estate agents using your platform. 

And hey, for people to use and visit your application or website, you must ensure that your real estate has all of the following features. 

Must-have Features of a Real Estate App like Zillow 

How much will an app like Zillow cost will heavily depend on the number of features you want to offer! However, there are certain features that your real estate app developer will certainly need to work on. 

Smooth User Onboarding 

The most important element of any successful app or website is the user experience it offers. It is important to ensure that the users do not have a hard time using your real estate app or else they might abandon it after a couple uses. A smooth onboarding enhances the user experience by making them familiar with all the features of the application, helping them make the most out of your app. 

Panels for Different User Personas 

The users of a real estate app may range from serve sellers and real estate agents to homeowners and mortgage agents, each of these categories of users using your app to accomplish different tasks. You will need to create separate personas for each of your stakeholders. The buyers would need access to features like requesting quotes, talking to agents, browsing properties, and more. On the other hand, sellers would need access to listing properties, finding buyers, carrying out negotiations, and the like. It is vital that your app serves each user persona appropriately.  

Robust Cloud Infrastructure 

Database and infrastructure are a critical aspect of every digital product. Since a real estate application needs to handle huge volumes of data in the form of property images and details, buyer information, locations, and more, you will need a robust database and cloud infrastructure to ensure nothing hampers the user experience. 

Advanced Search Filters 

As the number of users and listings on your app increases, you would need to find ways to make search more inclusive and quicker. This is where advanced search filters come in. In addition to increasing the relevance of your app, advanced search filters will also enhance the overall usability and user experience. Zillow’s advanced search options let you filter properties by price, location, type of property, purpose, mortgage, built-in year and area, and more. 

Mapping & Geolocation 

Powerful mapping is yet another essential feature in a real estate app. Geolocation functionality can also be integrated to your app to offer the users a better view of neighborhood data, custom map overlays, nearby amenities, and more. 

Wishlist & Favorites 

A wish list is as important in a real estate app as it is in a digital commerce app. Most customers like to shortlist properties and compare them before they make the final purchase. Favorites allow them to save the listings for later and make the overall user experience more enjoyable. 

Alerts & Notifications 

Push notifications and alerts are among the most important features in a real estate app as they enable you to stay on top of your users’ minds. With alerts and notifications, you can convey important messages and updates to your users seamlessly. You can also develop alerts for new property listings in a particular area, price drops, and more to keep the users engaged and interested in your app. 

Virtual Tours 

Virtual tours in real estate apps have become more popular since the pandemic. Using technologies like AR and VR, users can take a realistic tour of their desired properties. Although implementing this feature can be slightly difficult, it is totally worth it to offer your users an unparalleled experience. 

Personalized Recommendations 

Personalized recommendations are one of the most noteworthy use cases of AI in real estate. You can suggest relevant properties to the users based on their behaviors and preferences. 

In addition to these, you can integrate advanced features like chatbots and business intelligence too. A chatbot can act as a personal assistant for your users and help them navigate the features and functionalities of your app. Business intelligence, on the other hand, can be integrated to handle data and run ads more effectively. 

Technology Stack for a Feature Rich Real Estate App 

Building your own full-fledged real estate app requires an extensive tech stack. 

Front-end: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, React.js, Angular, Vue.js, Bootstrap 

Back-end: Node.js, Express.js, Ruby on Rails, Django 

Database: PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB, Redis 

Cloud: AWS, GCP, Microsoft Azure 

DevOps and CI/CD: Docker, Kubernetes, Jenkins, GitHub Actions 

Third-party Integrations: Google Maps API, Stripe, Twilio, SendGrid 

Other Technologies: Elasticsearch, GraphQL, Firebase 

Mobile Development: React Native, Flutter, Swift, Kotlin 

4 Ways to Ensure Your App Gets a Competitive Edge 

In a competitive real estate space, a well-built app can make you stand out as a company. In addition to making sure that the conventional features are implemented properly, there are other things that can be done to make sure you get that much-needed competitive edge. 

Minimal Listing Fee 

Less listing fee means more realtors and advertisers on your real estate app. Waiving off the listing fee completely is not best thing to do as that may impact your profitability as a business but keeping it lesser than your competitors is certainly a good idea. Certain companies also offer an inauguration waiver where they don’t charge realtors anything for a while after they join. 

In-depth Information 

Offering more comprehensive information about the locality, valuations, and other similar factors than your competition will also direct more users towards your website or real estate app, indirectly leading to better conversion rates.  

Blockchain Integration 

Most modern applications that involve any kind of transactions are now slowly beginning to adopt blockchain in various forms. By making blockchain part of your real estate app, you could offer secure methods of property verification, payments, and more to your users and establish yourself a proponent of emerging technologies. 

Updated MLS 

As your real estate app grows, so will the number of transactions on your app. And more transactions will mean frequent changes in your database. You don’t want to bother your users by showing them properties that are no longer available or are beyond their budget. Better integration with MLS will help you tackle this issue effectively. 

Development Cost of An App Like Zillow 

Building your own app like Zillow will require some heavy investment initially. The actual cost to develop an app like Zillow will be determined by the tech stack you choose, the specific features you want to add, and the skill level of your real estate app developers. But hey, we won’t let you leave without a ballpark figure. If you want to build a real estate app like Zillow while including at least all the must have features, it could cost anywhere between $35,000 to $75,000. However, if you want to take things one level up, be ready to spend about $90,000 to get your perfect app. 

App Like Zillow 

We recommend getting started with a minimum viable product, and then scale up as you get a better idea of what you want to offer and the expectations of your target audience.

Build Your Own Real Estate App with Seasia 

Seasia Infotech has an expert team of real estate app developers who have worked with us on several large-scale projects. Their expertise, combined with our experience as a top-rated software development company, will ensure you can establish a real estate business with an app like Zillow.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

How to create a website like Zillow? 

We can create a website like Zillow by incorporating essential features like property listings, mapping and geolocation functionality, detailed property views, and more. You should start with a well-researched MVP and increase the number of features based on user feedback. 

How do you apply AI in real estate? 

There are several ways in which AI can be applied in real estate software development. Some key applications are predictive analytics, 3D modeling and virtual tours, personalized search and recommendations, automated document processing, chatbots, and more. 

What is the cost of developing an app like Zillow? 

The cost to develop a real estate app like Zillow will range between $35,000 to $90,000 depending upon the chosen tech stack and features. 

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Abhishek Vasudev

Abhishek Vasudev is well-talked about for his richly designed UI/UX projects, UX interaction design, UI animations, and the next-gen designs. His thought provoking written blogs have earned him devoted readers worldwide. Even more, than getting to explore with new designs, Abhishek’s passion about art, music and love for aesthetics keeps him on his toes 24/7.