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Life On Trulia’s Radar


I see this room doesn’t have any cameras.” – George Clooney as Danny Ocean, Oceans 11

It started in the halls outside the grand ballroom of the Palace Hotel. “Jonathan Dalton,” the man said. “I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I’m with Trulia.”

Hmmmm …

And it continued as I entered the lion’s den, Trulia’s cavernous warehouse-office. “This is Jonathan Dalton,” one would say with a knowing look. “Oh yes,” the second would answer. “I read you from time to time.”

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Quick! Have someone else taste that margarita first!

Amazingly, there are no photographs to prove I was there. Just the bruised Mii of Chad Huck, who was pummeled into submission in Wii Boxing, slowly getting bandaged in a corner.

It seems I’m fairly well known in that office, at least to everyone save poor Donald, the IT man who started the evening as Trulia’s Marker Man. Why? Because I tend to talk about Trulia Voices, a platform that has great intentions but often is poorly executed by the community at large.

Here’s the basic concept … the general public comes on and asks questions. In theory, an expert in that local market (or two or three) would respond to the question in a straight-forward manner. Often, this happens. Just as often, small details like the Code of Ethics and the Fair Housing Act are blown away.

Want to hear the most refreshing part? The folks at Trulia know this as well as anyone. But in the interest of trying to build a community, they’re attempting to let the community police itself. And, if I’m going to be honest, it’s probably the best way to go.

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Well … make that the second-best way. My solution? A benevolent dictator. A man with a plan. A man with a beagle. A man who could not only vote thumbs down on a stupid answer but delete the answer and banish the answering agent to a lifetime of weekly office meeting sales pitches on a continual loop in the seventh circle of hell.

You’re kidding, right?

Ummm … sure I am. Heh heh. Sure.

In any event, since such power doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon, can I make some suggestions?

1) Actually have an answer. This may seem complicated but if you don’t know the answer, don’t answer the question. And please, please, please don’t answer questions about a specific area with something along the lines of “I’ve never heard of your city and hope I never have to go there, but can I refer you to someone?”

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2) Stop asking the folks if they have an agent. For the most part, if they wanted to have an agent, they would go find an agent. With incredibly rare exceptions, this isn’t a job interview.

3) Hold your ground. I basically turned “Jane” into Verrado into a recurring theme on my blog. Guess what? When she finally bought a house, where do you think she announced it? I’m even working on an invtiation to the barbecue.

Yeah, as the main course, Porky.

4) Stay local. Answer questions in your own area. Leave the rest of the country to the experts there. And I’ll give you one exception, courtesy of Debbie Madey … if it’s a general question, such as “how do I choose an agent” … go for it. As she pointed out, even if the person asking is in Kansas City, here people in Jersey will see her answer and find her through the search engines. Even I can’t argue with that logic.

5) Don’t sound so desperate. This one ought to be self-explanatory.

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RE 2.0 gives agents the opportunity for otherwise undreamed of exposure. But that exposure can turn for the worst when agents put marketing themselves ahead of helping the clients out there looking.

Only 625 words, kid … take a bow!

Written By

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.

37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Bill Lublin

    August 1, 2008 at 5:40 am

    Jonathan; Step away from the word counter boy, you;re better then that (and it makes me feel self-conscious when I write). Once again, right on point. But its hard for agents to realize that they need to provide answers when they know them, and not as part of an advertiisng scheme. You wouldn;’t think so, but the simple stuff is the hardest to grasp.

    I’ve never heard of Phoenix, but I’m sure that it will rise from the ashes of the barbecue at some point – DO you need an agent ? (Perhaps a Secret Agent Mr. Dalton – shaken and not stirred?)

  2. Kim Wood

    August 1, 2008 at 5:52 am

    You hit the nail on the head once again.

    The amount of people on Trulia, and many other similar platforms from states they *are not licensed to pratice real estate* keep answering questions for people (or trying). A clear violation – and so often wrong!

