Real estate listings giant Zillow has said it’s going to allow 3D tours for some of its home for sale and for rent listings, giving home searchers a more immersive way to view homes.
Zillow said that 3D technology enables buyers to more easily picture themselves living in the homes they’re looking at, helping them to get a better feel of its lay out. The technology should also help them to narrow down their lists of homes they want to actually go out and see for themselves, the company said.
3D tours are particularly appealing to younger buyers such as millennials, and these make up a huge proportion of first-home buyers, Zillow said. The company also cited statistics from its 2017 Zillow Group Housing Trends report, which show that 70 percent of first-time buyers consider 3D media in home listings as important as open houses. The other advantage of 3D tech is convenience, as more than 44 percent of home buyers and 47 percent of renters search for homes that are some distance away – either in another city or state, or even another country.
"Rich media, like these new 3D Homes, will help buyers and renters more easily visualize themselves living in the home, no matter how far away they happen to be," said Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow Group chief marketing officer. "Photos have always been vital to the home search process and now 3D tours can give buyers and renters a realistic understanding of what it would be like to live in the home."
To help listings agents create their own 3D tours, Zillow is also announced a new application for iPhones that enable them to do just that. Previously, it was necessary to buy expensive, specialist hardware to capture 3D video footage, but the Zillow Group Home Capture app allows agents to do so using just their phones.
"We're democratizing access to this technology, and making it free for agents and sellers. We've created a 3D experience that is simple and cost-effective so agents and sellers can adopt it easily," Wacksman added. "By integrating directly with the iPhone, a device many people are already using, agents can just pull out their phone, and capture a panoramic photo. By removing the hardware barrier, more real estate pros can add 3D Homes to their listings, giving them a new way to market all of their listings, and improving the search experience for buyers and renters."
All agents have to do is use the app and quickly capture 360-degree panoramic photos of each room in the house, then upload these to the app. The app then does the hard work for them, stitching the images together to create an immersive 3D tour of the property. Agents can then upload these images and the video directly to the listing they’ve created on Zillow. The company adds that it should be possible to create a 3D tour for a 3,000 square foot home in around 30 minutes.
The app is currently being tested by a small group of users in Scottsdale, Arizona, where any issued will be ironed out ahead of a full launch that’s expected in 2018.