Trulia introduces their Mortgage Center
Filling in a gap as they file for their IPO, real estate media company, Trulia, has announced the launch of the Trulia Mortgage Center which will provide consumers with personalized mortgage quotes from lenders in real time. In discussion with several agents today, the common theme heard was, “they didn’t already have this?” which indicates that it is a logical offering, but also that they are playing catch up to some extent, as quotes have been featured on the other big two for quite some time.
The Center stands out, however, with their well designed dedicated app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and is also available online.
“More than half are not pre-qualified”
“Our research revealed that even though 76 percent of users who have contacted a real estate professional on Trulia are planning to move in the next six months, more than half are not pre-qualified for a mortgage. Knowing this, we recognized an opportunity to help our transaction-ready homebuyers and current homeowners finance their American Dream,” said Lee Clancy, Trulia’s VP of Consumer Products.
Clancy added, “As more people search for homes on-the-go from their smartphones and tablets, we understood how important it is for today’s mobile house hunters to be able to search for rates in real-time from anywhere, at anytime. This is why we’ve launched the Trulia Mortgage Center simultaneously online and as a dedicated app for iOS from the start.”
Trulia’s Chief Economist, Dr. Jed Kolko wrote that the top three mortgage rates questions he gets asked the most are:
- How do mortgage rates affect the housing market?
- Why are mortgage rates so low, and will they stay low?
- How can you get the lowest rate possible?
Trulia Mortgage Center features
According to Trulia, the following are the key features of the site:
- “Personalized Quotes: Input your property location, loan purpose, home price, down payment, credit score and property type to get a custom mortgage quote that fits your needs. Sort by lowest fees, APR, rate or payment for a more customized search.
- Real-Time Estimated Payments: Get rates that are updated in real-time for the most accurate estimated payment possible.
- Connect with Lenders: Learn about and connect with lenders about a specific quote by sending a direct email right from the quote detail page.
- Get Mortgage Questions Answered: Submit mortgage related questions to our Voices community on our ‘Discussions’ board to get input from local real estate professionals and experts.”
iOS app features
- Affordability Calculator: Determine the home price you can afford easily, and see a visual breakdown of your monthly payment and total cost of ownership.
- Quote Comparison: Get personalized quotes updated in real-time that you can sort by lowest fees, APR, rate or payment to find ones just right for you.
- Connect with Lenders: Contact lenders directly from your mobile device to learn more about a specific quote.
Trulia is the last of the big three real estate media companies to go public, and is shoring up its offering just in time. Consumers are worried about mortgages, and as Trulia indicates, many continue to not be pre-qualified, which better equips consumers that choose Trulia as their real estate resource, and stands a chance at improving the transaction process compared to a Trulia consumer that hasn’t researched mortgages.
What small business owners can learn from Starbucks’ new D&I strategy
(BUSINESS) Diversity and inclusion have been at the forefront of Starbucks’ mission, but now they’re shifting strategy. What can we learn from it?
Starbucks was one of many companies that promised to focus on diversity and inclusion efforts after the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in 2020. What sets Starbucks apart from other companies were its specific goals.
How It Started
They began with hiring targets and have now added goals in corporate and manufacturing roles. Starbucks’ plans and goals revolve around transparency for accountability. They released the annual numbers for 2021 as a way to help hold themselves accountable. The data they’ve released so far show that they’ve met nearly a third of their 2025 goals according to Retail Brew. Because of this information, we can see why they are choosing to move in the direction of manufacturing and corporate jobs. In 2021, POC’s fell to 12.5% of director-level employees from 14.3% in 2020 in manufacturing.
How It’s Going
Per Starbucks’ website stories and news, “[I]t will increase its annual spend with diverse suppliers to $1.5 billion by 2030. As part of this commitment, Starbucks will partner with other organizations to develop and grow supplier diversity excellence globally.” To put that into perspective, they spent nearly $800 million with diverse suppliers in 2021. With these moves, by 2030, it will increase by almost double.
As part of their accountability and progress, they plan to partner up with Arizona State University to give out free toolkits to entrepreneurs on fundamentals for running successful diverse-owned businesses. Another goal they’ve listed is to boost paid media representation by allocating 15 percent of the advertising budget to minority-owned and targeted media companies to reach diverse audiences.
