Skip to content

How to Scrape Data from Zillow: A Step-by-Step Guide for Real Estate Pros

As one of the most popular real estate sites with over 200 million monthly visits, Zillow offers a treasure trove of data for industry professionals. By scraping and analyzing all that data, you can uncover powerful market insights to boost your business.

But where do you start? Have no fear – in this guide, I‘ll share the exact techniques I‘ve honed over 10+ years in web data extraction to build a scalable Zillow scraper from scratch.

Why Zillow Data Is a Goldmine

Let‘s first talk about why savvy investors and agents scrape Zillow in the first place:

  • Detect opportunities: Analyze pricing and demand data to identify up-and-coming or undervalued areas.
  • Enrich your database: Augment your customer records with property details like beds, baths, tax values.
  • Monitor the competition: Keep tabs on new listings from other agents entering the market.
  • Confirm property condition: Research recently sold homes to verify current owners‘ claims.
  • Uncover market trends: Spot surge in demand for properties near new commercial developments.

With over 9 billion visits and 50+ million active monthly users, Zillow offers unrivaled depth and breadth of real estate data.

Challenges to Overcome

Of course, tapping into all that data isn‘t always straightforward. Here are some common obstacles you may face:

  • Bot detection: Zillow blocks scrapers with captcha, IP filters, and other defenses.
  • JavaScript rendering: Key details are loaded dynamically via JS.
  • Frequent layout changes: Updates constantly break scrapers.
  • Rate limiting: Aggressive blocks on requests per minute.

But don‘t worry – I‘ll share proven methods for tackling each issue. With the right approach, you can extract thousands of records per day from Zillow reliably.

Step 1: Set Up a Python Web Scraping Environment

For this project, we‘ll use Python – the ideal language for web scraping and data analysis.

First, install Python 3.6 or higher if you don‘t already have it. I recommend creating a virtual environment to isolate the dependencies:

python3 -m venv zillowscraping

Activate the environment, then install the packages we need:

pip install requests beautifulsoup4 pandas matplotlib selenium webdriver-manager

This gives us tools for sending requests, parsing HTML, analyzing data, automating browsers, and more.

Now the fun can really start!

Step 2: Inspect Target Pages

Next, we‘ll manually analyze the pages we want to scrape using browser developer tools:

Browser developer tools

On a search results page, the HTML looks like:

<div class="property-card">
  <div class="details">
    <div class="price">$299,000</div> 
    <div class="address">
      <a href="/1234-maple-st">1234 Maple St</a>
    <div class="specs">
      3 bd | 2 ba | 1,420 sqft

We can see clear elements for price, address, beds, baths, and square footage. Nice!

Now let‘s check an individual listing page:

<script>window.dataLayer = [{"property":"1234 Maple St"}];</script>

<div id="price"></div>

<script src="getDetails.js"></script>

Hmm…details are loaded dynamically via JavaScript. No problem – we can use Selenium to render the pages and extract the data we want.

Step 3: Scrape Search Results Page

Armed with our exploration, let‘s scrape those search results.

First we‘ll request the page HTML:

import requests

url = ""
headers = {"User-Agent": "Mozilla..."} 

response = requests.get(url, headers=headers)
html = response.text

Then we can parse with Beautiful Soup:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup

soup = BeautifulSoup(html, "html.parser")

Now extract the data:

cards = soup.find_all("div", class_="property-card")

for card in cards:
  price = card.find("div", class_="price").text
  address = card.find("a").text
  beds, baths, sqft = card.find("div", class_="specs").text.split("|")

    "price": price, 
    "address": address,

To handle pagination, we can check for a "Next" link and repeat the process until no more pages remain.

Step 4: Scrape Details Page with Selenium

For individual listing pages, we‘ll use Selenium to automate a browser and render the JavaScript.

Install the ChromeDriver:

from selenium import webdriver
from import ChromeDriverManager

driver = webdriver.Chrome(ChromeDriverManager().install()) 

Now we can extract details:

def get_listing_data(url):


  price = driver.find_element_by_id("price").text
  address = driver.find_element_by_id("address").text

  return {
    "price": price,
    "address": address,

Call this function to scrape each page as we iterate through search result URLs.

Step 5: Avoid Blocks with Proxies and User Agents

To avoid Zillow‘s defenses, it‘s essential to route requests through proxies and regularly rotate user agents:

from random import choice 

proxies = ["", ""...]
user_agents = ["UA1", "UA2"...]

proxy = choice(proxies)
headers = {"User-Agent": choice(user_agents)}

response = requests.get(url, proxies={"http": proxy, "https": proxy}, headers=headers)

This helps distribute requests across many different IPs and mimic real users.

I recommend partnering with proxy services like BrightData, SmartProxy, or Microleaves to get access to millions of residential IPs perfect for evading blocks.

Step 6: Implement Throttling and Retries

To avoid hitting rate limits, we need to throttle requests by adding random delays:

from time import sleep
from random import randint

# Make request
sleep(randint(1, 5)) # Random delay

And use try/except blocks to retry on errors:

from requests.exceptions import RequestException

  response = requests.get(url)
except RequestException as e:
  # Retry with exponential backoff
  response = requests.get(url) 

This creates a resilient scraper that can power through intermittent issues.

Step 7: Store Scraped Data

Once scraped, we need to store the data. For smaller projects, CSV files may be sufficient:

import csv

with open("zillow.csv", "w") as f:
  writer = csv.writer(f)
  writer.writerow(["Address", "Price", "Beds", "Baths" ...])
  for listing in listings:

For larger datasets, load into a SQL database or NoSQL store like MongoDB. This enables building interactive dashboards and maps to uncover insights!

Let‘s Start Scraping!

There you have it – a battle-tested process for scraping real estate data from Zillow. Now you can tap into its wealth of listings to take your business to the next level.

As you begin scraping, feel free to reach out if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help fellow real estate pros use data more effectively.

Let me know once you start extracting thousands of fresh Zillow listings every day!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *