Zillow Statistics: Users, Revenue, and Market Share (2022)
Founded in 2006, Zillow is a tech-driven real estate marketplace that generates revenue by selling advertising on its websites and leads to service providers such as real estate agents and lenders. In addition, the company earned revenue through its iBuying program, Zillow Offers, and subsequently offering ancillary real estate services.
In this article, we will take a deeper look at Zillow’s business activities, interesting stats, and more:
- Zillow Revenue
- Zillow Expenses
- Zillow Net Profit
- How Many People Visit Zillow?
- Zillow Market Share
- Zillow’s Business Model
- How Many People Work at Zillow?
Key Zillow Stats
- By visitor traffic, Zillow is the largest real estate website in the U.S., averaging 68 million monthly visitors in 2021.
- Zillow Group-owned Trulia is ranked third for real estate websites in the U.S., averaging 15.1 million monthly visitors in 2021.
- In 2021, Zillow generated $8.1 billion in revenue, a 2.4x increase over $3.3 billion generated in 2020.
- Zillow is not profitable. After expenses, the company lost $528 million in 2021.
- In 2021, Zillow estimated that 67% of U.S. home buyers used its web properties and mobile apps.
Zillow has segmented its business into three categories.
- First, there’s the Homes segment which includes buying and selling homes directly through Zillow Offers, its iBuyer program, and title and escrow services.
- Next, there’s the Internet, Media, and Technology (IMT) segment, where it earns revenue from monetizing its website traffic by connecting buyers to agents (leads) through its Premier Agent and Flex programs.
- Finally, there is the company's Mortgages segment, which includes Zillow Home Loans and advertising sold to mortgage lenders.
Note that in November of 2021, Zillow announced it would cease its iBuying program, Zillow Offers, citing thin profit margins and volatility - something that its Zestimate home value algorithm could not overcome.
In 2022 and beyond, Zillow's Homes segment will play a much less significant role in the company's business operations.
In 2021, Zillow generated $8.1 billion in revenue, a 2.4x increase from 2020.
Here is a table of Zillow’s revenue since 2017:
Zillow Homes Revenue
In 2021, Zillow generated nearly $6.02 billion in revenue from its Homes segment, up 3.5x from 2020.
Here is a table of Zillow Homes revenue since 2017:
The Zillow Homes segment grew fast when the company launched Zillow Offers in 2018. However, margins in this segment are thin as the cost to purchase homes creates a high cost of revenue - one major factor in the company's decision to shut the program down.
Zillow Internet, Media, & Technology (IMT) Revenue
Zillow’s IMT segment generated nearly $1.9 billion in revenue in 2021, up 30% year-over-year.
Here is a table of Zillow IMT revenue since 2017:
In 2017, IMT revenue accounted for 92% of the company's total revenue. In 2021, this segment shrunk to 23% of total revenue while other Zillow business segments grew. From 2017 to 2021, IMT revenue grew by 89%.
Zillow Mortgages Revenue
In 2021 Zillow generated nearly $250 million in revenue from its Mortgages segment, a year-over-year increase of 41%.
Here is a breakdown of Zillow Mortgages revenue since 2017:
Mortgage revenue accounted for 3% of the company’s total revenue in 2021.
The company’s expenses come from two primary categories: cost of revenue and operating expenses. Most of the company’s cost of revenue in 2021 came from purchasing homes via Zillow Offers. Operating expenses consisted of sales & marketing, technology & development, and general & administrative.
Zillow’s total costs and expenses amounted to $8.48 billion in 2021.
Here is a breakdown of Zillow’s expenses since 2017:
Zillow Cost of Revenue
Around 75% of Zillow’s expenses come from the cost of revenue which grew in recent years as it expanded its Homes segment and acquired more properties for resale.
Here is a table of Zillow’s Cost of Revenue since 2017:
|Year||Total Cost of Revenue|
Zillow’s Homes segment accounted for 97.6% of the company’s cost of revenue in 2021. The IMT and Mortgages segments accounted for 1.9% and 0.5%, respectively.
Here is the share of Cost of Revenue by business segment:
|Zillow Business Segment||Percentage of Total Cost of Revenue|
Zillow Sales & Marketing Expenses
Sales and marketing expenses totaled nearly $1.1 billion in 2021, a year-over-year increase of 56% from 2020.
Here is a breakdown of Sales & Marketing expenses since 2017:
|Year||Sales & Marketing Expenses|
Zillow’s sales and marketing expenses made up 12.7% of the company’s total costs and expenses in 2021.
Zillow Technology & Development Expenses
Zillow spent $474 million on technology and development in 2021, up nearly 22% from 2020.
Here is a breakdown of Technology & Development expenses since 2017:
|Year||Technology & Development Expenses|
Technology and development expenses accounted for around 5.6% of total costs and expenses at the company in 2021.
Zillow General & Administrative Expenses
Zillow’s general and administrative expenses amounted to $449 million in 2021, up 26% from $357 million in 2020.
