Zillow wants more home sellers and buyers to be able to step into the immersive world of 360-degree home tours.
The Seattle-based real estate technology company announced Monday that Zillow 3D Home — an AI-powered mobile platform that allows users to easily create a photographic 3D tour — is launching nationwide in the United States and Canada.
The technology was first introduced in select markets in January 2018. The free experience is billed as a way for agents and sellers to enhance a listing, and it gives buyers another way to save time and perhaps limit the number of homes they need to visit in person.
Josh Weisberg, Zillow’s senior director of product development, 3D and computer vision, said 3D Home is a huge milestone for the company in making real estate transactions more seamless and accommodating for consumers.
“Previously, 3D tours were only found on high-end or expensive homes, due to the high cost and time-intensive capture process,” Weisberg said in a news release. “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.”
The iOS platform relies on an app that captures panoramic images using either an iPhone camera or a 360-degree Ricoh Theta V or Z1 camera that integrates with the app. Photos are uploaded to Zillow and computer vision and deep learning is used to stitch them together to create a seamless, room-to-room tour. Thumbnail images best representing each room are selected. Tours are then available in a “My 3D Home” dashboard for editing, sharing or adding to a listing on Zillow.
Zillow said that its 2018 Consumer Housing Trends Report found that 45 percent of Gen Z and 41 percent of millennial buyers “find 3D tours or recorded video of a home very or extremely important in helping them decide on their home” and the trend “only stands to increase given these tech-savvy generations now make up the largest group of first-time home buyers.”