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Zillow: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Inside This Article

In this blog article, we will delve into an in-depth analysis of Zillow's business model, its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis), and its key competitors as of 2023. Zillow, a leading online real estate marketplace, has revolutionized the way people buy, sell, and rent properties. By exploring its innovative business model, we will gain insights into how Zillow has disrupted the traditional real estate industry. Additionally, by examining its SWOT analysis and identifying its major competitors, we can better understand the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Zillow in the ever-evolving real estate market.

What You Will Learn:

  • Who owns Zillow and how its ownership structure impacts the company's operations and decision-making processes.
  • The mission statement of Zillow and how it guides the company's strategic goals and initiatives.
  • How Zillow generates revenue and the various methods it employs to monetize its platform and services.
  • An explanation of the Zillow Business Model Canvas, including the key components and how they contribute to the company's overall success.
  • An overview of Zillow's main competitors in the real estate industry and how they stack up against Zillow in terms of market share and offerings.
  • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of Zillow, highlighting its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the real estate market.

Who owns Zillow?

Zillow's ownership structure.

Zillow, the leading online real estate marketplace, has a fairly diverse ownership structure. The company's ownership is primarily held by institutional investors, mutual funds, and individual shareholders. Let's take a closer look at the key stakeholders who own a significant portion of Zillow.

Co-Founders and Executives

Zillow was founded in 2006 by Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink, who remain actively involved in the company. Both Barton and Frink have significant ownership stakes in Zillow, with Barton serving as the CEO and Frink as the Executive Chairman. As major stakeholders, their decisions and strategic direction greatly influence the company's operations.

Institutional Investors

Institutional investors such as investment firms and pension funds have a significant presence in Zillow's ownership structure. Vanguard Group, BlackRock, and Fidelity Investments are among the largest institutional shareholders, collectively holding millions of shares. These institutional investors provide stability and long-term support to the company.

Mutual Funds

Several mutual funds also hold a substantial stake in Zillow. T. Rowe Price, Capital Research and Management, and Wellington Management Company are some of the prominent mutual funds that have invested in the company. These funds provide retail investors with exposure to Zillow's potential growth and diversification in their investment portfolios.

Individual Shareholders

Individual shareholders, including retail investors, also own a portion of Zillow's shares. These shareholders are everyday people who have purchased Zillow's stock through brokerage accounts. Although individual shareholders may not hold as significant a stake as institutional investors, their collective ownership contributes to the overall ownership landscape of the company.

Zillow's ownership structure is characterized by a diverse mix of co-founders, executives, institutional investors, mutual funds, and individual shareholders. This broad ownership base highlights the market appeal and widespread interest in the company's innovative real estate platform. With a range of stakeholders influencing the company's direction, Zillow is well-positioned to continue its growth and shape the future of the real estate industry.

What is the mission statement of Zillow?

The mission statement of zillow.

Zillow, the leading online real estate marketplace, has a clear and concise mission statement that drives its operations and goals. The company's mission statement is focused on empowering consumers with information and tools to make smarter decisions about homes.

Zillow's mission statement is: "To build the largest, most trusted and vibrant home-related marketplace in the world."

This mission statement reflects Zillow's commitment to providing a comprehensive platform that meets the diverse needs of home buyers, sellers, renters, and homeowners. By aspiring to be the largest marketplace, Zillow aims to create a network where individuals can find everything related to homes in one place, eliminating the need to browse multiple websites or rely on traditional channels.

The emphasis on trust is a crucial aspect of Zillow's mission statement. The company understands that real estate transactions are significant life decisions, and it strives to build trust with its users by providing accurate and reliable information. Zillow achieves this through its robust database of listings, detailed property data, and transparent user reviews.

Zillow's mission statement also highlights its ambition to create a vibrant marketplace. The company recognizes that the real estate industry is constantly evolving, and it aims to stay ahead of the curve by adapting to new technologies and consumer demands. Zillow's platform offers various tools and features that enable users to explore properties, estimate home values, connect with local real estate professionals, and even apply for mortgage loans.

In summary, Zillow's mission statement encapsulates its dedication to becoming the go-to platform for all things related to homes. By building the largest, most trusted, and vibrant home-related marketplace, Zillow aims to empower consumers worldwide and revolutionize the way people buy, sell, rent, and own properties.

How does Zillow make money?


One of the primary ways that Zillow generates revenue is through advertising. The platform offers various advertising options for real estate agents, property management companies, and mortgage lenders to promote their services and listings. These advertisements are prominently displayed on Zillow's website and mobile app, reaching millions of users searching for properties and related services.

Zillow's advertising options include featured listings, which allow agents to highlight specific properties at the top of search results, increasing their visibility and chances of attracting potential buyers. Additionally, agents can purchase display ads that appear alongside property details or on specific pages within the website. These ads enable real estate professionals to reach a targeted audience and generate leads.

Premier Agent Program

Another significant source of revenue for Zillow is its Premier Agent program. Real estate agents can sign up for this program to receive exclusive leads generated from Zillow's platform. When users inquire about a property or request more information, their contact details are forwarded to Premier Agents in the area. Agents then pay a fee to Zillow for these leads, allowing them to connect with potential clients who are actively interested in buying or selling properties.

The Premier Agent program offers different subscription levels, with higher-tier agents receiving more prominent placement and increased visibility on Zillow's search results pages. This competitive advantage helps agents increase their chances of receiving leads and closing deals, making the program an attractive option for many real estate professionals.

Zillow Offers

Zillow's foray into the iBuying market with its Zillow Offers service has also become a significant revenue stream for the company. Zillow Offers allows homeowners to sell their properties directly to Zillow, streamlining the traditional home-selling process. Zillow then makes any necessary repairs or updates before reselling the property on the market.

