How to Develop a Real Estate App Like Zillow and Trulia

Today we are going to speak about how to develop a real estate mobile app similar to Zillow and Trulia. Nowadays this kind of apps meets demand. We explore why these apps so popular and what you can do if you also have an idea of the real estate application. In this article, you will get to know what steps you should take to avoid funds burning and receive success in the field of real estate mobile apps.

Why Real Estate App is becoming Popular and your estate business should have one too

To understand the popularity of real estate apps, it makes sense to take a look at top companies operating in this business niche like Zillow and Trulia. Let us take an example, a real estate app Apartment List has raised more than $60 million since the moment of its launch in 2011. Another industry leader Zumper received over $31 million of venture investments in four rounds. One more successful real estate platform Zillow has managed to raise as much as $96 million during its five funding rounds. Needless to say, the real estate industry is brimming with possibilities for tech entrepreneurs.

Also Read: How to Develop A Business Directpry App like Yelp

Popular real estate Apps

Listing Plus by Realty Plus

This app Listing Plus by Reality Plus surely deserve to get on to this list in this app, users can create and edit listings, set up open houses, they can also track the number of open houses, securely store property access codes, as well as share listing statistics with clients. What’s more, agents can notify potential customers if there is a price change going to happen through the App.


Lovely is another telling example of a quality real estate app. This app was designed for searching and renting perfect apartments. Users can search through multiple listings and filter search results by location, size, price, and other factors they might consider. When new apartments are matching their search criteria app will send them a push notification. What’s more, the app allows you to submit credit scores and even verify employment via Linkedin. The app is available on the App Store and Play store.

Housing for Agents

Housing for agents is a great app for people who manage multiple properties. Thanks to this app, agents and brokers can maintain their properties and collect leads generated from different sources. They can also schedule appointments with prospective buyers or renters, share properties that match somebody’s criteria via WhatsApp or e-mail and get notifications on the status of their properties. At the moment, the app is only available for Android users.

This app is called Realtor and is one of the useful real estate apps is powered by Users search anytime through the biggest database of property listings and find homes of their dreams. Recently Realtor users can also enjoy 3D home tours and 3D maps.

Trulia Real Estate & Renters

The Trulia app is a great tool for people who are searching for homes in particular cities and neighborhoods. The list of features of this app includes flexible search by amenities and prices, video tours, mortgage calculators, as well as voice access and messenger. Thanks to this app, agents, and potential customers can find each other with ease and negotiate the terms of their deals from the comfort of their smartphones.

How Real Estate App Can Help Customers, Agents and properties owner

How Real Estate App Helps

By now you know that real estate apps business is brimming up with the opportunities and are familiar with the most popular startups in this industry. Now it’s time to find out why do real estate professionals and customers need those apps to get a boost in their business:

  • Real estate apps remove the burden of paperwork.
  • Such apps save time and effort for those looking for houses and apartments and those trying to sell them or renting them out.
  • Agents and people with multiple properties can keep all their listings organized and under control.
  • Customers can save themselves a headache of attending open houses and negotiating terms of deals.
  • Real estate apps offer the most of the time up-to-dated information about current deals.
  • Such apps keep customers informed about price changes.