  3. Eric Blackwell

    August 1, 2008 at 6:08 am

    Just curious why folks feel the need (if they are going to comment on Trulia at all…) to comment on other states and locations…what’s in it for them as agents? Are they building up “points”? or some perceived SEO benefit?

    Would hope that someone who slaps content up for Trulia all over the place would he us understand that…

    Best;

    Eric

  4. Jennifer in Louisville

    August 1, 2008 at 6:35 am

    I’ve gone and spent some time reading Trulia Voices, but I’ve never participated there – well, for a lot of reasons. The first is that it seems like a shark feeding frenzy. A lot of persons there are DESPERATE. And it comes through overwhelmingly clear that they are desperate in their remarks – which I suppose is why you are chastising & providing some recommendations to them as the topic of this post.

    I’m just not so desperate to maybe pick up a deal that I want or need to associate myself with that type of environment. If I’m completely turned off by it – you can bet that customers can be too.

    I find spending my time interacting on other sites (and my own), have a much greater return for the time investment – and I enjoy my time there much more so than jumping into the shark tank.

  5. Faina Sechzer

    August 1, 2008 at 6:38 am

    I stay away from answering questions on Trulia for several reasons: 1) “Call me, I am the best”. The unsuspecting consumer simply asks a question and gets bombarded with “hire me” slogans. 2) The answers are: either all the same, too general to the point of meaningless, “I am not here to give away real answers, so call me”, often can’t be answered (because of lack of specific details), yet are still answered. 3) Some answers IMO were detrimental to the consumers, but how are they to judge? 4) Talk about protecting the turf: the response to my answer by an agent (who has a lot of answers for that town), was, putting it mildly, not gracious:) I have two teenagers at home to deal with, don’t need any extra:)
    The idea of competing forces benefiting the consumers by bringing out the best possible answer seems reasonable in theory. It’s the practice I am not sure about for now.

  6. Jeff Bogert

    August 1, 2008 at 6:40 am

    Amen Brother!

    I had a situation recently where an out of area agent (who claims to be an expert in all of North & Central Jersey if that is possible) almost undid a deal with his comments about my listing. The buyer of one of my listings posted very specific home inspection issues and was looking for advice. See Marc’s answers here. https://tinyurl.com/6ogpc7

    The especially useful guidance was, “If I were her agent, I’d most likely advise moving on to another option. Neglect in an older home is like a cancer. It has usually metastasized to many systems, therapy is usually very expensive, and each treatment usually uncovers additional problems.” Guess what Marc YOU ARE NOT HER AGENT..

    When an agent comments on issues with an outrageous dollar figures from a home inspection report for a home they have never seen and advise a buyer to walk away from a deal the motives seem dubious at best.

    The folks at Trulia encouraged me to report this kind if situation to them when I shared this experience while we were in San Francisco. I agree that they know of some of these problems and are looking for the community to police itself.

    My question to everyone is what sort of liability, if any, could be place on an agent if they can be shown to have undone a deal due to voices?

  7. Faina Sechzer

    August 1, 2008 at 6:45 am

    @Jennifer Where you reading my mind, while I was typing my comment? Your words reflect my sentiment completely.

  8. Jennifer in Louisville

    August 1, 2008 at 6:58 am

    “My question to everyone is what sort of liability, if any, could be place on an agent if they can be shown to have undone a deal due to voices?”

    @ Jeff – Ask an attorney. I’m not an attorney – so I’m just giving my own personal opinion: In all likelihood, it would cost you money to pursue this – even if you did “win” and got a judgment against them. The person can take the position that what they said is true – and then you have to prove what they said wasn’t true. A costly & time consuming process monetarily forcing you to get inspections/experts/reports to discount their “truth defense”.

    @ Faina – Glad to hear that I’m not the only one that feels that way. Theres SO MANY places out there to spend your time. Spending it where you enjoy seems a lot better way to live a happier life.

