Zillow 3D Home vs Matterport

Zillow 3D Home vs Matterport

map of Zillow search

3D this, 3D that.  What’s the difference?

Zillow (along with its subsidiary Trulia) and Redfin are some of the top websites used by consumers.  They both can embed a Matterport or a Zillow 3D Home tour on a listing’s detail page. However, Zillow is kind of dumb when it comes to how it handles virtual tour links – Zillow only looks at virtual tour #1 (currently), all others are ignored.  In the Seattle area, the NWMLS allows up to 3 virtual tour links (a combo virtual tour like FloorPlanOnline’s, a separate Matterport link and say a custom video link).  Other markets may allow for a branded and unbranded tour link.  Unfortunately, as of September of 2022, Zillow will only recognize the first virtual tour put into the MLS.

Thus, we came up with our Zillow 3D Home add-on that gives Zillow enough content for you to “check the box” and get the 3D Home icon (like you see above on the map) but does not give them everything on the home (good from a strategic reason) and still lets you use our virtual tour as a clickable link, which on sites like Zillow, can have automatic rebranding back to the branded virtual tour through our patented Brandkeepr process.

In contrast, Redfin is smart, as they will look at all 3 tour links received, and they will embed Matterport, a video (Vimeo or Youtube), and they can even recognize floor plans from the listing photos, and display them in a separate floor plan tab as well.  We have pointed this out to Zillow and they thought it was a good idea, but it takes time to move a ship.  If they start recognizing all 3 tour links, the need for this separate Zillow 3D Home option is reduced for most use cases since Zillow treats Matterport the same as their own 3D Home app at this point, and your listing gets the 3D Home icon and preferential search treatment if there is a Matterport tour in the data feed.  Better yet, you will not be enabling a competitor by giving them any detailed visual information of the home they can claim exclusive rights to (read their terms of use)….I am sure they have plans to re-market to homeowners down the road with that data, and their terms prevent you and us from using any of it in any manner other than display – so keep it out of their hands!

This video goes through how each site handles the content.

A side by side comparison

Redfin and Zillow highlight listings with “3D” tour content on the map based search results, and they both embed the content on a pop up media window.  Whether your listing has Matterport or Zillow’s 3D Home tour (which is really a 360 tour), they both treat it the same. Redfin calls it a 3D Walkthrough, Zillow calls it a 3D Tour.  Both embed the content, meaning a window pops up and the user stays on the media page where they can also see photos, videos and floor plans (if applicable).

If you do opt for the Zillow 3D Home addon, we will ONLY show it on Zillow.  Unfortunately there is a setting that must be selected every time we do this to NOT distribute it to other brokerage websites.  If this does not get switched off, then if your tour includes both Matterport and a Zillow 3D Home tour, the Zillow tour currently will overwrite the Matterport on Redfin.  We have brought this up with Redfin, as I do not think that is what Redfin would want, so lets hope they fix this, but we can fix it after the fact, just let our support team know and we can reach back out to the service provider, as needed, and the switch will be made within a few hours.  Some of this is a bit our of our control but we do have some ways to work around some of the issues. Again, if Zillow starts recognizing multiple virtual tour links provided in the data feed, the need for the Zillow 3D Home tour add-on will be decreased.  You still may want this if your market only has one virtual tour spot, or if you have a photo tour.  It’s a great way to bump your listing up for more exposure on Zillow and Redfin for not that much money.

The images below show view for the map search and then the listing page and embedded media pages. 

Redfin map search result
redfin 3d walkthrough
image showing pop up content
Zillow map search
Zillow 3d home
image showing a 3D tour on Zillow

All In On FloorPlans & 3D Tours

All In On FloorPlans & 3D Tours

The news is out. Zillow is all in on floor plans, 3D tours and interactive floor plans.  Why? They know it drives engagement, and buyers and sellers love them.  Psst…We have known this for almost two decades, hence our name FloorPlanOnline...just saying.  

