Zillow Statistics: Users, Revenue, and Market Share (2023)
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 earns revenue through 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 60 million monthly visitors in 2022.
- Zillow Group-owned Trulia is ranked third for real estate websites in the U.S., averaging 20.7 million monthly visitors in 2022.
- In 2022, Zillow generated $1.96 billion in revenue, an 8% decrease from the $2.13 billion generated in 2021.
- Zillow is not profitable. After expenses, the company lost $101 million in 2022.
- Zillow estimates that 67% of U.S. home buyers used its web properties and mobile apps.
In 2022, Zillow generated $1.96 billion in revenue, an 8% decrease from the $2.13 billion generated in 2021.
Until 2022, Zillow segmented its business into three categories. These included the Homes, Internet, Media and Technology (IMT), and Mortgages segments.
However, Zillow restructured its operation. The Homes segment bought and sold homes through its iBuyer program called Zillow offers. This program was discontinued in 2022, which required Zillow to report its revenue differently.
To streamline its operations and reporting, the company has announced it plans to report all of its financial results in one segment beginning in 2023.
Over the past 5 years, Zillow's total revenue fluctuated. The company peaked in 2019 with total revenue of $2.7 billion, 40% more than the company generated in 2022.
Below, you can see the pandemic's impact on the company's total revenue, dipping to just $1.6 billion in 2020.
Here is a table of Zillow’s revenue since 2017:
Zillow Revenue by Segment
Of the company’s total revenue in 2022, nearly 94% came from the Internet, Media, and Technology (IMT) segment. It earns income in this segment from monetizing its website traffic primarily from advertising revenue and connecting home buyers to real estate agents.
Here is the data table:
|Zillow Business Segement||Percentage of Revenue|
Around 6% of Zillow’s revenue comes from the Mortgages segment, which includes Zillow Home Loans and advertising sold to mortgage lenders.
It is worth noting that Zillow used to report revenue differently when its iBuying program was running. Although margins on buying and selling homes were small, selling properties inflated the company's revenue number without significantly impacting the bottom line.
For example, Zillow reported a total revenue of $8.1 billion in 2021, of which over $6 billion came from selling homes. Since the company doesn’t sell homes anymore, it adjusted how operations are reported, no longer counting the revenue from previous home-selling activities in financial statements.
Zillow’s expenses come from two primary categories: cost of revenue and operating expenses. Most of the company’s cost of revenue in 2022 came from operating its mobile applications and websites. Operating expenses included sales & marketing, technology & development, and general & administrative expenses.
Zillow’s total costs and expenses amounted to $2.05 billion in 2022.
Here is a breakdown of Zillow’s expenses since 2017:
Like Zillow’s revenue over the years, the company's expenses fluctuated up and down. In recent years, Zillow had the most expenses in 2019, spending $2.99 billion, 46% higher than the company spent in 2022.
Though the company had its highest expenses in 2019, Zillow also generated the most revenue that year.
Zillow Expenses by Category
In 2022, Zillow's most significant expense came from sales and marketing, comprising for 32% of the company's total expenses. Both technology & development expenses and general & administrative expenses comprised for roughly 24% of the total.
Here’s a table of Zillow Group’s expenses by category:
|Zillow Business Segement||Percentage of Expenses|
|Sales & Marketing||32.37%|
|Technology & Development||24.28%|
|General & Administrative||24.28%|
|Cost of Revenue||17.89%|
Since the company discontinued its iBuying program, the cost of revenue accounts for only 17.9% of the company's total expenses. When Zillow was buying and selling homes, the cost to purchase the homes amounted to roughly three-quarters of its total expenses.
Zillow Net Profit
Zillow is not yet profitable. The company had a net loss of $101 million in 2022.
Here is a table of Zillow’s net profits (losses) since 2017:
|Year||Net Profit (Loss)|
The company believes it will become profitable in 2023. With the Zillow Offers program shut 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 60 million monthly visitors.
- Trulia is the third-most visited real estate website in the U.S., with 21 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 2022, yearly visitors increased 66%.
Zillow Market Share
Zillow differs from traditional real estate brokerages, which have 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, it did this primarily to facilitate better profit margins for its iBuying program, which the company discontinued.
With Zillow choosing to end Zillow Offers, the company placed a renewed focus on its advertising business.
We can't compute Zillow's market share of residential real estate transactions as 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.
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 because its business is also primarily driven by ad revenue and lead generation.
Redfin also competes with Zillow for website traffic and leads. However, it does not sell advertising and leads to agents; instead, it keeps leads in-house and distributes them to Redfin's agents (or partner agents). Thus, Redfin is as dependent as Zillow or Realtor.com upon internet traffic for its success.
Here is a table of Zillow Group's residential real estate websites, Zillow.com and Trulia.com, compared to its top rivals, Realtor.com and Redfin.com:
|Website(s)||Monthly Organic Visits|
|Zillow.com & Trulia.com||80,800,000|
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 (like 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 has stopped buying and selling homes, it has re-centered its focus on making money from the 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 consumer's information is sent to local agents who pay to be in the program.
- In Zillow's Flex program, the company qualifies leads before handing them off to agents. Agents pay a share of their commissions if and when the deal closes. Because Zillow does not collect upfront fees from agents, the company takes on some risk that the agent may not close deals at an acceptable rate. 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 are okay with 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?
Zillow last reported that it generated 16.9 million leads for agent advertisers in 2016; however, the company does not routinely share this information publicly.
How Many People Work at Zillow?
Zillow employed 5,724 people in 2022, down 28.5% from 8,005 in 2021. The company's initial and largest round of layoffs hit Zillow Offers advisors, followed by smaller layoffs affecting teams in the Mortgages segment.
Here is a table of Zillow’s employee headcount since 2017:
From 2017 to 2022, the number of employees at Zillow increased 80%.
That’s it for my 2023 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 creates a robust advertising and lead-generation business.
We will see in the coming years if Zillow’s decision to double down on its core technology and ads business will pay off and help them to reach profitability.
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