Zillow to offer easy 3D house tour creation, viewing with new iPhone app

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House hunting app Zillow is working on a new iOS app that will allow real estate professionals and homeowners to easily create 3D house tours using an iPhone, media designed to expedite house rentals and purchases.

Announced on Thursday, the new app, called Zillow Group Home Capture, will allow house hunters to virtually walk through a potential location before visiting it in person. The technology could be a boon for real estate agents, as Zillow research shows 44 percent of home buyers and 47 percent of renters look for a new home remotely.

Zillow Group Home Capture allows users to shoot 360-degree panoramic photos of all the rooms in a home, which are then uploaded to Zillow for processing. The firm's backend technology stitches together uploaded photographs to generate an interactive house tour in a few hours. These 3D tours are then appended to online listings.

According to Zillow, it takes about 30 minutes to capture a 3,000-square-foot house, not counting processing time. The end result is similar to Google's Business View feature, which basically extends Street View indoors at participating retailers and other establishments.

The app is the only mobile solution capable of capturing 3D mobile tours at no additional cost, the company says, noting other services rely on expensive equipment to accomplish similar effects.

"By integrating directly with the iPhone, a device many people are already using, agents can just pull out their phone, and capture a panoramic photo," said Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow Group chief marketing officer. "By removing the hardware barrier, more real estate pros can add 3D Homes to their listings, giving them a new way to market all of their listings, and improving the search experience for buyers and renters."

As noted by Engadget, the "3D Home" feature is already seeing integration in a few listings, including a house in Arizona.

Zillow is currently evaluating the system with a select group of real estate agents and photographers based out of Scottsdale, Ariz. If all goes well, Zillow Group Home Capture will expand to the Phoenix area in early 2018, to be followed by a nationwide rollout in the second half of 2018.


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