How to Develop a Real Estate App Like Zillow in USA: Features, Types, and Costs

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March 2024 | 5 min read

Head of Marketing & Development

Usama Shahid

Head of Marketing & Development

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The real estate sector in the United States has grown significantly in recent years. This expansion has been fueled in large part by technological advancements as well as altering consumer tastes. The rise of real estate applications, which make it easier for buyers, sellers, and renters to identify and transact with homes, has played a big role in this trend. Zillow, a pioneer in the market for real estate apps, has set the bar for what customers can expect from platforms of this type. In this tutorial, we will look at how to create real estate applications and will look into real estate app development cost in USA. We will discuss the required features, the various types of real estate applications, and the related expenses.

An Examination of Different Real Estate App Development in USA

Before commencing the development process, it is critical to have a firm understanding of the competitive environment of the mobile real estate app sector and the custom real estate mobile app pricing in USA as well. This market may be classified into many groups based on the key purposes that they serve:

  • Property Searching Applications

Property listing app development estimate vary in multiple ways. When utilizing these applications, users may search for homes based on a number of parameters such as location, price range, property type, and more. Examples include Zillow, Redfin, and

  • Applications for Real Estate Listing

These applications are designed for real estate agents and brokers to use in order to advertise homes that are for sale or rent.
Examples include the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and LoopNet.

  • Real Estate Management Applications

These programs are designed for property owners, landlords, and property managers to help them manage their properties, tenants, and money. Two examples are Buildium and AppFolio.

  • Mortgage Applications and Financial Matters

These applications aid users in calculating their monthly mortgage payments, evaluating loan offers, and managing their finances in connection to real estate assets. Credit Karma and Quicken Loans' mortgage calculator are two examples.

Important Elements of a Zillow-like Real Estate Application

To design a successful real estate app in the United States, a range of important features must be included in order to live up to customer expectations. Let us classify these features into the following categories:

  • User Registration and Profile Administration

Registration of users through email, phone, or their social media profiles
User profiles that enable users to save searches, favorite listings, and contact information.

  • Property Listings and Search Engines

Advanced search filters such as area, price range, kind of property, number of bedrooms, and more.
Interactive mapping tools that incorporate property markers
Detailed listings of available homes, including high-quality images and videos
Three-dimensional real estate views, as well as virtual tour

  • Emergency Notifications and Warnings

Notifications tailored to the user's preferences when new postings meeting those criteria become available
Notifications about changes in price or property availability
Push technology notifications as well as email alerts

  • Mortgage Payment Calculator

A mortgage payment calculator that includes tax and insurance estimates.
A calculator that can establish an individual's spending limits.
Methods for comparing different loans

  • Interaction and Thought Verbalization

Messaging capabilities for buyers, sellers, and real estate brokers inside the app.
A facility that allows consumers to call for urgent questions by clicking a button.
Simple and convenient communication owing to email integration.

  • Other Customers' Ratings and Opinions

Allow users to rank and evaluate real estate agents and homes.
Display user-generated content to develop trust.
A mechanism for reporting harmful content.

  • Favorite Searches and Saved Searches Lists

Your favorite properties and searches will be stored for future use.
Quick access to previously viewed listings.
Updates are sent in real time.
The current availability status of the property in real time.
Insights and analysis on current industry trends.
MLS integration to guarantee that listings are constantly up to date.

  • Trustworthy Transactions

Secure payment processing for appointment scheduling, deposit payment, and subscription fee payment.
A multitude of payment options, including credit cards and online wallets.

  • Insights and Analytical Thinking

Analytical insights into app user behavior to improve program functioning.
Information on the most popular property kinds and search criteria.

  • Administrative Control Panel

Maintain user profiles, listings, and ratings.
Monitor the app's performance and address any issues that arise.

Different Types of Real Estate Applications

While Zillow's major focus is on real estate listings and searches, there are a variety of real estate applications to pick from based on your company's goals, including the following:

  • The number one spot is taken by aggregator applications

Hiring developers (front-end, back-end, mobile app)
Aggregator apps, such as Zillow, aggregate listings from a range of sources, including real estate brokers, agents, and MLS databases.
Having a big number of users and a thorough property inventory are two advantages.
Both competition from established businesses and difficulty in assuring data accuracy are disadvantages.

  • Specialty Applications

Niche real estate applications are those that specialize on a single market sector or kind of property, such as luxury residences, holiday rentals, or commercial properties.
Benefits: There is less competition, and the audience is well targeted.
Cons: The user base is quite limited, and scaling up may be challenging.

  • Marketplace Applications

Marketplace applications link buyers, sellers, and real estate agents, making transactions on the platform more convenient.
Advantages: There are options to earn money through fees and commissions.
Cons: Implementation of considerable development and trust-building procedures is required.

