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SEATTLE, July 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the development, rollout and adoption of real estate technology that makes it safer to shop for a home. These digital tools are advancing the future of home shopping, driven by buyers who want an easier, more convenient way to move.

This summer, Zillow® is bringing its innovative self-tour feature to all Zillow-owned homes.  It allows shoppers and agents to use the Zillow app to unlock and tour an unoccupied for-sale home on their timeline, minimizing person-to-person contact.  While piloting the feature in Phoenix, self-tour homes sold six days faster than homes without the feature.

Zillow accelerated the rollout of self-tour technology to help shoppers and agents follow social-distancing recommendations and feel safe while touring a home in person.  A Zillow survey1 found a majority of U.S. adults (55%) say they're less comfortable touring an occupied home during the current coronavirus outbreak.

Zillow is also augmenting its popular 3D Home virtual tours with floor plans that include room dimensions to help shoppers better understand the layout of a home and quickly visualize how their furniture would fit in the space.  In the coming months, Zillow-owned homes for sale in all 24 Zillow Offers markets will feature a custom digital floor plan.  In the future, the automated floor plan generator could be a feature on all homes for sale with a 3D Home virtual tour on the Zillow platform. 

A Zillow survey2 finds nearly 80 percent of buyers (79%) say they're more likely to view a home if the listing includes a floor plan they like, and more than 70 percent of buyers (71%) say a dynamic floor plan would help them determine whether the home was right for them. 

Zillow Premier Agent Cynthia Wallace says a floor plan attached to her for-sale listing in Eatonton, Georgia, gave a Tennessee-based buyer the confidence to make a full price offer on the home sight-unseen. 

"The floor plan enhances everything," said Wallace, an agent with the Algin Group. "It allowed the buyer to visualize how the home was set-up. With the floor plan combined with a Zillow 3D Home virtual tour and an enhanced video tour, it's like you're almost there in person."

Zillow 3D Home virtual tours have provided home shoppers with a safer, more convenient way to experience a home. The creation of Zillow's free 3D Home virtual tours skyrocketed, climbing more than 750 percent in the month after many stay-home orders went into effect.  Even as some states begin to open up, agents and sellers are creating three times as many Zillow 3D Home tours as they were in early March.

"Zillow has been developing cutting edge tools that make it radically easier for people to move, and up until now, those tools were being adopted at a slow and steady rate.  Now they have become essential for buyers, sellers and agents looking to move forward and stay safe," said Zillow President Jeremy Wacksman. "We expect these tools will quickly become the new standard, and we're already envisioning other ways we can help to enhance the online home shopping experience. " 

Zillow expects the future of home shopping will include:

  • Virtual tours in many more listings.  Zillow survey data suggests 3D home tours are here to stay as shoppers look for an easier, more convenient way to view a home and narrow down their options.
    • In April, listings with a Zillow 3D Home tour attracted 66 percent more visitors and drove 90 percent more saves by users than listings without a 3D Home tour.
    • A Zillow survey3 finds three out of four U.S. adults want the option to tour a home remotely through virtual or video technology if they were home shopping right now.  
    • In a survey4 of select Zillow Premier Agents, 86 percent said they started or continued to use virtual or video home tours during the coronavirus outbreak, and 72 percent said they are likely to continue providing those tours after the current outbreak has ended.  
  • Virtual staging. Zillow is building features to help shoppers better envision their lives in a home, and simplify the process of getting there. Virtual staging will let shoppers see how furniture looks inside a home, starting in select markets.
  • Custom options. Zillow imagines a future in which buyers have more options to personalize their home shopping experience to match their lives. For instance, buyers of Zillow-owned homes could choose cosmetic changes, so the walls are the perfect color when they move in.
  • Industry-leading safety standards. At every stage, safety is a top consideration for everyone involved in the process. Zillow has adapted to the expectations and concerns about safely shopping for a home with its new Move Forward. Stay Safe. initiative, which includes new protocols guided by the principles of: Clean. Protect. Distance.

"COVID-19 has required us all to adapt our activities of daily living to stay healthy and that includes changing the way we shop for a home. People are looking for a way to tour their next home safely, whether virtually or in-person, and that means using new technology," said Zillow Health Advisor and former U. S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin. "Zillow's digital tools support a broader health and safety initiative, which is designed to give home shoppers a level of confidence that will move real estate forward into the future, right now."   

About Zillow

Zillow, the top real estate website in the U.S., is building an on-demand real estate experience. Whether selling, buying, renting or financing, customers can turn to Zillow's businesses to find and get into their next home with speed, certainty and ease.

In addition to for-sale and rental listings, Zillow Offers buys and sells homes directly in dozens of markets across the country, allowing sellers control over their timeline. Zillow Home Loans, our affiliate lender, provides our customers with an easy option to get pre-approved and secure financing for their next home purchase.

Millions of people visit Zillow Group sites every month to start their home search, and now they can rely on Zillow to help them finish it — with the same confidence, ease and empowerment they've come to expect from real estate's most trusted brand.

Launched in 2006, Zillow is owned and operated by Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:Z and ZG) and headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow and Zillow Offers are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

1Data was collected by ZillowGroup Population Science from a survey of 2,600 U.S. adults recruited and interviewed between May 11th , 2020 and May 15th, 2020. Respondents were recruited from multiple general population internet respondent panels of U.S. adults from the contiguous United States. To promote the representativeness of the estimates, the sample data was weighted to align with key U.S. Census demographic benchmarks observed in the target population.
2 Zillow Group partnered with independent market research and data analytics firm YouGov® to conduct a nationally representative, online quantitative survey that gathered information from a total of 13,000 key household decision makers, including 3000 buyers, 3000 sellers, 3000 renters that moved in the past year, 3000 homeowners, and 1000 new construction buyers. For more information visit zillow.com/report
3
 See footnote 1
4 These results reflect the responses provided by a random sample drawn from Zillow Group's Premier Agent Research Panel.  While selection from the existing panel was random, membership in the panel is optional, and limited to current and former Zillow Agents.  These results may not accurately reflect the entire population of Zillow agents nor real estate professionals as a whole.

 

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