Zillow said it is launching self-tours to its owned inventory to minimize contact and enable unoccupied home tours on flexible schedules via its app.
The move comes as Zillow has stepped up its purchases of real estate inventory to sell them using data and algorithms to boost profit margins. Zillow has said that its 3D Home tours have accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Zillow's next moves are to offer self-tours that enable shoppers and agents to use the Zillow app to unlock and tour unoccupied for-sale homes.
And there's real returns for Zillow with self-tours. Zillow said it piloted the feature in Phoenix and homes with self-tours sold six days faster than homes without the feature.
The company has been among the big winners during the COVID-19 pandemic and shift to remote work. Homes are increasingly seen as offices and, combined with low mortgage rates, is driving real estate sales.
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Zillow added that the company is going to augment its Zillow 3D Home virtual tours with digital floor plans. In a nutshell, real estate transactions are quickly moving toward low-touch processes. For instance, Zillow found that 55% of US adults are less comfortable touring and occupied home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the company, digital floorplans will be added to 3D Home virtual tours and include things like layouts, room dimensions and automated tools. The floorplan enhancements will be available in all 24 Zillow Officers markets.
Zillow's roadmap for home shopping includes:
- Virtual tours in more listings.
- Virtual staging to see what furniture looks like in a home in select markets.
- Custom options to personalize home shopping experiences and visualize cosmetic changes.
- Safety standards for cleaning, distance and protection.