By purchasing homes directly from sellers, Zillow can generate revenue through the difference between the price it pays for the property and the price at which it eventually sells. Additionally, Zillow may charge sellers additional fees, such as service charges or transaction fees, to cover the costs associated with the buying and selling process.

Mortgage Marketplace

Zillow's Mortgage Marketplace is another avenue for revenue generation. Through this platform, users can compare mortgage rates and connect with lenders who offer mortgage pre-approvals and financing options. Lenders pay Zillow for each lead they receive through the Mortgage Marketplace, making it a mutually beneficial arrangement for both parties.

The Mortgage Marketplace provides users with transparency and convenience when searching for mortgage options, while lenders benefit from the exposure to a large pool of potential borrowers. With the mortgage industry being highly competitive, Zillow's Mortgage Marketplace offers lenders the opportunity to reach a targeted audience actively seeking mortgage services.

In conclusion, Zillow generates revenue through various avenues, including advertising, its Premier Agent program, Zillow Offers, and its Mortgage Marketplace. These revenue streams enable Zillow to provide its users with a comprehensive real estate platform while also driving profitability for the company.

Zillow Business Model Canvas Explained

Introduction to zillow's business model canvas.

Zillow, the popular online real estate marketplace, has been revolutionizing the way people buy, sell, and rent properties since its inception in 2006. At the core of Zillow's success lies its well-designed and strategic business model canvas. In this section, we will delve deeper into the key components of Zillow's business model canvas and explore how they contribute to the company's overall success.

Key Partnerships

One of the essential elements of Zillow's business model canvas is its extensive network of key partnerships. Zillow collaborates with various stakeholders in the real estate industry to provide comprehensive and accurate property listings to its users. These partnerships include real estate agents, brokers, Multiple Listing Services (MLS), and property management companies. By working closely with these partners, Zillow ensures a constant influx of high-quality listings, giving users access to a vast array of properties.

Key Activities

Zillow's key activities revolve around creating and maintaining its online platform, developing innovative technologies, and providing exceptional customer service. The company invests heavily in developing advanced algorithms and data analytics tools to accurately estimate the value of properties, known as Zestimates. These estimates help users make informed decisions about buying or selling properties. Additionally, Zillow continually enhances its user experience by incorporating user feedback and implementing new features that simplify the real estate process.

Value Proposition

Zillow's value proposition lies in its ability to empower users with valuable information and tools to make informed real estate decisions. By offering a user-friendly interface, detailed property information, and advanced search functionalities, Zillow simplifies the process of finding and evaluating properties. Moreover, Zillow provides unique features like Zestimates, which assist users in estimating the value of properties, enabling them to compare and negotiate prices effectively. Overall, Zillow's value proposition centers around making the real estate market more transparent, accessible, and efficient.

Customer Segments

Zillow targets two primary customer segments: home buyers and sellers, and real estate professionals. Home buyers and sellers utilize Zillow's platform to search for properties, access market trends, estimate property values, and connect with real estate agents. Real estate professionals, on the other hand, benefit from Zillow's extensive network by gaining exposure for their listings, connecting with potential clients, and leveraging Zillow's tools and data to enhance their business.

Revenue Streams

Zillow generates revenue through various streams, primarily derived from advertising and subscriptions. Real estate agents and brokers pay to advertise their listings prominently on Zillow's platform, ensuring maximum visibility to potential buyers. Additionally, Zillow offers premium services to real estate professionals, such as enhanced listings and access to exclusive tools and analytics, through its subscription-based program called Zillow Premier Agent.

Zillow's business model canvas is a testament to its success in revolutionizing the real estate industry. By strategically leveraging key partnerships, engaging in essential activities, providing a unique value proposition, targeting specific customer segments, and diversifying its revenue streams, Zillow has established itself as a dominant player in the online real estate marketplace. Through continuous innovation and a customer-centric approach, Zillow continues to shape the future of real estate, making it easier and more accessible for everyone involved.

Which companies are the competitors of Zillow?

One of the main competitors of Zillow is Redfin, a real estate brokerage company that operates a website and mobile app providing users with listings of homes for sale or rent. Redfin offers similar services to Zillow, including property search, home valuation estimates, and agent services. However, Redfin differentiates itself by employing its own team of real estate agents who work on salary, rather than traditional commission-based agents.


Realtor.com is another significant competitor of Zillow, offering a comprehensive platform for buying, selling, and renting real estate properties. Owned by the National Association of Realtors, Realtor.com provides users with access to millions of listings across the United States. While both Zillow and Realtor.com offer similar features such as property search and home valuation tools, Realtor.com emphasizes its direct connection to licensed real estate professionals.

Trulia, acquired by Zillow in 2015, was once a notable competitor in the real estate market. Prior to the acquisition, Trulia offered a platform for users to search for homes, find local information, and connect with real estate agents. While Trulia's brand and website have since been integrated into Zillow, it remains worth mentioning as one of the companies that once competed against Zillow.

Homes.com is an online real estate platform that provides users with access to millions of residential property listings in the United States. Similar to Zillow, Homes.com offers a variety of tools and resources for home buyers, sellers, and renters. While Homes.com may not have the same level of brand recognition as Zillow, it remains a notable competitor in the real estate industry.

Coldwell Banker

Coldwell Banker is a real estate brokerage franchise with a large network of independently owned and operated offices worldwide. While not a direct online competitor like the aforementioned companies, Coldwell Banker represents a significant player in the traditional real estate market. With a strong presence and reputation, Coldwell Banker's agents and offices continue to compete with Zillow and other online platforms for clients and listings.

It's important to note that the real estate industry is vast and constantly evolving, with new players emerging regularly. While these companies represent some of the main competitors of Zillow, it's essential for Zillow to stay ahead of the curve and continuously innovate to maintain its position in the market.

Zillow SWOT Analysis

Zillow, the leading online real estate marketplace, possesses several key strengths that have contributed to its success in the industry.