At the heart of all this information on their goals and future plans, data transparency and accountability are what’s forcing them to look at the numbers to make specific goals. They are doing more than just throwing money at the problem, they are analyzing how they can do better and where the money will make a difference. Something that, as entrepreneurs, we should all do.
Peloton is back-pedaling: Reports of price increases, layoffs, and cost cuts
(BUSINESS) After a recording of layoffs leaks, ‘supply chain’ issues cause shipping increases, and they consult for cost-cutting, Peloton is doomed.
Is Peloton in Trouble?
According to many reports, Peloton had success early in the pandemic when gyms shut down. Offering consumers a way to connect with a community for fitness along with varying financing options allowed the company to see growth when many other industries were being shuttered.
After two years, CNBC reports that the company is “being impacted by …supply chain challenges” and rising inflation costs. According to the report, customers will be paying an additional $250 for its bike and $350 for its tread for delivery and setup.
As demand has decreased, Peloton is also considering layoffs in their sales and marketing departments, overheard in a leaked audio call. The recording details executives discussing “Project Fuel” where they plan to cut 41% of the sales and marketing teams, as well as letting go of eCommerce employees and frontline workers at 15 retail stores.
Nasdaq reported that the stock fell 75% last year, after a year where it soared over 400%.
Peloton reviewing its overall structure
According to another report from CNBC, Peloton is working with McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, to lower costs as revenue has dropped and the growth of new subscriptions has slowed since the pandemic. Last November, according to NPR, Peloton had “its worst day as a publicly-traded company.” It also anticipates greater losses in 2022 than originally predicted. It makes sense that the company would reexamine their strategy as the economy changes. They aren’t the only one that is raising prices amid supply chain issues.
It will be interesting to watch how Peloton fares
Peloton has a large community that pays a monthly fee for connected fitness. While growth has slowed, the company still has a strong share of consumers. Although it is facing more competition in the home fitness market and more gyms are reopening, as Peloton adjusts to the new normal, it should remain a viable company.
CEO is offering folks thousands to *quit* their jobs, with one catch
(BUSINESS) A CEO out of Arizona is challenging employment norms by offering a sort of “sign-off” bonus upfront, but this method has one fatal flaw.
Chris Ronzio, the CEO of Trainual, a software company in Arizona that aims to systemize and scale your small business, is offering cold hard cash to quit your job in an unconventional ploy to bypass the effects of the Great Resignation.
Before you rush to turn in your notice and make some extra cash, you should know that this offer is dependent on being selected as a hirable candidate and making it through the hiring process for Trainual. This option is also offered to new hires after 2 weeks of employment.
This model of employment gives the employee the ability to fire the company and walk away with a little sum of money. The thought process of the CEO was outlined in an article by the Insider, saying it is a strategic move to retain top talent and maintain a strong company culture. While this is a unique approach…it has a glaring flaw. The offer is only good for the initial two-week period. However, it can take some time to recognize the shortcomings of any company when you begin employment. We can all recognize the long-term financial potential of reoccurring income and while $5,000 is not anything to shake your finger at, it will eventually be gone. I think we can all agree that constructive criticism can be difficult to swallow at times, however, if Trainual was truly invested in this model they would extend the offer at other key times during employment. What if this offer was again available at the 1-year mark? If the offer reappeared at a one-year review, the turnover may increase.
Per the Insider article, Ronzio was quoted as saying, “With today’s market, hiring teams have to move quickly to assess candidates and get them through the process to a competitive offer, so it’s impossible to be right 100% of the time,” Ronzio said. The CEO added, “The offer to quit allows the dust to settle from a speedy process and let the new team member throw a red flag if they’re feeling anything but excited.”
These statements detail another dimension to consider which is the employment hiring process and timeline. If top candidates are in such high demand that the process has to be sped up to secure a workforce, this monetary compensation can help to ensure the hiring decision. Although, when the offer was implemented in May of 2020, the offer was $2500, half of what it is now. Ronzio reasoned that they could stay while they looked for another job so they increased the amount to compensate for those with a higher salary range.
Let me preface this by saying that yes, accountability should exist, but I would be interested to know the turnover rate for the hiring team. The cost to the company from this unique approach adds extra weight for those making the decisions on who to hire. The stress the hiring team faces has to be factored into the candidate decisions. How many times can the hiring team get it wrong before they’re let go? While the pressure to hire the right candidate should always factor in, one has to wonder about the effects of this model.
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