  • Property Management Software Applications

Property owners and landlords are the most likely to utilize property management applications, which give tools for managing their properties, renters, and money.
Consistent number of users, resulting in consistent revenue from membership payments.
Drawbacks: Competition from other property search applications is less fierce.

Development-Related Expenses

The cost of producing a Zillow-like real estate app can vary greatly based on a variety of factors, including the following:

  • Characteristics and Complexity

The cost of development will rise according to the amount of features included. Virtual tours, artificial intelligence-driven property recommendations, and in-app messaging are just a few examples of features that might increase the process's complexity and expense.

  • OS (iOS, Android, or Web)

Developing for numerous platforms raises the overall cost of development. Choose whether you want to launch the app on iOS, Android, or both platforms.

  • The Design Process and the End User Experience

A design that is both user-friendly and aesthetically beautiful is crucial. Investing in a good design may have a favorable impact on user retention and engagement.

  • The Development Team

The cost of hiring specialists like as developers, designers, and quality assurance testers varies not just by expertise level but also by geography.

  • Data Integration

Due to license costs and the technological hurdles involved in connecting with MLS databases and other data sources, it may be prohibitively expensive.

  • Maintenance and Continuous Improvements

If the app is to stay competitive and bug-free, it must be maintained and updated on a regular basis.

  • Public Relations and Advertising

Set aside money for marketing and advertising in order to boost user numbers and develop brand awareness.

  • Legal and Compliance Prerequisites

Consider the price of legal advice for contract preparation, privacy rules, and compliance with real estate legislation.

Real Estate App Development Quote and Common Estimates

  • Features and Complexity: Basic Features (User registration, property search, listings):
    $15,000 - $25,000
    Advanced Features (Virtual tours, AI recommendations, messaging):
    $20,000 - $40,000
    $35,000 - $65,000

  • Platform (iOS, Android, Web):Development for a single platform (iOS or Android):
    $20,000 - $35,000
    Development for both platforms (iOS and Android):
    $40,000 - $70,000
    Web version (optional):
    $15,000 - $30,000
    Total (iOS and Android with web):
    $55,000 - $100,000

  • Design and User Experience: UI/UX design:
    $10,000 - $20,000
    $10,000 - $20,000

  • Development Team: Developer (Front-end and Back-end):
    $60,000 - $120,000 per year
    $45,000 - $90,000 per year
    QA Specialist:
    $40,000 - $80,000 per year
    Total (1-year team costs):
    $145,000 - $290,000

  • Data Integration: Licensing fees for MLS data access: Variable, depending on location and data sources. Can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands annually.
    Development costs for data integration:
    $10,000 - $20,000
    Variable, but budget for data integration can be around $10,000 - $50,000 annually.

  • Maintenance and Updates: Ongoing maintenance (bug fixes, updates, server costs): Approximately 20% of initial development costs per year.
    In this case, $7,000 - $20,000 per year.

  • Marketing and Promotion: Marketing budget can vary significantly based on your goals. It's advisable to allocate at least $20,000 - $50,000 for initial marketing and user acquisition efforts.

  • Legal and Compliance: Legal fees for contracts, privacy policies, and compliance:
    $5,000 - $10,000
    Total Estimated Costs:
    Initial Development (iOS and Android, basic features, and design):
    $100,000 - $185,000
    Annual pirating Costs (data integration, maintenance, and marketing):
    $32,000 - $90,000

  • Front-end Development: Programming languages: JavaScript, React Native for cross-platform development
    UI/UX design tools:
    Sketch, Adobe XD, Figma
    Frameworks and libraries:
    React, Redux (for state management)

  • Back-end Development: Programming languages:
    Python, Ruby, Node.js
    Django, Ruby on Rails, Express.js
    Authentication and Authorization:
    OAuth 2.0
    API development for data exchange

  • Database: Relational databases (e.g., PostgreSQL, MySQL) for structured data
    NoSQL databases (e.g., MongoDB) for unstructured or semi-structured data

  • Hosting and Cloud Services: Cloud platforms: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure
    Content delivery networks (CDNs) for media distribution
    Server less computing for scalability


Developing a real estate software comparable to Zillow in the USA is a tough but potentially rewarding venture. You may build a successful real estate app that caters to the demands of property buyers, sellers, and renters by first learning about the industry, including necessary features into the app, selecting the suitable app type, and generating a budget for the app's development expenditures. Keeping in mind that the real estate sector is always changing is critical to your long-term success in this competitive field; hence, it is critical to stay current with both market trends and consumer preferences. Understanding the real estate app development cost in USA is a crucial part of planning your venture and ensuring its viability.

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Head of Marketing & Development

Usama Shahid

Head of Marketing and Development

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