Step Into your Property with Zillow | Case Study on Zillow

Deesha Bakshi Deesha Bakshi
May 10, 2021 6 min read
Step Into your Property with Zillow | Case Study on Zillow

From ordering gourmet food to getting coaching, everything is available online. Today even our market place is online, be it groceries or property, one can easily buy them online. Traditionally the real-estate market was known for the deals that occurred with the help of unorganized brokers, agents, and middlemen. However, with the changing times, the real estate market has shifted on the internet too, this is why Zillow came into existence with Zillow homes for rent, Zillow homes for sales, Zillow apartments and much more.

With due diligence, one can buy or sell properties and houses on the real estate websites. In the year 2019, the National Association of Realtors stated that 52% of the buyers who bought homes found them on the internet. Real Estate websites are been visited more than 120 million times on the internet and one such dominant platform is Zillow. More than 36 million unique visitors search for properties on Zillow in a month. Find more information about the real-estate platform Zillow in this article.

More About Zillow
Formation of Zillow
Business Model of Zillow
Revenue Generation of Zillow


Startup Name Zillow
Headquarter Russell Investments Center Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Sector Real Estate
Founders Rich Barton & Lloyd Frink
Founded 2006
Area Served United Nations

More About Zillow

Zillow is one of the most prominent and famous real estate and home-related brands today on the internet. Zillow Group, Inc. has its focus on all stages of the home life cycle and it includes renting, buying, financing, selling, home improvement, and so on. With its unparalleled data, inspiration, and knowledge around homes and real estate, Zillow Group is committed to empower its consumers and connect them with the right professionals to help.

With respect to business to business (B2B) segment, Zillow Group also develops and provides marketing and technology solutions to help real estate, rental, and mortgage professionals in order to maximize and increase business opportunities. This helps them to connect with millions of customers daily and increases their reach as well. Data and voice communication needs of Zillow are accomplished by Threshold communication which helps to safeguard clients from traditional errands of multiple network and hardware vendors.

Zillow was founded with the prime objective to find houses, apartments and help consumers find their best match properties and now the company has expanded their services way beyond. Besides, the Zillow group also operates similar real estate portals like Trulia, Hot Pads, and Street Easy.

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Formation of Zillow

The idea of funding a platform like Zillow was initiated in the year 2004 by Rich Barton. At that time, Barton was working at Microsoft. With the thought of changing the real estate industry and transforming the sector, Zillow was formed the year 2004. The website of the company was launched in the year 2006 and the company started its operations thereafter.

Later on in the year, 2010 Barton stayed as the executive chairman, and Spencer Rascoff was appointed as the CEO of the company by the board of directors. After 8 years when Zillow was about to enter the on-demand home buying market, Barton returned as the CEO of the company to lead in the phase of transitions. He is still the CEO of the firm. In 2018, the company for the very first time stepped outside the country and partnered with Century 21 Canada to list Canadian properties on its website.

Business Model of Zillow

Business Model of Zillow
Business Model of Zillow

The whole Business Model of Zillow came down with the single objective to empower people with tools and information so that they make wise decisions in buying, leasing, selling, remodeling, financing, or renting homes.

The segments that the company has categorized on its portal are:

  1. Sale : The customers in this section can find properties for sale according to their preferences by applying various filters.

2. Buy : This category is further categorized into different types-

  • Foreclosed: These are the properties where the homeowners have failed to pay the mortgage value and the property has now gone for foreclosure auction
  • Pre-foreclosure: These are the properties that are in the early stages of being
    repossessed due to owners inability to pay the mortgage amount
  • The others include new constructions, flats recently sold, and for sale by owner

3. Rent : In this section, customers can explore options like rental buildings, apartments, or offices.

4. Home Loans : Visitors on the website can also explore the various option of financing like refinancing rates, mortgage rates, different lenders, etc.

5. Agents : This is the last category where the visitors can look out for agent's help if they wish to. The portal helps you find the right real estate managers, property managers, home inspectors, home builders, etc.

Revenue Generation of Zillow

Revenue Model of Zillow
Revenue Model of Zillow

Zillow is a free website when it comes to listing a property for sale or rent. Websites, online tools, and mobile applications are free as well. Even though the company is providing almost everything for free their annual revenue is more than $1.1 billion.

These are the ways through which Zillow is generating its revenue:

1. Sale of advertisements to property management companies

Zillow has a rental network that maximizes the visibility of the advertiser's property to the renters. This network comprises of Zillow, Trulia, Hot Pads, and Street Easy. Zillow offers this network to property management companies. Such rentals bring a huge part of the revenue to the company.

2. Premier Services for Real Estate Agents

Through means of advertising, Zillow premier services can bring you buyers, sellers, and better business for agents. If one wants to become a premier agent Zillow charges a nominal amount that depends on the place and the area. These agents pay Zillow an amount which is determined by the number of ad impressions delivered to the users of that area.

3. Ad Sales to Mortgage Lenders

The platform also sells its advertising space to mortgage lenders and businesses such as general contractors, interior designers, home organization retailers, etc. These lenders and businesses pay the amount to Zillow on the basis of cost per click (CPC) or cost per thousand impressions(CPM).

The business model of Zillow is based on peer to peer (P2P), agency to the customer (B2C), and agency to agency (A2A).


What is Zillow?

Zillow Group is reimagining real estate to make it easier to unlock life's next chapter. As the most-visited real estate website in the United States, Zillow and its affiliates offer customers an on-demand experience for selling, buying, renting and financing with transparency and nearly seamless end-to-end service.

What does Zillow do?

Zillow makes money by charging property management companies to advertise their listings on the Zillow Rental Network.

Who owns Zillow?

Rich Barton is the owner of Zillow.

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