Technology

Zillow’s StreetEasy adding 3-D floor plans to some listings

Floored powering visualizations for New York City listing portal

Marking the latest advance of 3-D into online real estate, StreetEasy, a listing portal owned by Zillow that covers the New York City area, has begun adding interactive 3-D floor plans to some of its listings to help prospective buyers get a better feel for homes from their computers or mobile devices.

StreetEasy is wrapping the 3-D floor plans into its featured listing advertising product, which gives prominent placement to listings in search results to agents who pay for the promotion, Susan Daimler, general manager of StreetEasy, told Inman.

Only new featured listings that are single-floor units will receive the 3-D floor plans.

“It’s essentially an added bonus feature for agents who feature their for-sale listings,” she said.

The 3-D floor plans are based on 2-D floor plans and are generated by software developed by Floored, a leading provider of 3-D technology in real estate.

Unlike 3-D models that Floored has produced for some developers and listing brokers, the 3-D floor plans it’s cranking out for StreetEasy do not let users virtually saunter around a home.

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But they do provide a 360-degree perspective of the layout of a home, and let viewers shift the floor plan angle using their device’s mouse or touch screen.

Daimler said in a statement that the visualizations cater to its user base.

Floor plans are a more critical part of the home-shopping experience in New York City than in other parts of the country, explaining why over half of StreetEasy for-sale listings have a floor plan, she said.

StreetEasy’s rollout of 3-D floor plans comes amid a flowering of 3-D technologies serving the real estate industry.

Companies like Matterport and InsideMaps are providing tools and software that real estate marketers, agents and developers may use to capture 3-D models of homes, while firms such as Archilogic, DIAKRIT and, now, Floored, are generating 3-D representations for listing portals based solely on 2-D floor plans.

Floored is touting its 3-D technology as a game changer, since it can render 3-D floor plans in just 24 hours, a fraction of the time needed by other methods. Not only that, but Floored says it’s not necessary to actually visit a home to produce its 3-D floor plans, and no special hardware is required.

But Floored’s 3-D floor plans are not photo-realistic, and don’t provide the immersive experience of online 3-D models that typically require special hardware to produce (Floored itself is also a leading provider of online 3-D models).

Daimler said it’s highly possible that StreetEasy will later upgrade its 3-D floor plans to 3-D models if the 3-D floor plans engage users as much as anticipated.

Newhome.ch, a Swiss 3-D provider, is already embedding full-blown interactive 3-D models into its listings. Archilogic, the Swiss company that’s powering the models, says it can crank them out within 24 hours.

The Swiss listing portal plans to monetize the models by charging real estate agents and developers for upgrades to them. Archilogic is currently offering 3-D models for free to agents who upload floor plans to its website.

DIAKRIT is yet another company that recently began enabling listing portals to integrate 3-D representations into their advertising offerings.

The company recently rolled out a 3-D-centric sales and marketing platform for listing portals featuring 2-D and 3-D floor plans, photo-realistic 3-D renderings, 3-D panoramas and property details.

Listing portals that use the platform, such as sites owned by iProperty Group covering Southeast Asia, have the ability to charge developers for 3-D enhancements to new-home listings.