Brand Recognition : Zillow has established a strong brand presence and is widely recognized as a trusted source of real estate information. This brand recognition gives the company a competitive advantage by attracting a large user base and building trust among buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals.

Extensive Data and Listings : Zillow offers a vast database of real estate listings, providing users with a comprehensive view of the market. The platform allows users to access detailed property information, including photos, virtual tours, and historical data, empowering them to make informed decisions when buying or selling a property.

Innovative Technology : Zillow's technological capabilities set it apart from traditional real estate agents and other online platforms. The company has invested heavily in developing innovative tools and features, such as Zestimate (an automated home valuation tool) and 3D home tours, which enhance the user experience and differentiate Zillow from its competitors.

Diverse Revenue Streams : Zillow has successfully diversified its revenue streams beyond advertising. In addition to generating revenue from agents and brokers who advertise on its platform, the company also offers various services, including mortgage lending, rentals, and home improvement referrals. This diversification provides Zillow with multiple sources of income and reduces its dependence on a single revenue stream.

Despite its strengths, Zillow also faces certain weaknesses that could pose challenges to its growth and market position.

Reliance on Advertising Revenue : While Zillow has diversified its revenue streams, it still heavily relies on advertising revenue from real estate agents and brokers. This dependence on advertising makes the company vulnerable to fluctuations in the real estate market and changes in advertising spending patterns. A downturn in the housing market or a decrease in advertising budgets could have a significant impact on Zillow's financial performance.

Accuracy of Zestimates : Zillow's automated home valuation tool, Zestimate, has received criticism for its accuracy. The algorithm used to calculate Zestimates may not always reflect the true value of a property, leading to discrepancies and potential dissatisfaction among users. This weakness could undermine the credibility of Zillow's valuation estimates and impact user trust in the platform.

Competition from Traditional Real Estate Agents : Despite its technological advancements, Zillow still faces competition from traditional real estate agents who provide personalized services and local expertise. Some buyers and sellers may prefer the guidance and support of a human agent rather than relying solely on an online platform. Zillow needs to continuously innovate and improve its offerings to remain competitive in this space.


Zillow has identified several opportunities that could further expand its market reach and revenue potential.

International Expansion : Zillow is primarily focused on the U.S. real estate market, but there is a significant opportunity to expand globally. As the demand for international real estate investment grows, Zillow could leverage its technology and brand recognition to enter new markets and cater to a broader audience.

Diversification into Additional Services : Zillow has already diversified its revenue streams with mortgage lending, rentals, and home improvement referrals. However, there is still room to explore additional services that complement the home buying and selling process. For example, Zillow could consider offering property management services or partnering with moving companies to provide a comprehensive solution for homeowners.

Partnerships with Real Estate Professionals : Collaborating with real estate agents and brokers can be mutually beneficial for Zillow and these professionals. By forming strategic partnerships, Zillow can enhance its platform's offerings by leveraging the expertise and local market knowledge of these professionals. This could attract more agents to advertise on Zillow and provide users with a more personalized experience, strengthening Zillow's market position.

Zillow operates in a highly competitive and dynamic market, which exposes it to various threats that could impact its growth and profitability.

Competitive Landscape : Zillow faces intense competition from other online real estate platforms, such as Redfin and Realtor.com, as well as traditional real estate agents. These competitors are constantly innovating and striving to attract users, which could potentially erode Zillow's market share if it fails to differentiate itself or keep up with industry trends.

Regulatory Changes : The real estate industry is subject to regulatory changes at both the federal and state levels. Any new regulations or changes to existing laws could affect Zillow's operations and increase compliance costs. Additionally, changes in tax laws or government housing policies may impact the demand for real estate and subsequently impact Zillow's revenue.

Economic Factors : Zillow's performance is closely tied to the overall health of the economy and the real estate market. Economic downturns, fluctuations in interest rates, or changes in consumer spending patterns can significantly impact the demand for real estate and affect Zillow's revenue and profitability.

In conclusion, while Zillow has several strengths that have propelled its success, it also faces weaknesses, threats, and challenges in an increasingly competitive market. By capitalizing on opportunities and addressing weaknesses, Zillow can continue to innovate and maintain its market leadership position in the online real estate industry.

Key Takeaways

  • Zillow is owned by its co-founders, Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink, along with other major shareholders.
  • The mission statement of Zillow is to "build the largest, most trusted and vibrant home-related marketplace in the world."
  • Zillow primarily generates revenue through advertising and subscription services for real estate professionals.
  • The Zillow Business Model Canvas encompasses key elements such as value proposition, customer segments, channels, revenue streams, and cost structure.
  • Competitors of Zillow include real estate websites such as Redfin, Trulia, Realtor.com, and Homes.com.
  • Zillow's SWOT analysis highlights its strengths in brand recognition and market dominance, weaknesses in reliance on advertising revenue, opportunities in expanding services, and threats from competitors and potential economic downturns.

In conclusion, Zillow is a leading online real estate marketplace that has revolutionized the way people buy, sell, and rent properties. As for who owns Zillow, it is a publicly traded company, with various institutional and individual shareholders.

Zillow's mission statement is to "build the largest, most trusted, and vibrant home-related marketplace in the world." Their goal is to empower consumers with information and tools to make smarter real estate decisions.

The primary source of revenue for Zillow comes from advertising and lead generation. Real estate professionals pay to advertise their listings on the platform, and Zillow also offers additional advertising products and services. Additionally, they generate revenue through their mortgage marketplace and rental listings.

The Zillow Business Model Canvas provides a comprehensive overview of how the company creates, delivers, and captures value. It highlights the key activities, resources, partners, and customer segments that drive Zillow's success.

Zillow faces competition from various companies in the real estate industry. Some of the major competitors include Redfin, Realtor.com, Trulia, and Apartments.com. These companies offer similar online real estate services, and while Zillow has established a strong presence, the competition remains fierce.

