What is the Cost of Real Estate App Development Like Zillow or Trulia?

Sudeep Srivastava June 21, 2022
What is the Cost of Real Estate App Development Like Zillow or Trulia

The average cost of developing a real estate app like Zillow or Trulia varies between US$83,000-$1,00,000. However, the cost can differ based on the factors like complexity of the app, UI/UX design, development team size, and the geographical location of the development agency.

There was once a time when people willing to buy or sell their property had to be dependent on the availability of the real estate agent’s time. The agent was solely responsible to visit properties to rent or purchase or getting prospective customers to visit their properties. Traditional practices shifted drastically since the entry of Millennials or Gen Y into the real estate landscape.  

Millennials entry into the property market has brought a number of changes in the industry, just like their current impact on all the other industries.

Gen Y with their famous trait of demanding everything on the move and in realtime brought the traditional and slow-moving industry on a platform, known to give them everything that they need and how they need – the mobile platform. This shift from face-to-face open houses to virtual tours on mobile has been noticed by the many stakeholders of the property market, who like millennials are demanding to move the industry to mobile.

This demand in effect has brought an increase in the property market enthusiasts who are in turn working to fill the gap between demand and supply. And it is all starting with one question – what is the  cost to build a real estate app development like Zillow or Trulia?

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Before we go on any further into looking at the factors that help answer how much does an app like Zillow app or Trulia costs, let us first look at how the modern property market stakeholders have been reacting to the idea of dealing with the real estate transaction process on mobile – something that has given birth to the question how to build a real estate app like Zillow and Trulia.

Role of mProperty Search

The role that mobile apps play in the whole property renting, buying, and selling process, has changed the whole equation of how property transactions happen. Moreover, it led to an influx of market players entering the space to attend to the transforming needs of the modern-day property buyers and sellers.

The below image exhibits the names of the top market players that have build a space in the real estate marketplace segment.

top market players that have build a space in the real estate marketplace segment

Now that we have looked into the market players that are presently ruling the property search mobile app industry, it is time to look at the real estate mobile app features at the back of which they have been able to create this place in the market.

Must-Have Features of Property Search Rental Apps Like Zillow or Trulia

A feature-rich app is likely to pave the way for success of your real estate app. There are a few features that make Zillow or Trulia what they are today. This means if you are planning to build a real estate app, you must look into the features set that you can implement to your app. A few of the must-have features are listed below:

Must-Have Features of Property Search Rental Apps Like Zillow or Trulia

Database

Database is one of the invisible features of your real estate app mobile application development process. A strong database will provide value leading to growth and engagement of your real estate app. The mere functioning of the app depends on the integration of the database in your real estate mobile application development process. The wider and more updated it is, the greater would be the chances of keeping users interested in your application.

Zillow and Trulia source their data from two major resources:

  • National Association of Realtors
  • Multiple Third-party listing services

The key to building a strong database includes collaborating with real estate traders and professionals from a particular locality to build an extensive database for your mobile application development.

User Profiles

Housing apps like Zillow are laced with such features that target different user segments only via one app. Real estate app developers must empower their end users to create their own profiles in the app. The profiles can be created based on their usability such as users, sellers, and real estate agents. It will allow different sets of users to perform different actions.

For instance, the buyer’s profile will be able to access features like listings, make an inquiry, save for later, etc., whereas, the agent’s profile will include the agent’s published listings, schedules, interested buyers data, etc.

Onboarding

The first five steps that the user takes after installing the mobile app are the most deciding ones. The easier you make it the greater the chances of users not abandoning your application on the first go. 

An easy onboarding process will assist users to comprehend your app and its functionalities. You can implement an onboarding process that fulfills the three major objectives- navigation, operations, and bringing value to the eyes of the users.

For converting your user from consideration stage to successful conversions, it helps to have a social media API integrated at this stage for then onboarding becomes a matter of a few clicks.

Search, Filter, and Sort

Allowing customization increases the relevancy of your app as users will be able to filter out the best suitable properties as per their preferences like budget, location, requirements, amenities, etc. Property identification and filtration is an important feature that must be present in the real estate app design process. Real estate app developers should aim at adding as many shortlisting features as possible to increase the reliability of the platform and put your end-users at a comfort zone.

You can add search and sort filters on the basis of:

  • Purpose
  • Location
  • Price
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Types of home
  • Year built
  • Built-in area
  • Mortgage

Interactive Maps

Proper map integration is a very important part of any property search mobile application as it offers loads of valuable information to the end-users. It is your only way to ensure that the property seekers reach the right location at the right time. 