Features to Include in a Real Estate App

  • Huge Database: And with this in mind, let me just emphasize – it has to be bigger than ever. Imagine how many things have to be stored in there: all the houses and apartments, their amenities, features and locations, routes and maps for a GEO-location function, all the addresses of the nearby institutes, schools, and shops. On the server’s side, various tech has to be implemented as well, including the Postgres, PostGIS SQL databases, Elasticsearch for a full-text search and Marionette Backbone Framework.
  • Maps and 3D tours: In real estate business, visual information is crucial.  If you want to create a user-friendly app that lets your users see the precise location of each property on a map and make them enjoy 3D tours of properties listed on the app. To make your app even more impressive you can implement virtual tours to properties using VR technology such as Oculus Rift headgear. Thus your real estate app users who own the mentioned VR systems will be able to immerse in a real estate virtual tour experience.
  • Advanced search functionality is more of a requirement than a recommendation: Filtered search is really important for real estate apps to be user-friendly. The better structured your data, the better your app’s user experience. Try to organize information so that property listings highlight the most popular criteria for home buyers. We can separate must-have search criteria like location, property type, and price range from other criteria like square footage, on-site parking, in-unit laundry, year built, and whatever else you think is important to include.
  • Listings should portray data graphically: What’s the best way to get users to engage with information about real estate listings? It’s simple: visually. Portraying data graphically reveals patterns that are difficult to detect otherwise. Graphs and pictures always beat long descriptions. Your app can have both, but don’t overload it with too much info.
  • Built-in messenger to let parties keep in touch: We know that users can easily communicate via Facebook or email. However, it adds up extra points to UX if they can talk to each other without the need of closing the app. Instant and effortless communication is vital for real estate apps to be successful.
  • Push notifications: Push notifications are a great way to make users come back to your app. Make sure to make the most out of this fact. Nevertheless, make sure not to overuse these excellent customer retention techniques.
  • Search & save favorites option: Users should be able to search properties that will be matching their needs and wants, as well as save them to wishlists for future consideration. Without this feature is your app your real estate app will confuse its users.
  • Signing documents online:It would be great if users can sign rental or purchase contracts directly through the app. There are ready-to-use APIs to make it possible. So make sure to implement cutting-edge e-sign functionality and make the app highly secure in regards to any personal data.

Technology Stack Required to develop a Real Estate App

If you want clients to use this App then you will have to be willing features to be implemented into a mobile app for real estate agents include different technologies, peculiarly:

  1. MapKit: for the map integration.
  2. CoreLocation: for tracking the user’s geo-location and setting a point on the map.
  3. Apple Push Notifications Service (APNS):  for the push notifications to hit on the device.
  4. CoreData or Realm:  will help the user to have a list of saved houses and other properties.
  5. Facebook SDK:  will help the user to enable sign-in and sharing via Facebook.
  6. Google sign in:  will help the user to have an additional Google+ sign-in option.
  7. Virtual tours: will help the user to explore the property without leaving the. application. 

How you can Earn Your Money Back Like Zillow Had

how to earn money from real estate apps

You can list your property for sale on Zillow for free. If you want then you can also post your proprietary for rent – same, absolutely free of charge. How does Zillow make money then? 

The revenue-regenerating scheme is completely based on the advertisement and works in several ways:

Paid advertisement for the property management companies

$10-per-month fee for the premium services for the real estate agents

Paid advertisement for the mortgage lenders and other Zillow-interested businesses

According to Investopedia, Zillow Group (which also includes Trulia) reported the revenue of $224.59 million in the quarter ending September 30, 2016, and $644.68 million in the year ended December 31, 2015.

How much does it cost to develop a real estate application?

It’s important to start with conducting business analysis. This helps you to evaluate an idea of your application, get to know the market situation, find your competitors and market leaders. 

The next thing is the design. It’s important to create an attractive user interface and make your app comfortable for usage. You can check out our design case of the real estate app.

Web Design For a Real Estate Platform – Behance These two stages, business analysis, and design, usually take about 2 months and cost in the neighborhood of $5,000 to $8,000 per month.

The real estate app development cost may vary depending on several factors – the time, the scope of features you obtain, whether it is going to be an MVP or an MMVP that you are willing to create, but if we were to generalize – you need to have several products developed. The very first thing would be mobile app development for real estate agency with a finish-line product – mobile application. We are going to take an iOS-based one as an example. But if there is a need for the Android app – then the estimates are likely to rise. The second, but the crucial one as well as web development, where the website+server part combo has to be developed.

Overall a real estate app development will cost you around $8000 to $15000.

“Related: How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Business Directory App-like Yelp


The real estate market is booming at a face pace and with the real estate apps, this is further intensifying the process. People no more have to move out to availing the information as these apps provide them all in one place.

So, whether it is searching for an ideal home for living or renting out, or contacting the broker, you are sure to get the best-in-class services.

If you are looking for the best real estate app development company to develop a mobile app for your real estate business, then get in touch with our expert developers to streamline your business prospects.

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