Zillow is just now going all in (in a big way I might add), but let’s look at some of the research which is driving their actions.

  • A 2018 Zillow Buyer study found 58% of buyers thought floor plans were “extremely or very important” as part of their online search.  Overall, 84% of Buyers thought floor plans were important. Interestingly, floor plans outscored professional photography and they were almost 2 times as important than a video in the “extremely or very” important category.  See the graph below.
  • A 2022 data analysis found listings on Zillow with a 3D Tour (Zillow’s, Matterport, other types, etc) were saved 53% more often and they got 81% more traffic than those without.
  • Matterport found 99% of sellers think a 3D Tour makes their home more competitive, and 88% of sellers want to work with agents that offer the technology.  82% of sellers would even switch agents!
  • A summer of 2022 Zillow Seller survey found 76% of Sellers want floor plans for their listings and 60% want a virtual tour for their home, while 70% want to work with an agent that offers them.
  • That same survey found 30% of sellers found their agent online, the largest single source, doubling from 2018.  See our testimony below from Valerie on how she got found online and closed 2 other transactions for another $2.5 million in sales.
  • NAR’s annual survey consistently ranks floor plans up there with photos and detailed home information as “very useful” information as part of the online search, and this year, 26% of all buyers made an offer sight unseen. 
  • A 2021 study found 59% of all buyers, and 64% of Millennial buyers (the largest buying group), said they would buy a home sight unseen.  We have had multiple agents sell homes (in several cases double ended the deal) by leveraging the virtual tour (including just our FloorPlan Tour) as the main “showing” vehicle.

And most importantly for you and your seller, listings with a 3D Tour sell up to 20% faster and for up to 9% more than the market average – see our spot on testimony from Laurie for our own anecdotal evidence.

Game Changer.  

That’s what you say when something new comes along and shifts how you do something, and I can honestly say FloorPlanOnline and their 3D Walkthrough Tour is a Game Changer. The photos are amazing, that is the first thing online buyers see, and they leave a lasting impression.  They are backed up with the immersive 3D walkthrough and 2D & 3D floor plan tools that can even get converted into a video to complete the ultimate marketing presentation. 

My first listing with FloorPlanOnline had over 400 social media video views of the 3D WalkThrough Video, much more than I ever had in the past. The results also speak for themselves. Most properties in the immediate area sell for 106% of sales price over list price. My listing sold for 114% over list.  Average days on market for the area is 12 days, this property sold in 36 hours.  

Let me say it again.  Game Changer.

Laurie Jorgensen

REALTOR, Jorensen RE Group, ReeceNichols

Ultimately, as we have seen with the popularity of HGTV shows like Fixer Upper and Love It or List It, or the fact real estate browsing competes with Netflix binge watching as an entertainment medium (especially with Millennials), the appetite for home content is vast, and insatiable

It’s brought to life in this 2021 Saturday Night Live skit that has over 6 million views to date.

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”

In the Zillow terms of use of their 3D Home app, it says they own the copyrights to all content created (normally the copyright resides with the person doing the work), and they even prohibit a user from making any derivative works from it, such as converting their 2D plan into a 3D floor plan (like ours) for other uses.  So, if you or a photographer you hire uses their app, all you are doing is giving them data that they will use 5 to 7 years down the road to market to that homeowner when it is time to sell (and they will know when it is time).  A simple email asking the owner to take some 360-panos or still photos with their phone and then upload them via the app will give Zillow enough info to create a new updated tour with the floor plan they already have in their database, and this will give them an easy path to win the listing on the sell side, and given they control over 50% of the real estate search market, they will have plenty of buyers on the buy side to double end a complete transaction, all on Zillow, all without you.

