image of Sandy Abbas
Douglas Elliman agent Sandy Abbas has more than 20 years of deal history across Manhattan and Brooklyn.

StreetEasy recently produced an integration with the Zillow 3D Home app — an AI-powered mobile tool that allows agents, sellers, landlords, and property managers to capture 360-degree panoramic photos of a property and easily create a 3D tour for free with their iPhone. This announcement was part of a larger rollout to help the real estate community through increasingly virtual and uncertain times. 

All agents need to do is download the free Zillow 3D Home tours app, take some panoramic photos on their phone and upload them to the listing. Unfortunately, not every property is accessible, as agents and occupants continue to comply with public health and social distancing protocols. So, how do agents get these 3D Home tours posted? Here, Douglas Elliman agent Sandy Abbas explains how she collaborated with her client to post the first 3D Home tour on StreetEasy.

Asking Your Client For Help

“It wasn’t safe to go to the property myself,” Abbas explains, “but my seller needed to get this listing on the market, and I knew the buyers were out there. My client had an iPhone and was game to help, so we figured out a way to make it happen.” 

For more than 20 years, Abbas has played an integral role in the NYC real estate scene, bridging Manhattan and Brooklyn. She’s helped her clients buy and sell homes, so while this crisis is concerning, it’s not going to stop her from helping her sellers. 

If she couldn’t get in the unit herself, Abbas figured she needed to work with her seller to get the 3D tour included. “I love this feature,” she told StreetEasy during a phone interview. “I simply sent my client the app, she downloaded it, took the photos and texted me the link.”

Forming Strong Connections With Clients

 “I was lucky to work with a seller who was game to help,” Abbas says. “Not everyone is confident with their picture-taking ability, and you can’t expect everyone to do this well.” When a 3D Home tour isn’t an option, Abbas works with her clients in other ways to stay connected. 

“I’ll send meal delivery services and things like that, but what really helps is when you can find a tool that actually offers progress on their listings,” Abbas says. “No matter who the client, it’s all about caring for them as a person, showing that you’re not just an agent, you’re their friend.” 

Another helpful way to stay connected is through research. “I’ve been doing things like calling my clients who qualify for different programs such as mortgage relief,” Abbas says. “Many folks didn’t know about that and appreciated my call.” Sometimes calls like these are simply relationship touch points, but at other times, they can lead to discussions about how to get creative about a listing.

Abbas’s 3D Home tour listing is performing well. “It’s getting a lot of attention. I looked at my Zillow rankings this morning and it’s number 2 out of 15! The only listing above it is one that is just a bit newer.” On a national scale, homes with 3D tours are surging in popularity. Homes on Zillow with 3D Home tours were saved 40% more frequently since March 1. On March 24, that increase jumped to 82%. In areas with “stay at home” orders like NYC, that figure was even higher (50% since March 1, and 105% higher on March 24). 

As this trend emerges, Abbas aims to add 3D Home tours to as many listings as possible. “Most of my clients come from StreetEasy,” she explains, “So it makes sense to invest time and energy into making my listings as robust as possible on this platform.” 

As agents work to close deals while keeping themselves and their clients safe, StreetEasy continues to look for ways to help. “We’re all in this together,” Abbas says.