In fact, you should also aim for integrating a smart map feature in the application, which would help in identifying what all places are in the vicinity. You can showcase useful data and statistics about nearby places such as schools, banks, hospitals, the average income of residents, crime rate, etc.

Get Service Assistance

Calendars

Many realtors believe that a calendar is just another optional feature; however, it makes your app highly appealing. The feature comes in handy, especially for the real estate agent side of the stakeholders. For instance, if a buyer wants to schedule an appointment with agents, they can easily get the available dates and time slots for scheduling the appointment via the app. Similarly, in the case of open houses, they can easily keep track of the open house and property buyer/seller meetings. 

Apartment Details

Each property listing is full of information like description, videos, photos, price details, landmarks, nearby areas, owner details, etc. Your platform would be considered to be truly effective only if you give in-depth insights into every property that is listed in the app. Everything from per sq. ft. area to the locality and contact person details should be clearly mentioned the app. Having the details of the property clearly in the app increases its value in the market as a whole.

For instance, Trulia has data on 34 neighborhoods, including photos, videos, amenities, and stories of the local residents. This feature incites interest in potential buyers as they can understand the community or neighborhood better.

Push Notifications

Push notifications are a highly powerful marketing tool. The benefits that rightly applied push notifications offer are too big to ignore. This feature allows you to stay at the top of the customer’s minds and retain them. What applies for mCommerce apps works rightly for property search applications too. By installing the push notification feature in the app, you will be able to keep the users updated in terms of the message that they receive or price fluctuations and even receive an update on the calendar appointment.

Currency Converter

With everything now operating in a oneworld scenario, the crossborder movement of people has brought with it the need for crossborder real estate purchases as well. In such situation where more people are opening to the idea of owning or renting a property wherever they reside, it’s a must to have a currency conversion functionality in the application, as any real estate mobile app builder team would suggest.

Forum and Messenger

Having the forum functionality in the application will allow your users to discuss the property, its condition, profit-making ability, etc. in open. Something like an embedded chat system would directly increase your app engagement rate. The inclusion of messenger functionality, will give your stakeholders a platform where they can converse with each other and expedite the whole real estate transaction.

Also, an embedded call or chat system will let users close a deal by contacting a real estate agent directly via the app.

Virtual Tours

Post pandemic, virtual tours are becoming mainstream for real estate apps. Technologies like AR/VR play an essential role in promoting virtual tours and enables endusers to virtually visit the property before they make the purchase. In the current digital landscape, it can do wonders to your turnover. Virtual tours can be an amazing way to turn app visitors into potential prospects who would actually like to connect and invest in the property. Virtual tours can have a huge impact on your real estate app revenue model and engagement.

Favorites

Suppose you are looking for a property but immediately don’t want to take the final action. You would want to explore the other options or consult with your family members before making any decision. But what happens if you exit the app? You might have to start your research once again, but what if you can save them for later. 

Saving your later is possible with the favorites feature that works well for any real estate app’s success. Your end-users can easily shortlist their preferred properties using this feature. This feature helps your users in their buying-selling process and empowers them to view their shortlisted properties anytime and anywhere.

Other advanced features that decides your app’s success includes multiple listing services, behavior tracking, mortgage or interest rate calculator, etc.

Now that we are familiar with the must-have range of features in a real estate app, it’s time to look into the technology stack required to develop a mobile app for a real estate company.

Technology Stack Needed for Development of Property Search Apps

Technology stack plays a crucial role in creating an app for real estate companies. To implement the features mentioned above, you need technologies to make your app robust and fast. Below, we have listed technologies that real estate app developers use to build top real estate apps.

Platform Technology/Tools
Application Designing Adobe Photoshop and Canvas Flips
iOS Application Development Swift/Objective C, Mac OS, iPhone SDK
Android Application Development Java, JDK, SQLite, Kotlin
Backend Development PHP, MySQL
Video Calling API Twilio
Database CoreData or Realm frameworks, The Onboard Informatics Community
Database Zillow app API, MapBoxGoogle Maps APIs, SimplyRets, iHomeFinder, Spark APIs, Spatial Neighborhood APIs, Google Places API
SDK files Firebase SDK, Facebook SDK

What is the Cost of Building Real Estate Apps like Zillow or Trulia?

The cost of developing a real estate app like Zillow or Trulia depends on the various factors associated with it. A few of them are complexity of the app, development team size, location of the hired development agency, etc.

If your property search app will also operate the same set of features like those listed above along with the same set of the technology stack that we shared a while back, then your cost of Zillow like app development would come somewhere in the range of USD 83,000 to USD 1,00,000.

