How Does Zillow Make Money?


In today’s digital age, it’s no surprise that the real estate industry has undergone a significant transformation. Gone are the days of flipping through newspaper listings or driving around town in search of “For Sale” signs. With the advent of online platforms like Zillow, buying and selling homes has become more accessible than ever before. But have you ever wondered how Zillow makes money? In this article, we will delve into this very question, exploring Zillow’s revenue streams and shedding light on its business model.

Zillow’s Business Model

Zillow is not just another real estate website; it’s a full-fledged online marketplace for buying, selling, renting, and financing homes. The company generates revenue through various channels, each contributing to its overall profitability. Let’s go over some of the primary ways Zillow makes money.

1. Premier Agent Advertising

One of the significant revenue drivers for Zillow is its Premier Agent program. Real estate agents can pay to be featured as “Premier Agents” in specific geographic areas. When users browse property listings on Zillow, these Premier Agents appear prominently, giving them increased visibility and exposure to potential clients. By charging agents for this valuable advertising space, Zillow taps into a steady stream of revenue.

2. Zillow Offers

Zillow Offers is another key component of Zillow’s business model. This service allows homeowners to sell their properties directly to Zillow, eliminating the hassle of listing and staging their homes. Zillow then makes necessary repairs, updates, and improvements before reselling these properties for a profit. Through this direct buying and selling process, Zillow earns revenue and also expands its inventory of available homes.

3. Zillow Home Loans

Recognizing the role financing plays in the real estate market, Zillow ventured into the mortgage industry with Zillow Home Loans. By offering competitive mortgage rates and streamlining the application process, Zillow aims to capture a portion of the mortgage market. When borrowers secure loans through Zillow, the company earns various fees, including origination fees and referral fees from partnering lenders.

4. Rentals and Advertising

Zillow’s rental marketplace is an integral part of its platform. Landlords and property managers can list their available units, while renters can search and apply for rentals directly through Zillow. Zillow generates revenue by charging landlords and property managers for listing their rental properties. In addition, the company also earns advertising revenue from rental-related businesses looking to expand their reach.

5. Zillow Data

With its vast database of real estate information, Zillow has become a valuable resource for industry professionals. Developers, researchers, and real estate investors rely on Zillow’s data to analyze market trends and make informed decisions. Recognizing the value of this information, Zillow offers paid access to its API (Application Programming Interface), allowing businesses to leverage its data for their own applications and services.


In conclusion, Zillow has built a successful business model centered around its online real estate marketplace. Through Premier Agent advertising, Zillow Offers, Zillow Home Loans, rentals, and advertising, and the monetization of its data, the company generates substantial revenue. By providing an accessible and comprehensive platform for buying, selling, renting, and financing homes, Zillow has established itself as a key player in the real estate industry.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top