The FINANCIAL -- Zillow on October 5 announced plans to bring 3D Homes to for-sale and for-rent listings, providing home searchers with a new and more immersive way to envision themselves in a home.
House hunters today want the home buying process to be easier and faster. An immersive 3D tour enables buyers to get a more robust understanding of the home and its layout, helping them narrow down the homes they will visit in person, and saving them time. More than 70 percent of first-time home buyers are Millennials and they consider 3D media to be as important as open houses, according the 2017 Zillow Group Housing Trends Report. Additionally, 44 percent of home buyers and 47 percent of renters are searching for a home from a distance - either from a different city, state or even out of the 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."
With this announcement, Zillow also unveiled a new, first-of-its-kind, mobile app that allows homeowners and real estate professionals to capture 3D tours of their homes from their iPhones®. Never before have real estate professionals been able to leverage 3D technology as part of their listings for no cost. Currently, real estate agents must buy expensive hardware and pay additional hosting fees to capture 3D listings, which puts this technology out of reach for many real estate professionals and home sellers. For buyers and renters, most of the homes they are considering won't include a 3D tour.
"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."
The Zillow Group Home Capture App works by capturing 360 degree panoramic photos of all the rooms in the home which users then upload through the app. Zillow Group then stitches the photos together into an immersive tour in just a few hours and adds it the listing on Zillow. Photos are all shot directly from an iPhone using the app, and a 3,000 square foot home can be captured in about 30 minutes. The Zillow Group Home Capture App is the only mobile-based app that can capture 3D mobiles tours all at no cost.
Currently the Zillow Group Home Capture App is in an early test phase in Scottsdale, Ariz., with a select group of real estate agents and photographers. The company plans to roll the feature out widely in the Phoenix area in early 2018 and nationwide in the latter half of 2018.