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.  

image of top 10 real estate search sites
Seeing this graph brings me back to the point in Zillow’s recent seller survey where “online” was the largest source for finding an agent.  Your listing can be a lead capture source for more business, whether it be a buyer or a seller, or both.  How?  Our patented Brandkeepr feature keeps your brand on your tour on the top sites like Zillow.  You put the unbranded tour in the MLS to abide by their rules, but when a user on Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia or Redfin clicks on the unbranded tour, we recognize where they are coming from and automatically convert it to the branded tour.  Just make sure you use the secure tour link (meaning it starts with https) when you copy and paste it into your MLS.  There are some limitations for mobile app access, but it gives you free lead opportunities by leaving a breadcrumb back to you. We also suggest you create a blog post for every one of your listings, embed our tour on the page, post it to social media, email it to your email base, etc….each listing is a great opportunity to create more content for you and your website.  

Does Brandkeepr work?  According to Valerie, she would not have gotten the additional business had she just uploaded photos to the MLS.  The FloorPlanOnline tour and Brandkeepr led a new client seller (with a follow on local purchase) back to her.

As I can attest, FloorPlanOnline can help you get more business.  

I received a call from a potential buyer who saw one of my listings online.  While the home sold quickly and she was too late, she was so impressed with my marketing presentation, powered by FloorPlanOnline, she not only hired me to sell her high-end home, but I helped her buy her new one, too. That one listing was responsible for an additional $2.5M in sales.

I would not have gotten the new client by providing just photos.  This buyer specifically called me based on my FloorPlanOnline presentation. That’s why the FloorPlanOnline platform is my go-to team for creating amazing content for my sellers, as well as a tool for new buyers through its HomeDiary integration, which can be a channel of new business too. 

Valerie MacKnight

Broker/Realtor, Windermere Real Estate

Why does it work?  As the data presented above shows, buyers and sellers want this content for the home they are either buying or selling, and when they go online, they are not only searching for homes, they are searching for agents.  They are conducting a “silent interview” of you and your competitors. So the tour increases your chance of being found on the top sites people use most.  According to the NAR Report, 73% of buyers interviewed only one agent, and 82% of sellers interviewed one agent.  Win that silent interview and be the one agent they first come in contact with to win the listing, sale and purchase!  In the past month or so, I heard one of our agents got a new listing because that seller saw our tour on another listing and wanted the same thing for his home, so he contacted our customer.  One silent interview led to one call and one listing, all from one tour.

Remember, sellers were once buyers, and you never know who is looking at your listing and what their motivation is for looking.  It could be someone looking at your $300,000 listing to add to their rental portfolio, but they will be looking to downsize their mansion in 2 years, just as in Valerie’s case where the seller was looking to downsize to a smaller home.  So the more you can be seen in more places, with the content buyers and sellers want, the better.  

One final point I want to make.  We hear from some agents that they save the tour and the enhanced content for an important listing, or others have said the market has been so hot, why create this additional content when just putting photos into the MLS will sell the home.  Sure, the home will likely sell, but what is the opportunity cost of not getting those additional leads?  In Valerie’s case, had she just uploaded photos to the MLS, it would have cost her $75,000, all to save a few hundred dollars.  I’d take that return on investment any day, and that additional client paid for a lot of FloorPlanOnline tours in the future.  

Again, leverage your existing listing as and advertising vehicle for you.

According to NAR, sellers on average buy homes within 20 miles of their old home (it’s 15 miles for buyers), so each listing is an opportunity to parlay your existing listing into one, two or more deals by picking up free leads from the sites people use most due to FloorPlanOnline’s patented Brandkeepr functionality.  

Ultimately the winning formula to win more listings and to win the sale is to provide the content buyers and sellers want, namely interactive floor plans and 3D tours (as the Zillow Buyer research graph shows below).  Our most successful agents that list a lot of homes do the same thing every time, in hot or slow markets, regardless of price point, because consistency and exposure of the enhanced content sells not only the listing, but them.

Zillow buyer research
Patent received for FloorPlanOnline’s Brandkeepr feature!

