Despite floor plans being standard on property listings in many European countries and in Australia, floor plans are not required and do not exist on most property listings in the United States.
“Historically, people have thought of floor plans as difficult to produce, expensive or both,” CubiCasa President Jeff Allen said. “Prior to five or six years ago, the only way you could really produce a floor plan was by hand, hand drawing and measuring and sketching. And properties in the United States are very large and complex.”
Even recently, with technologies like virtual tours or dollhouse-style immersive walkthroughs that provide floor plans, those services can be expensive and require special training and equipment and take a long time to collect data, Allen explains.
As a result of the barriers of cost, time and difficulty, floor plans have been thought of as a niche product, but CubiCasa aims to change that.
“That’s our mission,” Allen said. “We want to change the U.S. paradigm so that floor plans do become ubiquitous in the listing process.”
Benefits of including a floor plan
Despite the fact that floor plans are not standard in U.S. listings, homebuyers are looking for them.
According to a report from the National Association of Realtors, homebuyers consider floor plans the top most desired feature on a home listing, after standard listing photos and property data.
“Buyers want them because floor plans provide a clear, quick sense of the property’s space and flow,” Allen said. “Because floor plans also include measurements and room dimensions, they give buyers a more precise sense of, ‘Okay, will my furniture, will my way of living, actually fit into these rooms?’ You are giving the buyer a far more accelerated insight into whether they want to make an offer.”
Additionally, buyers will often filter results on listing sites to find listings that feature floor plans. “It’s another way to drive eyeballs to your listing first, which is becoming more important now that there are more and more houses coming on the market,” Allen said.
Buyers aren’t the only ones who benefit from detailed floor plans, either. A floor plan can give a seller a much more accurate sense of their property’s square footage, as well as a sense of how that might impact its marketability or the appraisal process.
Overall, the inclusion of a floor plan can make a property listing more attractive, contributing to a higher sales price and faster closing time, as well as providing all stakeholders with a better experience throughout the home buying process.
CubiCasa’s plan to make floor plans ubiquitous
CubiCasa is poised to help make floor plans a standard part of U.S. listings through the use of its mobile capture technology, which has produced more than 1 million floor plans to date.
“CubiCasa is the only technology in the world that can produce an accurate floor plan from a five-minute, no training [required] scan that can be done with your smartphone,” Allen said.
While other solutions require special hardware, training and a lot of time spent on-site capturing, CubiCasa eliminates those difficulties by applying advanced computer vision techniques and production automation process to a user’s phone capture.
“All the user has to do is simply walk through the house with their phone pointed ahead of them as they walk, and the scan is being captured, data from your phone is being captured, and all that’s being processed through our proprietary models, which then return back to you the floor plan result with all the dimensions, details and square footage that you’re looking for,” Allen said.
From that simple walk-through, the technology produces a highly precise floor plan sketch, with the option to calculate GLA aligned with ANSI standards. Square footage is the second-highest driver of a home’s value, and CubiCasa’s technology helps minimize inconsistencies and variations in the property data collection and inspection process.
And in pursuit of making floor plans standard in U.S. listings, CubiCasa now offers a free floor plan option.
“There’s no excuse not to have it on your listings now because if you’re a listing agent, it’ll take you five minutes and cost you nothing,” Allen said. “And it provides major benefits to your sellers and prospective buyers.”
Ultimately, CubiCasa’s goal is to create the flipping point where the market decides that every listing should include a floor plan. If it’s simple and easy for listing agents to include floor plans, more listings will include them. From there, buyers will start to expect to see floor plans, leading to a more widespread change in seller and listing agent behavior where they’ll choose to include floor plans all the time.
“If we can change the market so that buyers start to expect it, then the whole market will win, because buyers will be better informed,” Allen said. “Everyone will have a clearer idea of what a property is like before they go to visit it, and ultimately they’ll be closer to making a purchase decision than they would be without it.”
For more information, visit https://www.cubi.casa/.