zillow vs realtor

Zillow Vs. Realtor.com: Which Is Better In 2024?

real estate software Apr 02, 2024

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 97% of homebuyers use the Internet in their home search. Therefore, real estate professionals must adapt their marketing strategies and integrate REI listing sites into their lead generation efforts.

Among the myriad listing sites available to agents and investors, Zillow and Realtor.com are among the most popular, sparking the pressing debate: Zillow vs. Realtor.com, which is better? And questions like how accurate is Realtor.com?

This article will explore their offerings and differences to settle this debate and help you identify the best one for your real estate business in 2024.

What Is Zillow?

zillow website

Zillow is one of the U.S.'s most popular real estate listing portals. Established in 2006, the website employs an Internet Data Exchange (IDX) program to pull for-sale listings from the Multiple Listing Service website. It has built a database of over $100 million in property listings. Zillow also features property listings uploaded by real estate agents and even supports for-sale-by-owner listings.

As a result, it draws incredible traffic, usually about 36 million visits monthly. Zillow also offers rental listings from all over the country. Plus, it’s a cross-platform tool, meaning besides its website interface, Zillow also exists as a mobile app, allowing users the convenience of property listing access even while they’re on the go.

Zillow is a real estate marketplace connecting buyers, sellers, and renters with real estate professionals, including agents and investors. It’s under the management of the Zillow Gtoup, which, in addition to owning several other renowned real estate brands, is a publicly traded company on NASDAQ under the symbols Z and ZG, depending on the type of shares investors wish to own.

What Is Realtor.com?

realtor com website

Realtor.com is another popular real estate listing website featuring a database of property listings nationwide. The website primarily pulls its listings from the MLS. Agents looking to upload their property listings to the platform must use Avail, a third-party software within the Realtor.com network. Like Zillow, listing on the website is free as long as agents and investors follow the required process.

Realtor is among the pioneering real estate listing portals. The program was first established in 1994 under the name Realtor Information Network (RIN) by the National Association of Realtors. It was exclusively offered to NAR Realtors but nearly went bankrupt, forcing the organization to relaunch it as a public property listing website in 1996.

Realtor.com is today owned by Move Inc., a subsidiary of News Corp, an American mass media and publishing company. It’s worth over $2.5 billion and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. Realtor.com also attracts millions of visits monthly, making it an excellent site for real estate agents, brokers, and investors to generate new leads and network.

Zillow Vs. Realtor.com: Key Differences

realtor vs zillow

Although both offer potential buyers and investors access to a wealth of property listings, Realtor.com and Zillow have different business models.

One of the most notable distinctions between the two platforms lies in their data sources. Zillow pulls listings from MLS feeds, real estate agents, brokers, third-party providers collaborating with Zillow agents and brokers, and even individual property sellers who list their properties as FSBOs.

Realtor.com mainly relies on the MLS. The platform is connected to over 800 MLS databases nationwide, allowing access to nearly 99% of all properties in the Multiple Listing Service. However, real estate agents can also list on Realtor.com only if they first submit listings to Avail, a free rental property management software for landlords and renters offered by the Realtor.com network.

Operational history is yet another notable factor in the Realtor Vs. Zillow debate. Realtor.com launched in 1994, is one of the longest-running real estate listing websites and has about three decades of operations. Zillow, established in 2006, has around 18 years of experience.

Additionally, while the two real estate sites offer listing data, Realtor.com offers far more comprehensive data. Beyond basic details, Realtor.com includes unique valuation insights you wouldn’t find on Zillow, like nearby schools and the total number of students, plus GreatSchools ratings, neighborhood noise levels, environmental risk factors, and even local home service providers within the area. However, despite the platform’s comprehensive data advantage, it doesn’t include an estimate in its listings, while Zillow offers a Zestimate for all listings.

The frequency of listing updates also sets the two real estate websites apart. Realtor.com refreshes its database every 15 minutes, reducing the likelihood of buyers encountering outdated or sold listings. Zillow, on the other hand, isn’t as frequently updated.

Zillow Pros & Cons

Here’s a quick overview of some of the pros that Zillow brings to the table:

  • An extensive property listing database of over 110 million listings.
  • Zillow supports rental listings as well as for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) listings.
  • The Zillow premier agent program offers agents and real estate investors exposure to over 36 million visitors.
  • Zillow offers various additional tools, such as a mortgage calculator, an affordability calculator, and a map-based search function.
  • Zillow has a web interface and a mobile app, greatly enhancing user experiences.

