Is Zillow 3D Home™ a True 3D Virtual Tour?

Is Zillow 3D Home a True 3D Virtual Tour?


With the recent announcement from Zillow offering real estate agents the ability to create their own 3D tours of their listings using Zillow’s 3D Home app, you might be wondering if you still need to put out the expense for a professional looking 3D Virtual Tour? You may have even wondered what all the fuss was about even before this announcement when long before Zillow, you could have a “virtual tour” created for you by Property Panorama.  With new improvements in 3D software platforms leading to innovative DIY applications it might be easy to think that the cheaper, do it yourself options are the way to go but to truly answer whether choosing more polished platforms with increased functionality is preferred, let's take a closer look at some of the differences between a basic virtual tour, Zillow's new offering, and a True 3D Virtual Tour experience.

What Makes a 3D Virtual Tour Different from a Traditional Virtual Tour?

What Makes a 3D Virtual Tour Different from a Traditional Virtual Tour?

Techopedia.com describes a virtual tour as the simulation of an existing location with the help of sequential videos or still images.  Unfortunately, while software platforms such as Property Panorama make it quick and easy to create a virtual tour of a property, the resulting product however, is not a 3D Virtual Tour.  While it fits the traditional definition of a virtual tour, its simply a compilation of photos displayed in a slideshow fashion ​set ​on auto-pilot. A 3D Virtual Tour on the other hand, provides viewers with a dynamic 3-Dimensional representation of a property or space where viewers can interact with the environment through seamless navigation at their own pace.  Buyers looking for homes online have already seen your images, they are looking for something more, something that will give them a realistic perspective into the relationships of the rooms and walls along with a feel for the ​overall layout, not a recycling of the property's photos composed in a slightly different way.  While these simple options are often free, they do not deliver the enhanced experience buyers are looking for.  True 3D Virtual Tour experiences keep the buyer engaged with the property ​giving them plenty to explore in a self-directed interactive environment. 

Is a 360° Tour Considered a 3D Virtual Tour?

Zillow 3D Home offers a step up from the traditional slideshow with its new product, however, it’s still not considered a True 3D Virtual Tour.  With the new app, 360° images are taken with your iPhone or stand alone 360 camera and stitched together in a tour like experience, which Zillow calls Zillow 3D Home. While the app is easy to use and creating a tour is pretty intuitive, the resulting experience lacks the ​true 3D environment and professional quality that buyers enjoy while walking through a Matterport 3D Virtual Tour.  Users love being able to transition from room to room and floor to floor with the smooth experience Matterport Tours provide.  Since 360° images are simply images, the feelings experienced by Matterport 3D Virtual Tour users simply cannot be replicated with a 360° tour.   Matterport CEO RJ Pittman said it best when describing the inherent differences in 360 tours versus a 3D Virtual Tour, “360 property tours lock you into one fixed position and perspective at a time, making it difficult to orient yourself and limiting their application,” Pittman explains.  “For customers and professionals looking to make consequential decisions around properties, these factors are material and the differences in quality between 3D and 360 are immediately noticeable.”

What is the Dollhouse View In a Matterport 3D Virtual Tour?

What is the Dollhouse View In a Matterport 3D Virtual Tour?

Probably the most striking difference between the two tour types is the lack of a 3D Dollhouse view for the home in Zillow’s 360 panoramic tours. The dynamic Dollhouse view is one of the many features that has set Matterport tours apart from its competitors for quite some time.  The ability to spin a home around on its axis in every different orientation imaginable gives buyers the ability to evaluate the home from a completely unique perspective providing more information instrumental in making their home buying decision.  And from a real estate agent perspective, the wow factor of the Dollhouse and Floor Plan views just can’t be topped when sharing your listing online whether in Social Media posts or on your website. 


What Other Functionality Exists with a Matterport 3D Virtual Tour?

What Other Functionality Exists with a Matterport 3D Virtual Tour?

Other noteworthy differences in the 3D virtual tours from Matterport are the ability to extract Floor Plans with near perfect accuracy of room dimensions and the ability to obtain High Resolution photos directly from the 3D Virtual Tour. While not every listing needs a floor plan, these can add a ton of value to your listing when buyers are needing room dimensions while considering potential room configurations. 

Beautiful photos taken directly from your tour can save you time and money when ​​traditional DSLR photos are not needed.  ​We take care of creating these images for you after scanning and processing your tour is complete and include these images with ​our 3D Virtual Tour packages, freeing you up for what you do best, working with your clients to successfully close your real estate transaction.  These images are of amazing quality and are provided to you in the aspect ratio necessary for uploading to your local MLS. ​They can ​also be used in your other online or printed marketing materials.

Additionally, when talking about increased functionality and enhancements, Matterport 3D Virtual Tours can be customized with Mattertags which are hot-spots anchored to strategic locations within your 3D tour designed to bring attention to unique features or upgraded elements within the home.  These tags provide additional interactivity within the tour while offering more information about the property to prospective buyers.   

What Else Should Be Taken Into Consideration When Choosing a 3D Virtual Tour Platform?

What Else Should Be Taken Into Consideration When Choosing a 3D Virtual Tour Platform?

Lastly, when considering your virtual tour options, keep in mind that Zillow’s tours are only applicable to listings on Zillow.com, whereas all of our Matterport Tours can be placed into your MLS listings with the ability to be syndicated to Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin, and other real estate listing portals. Additionally, we provide you with an embed code for placing your branded tour on your own website.  We also provide you with your property’s very own Single Page Website where other important property information can be displayed such as property description, room details, community information, google map location, property images, your contact information including your brokerage logo, and a lead generation form, all perfect for sharing on social media and in email blasts. 

While we applaud Zillow for recognizing the need for enhancing the overall buyer shopping experience with more than just static images, we simply cannot let our customers and visitors ​be duped into thinking that these products are the same in any way. If you have never had the joy of experiencing a Matterport Tour, make sure to check out our gallery of 3D Virtual Tours and experience for yourself what a Matterport tour is all about.  We also encourage you to check out Zillow’s 3D Home product.  We are extremely confident that you will recognize the immense differences between these products and will truly understand why a professional looking Matterport 3D Virtual Tour created by an experienced 3D Virtual tour provider is well worth the expense. 

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