Here is a table of General & Administrative expenses since 2017:
|Year||General & Administrative Expenses|
General and administrative expenses made up around 5.3% of the company’s total costs and expenses in 2021.
Zillow Net Profit
Zillow is not yet profitable. The company had a net loss of $528 million in 2021.
Here is a table of Zillow’s profits since 2017:
|Year||Net Profit (Loss)|
The company believes it will post another net loss in 2022 before becoming profitable in 2023.
With the Zillow Offers program shutting down, the company’s biggest revenue driver will be, once again, advertising sales.
Time will tell if the company can continue to grow its business and achieve the profitably it expects in the future.
How Many People Visit Zillow?
Zillow Group owns Zillow.com, Trulia.com, HotPads.com, StreetEasy.com, and mobile apps. Across its properties, the company reaches a massive number of users. However, two of the company's websites are the key IMT segment revenue drivers:
- Zillow.com is the most visited real estate in the United States, with 68 million monthly visitors.
- Trulia is the third-most visited real estate website in the U.S., with 15 million monthly visitors.
Let’s also ponder Zillow Group’s aggregate reach across all of its properties each year, websites and mobile apps alike.
Here is a table with Zillow’s annual audience reach since 2017:
|Year||Mobile App & Website Visits (Annual)|
From 2017 to 2021, yearly visitors increased by 62%.
Here are Zillow's monthly unique users.
Here is a breakdown of Zillow’s monthly unique users since 2017:
|Year||Monthly Unique Users|
Zillow Market Share
Zillow is not a traditional real estate brokerage with an army of agents on the ground meeting homebuyers, showing homes, and closing deals.
The company became a licensed brokerage in several states and hired in-house agents. However, the it did this primarily to facilitate better profit margins for it iBuying program, which the company announced would be winding down.
With Zillow choosing to end Zillow Offers, the company has placed a renewed focus on its advertising business.
We can’t compute Zillow’s market share of residential real estate transactions like we would for brokerages like Redfin or eXp Realty as the company doesn’t get involved in front-line, face-to-face sales activity with consumers.
We believe the best alternative to analyze the company’s market share - for residential real estate activity - is to look at how much traffic it generates compared to similar real estate companies.
Zillow's Top Competitors
Realtor.com is Zillow's biggest competitor. It is the closest comparable company becuase its business is also primarily driven by ad revenue.
Redfin’s also competes with Zillow for website traffic and leads. However, it does not sell advertising and leads to agents, rather it keeps leads in-house and distributes them to Redfin's agents (or partner agents). Thus, Redfin is as equally dependent as Zillow or Realtor.com upon it traffic for its success.
Here is a table of Zillow Group'ss residential real estate websites, Zillow.com and Trulia.com, compared to it's rivals Realtor.com and Redfin.com:
|Website(s)||Monthly Organic Visits)|
|Zillow.com & Trulia.com||83,400,000|
Zillow’s Business Model
As discussed, Zillow is not a brokerage in the traditional sense. The company derives most of its revenue from advertising sales and lead generation across its websites (Zillow.com and Trulia) and mobile apps.
From the beginning, the company's IMT segment was the core of Zillow's business. Now that the company is stepping away from buying and selling homes, it will re-center its focus on making money from its IMT segment.
How Does Zillow Make Money?
Zillow’s websites and mobile apps create tremendous value for property management companies and real estate agents to purchase advertising, gain visibility, and connect with consumers.
Zillow has two programs that generate leads for real estate agents: Premier Agent and Zillow Flex.
- In the Premier Agent program, agents pay monthly fees to advertise and display their contact information on Zillow Group properties (Zillow.com, Trulia, mobile apps, etc.) The information a consumer provides is sent to local agents who pay to be in the program.
- In Zillow’s Flex program, the company first qualifies leads before handing them off to agents. Agents pay a share of their commissions if and when the deal closes. Because there are no upfront costs, Zillow takes on a small amount of risk. Thus, the company only allows agents with an established track record of closing deals into the program.
Property management companies can advertise rental listings on Zillow Rental Manager, sending prospective renters to the advertisers. Renters move more often than homeowners, and property owners don’t mind spending money on ads when they need to fill vacant units.
Zillow also sells ads to mortgage lenders and other businesses interested in reaching Zillow's consumers. Other Zillow advertisers could include interior designers, home organization retailers, and general contractors.
How Many Leads Does Zillow Generate?
In 2016, Zillow generated 16.9 million leads for agent advertisers; however, the company does not routinely share this information publicly.
How Many People Work at Zillow?
8,005 employees work at Zillow, a 45% increase from 2020.
Here is a table of Zillow’s employee headcount since 2017:
From 2017 to 2021, the number of employees at Zillow has increased 2.5x.
That’s it for my 2022 round-up of Zillow.
As the largest real estate website in the U.S., Zillow is synonymous with home buying. Its massive web and mobile app traffic create a robust advertising business.
Will the company’s decision to stop buying and selling homes pay off in the long run? Can Zillow achieve profitability in the coming years?
Let me know what you think in the comments below.