Zillow Cons

As with any other listing platform, Zillow is not without fault. Some of the cons that users should anticipate include:

  • Its listings aren’t frequently updated, giving rise to inaccurate Zillow Zestimates.
  • Zillow ranks agents based on their subscriptions instead of organically, meaning even inexperienced real estate agents can pay for high positions.
  • The Zillow mobile app is geared more towards buyers instead of all platform users.

Realtor.com Pros and Cons

Check out the perks that Realtor.com users enjoy:

  • Realtor.com aggregates property listings from about 890 MLS systems, which means that approximately 99% of MLS properties are available on the platform.
  • The platform’s algorithm refreshes MLS listings every 15 minutes, providing users access to highly accurate listings and real estate market data.
  • Each listing featured on Realtor.com features comprehensive details.
  • Realtor.com offers loan calculators and lead nurturing tools that real estate agents and investors could find handy.

Realtor.com Cons

Some of the disadvantages of Realtor.com include:

  • Doesn’t support FSBO or directly-submitted agent listings.
  • It does not offer home value estimates for property valuation.

For in-depth training on real estate investing, Real Estate Skills offers extensive courses to get you ready to make your first investment! Attend our FREE training and gain insider knowledge, expert strategies, and essential skills to make the most of every real estate opportunity that comes your way!

Free Real Estate Investing Training

Zillow Vs. Realtor.com: Platform Features & User Experience

A real estate platform might have the most game-changing features, but if it’s challenging to navigate, these features benefit no one. Thankfully, Zillow prioritizes user experience. The platform’s main pages have minimal interfaces that mix blues, whites, and grays, creating a calming color palette for an enhanced browsing experience.

Zillow further enhances a user’s browsing experience by incorporating an easy-to-find search button plus plenty of filters that make refining searches and browsing through its vast database effortless. Zillow allows users to view a property through a listing or a map. Additionally, Zillow offers UX features like Inspiration mode, which allows users to stack the “for sale, for rent, and recently sold” filters to generate a list of properties in a particular location that would fit the user’s criteria for inspiration. Zillow’s mobile app is also pretty intuitive. In a few words, as far as platform features and user experience go, Zillow does deliver.

Like Zillow, Realtor also comes in a minimal, clean, straightforward red-and-white interface that’s incredibly easy to navigate. Users can easily find what they’re looking for under the “buy” and “rent” tabs or hit the search button for specific searches. Additionally, Realtor.com provides extensive search filters that enable users to find properties with the particular features they need. The listing company also recently redesigned its mobile app to deliver elevated user experiences regardless of their preferred interface.

Zillow Vs. Realtor.com: Property Listings

zillow leads vs realtor com leads

Whether in the wholesaling real estate business or as a rental property owner, you must incorporate a site with the most reach into your operations. That said, does Zillow have all listings? In a word, yes. The two platforms have partnerships with local MLSs countrywide, ensuring their access to nearly all property listings on the MLS. However, while both real estate websites support sale and rental listings, only Zillow offers FSBO listings.

When it comes to market share, Zillow takes the cake. The platform boasts a 39.63% REI listing market share. However, it’s important to note that its parent group has a series of real estate brands under its umbrella, including Trulia, that help solidify Zillow’s market placement.

In contrast, Realtor.com has an 18.6% market share, which, although significantly lower than Zillow’s, is understandable considering it doesn’t have as many real estate brands under its umbrella as the Zillow Group.

As for the reach, Zillow draws about 60 million visits a month, while Realtor.com attracts approximately 40 million monthly visitors.

Read Also: How To Start A Rental Property Business: A Step-By-Step Guide

Zillow Vs. Realtor.com: Lead Quality & Conversion Rates

Selling to Zillow vs. Realtor.com can look different. Are you looking to sell your house-flipping investments quickly? First, upload them to Zillow. With approximately 60 million monthly visits and a wider listing variety, Zillow offers far more exposure and lead generation opportunities.

Additionally, the Zillow Premier Agent program offers subscription-based visibility, which you could leverage to enhance your exposure among target clients. Furthermore, from individual homeowners, buyers, investors, property management companies, real estate agents, interior design experts, and casual users, Zillow draws a far wider traffic demographic, creating networking opportunities that, when leveraged, could prove positive for real estate lead generation.

But this isn’t to mean Realtor.com isn’t suitable for lead generation. As noted, the platform attracts pretty decent traffic every month, and while it may be less than Zillow’s, Realtor.com website visitors are typically focused on closing and, as such, are more likely to convert into leads faster. In a nutshell, regarding lead quality & conversion rates, investors should consider capitalizing on both platforms.

