The Role of Virtual Tours in Selling Your Home: Zillow vs. Matterport

The Role of Virtual Tours in Selling Your Home: Zillow Tours vs. Matterport Tours

Virtual tours are the buzzword of modern real estate. Two of the most popular options are Zillow Tours and Matterport Tours. 

Zillow Tours is the affordable option in today’s matchup. The technology was introduced by Zillow, one of the leading MLS sites. If you feature your listings there, integration is seamless. No fancy cameras or equipment is needed, meaning realtors or homeowners can keep expenses low.

Matterport Tours is a more immersive solution for building advanced 3D virtual tours. The technology is easier to use than ever and is compatible with 3D and 360 cameras, and smartphones. With Matterport apps, users create a digital copy of their home, which can be measured, customized, then shown and shared. Quality sets it apart from competitors, but so does the price.   

But before we compare these two, do you need a virtual tour to sell your home?

A technician starts to create a virtual tour for a home seller - Photo via Canva

How Virtual Tours Influence Your Home Sale

Before we compare Zillow Tours and Matterport Tours, let’s talk about what you get from them. 

In the modern world, modern home selling techniques, right? It’s not that simple.

COVID-19 brought this technology into the spotlight. Virtual tours proved their worth, as a great solution for limited mobility or health concerns. Some people will still swear by them, talking of higher sale prices and less time on the market. The tales may be true in some cases, but new research suggests otherwise. 

The fact is that virtual tours provide quite marginal benefits, as a Harvard study confirmed. Virtual tours can supplement your marketing efforts and appeal to certain groups of buyers, but the study claims the impact isn’t as significant as you’d think. Despite Havard’s research, both Zillow and Matterport claim large increases in buyer engagement due to virtual tours.

During COVID-19, virtual tours were a valuable asset to sellers. Nowadays, they may not be a deciding factor for some buyers, as photographs and videos are of such high quality. 3D tour companies will assure you of huge benefits, but the research appears to dispute this. Talk this through with a realtor who knows what sells homes in your area. 

Zillow Tours: Features, Ease-of-Use, and Price

Your buyers can move through your home from room to room, using an app made by one of the largest MLS sites in the world. As you’d expect from an industry leader, the software does its job well, with great compatibility across devices. Instead of being a true three-dimensional scan and taking more time, the Zillow app blends panoramic images. 

What you need to create Zillow virtual tours:

  • Mobile phone or 360 camera (A tripod is recommended)
  • An Android or Apple device with the Zillow 3D Home Tour app installed

You can find the Zillow virtual tours app on the App Store and Google Play.

The Zillow 3D Home app with examples

Advantages and Disadvantages of Zillow Virtual Tours

The main advantages of Zillow virtual tours are the cost and simplicity. 

On top of the typical listing fees for the platform, users won’t pay for 3D tours. Realtors can scan homes fully in under half an hour, and the app uploads directly to Zillow or Trulia listings. Using the tours on other platforms isn’t as easy, but it can be done with an embedded link. 

The app’s user-friendliness can’t be understated either. Its design guides even inexperienced users through the process without much hassle and you won’t need to complete a photography course beforehand. No specialized equipment is needed either, which cuts expenses. 

The main disadvantage of Zillow virtual tours is the quality of the final product. 

In this area, Zillow doesn’t match up with the other option on our list - Matterport Tours. Panoramic images, even well-stiched ones, can’t compare to a truly 3D experience. This might not deter potential buyers though. The editing system and virtual tour do their job, which is to take viewers beyond 2D photos.  

Matterport Tours: Features, Ease-of-Use, and Price

Before Zillow 3D Home Tours arrived, Matterport stood unchallenged at the top of the virtual tours food chain. They compete with several other options these days but remain a leader. They’ve been used in mapping an impressive range of spaces, including Egyptian tombs, cave systems, and even the Seinfeld apartment in New York.

The quality of Matterport virtual tours is their main attraction. While it’s undeniably a longer process to shoot, edit, and upload a Matterport virtual tour, it's a fantastic final product. Every angle and every perspective is captured for your buyers. Rather than stitched-together images, users can build dollhouse-like 3D models with impressive accuracy. 

What you need to create Matterport virtual tours:

  • A compatible 360 camera (A tripod is recommended)
  • An Android or Apple device with the Matterport app installed

You’ll need to have one of the compatible cameras, including iPhones, Insta360 OneR, Insta360 OneX, Matterport 360 cameras, or Ricoh and Leica 360 cameras. 

Matterport’s virtual tour app with the Seinfeld Apartment

Advantages and Disadvantages of Matterport Virtual Tours

The main advantages of Matterport are quality and compatibility. 

Matterport has long been the go-to service to use for professional quality virtual tours. The scanning is thorough with 360-degree cameras, but the editing process takes the quality even higher. The final product captures every detail with clarity in a 3D model that buyers can digitally walk through. The blueprint, dollhouse, or first-person perspectives give an extremely clear perspective to buyers, achieving the number one goal of virtual tours.

While Matterport isn’t as fast to produce as Zillow, it does offer more compatibility across platforms. However, ongoing hosting on Matterport’s platform does carry a subscription fee. 

The main disadvantages of Matterport virtual tours are the length of time and the cost. 

Experienced users say that 2000 square feet can be scanned in an hour. Larger projects might take several hours or even a full day to finish processing. Both this slight delay and the slight cost increase are negative aspects, they diminish as we consider a home’s sale price.     

If you don’t feel confident enough to take the 360 videos, a realtor can connect you to photography professionals who already use Matterport. They’ll help you avoid Matterport’s over $200 subscription fee but will charge more for their services.

Zillow Tours vs. Matterport Tours: Final Verdict

There’s a lot of contrast between these two virtual tour providers, which makes for an easier comparison. One of these options will suit you more than the other.

Zillow 3D Tours provides a low-cost virtual tour that will be fine for most listings. Buyers get what they need from the tour - a better sense of the spaces, a feel for the layout, and more perspective than 2D pictures offer.

Remember, there’s a large debate over whether virtual tours even boost your home sale price. Investing a small amount in a virtual tour using Zillow might be exactly what your realtor suggests. In competitive markets full of similar properties, it could bring extra attention or highlight your home. 

Matterport Tours is for home sellers who need to go the extra mile, with the best quality of virtual tours available. It’s no surprise that large hotel chains and professional realtors use the service. The dollhouse perspective is gorgeous

This experience is as close to setting foot inside the property as it gets but comes at a higher cost. Whoever creates the tour also needs a bit of photography know-how, along with extra time and budget. 

Do You Need a Virtual Tour to Sell Your Home?

The benefits of virtual tours are debatable, but you should check the precedent in your local area. Of course, home sellers are looking to maximize profits. If a virtual tour is going to add expenses and delay the time between listing and offers (as the Havard study suggests), it is sensible to avoid it.

Anyway, there are plenty of other profit-increasing techniques to look at, beyond how you showcase the house. Highlighting certain features or updating parts of the home may be a smarter way to raise your listing price. 

Ask a realtor directly about virtual tours and other profitable home-selling techniques. We’re happy to share our secrets from over 15 years of selling homes in California. Our higher-than-average success rates and selling prices make us an ideal agency to ask. 

Connect with The Jamison Team online or dial our offices directly to learn more.

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If you have more questions about what to expect from the markets around the Bay Area, don’t be afraid to reach out to us today. Our experts are experienced in all property types and the entire San Francisco Bay Area, and we can help you to find what you need to know today.

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