  9. Ginger Wilcox

    August 1, 2008 at 8:09 am

    I have stayed away from participating on Trulia Voices primarily because of the interaction that I saw with agents that I felt was unprofessional. With that said, after meeting all the trulia people, I think they are really working hard to improve the community and offer a valuable site for consumers. I also came away impressed. Good tips. It is definitely key to stay local. The other key is to think before you write- make sure your response isn’t illegal (i.e. fair housing violations) or unethical. (perhaps something we should be thinking before we write anywhere!)

  10. ines

    August 1, 2008 at 8:16 am

    You were there! I saw you! 😉 I’ve tried different approaches at Trulia Voices…1. stick to answering the question and let the sharks go at it. 2. I’ve also tried reprimanding the sharks (came out with a gash the size of my you know what) – 3. now I’m leaving links to posts that will answer the question in detail.

    Your instructions should be a “must read” to everyone when they sign up to Trulia Voices! hey Rudy! you have some incredible feedback here to improve Trulia’s system…..don’t just let it roll.

    And bill’s quote of the day….

    shaken and not stirred?

  11. Chuck G

    August 1, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Ugh….I shudder at just the thought of Trulia Voices. Although many agents in my area circle this forum like sharks, I think it’s just a lawsuit waiting to happen. The minute you make a comment about another agent’s listing, you’re asking for a boatload of trouble. At best, you’re likely to piss off an agent that you may be sitting across the table from in the near future. At worst, you could easily end up in court — I have to believe your example above could warrant some sort of action (although I’m not a lawyer either….)

  12. Ush

    August 1, 2008 at 8:29 am

    The questions on Trulia voices often seem like they are posed to generate some comments.

    “My house has been on the market for 10 months, is it time to drop the price?” is one of the more common questions, along with “How do I post a listing?”.

    Once posted, the swarm of “You need a realtor.”, “Do you have a realtor? Call me, and I will refer you to one.” comments come flying in.

    I have followed the ‘voices’ for a while, and can see a pattern. It is the same few players responding to these recurring open ended and broad questions, with the same answers.

    It is not an exchange of information, but more a shotgun approach to lead generation for the most part.

    My 2cents.

    -Ush

  13. Eric Blackwell

    August 1, 2008 at 8:43 am

    @Faina- I think you make a great point. Several actually.

    Ines…reprimanding the sharks can get dangerous! I think this feeding frenzy does nothing to help grow the actual environment othat Trulia is trying to create.

    @Rudy- Even though you know I am against Trulia overall, (but think you are a googd guy) I think there is some great feedback here. This kind of thing is poisonous to your community.

    Best;

    Eric

  14. Jeff Bogert

    August 1, 2008 at 9:56 am

    While I agree there are open ended questions and some where not enough information is provided to craft a proper answer, you cannot ignore the fact that the consumers are there.

    Thankfully I had alerts set for the market area that I cover and was able to provide a heads up to the other agent that their buyer was on voices asking questions. She was able to address their specific concerns and keep the deal together.

    @Ines great idea about leaving links to posts.

  15. Benn Rosales

    August 1, 2008 at 10:05 am

    I had a long chat with a buyer from Austin the other day that used voices to answer concerns about her builder. She felt that it was the fastest way to affirm her decisions.

    What that says to me is that we have put aside our eagerness to kick the other guy to the curb and just be honest in our answers. However, that will never happen because of the compeitive nature of the real estate beast- it’s sad really that folks cannot see that it isn’t this person we need to steal from another agent, it is the consumer of that information that the agent should impress. People just sometimes have such a narrow view of a really large picture.

  16. Chad Huck

    August 1, 2008 at 10:10 am

    I do have to give it to you, Jonathan… you got it. I have to admit that I stay away from Trulia Voices for the most part because of the scavenger agents. It’s just one of the things that is not for me. I agree with @Ines about signing up for Trulia Voices. There should be a check list of do’s and don’ts. Or the ability for moderators to ban users. Agree?

    But there is one thing that you don’t have correct here. “…Just the bruised Mii of Chad Huck, who was pummeled into submission in Wii Boxing, slowly getting bandaged in a corner.” While I might have been banged up and bruised through the 3 rounds, you also didn’t walk away unscathed. Just wanted to make that clear.

