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Trulia Unveils Snapshots

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Trulia Unveils Snapshots

Today, Trulia unveils Trulia Snapshots, their new alternative browsing model for home buyers checking out listings. Much of the recent research shows that the most important thing to home buyers searching online is pictures and Trulia cuts right to the point and offers a way to surf pictures first and details later. Let’s take a quick tour by looking at (what else?) images of the new map search.


trulia snapshot sorting function


Get to the Point

Buyers can sort homes according to price and time on market- what is now perceived as their two most desired search terms. Trulia keeps it simple and allows a shiny alternative for buyers.


trulia snapshots viewing


It’s a Match!

Navigation is easy and by hovering over any home image on the map or in the row of images ordered by price or time on market, the matching image will be revealed with a distinct green frame indicating the address and time on market.


trulia snapshots details


Now Gimme Details

If a buyer thinks a picture is sexy, they can click in the row of homes below or in the floating images above and learn the basic details- address, size of home, etc. At the bottom of their potential match is an option to dive even deeper into the details.


trulia old fashioned way


Good Ol’ Fashioned Details

After a buyer has clicked for more information, they land back on the good ol’ fashioned Trulia page where they can learn the details of the listing they are interested in and find contact information for the listing agent.

Design

The new platform was designed by the San Francisco based studio, Stamen Design who specializes in mapping and data visualization. They are the creators behind Trulia’s Hindsight, and other major clients include MoveOn.org as well as BMW. We were excited to see that Stamen runs their site on a platform with formatting similar to agentgenius.com’s, so we liked them already and their design of Trulia Snapshots only solidifies our impression.

The Wrap

Trulia has created an incredibly clean, modern, and sexy map search that endeavours to delight internet home seekers’ visually while drawing them ever closer to the home seller. I am confident in predicting that Trulia will enjoy a skyrocketing rate of consumers’ time-on-site which ultimately benefits sellers begging for more creative exposure of their listings.

UPDATE: Mashable covers Trulia Snapshots– very cool.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Bob Schenkenberger

    May 29, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Finally! Someone is getting it. The consumer wants to search via map and see pictures. It’s like taking a drive through neighborhoods, and not spending the $4 per gallon!

  2. BawldGuy Talking

    May 29, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Lani and Rudy sittin’ in a tree… 🙂

    Great stuff, Lani.

  3. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    May 29, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Oh Jeff, I just work here, so if anyone is in a tree, it’s The Boss. And behave or I’ll threaten bad things.

    Bob, that’s a *great* point- and it’s like Google Street View but way less creepy. 😉

  4. Bill Lublin

    May 29, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Lani;
    The site is really sexy – I love the wavy photo things – they look like an octopus has grabbed the houses and is waving them in the air! Wait a minute – you thought Google Street View was creepy?
    😉

  5. Jayson

    May 29, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    The new site looks clean and easy to navigate. As usual, Trulia is making it easier for consumers to find homes.

  6. Dan Connolly

    May 29, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    I think this a classic example of something that sounds great in theory and falls flat in the actual application. The idea that the average buyer would want to have a simple photo and map combo sounds great but in here is the reality: there are only 4 ways to search, most expensive, least expensive, oldest and newest on the market.

    If you start with most expensive, in Atlanta GA, you have to look through hundreds and hundreds of houses before you get as low as $2,000,000. If you start with least expensive, you look through hundreds and hundreds of houses before you get as high as $39,900. The vast majority of the market is buried somewhere in the middle. We currently have 103,000 listings, so theoretically you might have to scroll through about 50,000 listings to find your desired price range!

    You can’t search by zip code or price range or a whole multitude of parameters. Lots of flash and pizzaz but very little practical usefulness.

  7. Frank Jewett

    May 29, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    This reminds me of the new REALTOR.com which initially advertised “voyeuristic” images. Ouch!

  8. Mack in Atlanta

    May 30, 2008 at 5:27 am

    In addition to Dan’s points, it seems to take a long time for all the thumbnails to load as you search further into the fields. The typical internet user wants the info quick and I,m not sure that Trulia is providing it quick enough. I didn’t see multiple photos of the homes either. Is there a way for interior photos to be displayed?