Zillow Vs. Realtor.com: Cost Of Leads & Advertising

To maximize your lead generation and marketing budget, you must understand how much they cost on Zillow vs. the real estate agent platform Realtor.com.

That said, Zillow offers 1,000 impressions at $20 to $60. Of the 1,000 impressions generated, about 4% will convert into leads, bringing the total conversion cost to approximately $100. The aggregator recommends buying up to 5,000 impressions to enjoy a decent Zillow leads conversion rate.

Realtor.com offers exclusive and non-exclusive leads. Consequently, the listing website doesn’t directly disclose its lead costs, as how much users spend often depends on their target Realtor.com leads. However, the platform offers individual lead cost quotes. So, if you need to compare lead costs, it’s best to contact a Realtor.com sales rep.

Read Also: Real Estate Marketing Ideas: The 10 Best Campaign Strategies

Zillow Vs. Realtor.com: Customer Support

Both platforms win the Zillow vs. real estate agent debate regarding customer support. Users needing support can contact Zillow’s service team through direct calls, send inquiries through the Zillow help center, email specific departments, or fill out the Zillow research contact forms for specialized help. In addition, Zillow offers a host of resources through the Premier agent program, ensuring every real estate professional receives the help they need when they need it.

Similarly, Realtor.com offers multiple ways to contact customer support, including direct calls, live chats, and contact forms. The listing website also provides a broad range of tools and resources through the Realtor Connections Plus program.

Zillow Vs. Realtor.com: Real Estate Agent Resources

Zillow and Realtor offer resources that could significantly streamline a real estate professional’s experience on their platforms. Zillow hosts webinars and provides video tutorials on maximizing its features. The company also runs a comprehensive Premier Agent blog that users can capitalize on to optimize its features, learn new investing tips and tricks, and, more importantly, stay on top of industry trends.

Similarly, Realtor.com offers a learning center with webinars, step-by-step tutorials, and over 1,500 articles covering various topics, including follow-up strategies and tips on maximizing offerings. Additionally, Realtor.com offers functionalities like lead routing, scoring, tracking, and reporting, which considerably streamline lead generation and follow-up efforts for real estate investors and other users.

Zillow Vs. Realtor.com: Third-Party Compatibility

Zillow integrates with many third-party platforms and customer relationship management software, including Zoho CRM and Hubspot. Realtor.com integrates with many other tools, including DocuSign, Top Producer, and LionDesk.

These integrations unify a user’s lead generation and management tasks on one interface. Consequently, they significantly streamline lead management efforts and enhance productivity by eliminating toggling between software interfaces.

Beyond integrations, Zillow and Realtor.com use IDX programs to connect to the MLS, providing homeowners access to MLS listings under their interfaces.

Final Thoughts

Is Zillow or Realtor.com more accurate, or which is better for your business model? While the two platforms are comparable in MLS coverage, customer support, agent resources, user-friendliness, and integrations, they have some notable differences.

Zillow offers FSBO listings, while Realtor.com doesn’t, making the former a suitable option for investors who prefer to sell investment properties single-handedly. Additionally, Zillow has a larger market share, attracts more visits than Realtor.com, and appeals to a broader demographic, offering extensive exposure and networking opportunities than Realtor.com.

However, when it comes to advertising and lead conversion costs, Realtor.com is more affordable. Plus, it provides exclusive leads, enhancing the chances of conversion, while Zillow offers the same leads to everyone. Additionally, Realtor.com offers comprehensive listing data but lacks property values, while Zillow lacks extensive listing data but includes a Zestimate in all its listings.

Each platform has strengths and weaknesses, and choosing between them hinges on one’s investing needs. However, we recommend incorporating both into your lead generation tech stack in 2024 because where one is lacking, the other shines.

Are you seeking to achieve success in real estate investing? Don’t just dream. Sign up for the Pro Wholesaler VIP program today to access transformative investing strategies and connect with like-minded professionals.

free real estate investment training

Unlock Our FREE Webinar Training

Founder & CEO of Real Estate Skills, Alex Martinez, reveals the systems and processes used to wholesale and flip houses without doing any marketing!

  • Completely FREE training video.
  • No prior experience is required to start.
  • Begin investing with no cost for marketing.
  • Learn to invest in any real estate market.
  • Discover how you can close deals consistently. 

Enter your information below to unlock the FREE webinar!

By providing my contact info, I give express written consent to Real Estate Skills to email, call, & send text messages for upcoming events & reminders. By opting in you agree to RealEstateSkills.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Reviews & testimonials from students like you.

No matter where you start, you can become a successful real estate investor. Listen to these amazing stories from the students in our program!