The results of that effort came into focus on Wednesday as the search portal behemoth unveiled new plans to introduce artificial intelligence-generated floor plans, which executives billed as a new way for agents to market listings and for buyers to step inside them, virtually. It’s not a new take on the immersive video tour, but instead new floor plan creation and publishing software.
There’s also a unique byproduct to this browsing benefit — more content for Zillow surfing, Josh Weisberg, vice president of Zillow’s Rich Media Experience team, said in a statement.
“Zillow surfing has always been about imagining all the possibilities a move could bring, and Zillow surfing 2.0 is bringing those possibilities to life in a much more interactive, realistic way,” Weisberg said. “Now shoppers can act more quickly and confidently, whether they’re searching in their own neighborhood or hundreds or thousands of miles away. We’re pushing the boundaries of what home buyers and renters can expect when shopping for a home online.”
Zillow’s AI-generated floor plan allows agents to quickly produce internal schematics that include images of each room being viewed.
Powered by Zillow tech but available to use for free on listings anywhere, the intent of the new software is, naturally, to give buyers more information on a property before physically visiting. It’s not uncommon for buyers to schedule tours merely to measure a specific area or get a feel for how a room is built.
Thus, Zillow hopes its floor plan tech can remedy unnecessary listing visits while offering enough visual due diligence to serious buyers to move faster, in turn helping agents get deals done with less friction.
“An hour of teleporting through interactive floor plans on Zillow can replace an afternoon, or longer, of scheduling tours and driving around town to see homes in person,” the company stated.
The floor plan solution leverages imagery captured by agents in its 3D Home app, which uses a 360-degree camera. The software predicts room measurements, calculates square footage totals and generates a layout. Existing listing photos are connected to each room, allowing viewers to more easily understand how a home looks and feels.
Finalized floor plans are uploaded upon completion to the listing on Zillow and Redfin. They are also suitable for local MLS usage, as well as in website marketing and other forms of digital outreach.
Zillow used data from its Consumer Housing Trends Report, with data collected from March and August 2021, as backing for its new product.
The study demonstrated that 56 percent of buyers believe they’ve wasted time seeing homes because there wasn’t enough floor plan data online. The research also said almost three-quarters of respondents agree that a dynamic floor plan helps them determine if a home is right for them. The right floor plan also helps buyers review an in-person visit, further consider how their furniture will work in the home and reduce the need for repeat tours.
Dynamic, evergreen content, primarily forms of rich media such as video marketing, 3D tours and professionally produced floor plans, are now table-stakes for listing agents. Sellers expect them, and according to Zillow’s research, 71 percent of them make those marketing tactics part of how they choose a listing agent.
Zillow’s new floor plan generation tool is also being rolled out to landlords and property managers.