How Does Zillow Make Money

Zillow makes money from the commission they earn after selling a home, the lead fees they collect, and the interest they earn from home loans. Zillow also earns money through other means, and we will be looking at some of them in this article.

Founded in 2005 with its headquarters in Seattle, Zillow has become a leading online real estate company. In 2011, Zillow went public and it has over 236 million visitors on its platforms every month.

So just like any other eCommerce store, Zillow has its niche which is, buying and selling of houses/homes on the platform and rentals as well. The platform could either be their website or their mobile app. So many things can be done on the Zillow platform as far as it has something to do with real estate. Moreover, Zillow acquired 12 more businesses in its company history.

What is Zillow? 

Zillow is an online real estate market that provides services for sellers and buyers of homes/houses. Their services comprise everything concerning home rentals, home purchasing, sales, loan financing, and ownership.

As a company, they are committed to assisting its customers with the right information when it comes to a home purchase, sales, ownership, etc. 

Additionally, through the Zillow Offers program, home buyers are given explicit access to the homes on the company’s website.

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How Does Zillow Offer Its Services?

Zillow as an online real estate company offers services to both buyers and sellers of properties. This transaction can only be possible if it is related to property purchase, sale, rental, and loan financing of a home. 

For the buyers, Zillow offers buildings sold by them through the iBuying platform or they can buy directly from the seller. Then for the rentals, Zillow gives its users different features so that they can find a suitable place to stay. And for the sellers, Zillow offers three options which are: 

  • To list their homes on the company’s platform.
  • Work with an agent who is completely verified by Zillow.
  • Sell their property directly to Zillow.

Then finally, for the borrowers, in 2018 Zillow acquired Mortgage Lender of America to become part of its platform. So, through this acquisition, they offer mortgages directly to consumers.

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Benefits of Listing With Zillow

Zillow gets its clients from different sources such as; partners, brokers, and agents. One of the best decisions as a seller is to make your properties available for listing in Zillow. This is because there are many benefits for a seller in the Zillow mobile app and website.

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These benefits are as follows:

  • Your property will be listed on the platform for free with lots of pictures.
  • The property will receive free marketing and those who registered as an agent/brand will also receive free marketing.
  • People who shop for homes and accessories will see your business on either their website or mobile app. This is due to the client traffic their platform receives daily.
  • Their clients receive emails about new listings which may be from any of their listed and verified agents.
  • Every new listing uploaded boosts your profile as an agent on Zillow’s platform.
  • Your property listing updates are processed every 15minutes.
  • The listing also appears in Google, MSN real estate, HGTV, Yahoo Homes, AOL Real Estate, and the Front Door.

Disadvantages of Listing a Home on Zillow by Owner

As human beings, we want the money all to ourselves but sometimes it comes with some disadvantages especially when we want to sell properties on Zillow without agents or companies. Here are a few disadvantages of listing a home on Zillow: 

  • For buildings that don’t have agents, they will be less visible to the clients.
  • You will be competing with many agents who are more experienced than you.
  • If you happen to get a client who is willing to buy your property on Zillow, you will still need to pay the commission because they will be using realtors.
  • You will also be getting disturbing calls from realtors telling you to leave the ‘for sale by owner’ route and choose their company.

How To List A Property on Zillow’s Platform

When your property is ready for listing, then there are a few steps you will have to follow to get your property on zillow.com or its mobile app.

See the steps below.

  • You have to create an account with Zillow. And the account you create should be opened with a good and available email address so that you can receive feedback on updates about your listings.
  • Synchronize your account with your listings. In other words, you will have to sync your email account with your listings after you must have created your profile on the platform. 
  • Then tag a price to your property, add a description to the property, also add the pictures, your contact and then submit.
  • Lastly, you wait for a verification email from Zillow. This verification can take up to 72hours. 

How Does Zillow Make Money?

“How does Zillow make money?”You may ask. Well, Zillow is an eCommerce marketplace that makes its money in different ways. Thus, we will be exploring those ways below. So here’s how Zillowearns money:

1. From Selling Ad space to companies

First of all, these companies must be into property management. One of the ways Zillow makes money is by selling ads space to companies who wish to market their properties on the Zillow property manager. 