  9. Ken Smith

    May 30, 2008 at 10:54 am

    It’s shinny and it’s cool, but it’s function is lacking. I am 100% with Dan on this one. Beside Trulia doesn’t have enough of the listings to be highly effective way to search for homes.

  10. Ken Smith

    May 30, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Actually to follow up on the not showing enough listings to be useful I just ran a quick search. For zip code 60005 Trulia shows only 124 homes from $0-$500k while the MLS has 194 homes. 36% of the current listings do not show up on Trulia. That is a HUGE percentage of homes that a buyer would miss out on if they wasted their time on Trulia.

    Worse the 124 homes isn’t accurate as it is including some condos even though I clicked single family homes only. It also includes the “listings” of RealTrac that you have to pay RealTrac to see the real information for. Think most people are smart enough to realize what those listings are about.

    Remove the 3 Condo’s and 29 RealTrac listings (of which some are condos, townhomes, vacant lots, or industrial/commercial…I can tell by the street names) also some of the RealTrac ones are duplicates as the real listings from agents are also in there. With those removed we are actually down to only 92 real homes on the market, many without addresses. So you are seeing less then 50% of the listings and of those you don’t get full information. Again Trulia isn’t a useful way to search for homes and never will be.

  11. Rudy from Trulia.com

    May 30, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Hi Lani! – Thanks for the great coverage. Consumers do love pictures 🙂

    Hi All! – In this release of TruliaSnapshot, we included some pretty basic functionality. It’s a cool visualization tool and is not meant to replace our core search experience. Some have called it eye candy and real estate porn. It’s meant to be fun. The data on our site is becoming more comprehensive everyday.

    We’ve had some fantastic responses and feedback from all over the net – more cool things to come from Trulia……

    Rudy
    Social Media Guru at Trulia

  12. Matthew Rathbun

    June 2, 2008 at 9:53 am

    This is very cool, now if only the agent could brand it on their own website… hmmm

    As this system grows, the listngs will come. Unlike MLS, I am glad to see some forward thinking in preparation for more content.

  13. Matthew Rathbun

    June 2, 2008 at 9:54 am

    If nothing else, Trulia and Zillow are doing the R and D that MLS’s should be doing. Maybe they are just waiting to see what works and doesn’t and “provide a member upgrade” later 🙂

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Business Marketing

The most spectacular streets of L.A.

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$wimming Pools, Movie $tars…and $treets of Gold!

Hey  friends – instead of  a humorous look at the MLS this week, I wanted to share something personal – my wonderful city of Los Angeles.  If you’d like to know where and what the most desirable streets in L.A. are, check out this great report in the L.A. Times by Lauren Beale:

https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hot-streets27-2010mar27,0,6734165.story

I drive down these streets all the time, but I never take them for granted. I am still as star struck as the hordes of folks who come through here daily hoping for a glimpse of a movie star. The only difference is that we Angelenos want a glimpse, and then we want them to move the hell out of the way or risk getting run over (proceed or bleed!). After all, we all have somewhere to go, and that’s a monumental task in L.A.  The star dust on these streets is knee high…but there is an exhorbitant price for “$pectacular”!

Now you know why I love my job so much. See you next week with more MLS super-bloopers!

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Housing News

HUGE News From Twitter – Trending LOCAL Topics

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Twitter announced yesterday the roll out of Local Trending Topics.(We knew they would be putting to good use their purchase of GeoAPI last month).  This is a big event for the real estate industry and for real estate bloggers especially.  “Who cares what I ate for lunch yesterday?” you ask…. it’s not that, it is the ability to have your finger on the pulse of your local community in real time like never before (and leveraging that power)…

Think about it… you see a big news topic trending on Twitter and write a blog about it. When someone Googles the topic, you have a good chance of coming up high on Google, pulling people to your blog and positioning you as the go-to blog for hot local info, often scooping those asleep at the switch.

OR a news reporter shoots out a request for comments on the hot trending topic and you answer them (this happens OFTEN!) and you end up as a quoted source. Great! (This technique landed us on top of the 6 PM news when Obama announced the Help for Homeowners Plan, can you say priceless?)  You will become friends with local news reporters and be possible future sources as well.

