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Trulia tricking agents with new emailer, or getting smart about siphoning direct feeds?

Trulia has sent out a new email campaign attached to a sweepstakes – is this a way to take advantage of unknowing agents, or is it a brilliant campaign? Or both?

trulia sweepstakes

In a new campaign, Trulia is directly emailing agents of brokers whose feeds are not being fed directly to Trulia, asserting that it decreases listing accuracy. The emailer appears to be going to brokers as well, and states that “Fresh, accurate listings come from frequent updates. They generate the most leads. On Trulia, listings coming directly from an MLS RETS feed are updated up to 180 times a day, while other sources typically only update up to 4 times a day.”

Further, it urges recipients to “Take 5 minutes to authorize your MLS to skip third parties and send your listings directly to Trulia for faster updates and more leads.” Wow, that sounds extremely easy, right?

“Better yet, it’s free and you’ll be entered to win $5,000!” the company says, urging practitioners to visit their Get Fresh sweepstakes and MLS authorization page, which directs agents to enter their information and solicits their broker’s email address and information as well, offering an instant authorization to feed Trulia listings.

Email Subject: Solve Your Listing Accuracy Issues


Industry reactions

A handful of agents we spoke with felt that this was a shady way to approach agents that didn’t know how muddled the syndication issue is, but to us, it looks like one hell of a marketing campaign – show how easy it is to feed listings, and entice with a prize (Lord knows the industry is famous for loving a good drawing, just go to a Realtor mixer).

We’re intrigued by Trulia’s push in light of Zillow’s intentions to acquire them – loading up MLS feeds prior to the closing of the deal makes for a stronger partnership right out of the gate, will mean more talking points to issue at close, and a showing of their ability to remain an independent operation (as has been stated they will). Further, if enough agents are pressuring their broker indirectly by entering their information into the simple sweepstakes, likely triggering a “your agent wants to syndicate” type email, will brokers reconsider their position to not syndicate?

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As a reader here, you’re well versed in the deeply complex issue of listing syndication, so what do you think – is this email a backhanded way to siphon off listings from unknowing agents, or is it one hell of a smart campaign that could yield big results?

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.


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