Real estate behemoths and off-and-on rivals Zillow and Redfin have teamed up once again, this time to automatically syndicate Zillow 3D Home tours and interactive floor plans to Redfin listings.
“Zillow’s goal is to give agents the best tools to allow home buyers the power to visualize themselves in a new place, regardless of what site they choose to browse with,” said Josh Weisberg, who leads Zillow’s Rich Media Experience team. “Customers have dramatically raised their expectations for a virtual home shopping experience over the past two years.
“This technology allows agents and photographers to meet those expectations with a seamless, immersive tour experience that is easily made and shared,” he added.
Since its nationwide launch in 2019, Zillow 3D Home tours were only automatically syndicated to Zillow and Trulia. After recording their tour on Zillow’s 3D Home app using a compatible iOS, Android, or Ricoh Theta 360 camera device, listing agents could generate a link and embed code to share those tours on a multiple listing service (MLS) listing, a personal website or another portal.
Although listing agents will still need to generate those links to post elsewhere, they’ll no longer need to use it for Redfin. However, if an agent doesn’t want to syndicate their 3D tour to the portal, they can opt out through their Zillow 3D Homes dashboard.
Both portals said the partnership enables listing agents and consumers to get the best results out of the respective portals, as homebuyers increasingly rely on 3D tours and other interactive media to speed up the home search process and make an offer.
“Redfin wants to offer the most comprehensive and immersive home-shopping experience, which is why we’ve made it easy for agents to showcase 3D home tours of their listings on Redfin. Agents and sellers know that a 3D walkthrough can help their listing stand out and attract serious buyers,” a Redfin spokesperson told Inman.
“Buyers appreciate the ability to virtually tour homes to explore floor plans and narrow down their search, especially given the fast pace of the market and the fact that many are searching from afar.”
Despite their past rumbles — one of the most explosive of which happened in 2014 when Redfin called out Zillow for how it displayed brokerage links on its listings — the two portals have spent the past few years taking a more collaborative approach to tackling listing data access.
In 2019, Redfin and Zillow cemented a deal that enabled the Seattle-based brokerage to send its own listings in Seattle, Charlotte, Des Moines and Nashville directly to Zillow due to MLS syndication agreement issues.
“Democrats and Republicans, dogs and cats, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, take note: For the first time in our 14-year history of vying with one another to build the best listing search site, Redfin and Zillow have come to terms with Redfin sending our listings to Zillow.com in markets where the MLS doesn’t syndicate that data for us,” Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman quipped in a blog post explaining the deal.
“The push and pull of these impulses means this deal could get torn up and rewritten a half dozen times in the next 10 years,” he added as a nod to the portals’ sometimes contentious relationship. “But I’m glad we worked something out for now and that we showed one another we can work out other differences over time.”
A Zillow spokesperson declined to comment on what this new partnership means for the portals’ future as collaborators and competitors, but instead focused on what it means for agents to provide consistent, streamlined listing data for their clients, no matter what portal they choose.
“Zillow’s 3D Home tour and interactive floor plan technology is designed to give seller’s agents powerful tools to make their clients homes stand out in the most amount of places possible,” the spokesperson said. “We know that shoppers value 3D tours, with for-sale listings receiving 81 percent more views and being saved by buyers 53 percent more often than listings without them.”
They added, “This week’s announcement is another example of our efforts to build a best-in-class digital platform that is accessible to the entire industry, so agents, brokers and customers all benefit.”