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Trulia Steps Up Their Game

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This week, Trulia unveils numerous new features from a news feed to GPS integration. Here are the cliff notes of Mashable’s writeup:

Perpetually Updating News Feed

“Trulia has adopted the news feed format for additional localized personalization features on its homepages. Visit Trulia’s main home page and you’ll see tailored news feed updates based on your geographic location. Upon launch, this news feed will be localized on a city level, but as Trulia aggregates more information to be included in this news feed and continues to build out this feature, it will move into specific neighborhood and zip code localization levels as well.”

Trulia + iPhones = Love

“Trulia mobile has also been upgraded to include a new iPhone app, which takes advantage of its map and image-viewing capabilities and offers a new way in which to access the news feed features Trulia is also rolling out in this release.”

Trulia on the Road

“Trulia has also teamed up with Dash Navigation to provide mobile access through its GPS Global Positioning System -enabled navigation device, giving you yet another way to both search for and drive to homes in a particular area.”

What Now?

Trulia has also added blogs for any user to their bevy of new services. Will this help keep their traffic elevated after the public relations hit they’ve recently taken regarding their SEO practices? Will all the bells and whistles prove that they’re in this game to stay or are they just bells and whistles? Will a buyer care if Trulia is on their GPS or that agents have a blog? Will sellers be impressed that the real estate community has a new option to promote their homes that encourages users to subscribe to news feeds and keep buyers coming around? Will the fact that the news feed gets smarter each time a user engages it help Trulia continue to outpace their competitors? What do you think about the Trulia news?

Regardless of the ugly things other blogs have said about Trulia, they deserve a great deal of credit for refusing to remain stagnant and by creating a more vibrant offering.

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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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Jay Thompson

    August 25, 2008 at 1:20 am

    There are a lot of folks at Trulia that “get it”.

    There are a lot of folks in the REBC (Real Estate Blogging Community) that seem to make a sport of taking Trulia to task.

    Here’s the deal….

    They aren’t going away. Why not learn from these people and, if I may be so selfish, use them to your advantage?

  2. Laura Cannon

    August 25, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Great questions. Wow, I am stuck, and I imagine that I will be stuck for a while thinking about these issues. Trulia has made such leaps in such a short time; it’s impressive and daunting. They are a powerhouse, and any thoughtful Realtor on the web has to think about how they became so successful and what sustains their success.

    Sidenote: I was on a Google discussion forum the other day and asked for help from SEOs about my Google ranking. One of the helpful responses I got was to take the Trulia graph/link widget off my blog. The SEO explained that I was diminishing my ability to climb up the rankings by enabling a monolith to remain king of the mountain. I hadn’t never thought of it that way. I just thought my Trulia widget looked cool. I still haven’t decided if I am going to take it off.

    I would love to hear what others think about the subject.

  3. ines

    August 25, 2008 at 11:57 am

    they do deserve credit Lani, without a doubt but they also need to go back to the basics. I syndicate my listings over there through v-flyer – somehow my listings become “no longer live” and I have to input them manually which is very time consuming (even if they are correct and active on v-flyer’s platform).

    Before they go on to bigger and better things, they have to go back to the basic agent relations and make sure they have those listings. (that’s MHO of course). I find it a total waste of time to have to police those listings over there…..there are too many platforms to police.

    • Jay Myers

      May 7, 2010 at 3:45 am

      Ines have the opposite problem, they keep giving me listings that are not mine. But they are not the good kind. They are, I am guessing at this point, the spec houses from some builder, with no address, and no real details. Not the kind of listing agent I pride myself in being. I am sure it is not their fault though, just from somewhere they are pulling a feed. Overall I like Trulia and Zillow and are far further ahead of the curve than R.com. Did you hear they finally got a mobile app in the last few months! (A sarcastic Wow!)

  4. Rudy from Trulia.com

    August 25, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Hi Lani!

    We’ll see how our new functionality and features are embraced by both consumers and agents. Very exciting!

    This far, the consumers and regular folks on the street that we have shown the Trulia iPhone app to have been overwhelmingly excited about it. It gives those with the mobile devices the ability to see what homes are for sale within an immediate radius of where they are physically standing – that’s mobile power baby! Or, they can enter criteria for a search on Trulia anywhere in the US just like on their computer.

    The iPhone gives the savvy home buyer who is walking the streets or driving in their car the flexibility unlike ever before to find a home or open house on the fly. This flexibility also gives the agent a new tool to showcase to their current home sellers, prospective home seller clients and current home buyers ad prospective home buyers.

    I think sellers will be impressed when their agent shows them an additional way they will showcase their home – via mobile. It may even win them some listings. If anyone want’s to talk to their buyers and sellers on this and give us feedback, it would be appreciated.

    Trulia community blog platform gives agents and consumers an additional way to connect. Keep in mind, a future enhancement will allow you to send us your blog RSS feed and populate your Trulia blog. Give us a try to see if it works for you.

    The personalized RSS home page really gives you a quick glimpse into what happening in the areas you care about. search the most. Great for both consumers and agents. The info and data comes to you rather than you having to search for it.

    @Jay – Yeah, we get it 🙂 I hope that everyone does use us to their advantage.

    @Laura – The real estate space is moving fast and slow at the same time. Test and find what works for you. The only way way to know is first hand experience – you have to see if it adds value and works for you or not. Good luck….

    @Ines – Thanks Ines. I will create a ticket for you re: vFlyer and keep you in the loop.

    Rudy
    Social Media Guru at Trulia

  5. jf.sellsius

    August 26, 2008 at 9:39 am

    HGTV’s Frontdoor has an iPhone app (using Terabitz ), as does Streeteasy. Trulia is just keeping up with technology. It’s really a no-brainer. I suppose they will adopt QR codes when the software comes built into the new phones.

    Still, as the recent Techcrunch post pointed out, Trulia does not have complete LOCAL MLS coverage in all areas (most national sites don’t— except the local brokers have the best coverage). Consumers may not (will not) know they are missing out on properties that a visit to the local broker would cure. I have suggested that nat’l sites like trulia and zillow disclose their local MLS coverage on the website– in the name of transparency and consumer benefit. https://tinyurl.com/5uqvjv (Roost, once they get their marketing eggs in a row, has the best chance of satisfying the customer need to see (at least) all the listings the brokers see)

    https://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/22/how-accurate-are-listings-on-real-estate-sites/

    But Ines makes a good point– you can have all the bells and whistles you want but you can’t neglect the basics and customer support. Luckily, Trulia has Rudy to quickly take care of your problems. (hey, buddy)

  6. ines

    August 26, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Joe – I still think Trulia would be nothing without Rudy….but I guess I’m biased 😉

  7. jf.sellsius

    August 26, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Yes, indeed, Ines. He should ask for a big raise immediately… and get it.

  8. Lesley

    August 26, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I, the proud user of a Blackberry Curve, am so the red-headed stepchild. I urge Trulia to include me and my ilk!

  9. Carolyn Gjerde-Tu

    August 26, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    @ Laura, I would take the widget off. It is good places like trulia do have the resources to move the technology forward. I have quite a few clients with iphones and I know they are using them to search for housing.

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

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Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

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