So, whenever they can get a potential client who is willing to buy a property then they send them across to the available property company such that they can have a return on investment for buying the ad space. Obviously, the number of people who rent houses is more compared to those who buy houses

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And those who rent houses are always moving around either looking for a better environment or trying to live close to their workplace. This has made renting houses very lucrative and Zillow makes money on rentals through this medium too. As people move from houses, the property companies pay for another ad space to fill the space in the house.

2. iBuying platform 

Zillow also earns moneyfrom the iBuying platform. So, this service was launched in early 2019, they flip homes or offer business. This service is currently well known and popular in the real estate sector. But the best part of it is that it is merged with technology. 

So this is how iBuying works, a customer brings a property to sell and sends the details to Zillow. Within a few days, a cash offer is made by Zillow and if the price is good by the owner he sells but if it is not, he takes back the property. 

However, if he accepts the offer, Zillow pays them, fixes up the home, and then resells the home within 90 days. Though the rate this service was offered was reduced due to the unpredictable price forecast in homes. Hence, this is also how Zillow makes its money.

3. The premier services 

Next is the premier services. So let’s look at how Zillow makes money from premier services. Zillow offers premier branding services to its agents on their platforms. These services include multiple listing service searches, client reviews, past sales, bio, photos, and videos and they all cost money. 

Real estate agents also pay charges for ad space for advertising their properties. These premier services give agents a customer relationship so that they can track users who show interest in working with an agent. The cost for the premier services varies according to the zip codes.

4. Selling Ad space to mortgage lenders and other businesses

Zillow has a large audience on their platform and they sell ad spaces not just to property agents but also to mortgage lenders and other businesses who want to use the Zillow platform to reach their audience. These businesses include; interior designers, home organization retailers, and general contractors. 

Although these businesses have something to do with real estate, there are other businesses like telecommunication services, automotive products and services, insurance, and other consumer products. Most businesses depend on the visitors that come to Zillow’s platform.

The mortgage lenders pay Zillow based on the cost per click (CPC) or cost per thousand impressions (CPM). How a CPM works are that, after searching for the mortgage rates, the customer asks for more information from a local lender. 

But for the CPM, the ads appear on either Zillow’s website or mobile app. The Zillow group also makes money from a subscription-based mortgage software company called mortech which is part of the Zillow group (it’s another way Zillow makes money). It lends cash through the Mortgage Lenders of America (MLA).

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Tips on How to Get Your Property Good Ratings on Zillow

After getting verified by Zillow as an agent, realtor, or even a house owner there are things you need to do for your ratings on Zillow to increase. See them below.

  • Good pictures. In real life, first impressions are very important especially when it comes to things online. When your pictures show the most important and beautiful parts of your property it will sell faster.
  • Good price. When the price of a home is too high for buyers, it will be difficult to find a buyer but when the price is too poor just because you want buyers then you will be losing out on thousands. Therefore, it is best not to overprice a house nor is it best for you to sell for less than other sellers.
  • Good description. This is when you sell a home with a good and convincing speech. This speech should contain the best features of the house you want to sell. While coming up with this convincing speech, make sure you sound honest and ensure there are no misspelled words.
  • Use MLS service: MLS means Main Listing Service. Though this service costs money, it also helps an agent or realtor to boost their profile on Zillow. It costs around $100-$1000 depending on what you want. So, when you have paid for the level of service you want then your listings are upgraded and it is also added to your profile.
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Frequently Asked Questions On Zillow

Why is Zillow so successful?

Zillow is so successful because it acquires various brands that are similar to its core business and it has created a strong foothold in the United States real estate sector.

Who owns the Zillow group?

Rich Barton is the owner and CEO of the Zillow group. He became a billionaire one year after taking back the company.

How much does Rich Barton own in Zillow?

Rich Barton owns a 700 million dollar stake in Zillow. However, he plans to turn it into a flipping machine.

Does Zillow have any competition?

Zillow’s competition is Redfin, Realtor.com, open-door, Home Light, Up Nest, and other companies.

How much does it cost to list with an agent on Zillow?

Listing with an agent on Zillow doesn’t cost money. Therefore, it is free to list your house on Zillow with an agent as long as the agent posts your listings on the main listing section.

Conclusion

Zillow makes money by offering services to their audience either on the website (zillow.com) or their mobile app. The company has created different avenues to generate revenues for itself which has been listed. Although the Zillow Group lost funds from the remaining buildings they bought (the ones that were yet to be sold). However, the other ways such as selling ads and other services generate enough revenue for them and still put them on the minds of millions of audiences.

References

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