*Now, this is the basic most range settled on after analyzing the features and technology stack set we shared above. Any modification in the sets would automatically affect the cost one way or the other.*

Before investing your whole budget into the app development, you can get an MVP developed and validated to stay on the right path of your app development process. Now, that you got your app developed, it’s time to look into the monetization methods from which you can get your app developed.

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Monetization model to Follow in Your Real Estate Mobile App Development Journey

There are multiple ways through which real estate based property listing apps make money. Here are some which we advice our clients:

  • Sell Ad Slots to Property Management Companies
  • Premier Service Offering to the Real Estate Agents
  • Sell Ad Slots to Mortgage Lenders and Similar Businesses

The money you spent on answering the question How to Make a Real Estate App Like Zillow and Trulia and the money you have the potential to earn will never arrive at a stage where the real estate app development cost is covered with the profits until you establish a place for yourself in the slowly crowding mobile space.

How to get your app a competitive edge in the real estate app space?

Knowing how to be better or simply have a competitive edge strong enough to stand atop the growing crowd of active real estate players entering the app segment.

There are a number of things that you can think of in terms of bettering the user experience and a number of features that you can add to make the experience more valuewise profitable. At the back of our experience of developing multiple real estate housing apps like Zillow and Trulia as the leading real estate mobile app development company, we have identified these functionalities whose addition to the mobile app can give your app brand the competitive edge it needs to survive.

How to get your app a competitive edge in the real estate app space

1. Low listing fees

The number one thing that generally keeps realtors and advertisers jumping between one real estate app to another is the listing fees. While it is completely unprofitable to waive off the listing fees entirely you should instead keep the fees low in relation to other applications active in the market. You can even have an inauguration waiver wherein you don’t charge any fees from the users for a set period of time.

2. Give detailed information

Another thing that you can do to make your app more than a property listing platform and convert it into a go-to platform for people looking to buy rent or sell a property is by giving them in-depth information into the locality, security, the mode of conveyance around the area, market valuation of the area, prospect of growth after a few years, etc.  

3. Use blockchain

Although at a low adoption rate, Blockchain technology is already in many ways changing the real estate outlook across the world. Being one of the top technologies disrupting the real estate sector, the technology is poised to become a concrete answer to how to make an app like Zillow app. 

In order to establish yourself as a disruptive market player, you can integrate the technology into your real estate app. There are a number of elements that you will be able to decentralize with Blockchain technology inclusion in the app, like property verification, name transfer in property documents, etc.

4. Updated MLS integration

One of the biggest complaints that the users have even from the popular real estate apps is that the data which have been fed in the app is outdated. Half of the time either the property listed is already sold out or the price range mentioned on the app is outdated. The solution to this consistent problem is better integration with MLS. The more closely knit you keep your app with the MLS, the more updated and real-time your app would be.

How can Appinventiv help you with Real Estate Mobile Application Development?

Appinventiv, a leading real estate mobile app development company has helped various clients of the same domain in delivering successful mobile apps. The team of innovative real estate app developers specializes in the development of property apps that are powered by disruptive technologies prepared to meet the present and future demands of all your stakeholders in real-time.

We have collaborated with leading brands such as Empire hotels, Adidas, IKEA, and many more. Our expert team can help you connect all your stakeholder’s requirements- buyers, sellers, and aggregators in one app. 

Conclusion

We hope you got a complete overview of the real estate app development cost and other important things associated with it. Whether it is a real estate app for Android or iOS, it’s always targeted to ease the buying, selling, and renting process for the end-users. Make sure to implement a simplified dashboard to manage profiles. An intuitive UI in your real estate app will define its success in the long journey. To stay ahead in the market, understand what Zillow and Trulia app delivers and continually upgrade features to deliver an unparalleled app experience.

FAQs

Q: How much does it take to build an MVP for a real estate app?

A: On average, it takes 3-4 months to develop and release an MVP. However, the time period might increase or decrease based on the features you are looking to integrate to your real estate MVP.

Q: How does a real estate agency benefit from having a personal mobile app?

A: A personal mobile app for real estate companies brings multiple benefits to the table. The company becomes a part of the major growing market share. The real estate market is huge and more users are visiting your website or app each day. With the right analytics tools, you can analyze user data to capture potential leads. Also, you become one of the prime agencies that are always open to take queries and schedule property visits- all through your app.

Q: How blockchain technology can help in the real estate business?

A: Real estate businesses can leverage the growing blockchain technology by implementing it in different areas of real estate such as

  • a smart contract
  • a decentralized and immutable ledger
  • in the form of cryptocurrencies
THE AUTHOR
Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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