In analyzing Zillow's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, it is evident that the company has a strong brand, a vast user base, and a wide range of services. However, they also face challenges such as increasing competition, potential regulatory changes, and dependence on advertising revenue.

Overall, Zillow has proven to be a dominant force in the real estate market, continuously evolving its business model to meet the changing needs of consumers. With its mission to empower individuals in their real estate decisions, Zillow is well-positioned for future growth and success.

What is a SWOT analysis in real estate industry?

A SWOT analysis in the real estate industry is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a real estate business or project. It helps in assessing the current state of the business, identifying factors that can impact its success, and developing strategies to maximize opportunities and minimize risks. Here is a breakdown of each component:

Strengths: These are the internal positive factors that give the real estate business a competitive advantage. It could include factors such as a strong brand reputation, experienced team, prime locations, diverse property portfolio, or excellent customer service.

Weaknesses: These are the internal negative factors that hinder the success of the real estate business. It could include factors such as limited financial resources, lack of market knowledge, poor infrastructure, outdated technology, or high employee turnover.

Opportunities: These are the external factors that can be leveraged to create growth and success. It could include factors such as emerging market trends, favorable government policies, population growth, low competition in certain areas, or new real estate investment opportunities.

Threats: These are the external factors that can negatively impact the real estate business. It could include factors such as economic downturns, changing market conditions, increased competition, regulatory changes, environmental factors, or rising interest rates.

By conducting a SWOT analysis, real estate businesses can gain a comprehensive understanding of their internal and external factors, enabling them to make informed decisions, develop effective strategies, and remain competitive in the industry.

What is the strategy of Zillow?

Zillow's strategy is primarily focused on disrupting the traditional real estate industry by leveraging technology and data to provide users with comprehensive and transparent information about homes, rentals, and mortgages. Key elements of Zillow's strategy include:

Online real estate marketplace: Zillow serves as an online platform that connects buyers, sellers, renters, and real estate professionals. It allows users to search for properties, view listings, and connect with agents. This strategy aims to simplify the home buying and selling process by providing a centralized platform for all real estate-related activities.

Data-driven insights: Zillow collects and aggregates vast amounts of data on real estate properties, home values, and market trends. By analyzing this data, Zillow provides users with insights and tools to make informed decisions. This includes Zestimate, an algorithm-based estimate of a home's value, and market reports that offer comprehensive local market data.

Advertising and lead generation: Zillow generates revenue through advertising and lead generation for real estate agents and mortgage lenders. Agents and lenders can advertise their services on Zillow's platform, and Zillow provides leads to them based on user inquiries. This strategy allows Zillow to monetize its large user base and generate significant advertising revenue.

Expansion into related services: Zillow has expanded its offerings beyond home buying and selling. It acquired Trulia, a real estate search platform, and HotPads, a rental marketplace, to broaden its reach. Zillow also provides mortgage services through its division, Zillow Home Loans. These expansions aim to provide a comprehensive suite of services to cater to various real estate needs.

Technology and innovation: Zillow invests heavily in technology and innovation to enhance its user experience and differentiate itself from traditional real estate players. This includes developing advanced algorithms for property valuation, virtual tours, and 3D home tours. Zillow has also experimented with iBuying, a service that allows homeowners to sell their homes directly to Zillow for a quick cash offer.

Overall, Zillow's strategy revolves around using technology, data, and innovation to disrupt and transform the real estate industry, providing users with a seamless and transparent experience throughout the home buying, selling, and renting processes.

How can I find a SWOT analysis on a company?

There are several ways to find a SWOT analysis on a company:

Company website: Start by visiting the company's official website. Many companies include a section on their website that provides information about their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Look for sections such as "About Us," "Investor Relations," or "Corporate Profile" that may contain this information.

Business databases: Utilize business databases such as Bloomberg, Hoover's, or MarketLine to access SWOT analysis reports on various companies. These platforms often require a subscription or access through a library or educational institution.

Annual reports: Publicly traded companies are required to release annual reports that often contain a section discussing their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These reports can be found on the company's website under sections like "Investor Relations" or "Financials."

Online business publications: Many online business publications, such as Forbes, Business Insider, or Bloomberg, publish articles or reports analyzing companies and their SWOT factors. Use search engines to find articles specifically related to the company you are interested in.

Business research reports: Research firms, such as IBISWorld or MarketResearch.com, often provide detailed reports on various industries and companies within those industries. These reports frequently include SWOT analysis sections.

Business school libraries: If you have access to a university or business school library, they often provide access to various business databases and resources that can help you find SWOT analysis reports on specific companies.

Remember, a SWOT analysis is a subjective analysis, so it's essential to consider multiple sources and perspectives to get a comprehensive understanding of a company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

What is a SWOT analysis for a site location?

A SWOT analysis for a site location is an assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with a specific site or location for a business or project. It helps evaluate the suitability and potential of a site and provides insights into the factors that may impact its success. Here's how each component of the SWOT analysis can be applied to a site location:

Strengths: These are the positive attributes or advantages of the site location that can contribute to its success. This may include factors such as a strategic location, easy accessibility, proximity to target markets or transportation hubs, availability of necessary infrastructure, favorable regulations or incentives, etc.

Weaknesses: These are the negative aspects or limitations of the site location that may pose challenges or risks. This could include factors such as high competition in the area, lack of necessary infrastructure, limited parking or storage space, poor visibility, proximity to potential hazards or risks, etc.

Opportunities: These are external factors or trends that may create favorable conditions for the site location. This may include factors such as growing demand for specific products or services in the area, emerging markets or customer segments, changes in regulations or policies that benefit the business, availability of skilled labor, partnerships or collaborations with local organizations, etc.

Threats: These are external factors or risks that may pose challenges or obstacles to the site location's success. This could include factors such as fierce competition from existing businesses, economic downturns or recessions, changing consumer preferences or trends, potential legal or political issues, environmental or natural disaster risks, etc.

