Zillow started in 2004 as a brainchild of Rick Barton, the man who had already launched Expedia successfully and would become the co-founder of Glassdoor three years later. In 2021, the website had over 135 million homes in its database, indicating its massive growth throughout the years.
One thing that many people are unaware of is that Zillow is not only the platform to find your next abode or scroll through at night when you can’t seem to fall asleep. It actually has an abundance of useful data for businesses in the real estate industry.
But which data can businesses collect? More importantly, how can they use this data? We have the answers.
Kind of Data Businesses Can Scrape From Zillow
When you search for a property on Zillow, you see a lot of information about it. We searched for homes in NYC and found this beautiful option in Staten Island.
When you scroll down the pictures, you see the following information:
- Facts and features
- Home value
- Price and tax history
- Monthly cost
- Rental value
- Nearby schools
- Local legal protections
- Similar homes
That’s a lot of data for any business to collect. Suppose you run a real estate blog where you provide advice for relocations to millennial homeowners.
You can collect rental value, estimated price projection, neighborhood, and price history data from Zillow to base your advice on. The information can help you recommend areas to your readers where they can find most amenities at reasonable prices.
Similarly, a financial or real estate investor can collect price history and rental value data. Investors can then decide if they want to buy property in an area.
Real estate agents, property managers, and home builders also benefit from Zillow’s data. By scraping Zillow’s data, they can get an insight into current and predicted market prices. Builders can also gauge the suitability of a neighborhood for family or student dwelling.
Can You Scrape Zillow Data With Minimal Coding Knowledge?
Python is the language of choice for programmers who choose to scrape Zillow data. The programming language has a lot of frameworks and libraries for this purpose. Programmers can write a custom script to get the exact data they need.
What if you don’t know how to code? That’s no problem, either. Scraping tools are available too. Most of these tools have user-friendly interfaces that make it easy for you to scrape efficiently.
A Zillow scraper API (Application Programming Interface) is specifically designed to scrape data from Zillow. Think of it as your virtual assistant.
You don’t have to ask Zillow for information using your IP address. Instead, you tell the Zillow scraper API. It will collect your desired information and send it to you.
Pros and Cons of Zillow Scraper API
As we’ve discussed, Zillow has millions of listings. If you use a regular scraper, it won’t be familiar with the intricacies of Zillow. So, you’ll end up with a lot of ”fluff” and unnecessary data when looking for the information you actually need.
That’s not the case with a Zillow scraper API. Scraping APIs are website-specific, so they give you access to the exact information you want.
Let’s go through the pros and cons of scraping APIs.
The Zillow Scraper API has the following benefits.
Do you want to look for a specific neighborhood’s data somewhere in Boulder, Colorado? You don’t have to go through all neighborhoods in Colorado or have your data infiltrated by information from Aspen or Denver.
Instead, the scraper API will narrow down your request to Boulder alone. From there, it will show you neighborhood data only, keeping your data clean.
Shows Structured Data
Unorganized data can lengthen the web scraping process. But if you use a scraper API, it will filter unnecessary data and provide your desired information in a legible and structured format.
Prevents Websites Crashes
With a regular scraper, you’d have to send hundreds of requests to find data about all neighborhoods in Boulder. It could slow down the website and inconvenience other users.
The Zillow scraper API prevents this problem. You only search for the information you need once, and the API provides it to you, eliminating the need for thousands of requests.
Although quite beneficial, the Zillow scraper API has a few shortcomings.
The scraper API can be expensive. After all, you have to pay for the additional features it provides.
It’s likely that you may not get access to all data. The API may omit some data intentionally, only allowing you access with further payment.
When you compare them to the pros, the cons of Zillow scraper API aren’t as bad. If you need access to real estate and financial projection data but don’t want to spend hours on it, the scraper API for Zillow is your best bet.
Since the data comes out organized and structured, it saves you even more time and effort.