Zillow surfing 2.0 is here. At a time when so many people are rethinking where and how they want to live, home shoppers in major markets across the country can get a deeper sense of a home than ever before without stepping foot inside.

Zillow’s AI-generated floor plan — powered by Zillow tech but available to use for free on listings anywhere — serves as a dynamic guide to give shoppers digital insight and detail so they can more quickly and easily narrow their search to only the homes they love and want to see in person.

Now, Zillow uses machine learning to not only generate floor plans but also import each listing photo and place it on the floor plan, giving shoppers an in-person perspective of a home’s shape and flow that simply scrolling through can never do, according to a news release.

“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,” said Josh Weisberg, vice president of Zillow’s Rich Media Experience team in the the the news release. “Now shoppers can act more quickly and confidently, whether they’re searching in their 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.”

What it Means

For buyers and renters, Zillow’s AI-generated floor plan means navigating more seamlessly and naturally through photos, a 3D Home tour, and other listing information, getting a remarkably accurate sense of a home’s flow and space. 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.

More than half (56%) of buyers agree they wasted time on their home search by viewing properties that they would have skipped if they had understood the floor plan before their visit. Almost three-quarters (74%) agree that a dynamic floor plan helps them determine if a home is right for them.1

The pandemic and the supercharged housing market that followed drove the rapid adoption of tech tools that have fundamentally changed the way people buy and sell. With more virtual tours on Zillow listings than ever before, it’s easier to explore and picture life in a home. Shoppers can evaluate homes from the comfort of their couch — assessing condition, validating details, layout, size, and orientation — to make the most of their time. Or they can relive an in-person tour without traveling for a second visit. That speed is critical in today’s ultra-competitive market when homes are selling in just a week nationwide, and as quickly as four days in some areas.

Serious Shoppers

For agents and landlords, this new and expanded technology means bringing a listing to life and showing homes to more serious and interested shoppers. Eighty-one percent of buyers and 71% of renters said they were more likely to visit a home if the listing included a floor plan they liked.

Zillow uses panoramic photos captured by an agent or photographer with the free 3D Home app and a 360-degree camera, and then applies the company’s computer vision and machine-learning models to generate a 3D Home tour and interactive floor plan. This includes AI-predicted room dimensions, square footage, and the location of the listing photos relative to the other media. And now, it also imports every listing photo and places them on the floor plan to more easily navigate and get a feel for the home.

The floor plan, 3D tour, and photos are automatically uploaded to the listing on Zillow and Redfin, and can also be added to the MLS, embedded in a website, or shared via email or social media.

That’s especially important for agents using Zillow’s immersive virtual tours as a cost-effective way to showcase and share listings and generate more leads. In a survey this spring, 71% of sellers said they are more likely to hire an agent who includes virtual tours and/or interactive floor plans in their services. And three-quarters of sellers said including a floor plan was an essential characteristic of their listing.

“Immersive floor plans give agents the ability to build a connection between potential buyers and listings before any showings,” said George Laughton in the news release, the founder of the Laughton Team in the Phoenix area. “They give buyers a sense of familiarity and make them feel as though they’ve been in the home before, helping them establish a stronger emotional connection with the home.”

1  According to data from the Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report. The survey was fielded between March and August 2021.

Source: Zillow