By conducting a SWOT analysis for a site location, businesses or project planners can gain a comprehensive understanding of the site's potential and challenges. This analysis can guide decision-making, help identify areas for improvement or mitigation, and inform strategies to maximize the site's advantages while minimizing its weaknesses and threats.

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Real Estate | How To

How to Write a Real Estate Business Plan (+ Free Template)

Published June 30, 2023

Published Jun 30, 2023

Gina Baker


Jealie Dacanay

WRITTEN BY: Jealie Dacanay

This article is part of a larger series on How to Become a Real Estate Agent .

  • 1 Write Your Mission Statement
  • 2 Conduct a SWOT Analysis
  • 3 Set Specific & Measurable Goals
  • 4 Plan Your Marketing Strategies & Tactics
  • 5 Create a Lead Generation & Nurturing Strategy
  • 6 Calculate Your Income Goal
  • 7 Set Times to Revisit Your Business Plan
  • 8 Why Agents Need a Real Estate Business Plan
  • 9 Real Estate Business Plan Examples & Templates
  • 10 Bottom Line
  • 11 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A real estate business plan lays the groundwork and provides direction on income targets, marketing tactics, goal setting, lead generation, and an overview of your industry’s competition. It describes your company’s mission statement in detail and assesses your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) as an organization. Business plans should include measurable goals and financial projections that you can review periodically throughout the year to ensure you meet your goals.

Continue reading to see real estate business plan examples and discover how to write a real estate business plan. Start by making your own by downloading and using the free real estate business plan template we’ve provided below.


Real Estate Business Plan Template

Real estate business plan template.

Thank you for downloading!

💡Quick tip:

Market Leader provides a comprehensive paid inbound lead, automated marketing, and CRM solution to help agents acquire, engage, and nurture real estate leads.

Furthermore, Market Leader offers and guarantees you a number of exclusive seller and buyer leads in your target niche at a monthly rate.

1. Write Your Mission Statement

Every real estate agent’s business plan should begin with a mission statement, identifying your values and why your business exists. Your mission statement serves as the guide to achieving your ultimate business objective. When you create a solid clear mission statement, all other items identified in your realtor business plan should be aimed at fulfilling this statement.

A screenshot of Compass' website.

Compass’ mission statement: “Our mission is to help everyone find their place in the world.” (Source: Compass )

Your mission statement should identify your target audience, what product or service you provide, and what makes your business distinct. As seen in the example above, a powerful mission statement should be short and concise but sums up a business objective.

Let’s take Compass’ mission statement above as an example: “Our mission is to help everyone find their place in the world.” The statement identifies what the company offers, for what reasons, and who it benefits.

2. Conduct a SWOT Analysis

SWOT is an acronym that stands for a business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The primary objective of these four elements is to assess a business by evaluating internal and external factors that can drive decision-making and help you make more money . Conducting a SWOT analysis as you develop your business plan for real estate uncovers opportunities to differentiate yourself from the massive competition currently on the market.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths and weaknesses are internal parts of your organization. Strengths identify what product or services you provide better than others, your access to resources, and items that benefit your customers. Weaknesses are items that need improvement, lack of resources, or what your competition does better. These are items within your control to change because you can convert a weakness into a strength.

See the example below if “Agent X” was doing their SWOT analysis:

Opportunities & Threats

External factors drive opportunities and threats and are areas you can take advantage of to benefit your business. Examples of opportunities can be shifts in the current marketplace, emerging trends you can capitalize on, features that competitors lack, or even changes with your competitors. Threats, on the other hand, are anything that can negatively impact your business. You don’t have control over changing the opportunities or threats, but you can develop a practice to anticipate and protect your business against the threats.

The opportunities and threats for “Agent X” would be:

When you complete your SWOT analysis, use it as a guide when creating strategies to meet your business objectives. To gain the most benefit from creating a SWOT analysis, make sure you are being realistic about your business and evaluating it in its present state. You don’t want to be unrealistic by listing strengths or opportunities that don’t exist yet, and you want to allocate time and money to the most impactful solution to your business issues.

If “Agent X” completed the above SWOT analysis, a few strategies they could derive would be:

  • Incentivize agents to keep them at the brokerage for longer
  • Implement a technology-based key machine to reduce lost keys and keep the team accountable
  • Find a competitive advantage against competing brokerages and use that in marketing messages

Example of Zillow Premier Agent Agent Finder advertising for three featured agents.

Zillow agent finder (Source: Zillow )

To help agents locate other brokerages operating in your preferred market, agents can use Zillow’s agent finder page as a research tool to see which agents or brokerages are operating in a specific area. You can find an agent by location, name, specialty, and language. Once you click on a Zillow profile , you can read their reviews, see their team members, contact and website information, and property listings. Take a deep dive into your competitor profiles and can use the information to implement strategies within your own business.

Visit Zillow

Read how our experts feel about this real estate lead generation company in our Zillow Premier Agent review .

3. Set Specific & Measurable Goals

You’re ready to set some business goals after clearly defining your mission statement and SWOT analysis. Goals can help set the tone to increase your performance and drive your business in the right direction. Your goals should have a definitive way to show progress, which can be a prime motivator to keep you on track to achieving them.

Each goal should follow a pattern to identify set criteria. This will ensure that your daily efforts are performed to meet business objectives within a set period. A way to do this is by using SMART goals:

Examples of SMART goals for agents or brokerages:

  • Increase closed transactions by 20% to a total of 150 deals within the next year
  • I will ask all closed clients for a referral and review within 30 days of closing the deal

Goals can be split into short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goal lengths vary between days and weeks but do not exceed six months. Short-term goals can also be worked on simultaneously with long-term goals. Long-term goals can take up to six months or more to complete and require careful planning and perseverance. A mix of short-term and long-term goals will help you maintain motivation.