  17. Jonathan Dalton

    August 1, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Chad – just wanted to make sure you’re reading. I took a punch or two, I’ll admit. I also think someone slipped something into the club soda I’d been sipping all night before the fight.

    Ines – I like the idea of the links. I’ve done it myself a couple of times and have had people follow me back to my blog. (And I saw you, too!)

    Ush – I’ve written about it on my own blog. Some questions that get asked are like chum in the water. “Would someone list my house in Glendale?” Gee, think you might get a response?

    Jeff – Brutal situation

    For the rest … I’ve answered questions here and there, never with any major plan in mind. If it looks like something where I can help, I’ll jump in (assuming the sharks haven’t already ripped the person to shreds.) I’ve also been known to shred a shark or two swimming out of their own waters.

    In theory, I like the idea of the platform. I told this to Rudy, to Heather, to Vicki, to Emily and to the one other person who’s name has escaped me because it’s early here and I enjoyed my club soda last night. But now that participation isn’t the issue … agents are participating in numbers … a little heavier hand might be useful to help control things.

    Ask the Zebra – make a couple of calls to set the tone and the players learn.

  18. Rudy from Trulia.com

    August 1, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Ok, I think we should nominate JD as the new sheriff of Trulia Voices, I mean community manager! “Make a couple of calls to set the tone and the players learn” – we’re on the same page JD. The Trulia platform has grown so much and so fast that we may need a dedicated voice/face in the community to lead the way. We’ve written blog posts before about community guidelines and how to make the best out of using Trulia Voices. But to your point, I agree and think we can do more – and we will.

    Community etiquette – knowing how and how not to have a dialogue in an open forum. This is what I see as the challenge. In fact, I see this as an issue on some blogs as well. Nevertheless, if you have something of value to add, go for it. But, remember that this is a public forum and you should be conscious of how you conduct yourself, what you say and how you say it. Sometimes I think it’s like having table manners, if you have them, you were either taught well by someone or you learned by observing others. Not everyone has them…..

    One last thing, whether online or off, there will always be people who say things that we disagree with. They can be our friends, strangers, co-workers, family etc…… It’s how we conduct ourselves that matters. Those watching or listening will be able to decipher your intentions and decide whether they want to engage you or not.

    So for real estate agents participating on Voices, or anywhere else for that matter, add value, don’t hard sell and you will see some new relationships start to blossom.

    Rudy
    Social Media Guru at Trulia

  19. ines

    August 1, 2008 at 11:49 am

    hey Rudy – I have an idea

    For everyone that joins Trulia Voices, give them a homework assignment before their profile is “activated” – make them hand write (very web1.0) 100 times on a piece of paper “I will not hard sell” – then they’ll have to scan and e-mail back to you.

    IMHO – THAT should do it!

  20. Jonathan Dalton

    August 1, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    I like that, Ines!

    And Rudy, please send the exorbitant salary checks to my home address. 🙂

    Seriously, leading by example doesn’t really cut it because the people who are most egregious aren’t seeing the example. Not that I know that much more, by any stretch, but at least I try and use common sense. Many, many others do as well.

    Disagreements are fine. But there ought to be a mechanism to take out those who aren’t adding any value and are just hoping to find some low-hanging fruit.

  21. Rudy from Trulia.com

    August 1, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    @Bill – Meeting you in SF in person was an absolute pleasure. Agree, provide answers when you know them, not part of an advertising scheme.

    @Kim aka – one of the 3 B’s – I kinda agree with you. Stick to what you you know best and the area you know best. However, that doesn’t mean you should be limited as to where or what to comment on. If a question is universal and you can add value, just do it like Nike…..

    @Eric -See my answer to Kim. Additionally, an agent may have lived in another state or city before so they may be well versed in the in’s and out’s of the local area.

    @Jennifer – That’s ok, stick with what works for you.

    @Faina – Thanks for sharing so many examples. As long as you tried answering a question on Voices, albeit once, it’s cool. It would be interesting to see the response you’d get if you did the opposite.

