We conducted a survey for Australian and New Zealand photographers about visual products in real estate listings in May 2022. We collected 73 responses to the survey; 71% from Australia and 29% from New Zealand. Most of the respondents are sole entrepreneurs working independently or photographers operating in small photography studios.
We have gathered knowledge for years all around the world on how visual products are used in real estate listings so we had a pretty good understanding of what products are used and how important they are in real estate marketing but this survey included a couple of surprising findings.
It was no surprise that professionally taken photos are very common in Australia and New Zealand’s real estate listings and it seems that 3D presentations did not become an industry standard like it was estimated a few years ago. The same finding is clear also in the Nordics and in the US. Creating a 3D model from home is quite time-consuming and expensive; also agents don’t seem to get interested as it might turn leads cold when consumers see the property so well.
Australia and New Zealand are some of those rare markets where floor plans have a major role in real estate listings. This survey confirms that assumption but it seems that there is still some work to do for CubiCasa and other new technologies so that floor plan adoption in the listings gets higher. We will discover what the main barriers are to the increased popularity of floor plans later on in this article.
All but one of the responses said that they are offering a floor plan as a service for their real estate clients. It seems that the advancements in mobile technologies have developed so well during the last years that they have overwhelmingly replaced hand-drawn sketching and blueprint redraws: almost 70 % of responses did not use sketching at all when creating floor plans.
One of the key advantages that CubiCasa technology provides is the time saving, especially on-site. Sketching manually takes quite a lot of photographers time – creating a floor plan manually for a 2000 sq ft two floor home seems to take 30-60 minutes, some responses indicated that it can take even 90 minutes.
One of the special features in Australia and New Zealand, that we have not seen elsewhere that much, are site plans. Site plan is many times a separate (colorful) image apart from the interior floor plan and it depicts how different dwellings are located in a lot, viewing angle being directly from up. It also visualizes pathways, gardens, fences, decks and other objects outside the actual living area so that people get a good overall understanding of the entire property. Site plans are not something CubiCasa offers right now but we are exploring the possibility to include such a feature. Our technology is optimized for interior spaces but it can be used also for decks and other external structures that have clear borders and are attached to the dwellings. Based on our studies, real estate photographers use drone or digital map solutions (like Google Maps) to capture the source for the site plan. The actual site plan is then drawn by Illustrator or similar tools.
Another thing that real estate photographers see important is dimensions with just one decimal point and a metric system rather than imperial. However 3D floor plans or links to interactive models do not seem to get votes from this survey. We have seen the same trend in other markets that these colorful “dollhouse” designs are not in growing demand. Clear and straightforward 2D floor plans seem to be the de-facto product in real estate, all over the world.
Compass feature (north arrow in the floor plan image) seems to be fairly important on a floor plan. This is something that we don’t see in the US at all, however in Europe the presence of a compass on floor plans is more common. CubiCasa is offering a compass feature, you just need to remember to enable location services in your mobile device.
Total area of the home seems to be quite popular among respondents and it is not a surprise – since this single value is one of the most sought-after attributes when home buyers search for a new property. The challenge with the total area is that there are so many different standards for how total area measurement is processed and measured. Currently CubiCasa uses two different methods to calculate or indicate total area: GIA (Gross Internal Area) and GLA (Gross Living Area). Visit our help center to read more about different calculation standards.
Accuracy of the floorplans is always a discussion topic. There were many comments questioning the output and it is true that sometimes they don’t get 100% right. Let us explain how the accuracy is built with CubiCasa technology and process:
Mobile device capability: we support a wide range of devices (phones and tablets) but the best performance is achieved with devices that have LiDAR technology such as iPhone 12 Pro and 13 Pro.
Property condition: if property has a lot of furniture and other things preventing you from seeing the wall / floor line that will have an impact on the accuracy. Please, try to scan all those parts of the wall / floor line that are visible. Also lighting conditions are important, so please make sure there is enough light in the property.
Scanning style: our technology tolerates lots of different kinds of scanning style but please remember to follow the real time instructions given by the app while you are scanning. If you would like further guidance, please revisit the latest scanning instructions.
We received lots of great improvement feedback and we will process them with our development team in the near future. Australia and New Zealand are important markets for us and we want to serve photographers so that they can save time and provide amazing customer experience.
Sincerely thankful for all the answers and feedback.
-Jarmo / Director, global business development