All goals are equally important; however, success will stem from how you prioritize each one. Slowly add on additional goals as you have the capacity and feel comfortable with the current progress of your current set of goals. Without identifying your business goals, you’ll leave your results up to luck to attain your business objectives.

4. Plan Your Marketing Strategies & Tactics

Developing marketing strategies and tactics and implementing them help you identify and locate your current value proposition in the real estate industry, along with specific timelines for execution. In addition to determining your overall business objectives and goals, your marketing strategy and plan should include the following:

  • Pinpoint general marketing goals
  • Estimate projected marketing budget
  • Know your geographic farm area data and identify your target niche audience
  • Analyze market competition
  • Identify your unique selling proposition
  • Establish a timeline and set your plan in motion
  • Track your progress and readjust as needed

While a marketing strategy identifies the overall marketing goals of your business, developing marketing tactics will help you achieve those individual goals. They can include referral business tactics, retention efforts, and ways to acquire new customers. For example, you can offer incentives to anyone who refers your business, or you can implement new email drip campaigns to help increase lead conversion rates.

These tactics should have set key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you evaluate your performance. For instance, a KPI you can set for your business could be that referral business should exceed 20% of your lead generation sources.

If you’re unsure how to put together your marketing plan, check out our article Real Estate Marketing Plan Template & Strategy Guide and download the free template to get started.

Postcard campaign examples from ProspectsPLUS!.

Postcard campaign example (Source: ProspectsPLUS! )

If direct mail is part of your promotion strategy, services like ProspectsPLUS! can help easily create and distribute mailers to a targeted area. It also has options for postcards , brochures, newsletters , flyers, and folders. You can also send mailers to prospective clients by geographic or demographic farm areas through its campaigns. Check out its templates and mailing options today.

Visit ProspectsPLUS!

Read how our experts feel about this real estate direct mail service in our ProspectsPLUS! review .

5. Create a Lead Generation & Nurturing Strategy

Having a successful lead generation strategy will help you maintain business growth. Lead generation can be performed organically and through paid advertisements to attract and convert prospective clients. In addition to generating leads, agents should have systems to manage, nurture, and re-engage with contacts to maximize opportunities.

Generating leads through a multipronged approach is the best way to maintain lead flow. Use organic strategies like hosting an open house, reaching out to your sphere of influence, and attending networking events. Employ paid generation strategies, such as purchasing leads from a lead generation company or setting up a website to funnel potential clients. Your marketing strategies will directly correlate with your lead generation strategies.

Every lead is an opportunity, even if they don’t immediately convert into a deal. Effectively nurturing leads can make sure no opportunity falls through the cracks. Agents can nurture leads by continuously engaging and developing relationships with prospective leads . It’s important to provide prospective clients with a constant flow of essential and relevant information, depending on where they are in the real estate buying or selling process.

Here are the top lead generation companies for real estate agents and brokers:

Engage more efficiently with buyer and seller leads using Market Leader’s new feature Network Boost. Network Boost has shown a 40% increase in agents successfully connecting with leads. Market Leader social media experts design highly targeted and optimized ads for your Instagram and Facebook. As visitors engage with your ads, they will be prompted to complete a form and funnel directly into your Market Leader client relationship manager (CRM). This will also trigger an automatic marketing campaign that nurtures your clients and lets you know they are ready to engage with you personally. Try Market Leader’s Network Boost today.

6. Calculate Your Income Goal

Your income goal is one of the most critical items to be included in your business plan. While this may be more difficult for new agents who are still learning the business, it’s still necessary to estimate the amount of money you will earn for the year. Work with an experienced agent or mentor to help you estimate your monetary goals. For professional agents, review your previous years to judge your income goals for the upcoming year.

To calculate your income goal and the amount of work you’ll need to complete to get to that goal, you’ll need to have some basic number estimates:

  • Net income: The amount of money you will put in your pocket after commission splits with your real estate brokerage.
  • Fee split with brokerage: This is the agreed-upon commission split you have with your brokerage for each completed transaction. For example, if you have a 70/30 split with your brokerage, you will collect 70% of the commission, and your brokerage will receive a 30% commission for each deal.
  • Estimate of completed deals per year: You also want to estimate the number of deals you intend to complete yearly. Remember that some months will be busier than others, so make sure to account for holidays, weather, and your schedule.

Real Estate Yearly Goal Calculator

By figuring out these numbers, you can give yourself a realistic number for your income goal. Compute the gross income commission (GCI) or amount of money you must make before the commission splits and the average profit per deal and month you’ll need to reach your goal.

For a more detailed breakdown of your yearly goal, download and use our yearly goal calculator. Input your information into the highlighted yellow boxes, and the spreadsheet will automatically calculate the GCI, total deal count, and gross income you’ll have to earn each month to reach your goal. Adjust the average gross commission per deal and brokerage split as necessary.

FitSmallBusiness Year Goal Calculator

FitSmallBusiness Year Goal Calculato template.

For additional information on real estate agent salaries, review our article Real Estate Agent Salary: How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make?

7. Set Times to Revisit Your Business Plan

Business plans are only effective if you use them. A business plan is a roadmap for your business, and you’ll need to revisit it often to ensure you’re staying on track. It should be a constant resource to guide you through meeting your goals and business objectives, but it’s not necessarily set in stone if you need to make any changes.

Agents should revisit their business plans monthly to measure progress and make any changes to stay the course. If you find that you’re missing the times set for your goals, then you should continue to revisit your business plan regularly. Changing the business plan itself should occur annually once you can have a complete picture of your yearly performance. Evaluating the business plan can help you discover new strategies and ensure you have the appropriate resources for the upcoming year.

Pipedrive user dashboard

Overall status of sales activities in the dashboard (Source: Pipedrive )

Sales software like Pipedrive can help you track your overall business performance when revisiting your business plan. It presents company sales data in easy-to-visualize dashboards that track your business performance and contains forecasting tools to project future revenue. It can maintain company and team goals with progress tracking to keep goals top of mind.

