Millions of home buyers and sellers will soon experience immersive virtual home tours with the launch of Zillow 3D Home nationwide in the United States and Canada.
Zillow 3D Home is an AI-powered mobile platform for iOS devices that allows anyone to capture 360-degree panoramic photos of a home and easily create a 3D tour, entirely for free. Zillow has the most for-sale listings and rental properties when compared to other real estate sites and launching 3D Home nationwide offers agents and sellers an easy way to enhance their home listings, at no cost. It also provides buyers with a more authentic, immersive experience of a home and help them save time by narrowing down the homes they visit in person.
"Making 3D home tours available for sellers and agents to capture and add to any listing, for free, in the U.S. and Canada is a huge milestone in our work to make the real estate transaction a more seamless, on-demand experience for consumers," said Josh Weisberg, Zillow's Senior Director of Product Development, 3D and Computer Vision, in a statement. "Previously, 3D tours were only found on high-end or expensive homes, due to the high cost and time-intensive capture process. Now with 3D Home, adding an immersive experience to a home listing is fast, easy, and free, which benefits buyers and sellers at all price points."
Zillow initially began field testing 3D Home in January 2018 in select U.S. markets, though Zillow quickly saw strong demand for the technology across the country. During the pilot program, nearly half of the thousands of 3D tours created were generated outside of markets supported at the time.
According to the 2018 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report, 45% of Gen Z and 41% of Millennial buyers find 3D tours or recorded video of a home very or extremely important in helping them decide on their home. This trend only stands to increase given these tech-savvy generations now make up the largest group of first-time home buyers.
Adoption of 3D Home among real estate agents and photographers has also proved to help them stand out to prospective clients by providing a fast, free, and easy way to enhance their listings' and attract more potential buyers. Using 3D Home, agents can quickly and easily add tours to any listing without any cost or hosting fees. Real estate professionals can capture an entire house in as little as 15-20 minutes, helping them serve more clients at a lower cost. During the 3D Home pilot program, agents reported that listings with 3D tours attracted more potential buyers, earning higher listing views and engagement than those without 3D media.
The app, currently available for iOS devices, works by capturing 360-degree panoramic images, using either the iPhone's camera or a 360-degree Ricoh Theta V or Z1 camera that integrates with the app. When using only an iPhone, photos are shot within the app as on-screen instructions provide guidance for capturing the best possible images.
Once the entire house has been shot and photos are uploaded to Zillow, the app uses several sophisticated technologies in tandem – from computer vision to deep learning – to stitch together seamless 3D tours, enhance photos' exposure, and select thumbnail images that best represent each room. Once complete, tours are immediately available in the "My 3D Home" dashboard to edit, share privately, or add directly to a listing on Zillow.