Twitter Trending Topics

At a minimum, you will become a highly knowledgeable source on your most current local news.  Twitter is FASTER than local papers, TV and other sources due to the real time nature.  People post video clips and other live media (Ustream).  What if you were capturing those links on your own site?

Right now there are only a select few cities, but plans to roll out more are in the works.

If you couldn’t think of a way to use Twitter specifically for real estate before, with this new Super Local capacity, you might just think differently now….

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Media Coverage

Real Estate is About MEA CULPA

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It’s my Fault

(With a nod to a well know blogger who has a propensity for using latin, I would explain to those readers who are not familiar to the phrase that "Mea Culpa is latin for “my fault”)

Over the years, I find that people handle problems and successes differently. There are people who take responsibility for their success and their failures equally. These people are in my experience usually pretty confident and successful. They have found a balance in life. Too often people accept responsibility for their success but avoid responsibility for their failures. These people can also be successful, but I think they lack the balance that would allow them to really enjoy the success they achieve, and probably limits that success.

And then there is a third category of people that are modest about whatever success they have individually (though they may brag like anyone about their company or their achievements), but will take responsibility for things that may even have been out of their control – mainly because they feel they should have anticipated the problem or known that there was a wild card element that might need ot be addressed.

I Worry all the Time

Even when things go well, I tend to worry. I want to know that I have not only done everything I could to reach my intended result, if I don’t reach it, I want to learn why so I have a better result next time.

I don’t worry about making a mistake (If its noon and I haven’t made at least two mistakes I figure I wasn’t working or I didn’t get up yet) I just don’t want to make the same mistakes again and again. And I am not uncomfortable admitting that I made a mistake. That may be because I am confident that I can correct the problem, or at least that I am not defined by the mistakes I make.

I tend to trust people too much. According to one of my partners, I am literally “loyal to a fault” – but that’s a fault I am willing to own. But most importantly I don’t blame other people for the problems affecting me, and I look to myself for the solution

Last year Benn Rosales wrote a post about minimum standards and the Right to Practice. I agree with much of what was said in that post, and was interested in his suggestions for mandating minimum standards. But the real problem is that we as brokers (or managing brokers depending on your state) often don’t take responsibility for our agents because its too tough, or we want the licensing authority to do it, or our trade association, or someone else to mandate it so that we’re not the hard nosed bad guys. Maybe we don’t want to impose our standards on others even though we want other people will live up to our standards.

Everyone doesn’t do things the way I do – and they don’t have to. When I blog, it takes me a while because I don’t want to say something that I can’t back up factually. And I get nuts when someone else does that. I hate rhetoric without facts to back it up. I hate when people talk about what they think instead of what they know and I hate it when they speak in generalities instead of specifics. We can work on specifics, we can’t fix generalities.

If Its Your Problem, You can Fix it

If you aren’t accountable for something, you can’t fix it. If you give up the power of the problem, you give yp the power to solve the problem. Let’s take that aggravating listing you took 5 months ago and see how this theory plays.

You aren’t getting much activity through the listing, even though you’re advertising it and holding open houses. Its just that the market is so bad. There aren’t any serious buyers. The sellers arent cooperatvie. The house doesn’t show well. So obviously its not your fault that the home didn’t sell. Right? Wrong!

None of those things are your fault, but it is your fault that you took a listing that isn’t selling.

If buyers aren’t going through the property, then perhaps it isn’t priced properly?

If the property is being shown, but there are no offers, you need to re-examine the price and determine if there are issues with the physical condition of the home that need to be addressed. If the phyical issues with the property cant be addressed, then perhaps we need to.. you guessed it, review the price again.

If there are inquiries about the property but you aren’t able to show the home when you need to perhaps you need to get a key to show the property or install a lock box.

I could go on and on, but when you review the activity on a property, the home itself, and the terms you are offering , you can usually find the answer to the problem – and the key to that is being responsible for the problem, and therefore having the power to find a solution to the problem. And if you have a seller who will not cooperate, then the solution may be to solve the problem by firing the unreasonable seller ad moving on to a seller who wants to listen to your advice and get their home sold.

In any event, taking control of your life by being accountable for your problems should empower you in a manner that I’m sure you will find envigorating and enlightening. Now that you own your problems – go forth and solve them!

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