    @Jeff – Great meeting you in SF. The issue you brought up is valid. Not sure of the ramifications if the other agents comments became cause for the deal to fall through.

    Quite interesting to actually find your buyer asking a question in a public forum – sort of surreal I suppose. I would be freaked just as you. But nevertheless, this happens everyday offline in real life where buyers, sellers and agents discuss their real estate questions with the people around them. Being that it’s online, it gets logged and more people get to see the discussion. This will always have it’s pro’s and cons. I’m happy your deal went through!!!!

    @Ginger – Great meeting you too. And yes, just like most online communities and forums, Trulia Voices is a work in progress. Yes, the web doesn’t forget, so it’s important to think before you write – anywhere!

    @Ines – Glad to see you on Voices….And yes, JD, as well as other here today and before, have made some great suggestions on how to optimize the culture on Trulia Voices. Much advice in fact, can be used universally online. That said, I would love to have more of these types of threads on Voices, where the community can interact with them directly 🙂

    @Chuck G – There are some really good things happening on Voices and people are connecting with buyers and sellers. Just thought I’d remind everyone of that……

    @Eric – “Rudy- Even though you know I am against Trulia overall, (but think you are a googd guy) I think there is some great feedback here. This kind of thing is poisonous to your community.”

    Sad to see anyone “against” Trulia but I respect you personally opinion. I think all the feedback is great and thank everyone for taking their time to share their thoughts with us. It’s about education Eric. We surely can do a better job at helping the community members understand how and how not to have an online conversation. Some are just new to the scene and need someone to show them the ropes. Others just need to better understand how consumers may interpret their answers. I have have some awesome thoughts on how to do this 🙂 Thanks again Eric, hope to meet you one day…..

    @Jeff – Great use of Trulia Voices alerts…..it will keep you up to date on the areas you care about the most….This is good fodder for a blog post for me to specify the benefits of our alerts….Thanks!

    @Benn – It’s all about the big picture.

    @Chad – I’m sure consumers can tell who the scavenger agents are and which agents add value. Hope to see you participate as one agent who adds value then give me your feedback. Personally, I would do my best to differentiate myself in communities such as ours, agents that are doing it today are reaping the benefits and helping home buyers and sellers with their needs….

    @ Ines – 🙂 Too funny. But something along those lines might make sense….We’re working on ideas for this…..

    @JD – Let’s follow up on this…..We have flagging mechanisms in place now but maybe a sheriff could do more 🙂

  22. Jonathan Dalton

    August 1, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Flagging only works if it’s blatant spam, though … and I’ve flagged a couple in my day.

    Let’s talk … I’m easy to find. 🙂

  23. The Harriman Team

    August 1, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Has anyone but me ever wondered if some of those questions are posted by agents with time on their hands, just so they can jump in and “appear” to answer them? Would that even be possible, and if so, what would be the benefit? Exposure? Establishing one’s self as the “neighborhood expert”? Ego stroking? SEO, in some limited way? I hardly ever go to the “shark tank”, so I’m just askin’…

  24. Matthew Rathbun

    August 1, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    “A benevolent dictator. A man with a plan. A man with a beagle.” Dude, what does Charlie Brown (snoopy is a beagle) have to do with RE? Well, probably about as much of some of the agents who I’ve seen answer questions. Really, I am a knowledge snob and think that you should not say anything if you don’t KNOW the answer.

    This is no different than AR, only it’s client facing in that I see it as a opportunity to see how much agents are really more interested in appearing to be a expert than they are investing the time in being right.

    This isn’t Trulia’s fault, just as it isn’t AR’s fault. Agents are simply more interested in pushing their way to the front of the line, than they are knowing what to do once they get there.

  25. Bob

    August 1, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    The hard sell agents on there are self limiting. They add to the noise, but i doubt they see any positive results.

    I assume that most consumers who post questions already have their own filter mechanism in place and are looking for the one or two quality responses that stands out.