Patent received for FloorPlanOnline’s Brandkeepr feature!

Patent for Brandkeepr, a FloorPlanOnline exclusive

FloorPlanOnline received approval for it’s patent application for Brandkeepr, a system and process for converting an unbranded virtual tour of a real estate listing into a branded virtual tour of a real estate listing enhanced with agent branding, contact and marketing information.  U.S. patent number 11,328,374 (granted by the patent office on 2022-05-10) has been in the works for several years and we have spent thousands of dollars on the application, so we are really excited to have it approved!  With the patent, FloorPlanOnline is the ONLY tour provider that can automatically convert the unbranded tour you put into the MLS into a branded lead capture page for you on the websites people actually use most.  Meaning, you can leverage the massive traffic of Zillow, Realtor.com and Redfin to drive people back to the banded virtual tour, where your information and our lead capture form is then displayed, which gets you free leads!  This has been proven to get agents more business, just like Valerie’s testimony below details.What’s required to enable Brandkeepr?  Just use our virtual tour (see the set up info below).  But you do need our tour – just uploading photos to the MLS (or using a competitor’s tour) will not get you this free advertising on the sites people use most.

We Help You

As I can attest, FloorPlanOnline can help you get more business.  

I received a call from a potential buyer who saw one of my listings online.  While the home sold quickly and she was too late, she was so impressed with my marketing presentation, powered by FloorPlanOnline, she not only hired me to sell her high-end home, but I helped her buy her new one, too. That one listing was responsible for an additional $2.5M in sales.

I would not have gotten the new client by providing just photos.  This buyer specifically called me based on my FloorPlanOnline presentation. That’s why the FloorPlanOnline platform is my go-to team for creating amazing content for my sellers, as well as a tool for new buyers through its HomeDiary integration, which can be a channel of new business too. 

Valerie MacKnight

Broker/Realtor, Windermere Real Estate

Steps for Brandkeepr

  1. Put the unbranded tour into the MLS in virtual tour field #1 (if your MLS has more than one field make sure it is in spot #1). IMPORTANT – make sure you use the version that has https:// in front of the website address. Brandkeepr only works is it has https://.   We give this to you in the email you get and in your account so just copy and paste the whole link.  Example, the unbranded tour link should look like https://www.seetheproperty.com/u/184056
  2. Go to your profile to make sure you have your website added, your company’s main site and any other sites or blog pages you might have.  You can adjust the Brandkeepr settings under the Edit My Brandkeepr Settings under Edit Profile. You can also configure the default list and turn sites off, if desired.  Just put the main address without any http:// or https:// at the beginning of it.
  3. We suggest you ALWAYS put this language at the beginning of your online marketing description to call out the virtual tour: “See the virtual tour for big photos, interactive floor plans, a video and the 3D walkthrough tour.”  Adjust the language for what you have on your tour.  With this text, even if the virtual tour is down the page or under other menus, people interested in your listing will seek it out because this is content they will not get on the page they are on, which displays just the photos!
  4. Publish your tour when you are ready, which means it is live and accessible via any virtual tour link.
  5. When a browser clicks the virtual tour link on select websites, we recognize where they are coming from and display the branded version, if appropriate.  Note, this feature may not work if accessed through a mobile app given the referral information is typically not passed with the click request.

Here is a quick overview video on Brandkeepr and how it works in action.

AI-based Professional Voiceover

AI-based Professional Voiceover

Introducing Professional Video VoiceOvers.

We can now create a professional sounding voice over for any of your selected videos using a text script either you, or we, write.  Starting at just $50, you get up to 3 minutes of audio for your video.  You can also add the audio to multiple videos we create, including the free Slideshow Video.

Just listen to the professional narration for this 3D Walkthrough Video below created with our VoiceOver Service.

