I think the proof is also in the strong motivation Zillow has to get detailed home content. They have built a whole team and app around the idea of producing this deep data of the home. As a partner and vendor to the real estate agent community, I encourage you to be aware of what Zillow is doing and understand their motivation behind it, but shy away from their exact approach of how to get the content via their 3D Home app, which ends up giving them all of the data of the home.
Why? They are a brokerage. Whether they are saying it publicly or not, they are competing with you, and like the listing data that was provided to them 15+ years ago to make them the #1 real estate destination online, the more data they have, the more they will control not just real estate search, but the HOME.
As the CEO of a large NW brokerage put it:
“Whoever owns the home data will own the relationship”
Think of it this way. Would you use your biggest traditional broker’s app (say Compass, KW or Remax) to create content exclusively for them on their website to attract more users, and to use it in any other way they see fit in the future (oh, and prevent you from using it yourself)? It’s the same thing if you use the Zillow 3D Home app, but worse given Zillow makes up over half of all search and the largest of the traditional brands barely top 1% of traffic (Remax is the largest at 1.38% per April 2022 stats – see below).
Use FloorPlanOnline to create better content while you are more in control of the home data.
While we currently offer a Zillow 3D Home add on as a service, we do so in a limited way to “check the box” enough to get the 3D Home badge – we sell it in buckets of five 360 photo spots (example, the living room, family room, kitchen, primary bedroom, back yard), and we are not doing all of the work to create a floor plan for them. First, it is not as accurate as they claim. I have scaned my house over 20 times with different methods. The most accurate is Matterport with a Pro2 camera and calibrated in our system, where it is 99.9% accurate. iGuide was close to 99%+ accuracy. The Matterport app+Theta Z1 is between 97-99% accurate and we are experimenting with some app based methods (that will come out in 2022) that are 98-99% accurate as well. The Zillow floor plan was off 10% for the first floor, and off 5% (in the other direction) for the second floor (and I used their QR code to increase accuracy). Other 360 cameras solutions are pretty inaccurate as well, and none had any real-time floor plan editing tools (like we have at FloorPlanOnline). So, why create a floor plan that is materially inaccurate? And why just make a pdf or jpeg of a floor plan…how fun is that. Create an interactive and editable 3D floor plan model with FloorPlanOnline that creates an HGTV-like 3D space planner you can use for the listing, and the buyer can use as a management tool post sale with our integration with our homeowner app HomeDiary.
Second, if you opt for our 3D Walkthrough Tour option (which includes the Matterport experience), you can also get the 3D Home designation without giving Zillow any data. In some markets like Seattle, the MLS allows for three virtual tour links, so add the FloorPlanOnline tour as #1, add the Matterport tour (which we provide as a separate link) as #2, and if you have a custom video, put it in as #3. Other sites like Redfin and Realtor.com will also pick this content up and embed it more natively into the listing presentation page, so your listing gets more exposure and if you use our tour, so do you (see below for more on Brandkeepr).
IMPORTANT NOTE: Redfin is now pulling in Zillow’s 3D Home Tour on the listing detail page in addition to Matterport. But IF you have both, Redfin currently will overwrite Matterport with the Zillow tour. Therefore we recommend NOT adding the Zillow 3D Home add on if you also are adding Matterport. I think this is an unintended consequence of the deal that the developers missed, given the Zillow tour is really quite inferior in many ways to Matterport’s experience. I have reached out to Redfin to highlight this issue.
If your MLS includes branded and unbranded virtual tour fields, we suggest you put the FloorPlanOnline branded tour in the branded tour field, and put Matterport in the unbranded tour field. The reason is Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin, and even Compass will pick up the links to the branded and unbranded tours and Redfin/Realtor.com will embed Matterport in their listing pages. Zillow currently does not if the tour link is not the first tour, but we have had discussions with them to pick up these additional links, and we believe that is on their implementation horizon. Note, for IDX sites, including any automated feeds to your own website, the tour will likely be Matterport, but that is ok given most of the traffic is concentrated in the top 10 sites, as you see below. We are evaluating options to edit/enhance the Matterport tour with our own content as well, so stay tuned there.