    The very nature of Voices makes it a free for all. Not sure a sheriff could do much more than lock up (or is that lock down?) the drunk and disorderly who wander around on there.

  26. Rudy from Trulia.com

    August 1, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    @Harriman Team – I haven’t seen this but if you have, please let me know….

    @Matthew – So true. If you don’t know the answer, skip the question or ask a question yourself so someone who does know the answer can help you.

    @Bob – I’m sure the home buyers and sellers know what type of answers they are looking for and probably scan for the types of answers that could resonate with them…..If not a sheriff, then maybe an a mayor.

    Rudy
    Social Media Guru at Trulia

  27. Larry Yatkowsky

    August 1, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Up here we already voted in Dalton for Sherriff.

    His side side ain’t Tonto but you can’t have everything. 🙂

  28. Jonathan Dalton

    August 1, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    @harriman – it has happened, at least once that I could see. Agent asked a question under her own profile then proceeded to answer it. Trulia folks told her she violated the policy pretty quick.

  29. Glenn fm Naples

    August 2, 2008 at 6:23 am

    Okay, okay I have posted in other areas other than mine own area. But ask me why. Because there was a discuss with terms being used that I was not familar with and asked what the terms meant.

    Well, I guess it it off to jail and banishment. 🙂

  30. Sylvia Barry

    August 2, 2008 at 10:57 am

    As one of the more frequent contributors on Trulia (although less recently due to lack of time), I would like to add a bit here.

    I agree with a lot of what you gals/guys said, and yes, it pains to see people who answer questions for answer’s sake and who reflected poorly upon our profession.

    However, being an Internet age, with Google type of search engine, you will encounter those anyway and they are going to reflect poorly on our profession unless we change that image.

    What I want to encourage you all to do is to stop standing on the sideline, and be part of it so you can provide the professional image to the consumers.

    There are many good agents on Trulia, not all give canned answers, and not all try to hard sell and silicate business (but aren’t we all here to sell Real Estate and build consumer awareness instead of doing charity work?)

    I am also guilty of answering out of area questions, and I think I have answered that a few times on Trulia – similar reasons as Deborah Madey.

    Consumers are pretty savvy. I have people email me just recently saying that they would consider using me because they don’t feel I am trying to get business.

    When you are the ones who provide quality answers, they will sort through the many answers and find you.

    When there is more quality agents like yourselves on Trulia, the others will fade and disappear in the background and probably quit because they can’t hold a candle against you and you will stand out. But when you are not part of it, whoever is there is who the consumers will see.

    You are all brutally honest, so hope this does not offend you. As you all know, the choice is yours.

    And Rudy – with the patrol in Trulia – the best way to communicate with an offending agent is to pick up the phone and talk to them about the community rules and actually deleting their irrelevant answers. Yes, we have one recent big time offender for counts, reported but not dealt with, that does not help Trulia image you are trying so hard to protect. It’s sad that I have to go to another forum to point this out 🙁

    Sylvia

  31. Jonathan Dalton

    August 2, 2008 at 11:05 am

    > What I want to encourage you all to do is to stop standing on the sideline, and be part of it so you can provide the professional image to the consumers.

    I have, Sylvia …

    https://www.trulia.com/voices/leaderboard/Arizona-4/

    I’m fairly selective in what I answer and I don’t leave the Arizona borders (though, as mentioned above, there is a possible benefit to doing so for SEO purposes). As often as not, though, it’s not worth it trying to shout above the circling sharks to provide another answer.

  32. Sylvia Barry

    August 2, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Great and Thanks! I understand and appreciate the “not worth it trying to shout above the circling sharks”..etc.

    Have to say that I am very relieved to see I am not on that Top Voice board 🙂

    Sylvia

  33. Sylvia Barry

    August 2, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I thought this is an interesting exchange to share……

    https://www.trulia.com/voices/Home_Selling/Clarification_on_postlets_com_-50325–

    Sylvia

  34. Deborah Madey

    August 3, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Hi all,

    As a frequent contributor on Voices, I can share much that is good, and much that needs improvement. I have strongly shared my opinions about courtesy, professionalism, and the need for more moderation. I have heard the position statement from Trulia that an online community should largely regulate itself. Upon hearing this, I emphasized the fact that Voices is not about commenting on a concert, dinner, recipie, or clothing style, but quite often the largest financial decision that people make in their lives. There was a time when I thought we would see greater moderation, and it did not materialize. I have since retired my megaphone on this subject.

