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Can you download Zillow data?

Find out if and how you can download Zillow data and why it is not as simple as it seems.
Published onNov 02, 2022
Yann Hulot
Image of numerous cables and wires

Image of numerous cables and wires

Table of contents

  1. Understanding Zillow's business model
  2. If its free, you are the product
  3. Am I the product if I use Zillow Data Exporter?
  4. How to download Zillow data
  5. Alternative ways to download Zillow data
  6. Conclusion

Understanding Zillow's business model

Zillow is a real estate marketplace that allows users to search for homes for sale and rent. It also provides tools to help users estimate the value of a home, and to find a real estate agent.

The Zillow website targets the general public and has around 335 million monthly visitors. Zillow also has a business-to-business (B2B) division that provides data and tools to real estate professionals.

If you are a home buyer/real-estate investor, you can use Zillow for free. However, if you are a real estate professional, you will have to pay for access to the data and tools.

There is one caveat to this. Although Zillow does not charge you, the home buyer/investor, any money to browse the listings, it does charge the real estate agents and brokers who list their properties on Zillow. This is how Zillow makes money.

Zillow also charges real estate developers and builders to advertise their new construction projects on the website.

That is why you can see many sponsored advertisements on the Zillow website. These are paid advertisements by real estate agents and developers.

There is nothing wrong with that but this introduction can help you understand why Zillow does not want you to download its data.

Zillow wants you to spend as much time as possible on it's website/app. The more time you spend on the website, the more likely you are to click on an advertisement.

The more the advertisements you click on, the more money Zillow makes and the more Zillow can charge for each advertising slot.

If its free, you are the product

There is a saying that if something is free, you are the product. This is true for Zillow.

You are the product being sold to real estate agents and developers. The more time you spend on the Zillow website, the more valuable you are to Zillow.

That is the only reason why Zillow does not want you to download its data. If you download the data, you will not spend as much time on the website as you would be able to simply analyze the data on your time and in your own way.

This would cut into Zillow's revenue and profits.

So, in order for Zillow to keep making money, it has to make it difficult for you to download its data. Zillow gives you just enough data to keep you interested and to keep you coming back to the website.

This is a great business model that has been used by many other companies. The most famous example is Facebook.

I understand that this is not the answer you were looking for. You want to know how to download Zillow data. But, unfortunately, there is no easy way to do it.

Am I the product if I use Zillow Data Exporter?

No, you are not.

Zillow Data Exporter is currently a free extension and will remain free.

A paid plan will be introduced before the end of the year but it will be completely optional. You will not be forced to pay for the extension. The current extension will continue working as it is and you will not be charged for using it.

I will also continue to provide free support for the extension. I will not charge you for support.

You can read more about the upcoming paid plan here.

The goal of the paid plan is to be able to sustain the continuous development of the extension. The extension is currently being developed by a single person and it takes a lot of time and effort to keep it up to date.

More importantly, the paid plan will allow me to not have to share your data with third parties. I will be able to keep your data private and secure because you are not the product. The product is the extension itself.

How to download Zillow data

Since there is no easy to download Zillow data, you will have to use a workaround. There are two ways to do this.

One of them is the extension that I built which is named after this website Zillow Data Exporter. The other way is to use a web scraping tool. We'll talk about the second option in the next section, so if you are interested in that, you can skip this section.

Zillow Data Exporter is an extension that you can install on your browser. It is available for Chrome only at this stage.

It was born out of my frustration with Zillow's data. I wanted to download the data and analyze it in my own way. I could not find a way to do it so I built this extension.

It does one thing and one thing only. It allows you to download the data from the Zillow website. It's simple and it works 99% of the time.

As a software engineer, I cannot in good conscience tell you that it will work every time but that is as close as I can get.

Zillow Data Exporter is free to use and already helps more than 700++ users download Zillow data.

I am in the process of launching a paid version of the extension that will allow you to download more data as well as automate some aspects of the process.

If you are interested in becoming a beta tester, you can contact me directly and you will get a coupon code for the first 2 months of the paid version which you will be able to use the paid version for free for around 60 days.

If you are not satisfied by the end of your free beta testing period, you can simply not subscribe to the paid version and you will not be charged.

You will obviously still be able to use the free version of the extension.

The free version of the extension will keep being updated and maintained but new functionality will only be available in the paid version.

It is a great way to support the development of the extension and to get access to new features.

Alternative ways to download Zillow data

If you are not interested in using the extension, you can use a web scraping tool. There are many tools available but I would recommend using Web Scraper.

Unfortunately there are big drawbacks to using a web scraping tool.

I wrote a blog post about possible web scraping tools that you can use to potentially download Zillow data. You can read it here.

Time consuming

It is not easy to use. You will have to learn how to use it and you will have to spend some time configuring it. You will also need to learn how to extract the data that you are interested in from the HTML code of the website.

That can be done if you are a software engineer but it is not easy. You will have to spend some time learning how to do it.

Not reliable

The second drawback is that it is not reliable. Zillow is a big company and they have a lot of resources. They can easily detect that you are using a web scraping tool and they can block your IP address.

When you use an extension like Zillow Data Exporter, you are not using a web scraping tool. You are simply using a browser extension that is not detected by Zillow because you are a real user.

It is a much safer way to download Zillow data.

If you are interested in using the extension, you can download it from the Chrome Web Store here.


You have now learned how to download Zillow data. You can either use the extension or you can use a web scraping tool.

I hope this helps you make the right choice for your needs. I am obviously biased but I think that the extension is the best way to go.

If you have any questions regarding Zillow Data Exporter, you can contact me directly here. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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