Zillow has said its artificial intelligence-powered virtual home tours are now available nationwide on all listings, giving prospective home buyers and renters a better sense of a home before they step inside.
The free, AI-generated floor plan tool is known as “Zillow Surfing”, and is meant to save searchers valuable time while they’re looking through available listings.
The interactive floor plans by Zillow give shoppers an in-person perspective of properties for sale or rent. The technology, which is powered by Zillow tech but available to use for free on listings anywhere, acts as a dynamic guide to give shoppers digital insight and detail so they can more quickly and easily narrow their search to only the homes they love and want to see in person. Zillow uses machine learning to not only generate floor plans, but also imports each listing photo and places it on the floor plan, giving shoppers an in-person perspective of a home's shape and flow that simply scrolling through static images can never do.
"Zillow surfing has always been about imagining all the possibilities a move could bring, and Zillow surfing 2.0 is bringing those possibilities to life in a much more interactive, realistic way," said Josh Weisberg, vice president of Zillow's Rich Media Experience team. "Now shoppers can act more quickly and confidently, whether they're searching in their own neighborhood or hundreds or thousands of miles away. We're pushing the boundaries of what home buyers and renters can expect when shopping for a home online."
For buyers and renters, Zillow's AI-generated floor plan means navigating more seamlessly and naturally through photos, a 3D Home tour and other listing information, getting a remarkably accurate sense of a home's flow and space. An hour of teleporting through interactive floor plans on Zillow can replace an afternoon, or longer, of scheduling tours and driving around town to see homes in person.
There’s reason to think the interactive floor plans will be useful. More than half (56%) of buyers agree they wasted time on their home search by viewing properties that they would have skipped if they had understood the floor plan before their visit. Almost three-quarters (74%) agree that a dynamic floor plan helps them determine if a home is right for them.
For agents and landlords, this new and expanded technology means bringing a listing to life and showing homes to more serious and interested shoppers. Eighty-one percent of buyers and 71% of renters said they were more likely to visit a home if the listing included a floor plan they liked.
Zillow uses panoramic photos captured by an agent or photographer with the free 3D Home app and a 360-degree camera, and then applies the company's computer vision and machine-learning models to generate a 3D Home tour and interactive floor plan. This includes AI-predicted room dimensions, square footage and the location of the listing photos relative to the other media. And now, it also imports every listing photo and places them on the floor plan to more easily navigate and get a feel for the home.
The floor plan, 3D tour and photos are automatically uploaded to the listing on Zillow and Redfin, and can also be added to the MLS, embedded in a website, or shared via email or social media.
"Immersive floor plans give agents the ability to build a connection between potential buyers and listings prior to any showings," said George Laughton, founder of the Laughton Team in the Phoenix area. "They give buyers a sense of familiarity and make them feel as though they've been in the home before, helping them establish a stronger emotional connection with the home."
Zillow’s tech could be paired with that of CubiCasa, which recently launched a new and free tool for agents to create accurate floor plans for their home listings.