The cool part is you can listen to one of 8 available voice avatar voices and then select the right voice for you and your listing.  Just click the Play button under each person below to preview the available voices speaking the same marketing text.  You will notice some speak things just a little bit differently, and you can’t tell this is not a real human speaking!  The magic is in the artificial intelligence text -to-speech processing engine that converts that text script into a professional voice over.

Just read and listen to this paragraph at the same time, as narrated by Jeremy, to see how we bring text to speech!

Or listen to all of our available voices.

Don’t have time to write the script?

We added an option where we write the script for you based on your key talking points and other info from the tour.  It’s just $50 extra for us to write the script for you, up to 3 minutes of total audio created.  Even with this, our voice over service is much more cost effective than other options that start at $150-$200 and take 3 days to complete.  We will turn around a first draft within 24 hours or less, and you get 2 free edit opportunities.  So save some money and write the script yourself, or save some time, and have us write it.

To add a voice over to one of your videos, just visit our VoiceOver Service page by clicking below and complete the form to add the voice over script or key talking points, and we will get started enhancing your video!

VoiceOver Service

Enhance any of your videos with a narrated professional voice over

VoiceOvers add value

A voice over helps communicate far more information beyond what the media or text can show

Lake Home Tour with Voiceover

Lake Home Tour with Voiceover

Weatherby Lake Waterfront!!!

Weatherby Lake, MO

 See The Story of This Home

This Spotlight Tour features the lakefront home of Marlin & Linda Cone.  Some of you may know Marlin, as he was one of the co-founders of FloorPlanOnline and performed a sales role for many years before going back to real estate.  It’s a special listing, in part because of the great memories the property has provided the Cone Family over the last 20+ years, but also because we customized the slideshow video with some video clips, text slides and a voice over that was generated from a text script. The base video is right out of the FloorPlanOnline video engine.  So things like the text explainer slides and video clips are something anyone can add in a few clicks.  The voice over is custom, but it is something we are looking to add in for automated voiceovers for any video.

Yes, the voice you hear narrating is all computer generated from a text script using an AI-based text to speech engine.  Our inspiration for this was the Val Kilmer documentary of his life – because of his throat cancer, Val was unable to clearly speak for the documentary, but as you can hear in the promo video, it’s his voice, which was synthesized specifically for the documentary.   Well, we took this text script that was created using Google Docs, shared with the Cone Team for edits, and then the voice over was generated and added to the video…again the base video media was generated from the built-in FloorPlanOnline video editor.

The question for you – is this feature something you would want and use on your virtual tour videos?  

We are contemplating providing a service to do this in phase I, and then provide a more integrated way to generate the voice over through the edit video tool in Phase II, if phase I is successful and desired from a customer perspective.  Please view the video and let us know your thoughts via our survey.  Your answers can help shape how we move forward with this voice over feature.

View the video & complete our short survey

Want different voices?

We could also allow you to select different voices.  Hear the description of our 3D Walkthrough Tour by Ava, one of the virtual voices.  She sounds pretty darn good.  Do you agree?

Embed on your Blog or Website

You can also view the whole tour through the embedded tour below.  Just click any media button to get started.

As a side note, if you have a blog, we highly recommend you do something similar each time you get a listing.  The listing and tour is great content for your blog or your social media channels, so leverage it.  Send an email to your base, directing them to your blog post.

All you need to do to embed the whole tour into your website is use this “iframe code” on your site. Most blogs allow you to embed youtube videos or other content.  Our tour can be just some of that content.   You can even just copy and paste this code – just replace the tour ID that is bolded with your tour ID.  Note it uses the TOUR format, which is a fixed frame.  replace the word tour with story and you embed the single property page version (although because you have to scroll it is not recommended for embedding).

<iframe name=”tour” src=”https://www.floorplanonline.com/tour/393546” frameborder=”1″ width=”100%” height=”675″></iframe>

You can also add a link or button to the full tour like we did below.

See the Story of this Home in a separate tab.