    On the subject of local ………If local expertise is required, it should be left to those who can deliver that information. Many questions are generic. I can cite numerous examples where I got to know agents in other areas because of my involvement with Voices, which subsequently has led to both inbound and outbound referrals. I agree w/ a lot of “problems” on Voices with unprofessional behavior, bashing other agents, and worthless answers. However, I could help a lot of people understand how generic Q & A participation can strengthen relationships between good dedicated Realtors…….and that is something our industry really needs. Voices can play a role in that. It needs more participation from good Realtors, an understanding of using Voices across geograhies in a manner that will benefit consumers, the industry, and Realtors individually (in SEO, local business, and relationships).

    I have long asked Trulia to acknowledge that real estate, given the seriousness and financial depth of the transaction needs more moderation than other online forums. There has been a strong desire by Trulia to let it work itself out and let the community regulate itself. I used to write people online and privately and try to help…..but I haven’t been doing that lately either.

    Overall, Voices has been a very positive experience for me. Jonathan shared on his blog an example of many experiences I have had with Trulia. People have found me through Google as a result of an out of area quesion that was generic and of interest to the consumer who generated a search.

    No time to ck my typing on this….I am late….on my way out the door…..gotta go….please excuse the typos!!!!
    Deborah Madey – Broker
    New Jersey

  35. Rudy from Trulia.com

    August 3, 2008 at 10:52 am

    @JD – Will do!

    @Larry – That’s great. If anyone else wants to vote for JD, leave a comment or email me at rudy [at] trulia dot com

    @Glenn – No jail for you….Asking questions is good…Hopefully you received a good answer…

    @Sylvia – Thanks for being a part of the Voices family. I agree w/ your advice about not sitting on the sidelines….rather, be a part of it…In some sense, it’s like people who complain about our elected officials yet have never voted – don’t get it……I also agree with you in the sense that more participation by those who “get it” will not only lead by example, but will have a much greater chance of connecting with the home buyers and sellers that are asking questions….

    “And Rudy – with the patrol in Trulia – the best way to communicate with an offending agent is to pick up the phone and talk to them about the community rules and actually deleting their irrelevant answers. Yes, we have one recent big time offender for counts, reported but not dealt with, that does not help Trulia image you are trying so hard to protect. It’s sad that I have to go to another forum to point this out :-(” – You are not pointing anything new out to me or anyone at Trulia Sylvia. In fact, we have been doing much of this either by email or phone where necessary…but thanks again for constructive feedback!

    @JD – no need to shout above circling sharks, consumers can hear quite well ya know 🙂 The fact of the matter is that at the end of the day, no matter what forum or community you participate in, you can only control what you say…..and hope, that by example, others follow the culture and best practices of the leaders in the community. And if you’re still learning, that’s ok too, you should read, read, read way more than you contribute first.

    @Deborah – Hello Mrs. Madey:) You have been a great proponent of Voices and your participation has been outstanding. Awesome seeing you in SF too by the way 🙂

    Your feedback has not fallen on deaf ears. You and others have some pretty loud megaphones so we hear ya loud and clear. Having said that, we have internal moderators on Voices that do a heck of a job. However, the community has just grown so fast, so we rely on the community for feedback in addition to our own efforts. So yes, we’re looking for someone for this role.

    I love your example of why participating outside of your geography works, I’ve used this type of example many times before as well, but it’s great to hear it from a successful agent that has made it work for them. Well done! We wish you much continued success.

    Rudy
    Social Media Guru at Trulia

  36. Glenn fm Naples

    August 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Rudy – did get a good answer to my question and thanks for the get out of jail free card. 🙂

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