Use Zillow to Prepare for Surveillance

Learn how to use Zillow to prepare for home surveillance.

Zillow is a real-estate marketplace application developed by one of the biggest online real-estate database companies in the world, the Zillow Group. According to Fortune magazine, Zillow successfully approximates the value of 57 percent of U.S. housing.

Zillow, which is available via the internet and as an app, has the ability to pull an estimate for any property, based on such information as publicly available data, real estate transactions, census data, and calculations and information available on neighboring houses. All of these features make Zillow a great tool for private investigators to plan surveillance projects.

Zillow Product Features

When it comes to real-estate management, Zillow is an all-around app giving you access to thousands of houses for sale and for rent. It makes your home buying process easy and also lets you explore different neighborhoods. The website and the app can be used to browse a variety of homes, apartments, townhomes, and condos for sale, lookup and evaluate real estate agents, learn about nearby schools, save and store results, and sign up for alerts.

Zillow for Real Estate and Property Research

Zillow is a very simple and intuitive application that redefines neighborhood exploration and enhances the experience of buying or selling real estate. In addition, the product is a great resource for private investigators who need to conduct research on houses before performing surveillance, especially when used in conjunction with Google Maps.

Home Search Options

The app offers several different search methods, but private detectives will likely use the simple search option. Simply enter a location or address in the search box and click on the search icon or press enter. The resulting page will display an aerial map of the neighborhood with the target house highlighted.

In addition, specific details will be provided, such as a photo of the front of the house, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, total square footage, and helpful facts about the lot and special features. This information may come in handy as you scout potential hiding locations and sightlines.

In addition to searching by address, the app also allows users to look up property information using a voice search. Also, users can draw a custom region on the map, or use the nearby feature, to find all of the properties listed in that area. This may be useful if you need to know about other properties in the area. On some occasions, private eyes need a long-term location for conducting surveillance. That empty house across the street from your subject may be the perfect place.

Zillow determines an estimate of the property cost and provides rental information through a ‘Zestimate’, which is their proprietary approximation of the cost to buy or rent the property. Through any of the search methods, the users can look for property and know it’s ‘Zestimate’ to plan their next move. It also gives detailed information about the users’ region of interest. It allows users to post homes for sale too.

Apart from looking up for the property, Zillow also lets you apply for loan pre-approval and gives you a certificate of qualification from high-rated lenders.

How to Download and Install the Zillow App

The Zillow mobile application is available on iOS (Apple) for iPhone, iPod, and iPad; Android, Blackberry, and Windows applications. The specific version number varies by platform and device. It can be downloaded and installed for free.

If you have any questions, please visit, or leave a comment below. Learn about other Private Investigator Apps and software for Private Eyes.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


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