Zillow Adds Video Walkthroughs To Its For-Sale Listings

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Online real estate listings have undoubtedly changed how people search for houses. Never before, after all, did buyers have this much information available. But while most real estate agents are now savvy enough to ensure that they have beautiful images for their listings, most of these glamour shots don’t reveal all that much about a home’s layout (and occasionally do their best to hide some of a home’s quirks).

3a87fd64ea4c71971a11f2939ae2f63cTo give buyers a more realistic view of what to expect from a home, Zillow is introducing video walkthroughs today. These videos will be integrated right on the service’s listing pages.

Agents can create them by using the Zillow Premier Agent App, and sellers can create their own through the Zillow Real Estate App, but the sellers’ agent will have to approve the video before it goes live.

These videos can be up to two minutes long and there is no audio. The apps allow agents and sellers to record footage in short segments, too, but the more continuous a video is, the better an impression of a home the potential buyer will probably be able to get.

As a Zillow spokesperson told me, the reason to remove audio “comes back to user experience—we know home buyers love video, but also that these need to map back to browsing behavior.” The idea was to give potential buyers a consistent experience that is easy to consume on mobile.

The company says these videos are meant to “fit into the browsing behavior of homebuyers, who are increasingly searching for homes on their smart phone.” Two-thirds of its traffic coming from mobile devices (and more than 70 percent on the weekend).