Trulia enters the fray of home value estimates
After years of watching competitors’ failures and successes in providing automated home values to consumers, Trulia is now launching Trulia Estimates into open beta, claiming consumer demand drove them to add this feature. After quietly tweaking the site to make way for the Trulia Estimates (like changing the location and size of the large map for search results), the company is now offering home value estimates in the San Francisco Bay area which just happens to be their back yard. Over one million off-market addresses are now available for public viewing in the city.
Trulia Estimates pulls only from public record data rather than a third party source and the site allows homeowners to claim their home and update features which ultimately will have an impact on the Trulia Estimate for that address in real time, Trulia told AGBeat.
The company says their offering is superior to their competitors because they already have a strong tie in with the real estate professional, encourage users to connect with Realtors at various stages of site use, are “pro industry” and that as opposed to some, they understand that the home values are just estimates and are marketing it as such and feel they make it clear to consumers without their having to read fine print.
The goal of transparency
Currently, feedback on individual Trulia Estimates are private and between the person providing feedback and Trulia, but their big picture plan is to elevate transparency in the industry by opening this feedback loop and are studying the minutia that will allow them to do so. The company asserts that because fresh eyeballs are on the project and they are taking a new approach, they believe they can fix the problem with the automated valuation model (AVM) which is typically shrouded in secret algorithms unavailable to the public.
This feature has been developed internally by Trulia which has been in testing mode and strenuous internal benchmarking, and the company is confident that Trulia Estimates will help consumers to better understand what moves the market in a transparent way. As they work on the challenge of transparency, they tell us they will be relying heavily upon user feedback, both Realtor and consumer, and implied to AGBeat that they are extremely open to the direction of the product being set by their users.