Visit Pipedrive

Read how our experts feel about this real estate customer relationship manager (CRM) system in our Pipedrive review .

Why Agents Need a Real Estate Business Plan

A real estate business plan keeps you up to date on market developments and one step ahead of your competitors. It also enables you to test lead-generating tactics and create new marketing campaigns while keeping track of results over time. A solid business plan for a real estate agent presents the following:

  • Where you are at the moment
  • Where you would like to be
  • How you’re going to get there
  • How to evaluate and measure your performance
  • When and when to correct the course

Real Estate Business Plan Examples & Templates

Real estate agents and brokerages don’t have to build their business plans from scratch, as many resources provide different examples. Business plan templates can also have different objectives. Some are used to secure financing or help you focus on lead generation, while others are single-page plans meant to get you started.

Here are five real estate business plan examples you can use to create yours:

Lead Generation & Income Plan

Screenshot of Market Leader real estate business plan.

Market Leader business plan example (Source: Market Leader )

This business plan is from Market Leader, a third-party lead generation platform. It specializes in lead generation, marketing, and converting leads into customers with an attractive IDX (Internet Data Exchange) website and robust automation tools. Agents can also participate in purchasing leads through their lead products to receive a guaranteed number of leads per month.

A Single-page Business Plan

Single Page Business Plan example from pngfind.

Business plan for real estate (Source: PngFind )

Agents who are new to writing a business plan can start small. Business plans do not have to be multipage to be effective. This single-page business plan helps identify a single goal followed by three areas to focus on and five objectives for each focus area. As real estate agents begin to feel comfortable with goal setting and completion, they can continue to add to this single-page business plan with duplicate pages, identifying additional goals.

Business Plan for Real Estate Brokers

Screenshot of Real estate broker business plan example from AgentEDU.

Real estate broker business plan (Source: AgentEDU )

This robust real estate broker business plan is designed to address organization and management goals. It contains pages identifying personnel information like title, job description, and salary. The business plan also encourages the broker to identify operational goals for future personnel changes. It’s best suited for a broker with a larger team to help drive operational change.

Business Plan With Detailed Financials

Business plan with detailed company financial information.

Example of real estate agent business plan template (Source: FinModelsLab )

This multipage business plan contains eye-catching graphics and detailed company financial information for real estate agents and brokers seeking funding from outside investors. One of the last sections of the business plan is a financial planning section geared toward showing how viable your business is through your provided income statements, cash flow, and balance sheet reports.

Real Estate Developers’ Business Plan

Easy to edit real estate business plan template from Upmetrics.

Realtor business plan template sample (Source: Upmetrics )

Upmetrics’ real estate business plan templates are easy to edit and share and contain professional cover pages to help agents convert their business ideas into actionable goals. The business plans from Upmetrics are geared toward agents looking to transition into real estate development. This plan includes vital sections important for a developer to analyze, such as building location, demand for housing, and pricing.

Market Leader's CRM dashboard as viewed on tablet and phone devices.

Real estate CRM (Source: Market Leader )

Market Leader’s business plan is centered around driving more business through lead generation. It helps agents understand their lead sources, average sales price, and how much commission was earned in a given year. It also allows agents to set income and transactional goals for the following year.

Visit Market Leader

Bottom Line

Whether you are a new real estate agent or looking to grow your brokerage, writing a real estate business plan template will help you define the steps needed to build a successful business . It serves as a guided roadmap to help you achieve your business goals, identify areas of improvement, and provide guidance in all aspects of your business, from marketing, operations, and finance to your products and services. Business plans can help determine if your business is viable and worth the financial investment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a real estate business plan.

A real estate business plan is a document that presents an outline of your organizational goals. A business plan lays out future company goals and structured procedures to achieve them. Business plans commonly contain plans for one to five years at a time, though they can differ from investor to investor.

A real estate business plan will put you in a position to succeed while also assisting you in avoiding potential pitfalls. It serves as a guide to follow when things go as expected and when they diverge from the initial plan of action. Also, a real estate business plan will ensure that investors know the steps they need to take to succeed.

How do I jump-start my real estate business?

It is important to note that starting a real estate business is not a simple task. Before launching a firm in any field, entrepreneurs should spend numerous hours researching and developing a solid business plan. As you start your real estate business, use the following tips as guidance:

  • Think about your professional goals
  • Conduct extensive research
  • Organize your finances
  • Create a business plan
  • Establish an LLC
  • Make a marketing plan
  • Create a website
  • Start campaigns
  • Keep track of leads
  • Develop a network of connections

How can I grow my real estate business?

You can use multiple strategies and ways to grow your real estate business. They include:

  • Assess your current situation
  • Invest in your professional growth
  • Establish strategic alliances
  • Take advantage of omnichannel marketing
  • Start blogging
  • Create consistent social media profiles and campaigns
  • Improve your website
  • Consider working with a marketing company
  • Optimize your signs and direct mail

About the Author

Jealie Dacanay

Find Jealie On LinkedIn

Jealie Dacanay

Jealie is a staff writer expert focusing on real estate education, lead generation, marketing, and investing. She has always seen writing as an opportunity to apply her knowledge and express her ideas. Over the years and through her internship at a real estate developer in the Philippines, Camella, she developed and discovered essential skills for producing high-quality online content.

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What the National Association of Realtors' settlement means for consumers and real estate brokers

A groundbreaking $418 million settlement announced Friday by the powerful National Association of Realtors is set to usher in the most sweeping reforms the American real estate market has seen in a century. It could dramatically drive down homebuyers’ costs — and push some real estate brokers out of business.

Here’s a look at how we got here and what to expect in the months ahead.

