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Zillow – analysis of the largest Uber in Real Estate.


According to similarweb, zillow.com is the #1 site in the world in the Real Estate section and the 48th most visited site in the world. In August 2020, 289,000,000 people visited zillow.com.

For comparison, our cian – ranks 9th in the real estate section, and 581st in the world among all sites, in August only 38,000,000 people visited cian’e.

What is Zillow?

In 2006, zillow was a listing for properties for sale/rent. In 2020 Zillow – Uber in Real Estate. Today it is a marketplace and the largest database of homes in the US (according to zillow itself, they now have all the information about more than 110,000,000 homes in the database, the US population is 329,000,000 people).

Zillow - analysis of the largest Uber in Real Estate.

Zillow is a platform where buyer, seller and intermediary (agent/broker) converge. A broker can find an object for his client and sell it (in the US, a broker can sell any object), an intermediary can find a client for an object, a buyer can choose a broker and an object, a seller can choose a broker or find a buyer. All parties in a real estate purchase/sale transaction face zillow.

What is the value of Zillow for the market?

Zillow knows how much each house in the USA costs at a given moment, knows the whole history of each house: when it was built, bought, resold, who lived, what tax paid, what repairs were made, knows which agent sold this house, at what price and what received a commission. Each house in the zillow database has a photo, video, 3 rounds. In addition, zillow knows how much the price of a house will rise if a starbucks appears in the area or a private school opens. This amount of data is available only on zillow.

But zillow went further and decided to exclude the realtor from the transaction chain and began to buy houses from the owners and sell them to buyers, thereby occupying the brokerage niche and becoming a real online uber in real estate. Last year, Zillow purchased 6,511 homes and sold 4,313 of them, generating $1.4 billion in revenue.

At the same time, zillow takes all the data from open sources and, thanks to deep machine learning, compares them, aggregates, sorts them and can give the result needed by 3 parties to the transaction: the seller, the buyer and the broker.

How did Zillow get big?

The zillow scaling model has not changed since 2006 – buying up competitors, aggressive SEO marketing, attracting agents, buyers and sellers through context/target.

Since 2006, Zillow has been buying up all of the US real estate bulletin boards. For 2020, the monopolist has taken over 16 companies and built them into its infrastructure.

They attracted brokers through targeting, context in Google, promising them dozens of clients and a complete database of objects. And the owners – a large number of buyers. Thanks to powerful SEO optimization and a large database of objects, the site is always the first.

How does Zillow make money?

  • Sale of advertising. Zillow makes most of its money by selling ads. Imagine 289 million visitors, it’s a sin not to use it.
  • Promotion of brokers. On Zillow, a broker can promote itself among tens of thousands of competitors. also, each broker has a rating, reviews and a list of transactions, zillow collects all the information not only about houses, but also about people.
  • Advertisement promotion. Zillow promotes the ads of the owner or broker to the TOP.
  • Transaction commission. Imagine that the entire process of buying and selling real estate takes place within one site – zillow. First you choose a house, then you order an appraisal on the site, then you pay for the preparation of documents to the same zillow, then for the calculation and approval of the mortgage, then for opening an account and completing the transaction. All in one window.
  • Affiliates. In addition, zillow earns on affiliate programs with banks and other businesses.

Online assessment from Zillow.

Zillow has patented its own real estate valuation – Zestimate. Information for the assessment is taken from public sources and includes sales of comparable homes in the area. According to Zillow, Zestimate is the starting point in determining the value of a home.

Zillow - analysis of the largest Uber in Real Estate.

Assessment of one house using zestimate technology.

Assessment of one house using zestimate technology.

However, immediately after the release of the rating system, the realtors’ guild wrote a petition and collected 22,000 free agent signatures calling for Zestimate to be shut down. The valuation system often misleads customers and it is impossible to evaluate a house/apartment/real estate without a broker’s visit.

In this I can understand brokers, since I myself work in a fairly large real estate company. Elite apartments in the same building in Moscow, on the same floor, can differ in price by 2-3 times, and everything affects the cost: view, layout, interior, renovation, furniture, etc.

Zillow is traded on the stock exchange and its shares can be bought by any investor through Tinkoff Investments.

Zillow - analysis of the largest Uber in Real Estate.

Zillow quotes on the stock exchange (tinkoff investment service)

Zillow quotes on the stock exchange (tinkoff investment service)

Best Practice.

I consider it an important part of my work to search for and adapt the best practices of global companies. I find what works and implement it in my projects. Found the following features:

  • Simple filtering.
    Zillow moved the main filtering elements to the top menu: rent / sale, price, house type, number of rooms, and hid everything secondary in the [more] button. It doesn’t clutter up the screen, makes the top menu light, and is very different from cian, which throws dozens of filters at you.

Zillow - analysis of the largest Uber in Real Estate.

  • Combination of map and list on one screen.
    A very handy feature. the map here acts not only as an element of visualizing the location of the object, but as an additional element of filtering, for example, when you click on the schools button – you can see all the schools near your home, naturally, proximity to the school greatly affects the cost of the house, so it seems like such an insignificant (for current) factor how the school is placed in the most important filter.

Zillow - analysis of the largest Uber in Real Estate.

  • POP-UP. The object card opens as a pop-up and not a separate page as in the case of cyan, where after 30 minutes of searching you have 40 tabs open with different apartments.

Zillow - analysis of the largest Uber in Real Estate.

  • So I want to keep it. A simple call to action for segmentation is to add to favorites and come back later, I’m sure that in this way they then retarget customers with these objects.

Zillow - analysis of the largest Uber in Real Estate.

  • Scrolling instead of clicking.
    In the lot card, they made it possible to receive content by scrolling, without clicks. The trick is that when you have a lot of small elements on the site, it is very easy to miss, click in the wrong place and go to a completely different section. Zillow decided to avoid this and I can get all the information by scrolling the feed on the left of the photo and on the right of the information.
  • capture forms.
    In the capture forms, you can immediately select a broker or see who it is in more detail.

Zillow - analysis of the largest Uber in Real Estate.

  • About Covid-19.
    They care about people during a pandemic and write that agents or owners may not provide the level of protection against a coronovirus infection should.

Zillow - analysis of the largest Uber in Real Estate.

  • Cookies.
    Remembering me, the site on the main page shows the history of my search.

Zillow - analysis of the largest Uber in Real Estate.

Post source: zen.yandex.ru

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