The Must-Have Features to Build a Real Estate App like Zillow and Trulia

Real Estate
  • Ankit Patel Ankit Patel
  • March 01, 2019
  • 4 min read

It is the time of real estate boom. Factors for it are manifold. The rising incomes, the shift to the city, the increase in joint family and one-parent family from the traditional extended family, investment purpose- all these have contributed to the tremendous need for real estate listings online. Enter the online real estate and rental marketplace apps like Zillow and Trulia that have taken the real estate segment by storm. Encompassing a whole lot of innovative and unique features, these real estate apps are truly a blessing in disguise to the users.

What if you are interested in building a real estate app like Trulia or Zillow? Here, we list the six important features that are a must-have to make your real estate app successful.

1. Really good database of property listings

This is that invisible feature in your real estate app development process that has a stronghold. Without a strong database, consisting of property details in and around your locality or country, your real estate app will not succeed. Agree? The people visit your website to search for property. If you give them value, they will stay on to your website. Take the example of Trulia and Zillow. The listings of the houses and real estate they have in their databases are phenomenal. These have sourced their data from two major resources:

I. National Association of Realtors
II. Multiple Listing Service

Different countries have different forms of listing services that is a treasure trove of all the real estate information. The key is to contact such real estate traders association to get all the listings from a particular locality. So collect your resources from third-party listings, real estate companies, agents or owners. It is worth investing in it because this forms the crux of your real estate app.

2. Property search and sort

Allow customization in your search field to make it relevant. When you place suitable filter options in your search feature it is akin to giving your customers a powerful tool. The default filters will naturally include location, property type, number of bedrooms, and the price of residential estate and so on. Let us take a look at some of the filters that make the navigation truly seamless when a user hits the search button-

• Purpose (rent, buy, sold)
• Location
• Price
• Bedrooms
• Bathrooms
• Home types (house, land, condo and so on)
• Sale listings (resale, new construction, foreclosures, for sale by owner etc)
• Built up area of the house
• Year built
• Extra facilities like parking, in-unit laundry, pool etc

Once done with the search, the lists are displayed as per your requirements. Next is the sort feature. The sort feature is to prioritize the results. The sort parameters are based on-

• Price
• Bedrooms
• Bathrooms
• Newest
• Mortgage
• Built-in area
• Photos

All these sort of features incorporated during the real estate mobile app development process makes your app truly stand out due to its user-friendliness and purposefulness. When we talk about the sort feature, we have added the photo criterion also in the sort parameters. Why? Let us talk about it in the next feature here.

3. Property view

It is a well-known fact that a user better relates to visuals than text. For your real estate app mobile development process, uploading of quality imagery is a must. The reasons are umpteen-

• It improves the user experience.
• It helps you to retain the customers
• It boosts your SEO
• It increases your brand trustworthiness
• It helps you gain an edge over your competitors in the industry
• It is a proven formula for success

You can get creative during your real estate app development process by uploading 3D videos or 360° photography. Many hire professional photographers to get exceptional snaps using drone technology. This way, users get a convenient view of the surroundings.

4. House valuation

When you search a house to buy or to rent what comes to your mind is the price. Sellers or buyers, both have one motto- to know the current market valuation of the property. Take Trulia or Zillow- these have powerful algorithms that predict the prices of the house based on various factors like the location, market, and the demand. These websites are continually working on their algorithm to better their estimate. Moreover, an additional feature is the mortgage calculator. This calculates and displays the monthly installments to be filled when you enter the loan amount, interest rate and the repayment frequency. This is an added bonus to the customers to evaluate their ability to repay the loan amount.

5. House details

Along with good photos of the house, what is required is the detailed information about it and its surroundings. Trulia and Zillow provide a comprehensive description of the house. In your real estate app development process, you have to display the details of the listed property. Zillow incorporates so many features and details that attract the customers like-

1. Estimated price of the house
2. Address
3. Photos
4. Monthly estimated rent
5. Monthly mortgage amount
6. Description of the house with the number of beds and baths
7. Area of the house
8. Facts and features (Parking, year built, type, interior details and so on)
9. Home value (this also includes the one year forecast and fluctuations in rate for the past month)
10. Price and tax history (dates when the house was sold, its selling price, agents)
11. The neighborhood (nearby parks, schools)
12. Home expenses if any
13. Map showing the prevailing rates of the neighborhood homes in the locality
The more details provided, the happiest your customer is.

6. Neighborhood

People prefer to purchase or rent houses that have a good neighborhood. In fact, Trulia puts the local information at the top of the page with information like-

• Map view
• Street view
• Schools
• Crime
• Commute
• Shop & eat
• Demographics

Each and every information is very detailed and in the form of a map view. Take, for instance, the crime information. The places near the listed property where crimes were reported are highlighted from the lowest to the highest rates. In the shop & eat information, there is again a detailed listing on the map of nearby restaurants, groceries, nightlife, shopping, entertainment, cafes, beauty and spas and so on. All these are value-added services that make any real estate app truly stand out from the rest. If you are to make your real estate app successful, try to incorporate as much community features as possible. This will help the people get an insight into the local culture and lifestyle.

Remember to hire the services of the best real estate app development company if you are to compete with your rivals in design, functionality, and user-friendliness. Only when your real estate development company gets an idea about what you want to incorporate, will you be able to put out the best in the market. Competition is tough, but not impossible. And if you want to succeed, try to continually add features that will make you stand out from the rest.

About: Ankit Patel

Ankit Patel is a Director of Sales & Marketing at XongoLab Technologies LLP and PeppyOcean, A leading mobile app development companies. In his free time, He likes to write articles about technology, marketing, business, web, and mobile. His articles featured on YourStory, E27, Datafloq, JaxEnter, TechTarget, eLearningAdobe, DesignWebKit, InstantShift, Business Magazine, SimpleProgrammer, and many more.

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