• Zillow's video walkthroughs are available through the Premier Agent and Zillow Real Estate apps starting Feb. 16.
  • The walkthroughs are soundless two minute videos that allow agents and sellers to highlight a home's layout and key features.
  • The simple video format is intended to help make home comparison process easier for buyers.

Listing photos are all well and good, but in 2016, when most buyers search for homes, they want more than just still images — they want to know how those images fit together to create the space they might buy.

Starting today, when a potential buyer visits a listing on Zillow, they might see a “video walkthrough,” a quick two-minute overview of the property’s floor plan in video mode.

Some agents commission movie-quality listing videos with aerial drone footage, while others choose the 3-D route to give potential buyers the feeling of being immersed in a home’s environment. But buyers usually aren’t looking on a listing agent’s website to get their first impression of a home, so it still might be worth filming a quick smartphone walkthrough to catch a buyer’s attention.

The feature is open to any agent with a Zillow profile (free or paid) and who uses the Zillow Premier Agent or Zillow Real Estate app starting today. (Click to see an example.)

What’s a video walkthrough?

Video walkthroughs are soundless videos that are shot directly from Zillow’s apps. The videos allow an agent or homeseller to highlight a home’s layout, landscape and key features with the goal of giving a potential buyer the feeling of being in a home. They are capped at two minutes, so designed to be quick.

Before agents and homesellers can access the walkthrough feature, they must update the app. When they open the updated app, a quick step-by-step tutorial will pop up that tells agents and homesellers how to shoot and upload the video to their listing.

If the video is made by a homeseller, the listing agent must approve the video before it’s available for viewing.

Here’s another example.

In the Premier Agent app, agents select the specific listing and click “video” to begin filming. In the Zillow Real Estate app, agents or sellers must search for the listing by address and select the video feature in the carousel or in the “more” menu.

From there, the agent or seller films a series of shorter clips that highlight specific parts of a home, such as the living room, kitchen, master bathroom or even a well-landscaped backyard. Once all the clips are filmed, the app combines them into one longer video with smooth transitions.

There aren’t any options for branding or customization to ensure that buyers have “a consistent viewing experience,” which is intended to make comparing homes easier, said Amanda Woolley, Zillow Group’s communications manager.

Once the video is finalized and uploaded, homebuyers who have the listing in their saved searches will receive a notification.

Email Marian McPherson.

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