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Do I need Zillow Tours on my listing?

Updated: Jul 12, 2022

“What is the hype about Zillow 3D tours and Walkthroughs anyway?” is a question we, as a professional real estate photography company, get asked quite often. We feel as if it is our duty to help agents understand the ever-changing world of real estate marketing so that you can make educated decisions about your marketing plan for your upcoming listings.

We’ve done the research, asked recent home buyers, and talked to top producing agents to get all of the varying opinions of Zillow 3D Tours & Walkthroughs. If you’ve never used a Zillow 3D tour or walkthrough before – you’ll be surprised at our findings. After all the research and discussions we’ve compiled in this blog post, you’ll understand why we think Zillow tours and walkthroughs should be added to all of your listings moving forward even if you’re an agent who falls in the “I hate Zillow” category.

Before we get started let's clarify what the different Zillow tour options are:

Zillow 3D Tour - A compilation of panoramic photos stitched together to create a “3D” effect of the home.

Zillow Walkthrough - A simple video captured by a videographer walking room to room inside the home.

Often times when we introduce these newer Zillow features to agents we get a sigh or eye-roll. If you’re a Realtor, either you “hate” Zillow or you know an agent who does. As frustrating as some facets of Zillow can be – the reality is that they are here to stay and they’re changing the Real Estate landscape as we know it. It’s no surprise that Zillow has become the #1 residential search tool in the country after we got the results back from our independent study - we found that Zillow was the preferred search method of 83% of buyers we surveyed across the country.

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” -John C. Maxwell

No matter how you feel about Zillow right now… I want you to set it aside for a moment. Put your clients, listings, and prospective buyers at the forefront of your mind. We all know Zillow has built itself a pretty snazzy corner in the Real Estate world, and even if it’s not your favorite name to hear - you have to admit they’ve built some powerful tools that are meant to help your listings get more traffic. Which in turn = more offers. Zillow 3D tours and walkthroughs do just that.

As an agent, knowing that the majority of your buyers are likely coming from a search on Zillow wouldn’t that be enough information alone to convince you to use the Zillow 3D tours and walkthrough? If not, continue reading our top reasons why we believe every listing should have Zillow 3D tours and walkthroughs.

  1. When you add a Zillow Walkthrough or 3D Home Tour to your listing you’ll get more traffic and be prioritized in the search engine results. Zillow even has an option now where buyers can select to only view properties that have one of these tour options.

  2. The stats don’t lie. Based on data from 2021 listings with 3D Home Tours were saved 57% more times and got on average 45% more views than homes without. If that’s not reason enough to add them to your next order — read on my friends.

  3. The reality is buyers these days want 3D tours. Over the next decade, we predict that every listing will have some form of 3D tour. If you want to stay current with today's marketing strategies, it's time to embrace the era of 3D home tours. Zillow and, two of the biggest listing platforms, are playing an active role in standardizing 3D tours for properties. Through several studies, Zillow has proven that when other variables are held constant, properties with 3D tours sell faster and at higher prices

  4. 61% of buyers said they wished more listings included 3D tours and 46% of millennial buyers said they would be confident making an offer on a home they toured virtually.

  5. Zillow walkthroughs and 3D tours are significantly cheaper than other market competitors such as 3D Matterport tours. Typically costing upwards of $150 less.

  6. There is nothing you need to do as an agent to get these tours posted to your listing. When you partner with a Zillow-certified photographer like RE PIXS, your tours will automatically be uploaded to your listings and posted on Zillow when your listing goes live.

  7. If you’re on a budget and don’t want to pay for these extra services you can create these tours all on your own right from your phone. View the how-to guide here.

  8. Covid-19 brought a radical shift to consumer expectations, especially in real estate. The demand for digital transactions and 3D tours for properties rose to an all-time high. Brokerages reported up to a 494% increase in agent-led 3D tours during the peak demand.

  9. According to Kori Covrigaru of PlanOmatic, we are going to see more adoption of smart home technology and self-showings, and we will continue to see more investors embrace 3D virtual tours. 3D is just scratching the surface in the single-family rental industry, and in five years, he predicts that every property will have a 3D tour that will be used for both operations and marketing purposes.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” -Socrates

Real Estate lingo is tricky enough, and when it comes to walkthroughs, virtual tours, 3D tours, videos, etc. It can get even more confusing. We’ve got your back though! And are excited to explain the differences to you. And now that you know all the reasons as to why we think you should add a Zillow 3D tour and Walkthrough to your next listing… let's get into the nitty-gritty of what Zillow tours & walkthroughs actually are.

What is a Zillow 3D Tour and how is it made?

In all reality, a Zillow 3D tour isn't really "3D" at all. It's a compilation of panoramic photos stitched together to create a “3D” effect of the home. Often times it is made by taking a cell phone and moving from one side of the room to another. If you work with a professional company like RE PIXS they will use a special panoramic camera to capture a high-quality view of the room. Like this:

These are extremely simple tours that don't take much time to create. If you want to create an actual 3D model of a property find a photography company that offers 3D Matterport.

How is a Zillow 3D Tour different from a Matterport 3D Tour?

Like we mentioned above, a Zillow tour is a compilation of photos stitched together. There is no 3D data collected in this process. However, a 3D Matterport creates a true 3D model of the home/property using infrared sensors and 8 high-quality cameras at once. A Matterport operator will move to different points throughout the property and create a 3D map using thousands of data points, after the scan is complete this information is uploaded and rendered into the 3D Matterport model like this one:

Check out our blog post "Pivot your Real Estate Business with 3D Matterport Tours" to learn more about 3D Matterports and what listings you should use them on.

What is a Zillow Walkthrough and how is it made?

It is a simple video captured by a videographer walking room to room inside the home, typically shot on a smartphone. It is similar to what you would expect if a friend was giving you a FaceTime tour of a property. This video is really helpful for prospective buyers to get a feel of the layout of the home in a way that photos can't. However, these aren't the most glamorous video options for your listing, and you can't use them on any other platforms besides Zillow. If you want a nice video for marketing purposes that you can use across all platforms we would recommend an internal video. Which is also a service we offer at RE PIXS!

How is a Zillow Walkthrough different from an Internal Video?

An internal video is basically a mini-movie of your listing, both inside and outside of the home with a professional camera. Which is then edited together to create a beautiful video tour of your listing. An internal video is significantly higher quality than a Zillow walkthrough and can actually be uploaded to Zillow as a "walkthrough" by a Zillow-Certified photography company like us.

Check out our blog "Virtual Tours: Whats the Difference" to see examples and learn more.

Now that you have the inside scoop on Zillow 3D tours and walkthroughs, we highly encourage you to try them on your next listing and see the results for yourself. It's no secret why all of our top clients use Zillow 3D tours and walkthroughs on ALL of their listings.

Research & References:

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