NAR already lost a big case

For decades, the NAR has required home sale listing brokers to provide an offer of compensation to a buyer’s agent up front. That usually comes out to about 6%, split between a seller’s broker and a buyer’s agent.

But that model has come under intensifying scrutiny from critics who have likened it to a cartel . Late last year, a jury in a Kansas City federal court found the longstanding practice to be a form of collusion that artificially inflated real estate fees, awarding a massive $1. 7 8 billion judgment against NAR .

What changes now for homebuyers and sellers

If the settlement announced Friday is approved by a federal court, the standard 6% commission goes away. Sellers would no longer have to make a compensation proposal to prospective buyers and their agents. Critics have said the encouraged brokers to push their clients toward more expensive properties.

Another new rule would see homebuyers having to sign an explicit deal with a broker before they start working with one — something experts say would lead many homebuyers to forgo using brokers entirely.

The new rules would kick in within months of approval, currently expected around mid-July.

What about the next few months?

Everyone involved in the market should expect “a certain amount of uncertainty for the coming months,” said Marty Green, principal at mortgage law firm Polunsky Beitel Green.

“The industry will be in transition as everyone digests the settlements and market forces begin working,” he predicted. “We will begin to see some creative buyer’s agent arrangements that may have been harder to get traction on before.”

Home buyers and their agents will need to decide on a commission and put it in writing. Sellers, likewise, will need to work carefully with their listing agents as the new rules come into effect.

U.S. consumers might save in the long run ...

The changes could mean buyers will save on commissions, eventually bringing U.S. fees more in line with the much lower transaction costs seen in other residential property markets around the world.

Some commissions could even be cut in half, Jaret Seiberg, housing policy analyst for TD Cowen Washington Research Group, told clients in a note Friday.

The new rules “should lead to commissions falling 25% to 50%, which we view as benefiting online real estate brokers,” Seiberg wrote, but he warned it’s too early to declare “the end of local real estate agents given their local expertise and reputation in neighborhoods. It is why we do not see this following the travel agency model in which online eclipsed local offices.”

... but buyers could face more confusion

Holden Lewis, a home and mortgage expert at NerdWallet, warned of a “potential negative trade-off”: “Buyer-seller negotiations will become more complex, and buyers with plenty of cash might navigate the process more easily than buyers who don’t have a lot of savings,” he said. Seiberg flagged a similar concern in his note, saying it could particularly affect first-time buyers with limited means to pay for an agent.

Brokers and agents have come out against the settlement, saying it will make the home-buying process more byzantine for consumers and discounts the important role agents play in helping them navigate it.

“I’m a full-service real estate agent, so when I go to list my client’s house, I align their goals with my goal, and that goal is selling for the highest amount possible,” said Roy Remick, a realtor based in Northern Virginia, who said he often pays thousands of dollars of his own for services like staging homes to aid the sale process.

“This is ultimately someone saying, ‘You guys make too much money,’ which I don’t think is right for someone to dictate,” he said.

Buyers’ agents will be left “flying blind” since they won’t know how much they’ll end up making from a given home, Remick warned. “We’ll have to make a bunch of phone calls, because now we don’t know what [the commission] is because we can’t see it in the MLS. But we’ve already got an agreement with buyer how much they’ll be able to compensate us.”

zillow real estate business plan

Christine Romans is the senior business correspondent at NBC News.

zillow real estate business plan

Rob Wile is a breaking business news reporter for NBC News Digital.

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Amazon's Strategic Real Estate Plan to Reduce Vacancy Rate and Enhance Workspace Efficiency

Zinger key points.

  • Amazon plans to cut $1.3 billion by reducing office space and ending leases early, targeting a 10% vacancy rate by 2027-2029.
  • Amid job cuts and market shifts, Amazon's real estate strategy focuses on optimizing space for collaboration and efficiency.

Amazon.Com Inc   AMZN is implementing a strategy to cut $1.3 billion in costs by significantly  reducing its office space  and opting out of leases early. 

Amid ongoing efforts to slash expenses, the tech and e-commerce behemoth aims to utilize its corporate space better, addressing a notable unused portion. 

An anonymous insider and a confidential document back the cost-saving initiative, Commercial Observer  reports . 

Also Read:   Could Amazon Crack Streaming Ad Market with Prime Video Ads? Company Eyes Major Revenue Boost

Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser clarified the company’s stance, stating that real estate decisions are made to enhance collaboration, adjust to space needs, and correct for excess capacity. 

He emphasized that these measures are focused on optimizing workspace utilization rather than changing office work expectations, dismissing any other interpretations as misleading.

Currently, Amazon grapples with a 33.8% vacancy rate in its offices. The plan is to reduce this inefficiency to 25% within the year, aiming for a 10% vacancy rate by 2027 to 2029. 

Amazon intends to negotiate early lease terminations and allow some leases to expire without renewal. 

This move follows the company’s recent job cuts, including hundreds earlier this year and around 27,000 in 2022 and 2023, mirroring similar workforce and office space reductions by other tech giants.

Amazon has been at the heart of a notable real estate deal as two Canadian pension funds complete the sale of two downtown Vancouver office buildings, including Amazon’s premises, to Germany’s Deka Group for about C$300 million ($223 million) as per prior reports. 

The transaction for the properties reflects broader market uncertainties driven by increased borrowing costs and changing work patterns, serving as a critical indicator for the commercial real estate sector’s direction amidst adjustments in central bank policies and significant writedowns by office landlords.

The stock surged by 85% in the last 12 months. Investors can gain exposure to the stock via  SPDR Select Sector Fund – Consumer Discretionary   XLY and  Vanguard Consumer Discretion ETF   VCR .

Price Action:  AMZN shares traded higher by 0.90% at $181.44 on the last check Thursday.

Also Read:   Amazon’s AWS Pushes AI Boundaries With New Chips And Nvidia Partnership

Disclaimer:  This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo via Company

© 2024 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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