I had this epiphany yesterday.Â
I have been on Trulia for many years.Â I get a fair amount of leads, by answering questions in Trulia Voices.Â I've had listings, I've had buyers... it's a good lead generation method, that works nicely for me.
With some regularity I get these "stock" leads through Trulia, and they always say the same thing:
Alan May, I am looking for a real estate professional to work with and came upon your profile on Trulia. Please reply to this email or even better please call me if you are interested in scheduling a time for us to talk. Thank you
It sounds "canned" doesn't it?Â So, I press the "spam" button, and send them off into "lead-purgatory", so they won't bother me anymore.Â After all, I can smell a sales-pitch when I see one.Â In fact I had two of those this morning... "spam - spam".
Every now and then, a member of the Trulia public will ask: "Why don't any of the agents on Trulia respond to our contact requests?"... and I would answer: "Some agents don't check their e-mails regularly" or "some agents might have a profile on Trulia, but never check their account..."Â or something along those lines... I can't think of any legitimate reason why an agent wouldn't respond to an inquiry.
Well.... yesterday I got a phone call, while in the car on my way to an appointment ... she started with "Hi... is this Alan?... I am looking for a real estate professional to work with... are you interested in scheduling a time to meet with me?"
Almost as though they were reading the very same language. What do you suppose they're trying to sell me, now?Â So I responded rather curtly "What's this about?"...Â she went on to say that she and her husband were looking to purchase a home in the Evanston area, and they're looking for an agent familiar with the area... etc... etc... etc... It's a real call... I change my tone right away, and we set up an appointment to meet, and go over their parameters.
So, as part of my exit conversation, I ask "So, how did you find me?"... and she tells me "I found you on Trulia... you're very prominent there, and I like the comments that you leave... you seem knowledgeable, and friendly... "... and then she drops the bombshell... "I pressed the 'Contact Me' button under your photo and sent you a note twice... but I guess it didn't get through'.
Dunn... dunnn.... dunnnnnn.
So I go back into my leads on Trulia, and check... and sure enough... there's her phone number attached to one of those "canned" inquiries... and it's then that I realize... That's the standard language that comes up when a reader presses "Contact the Agent".Â How would I know that, since I've never pressed the "Contact an Agent" button before?
I start to look backward in my leads, and there are two more recent ones... I call the numbers... and sure enough... they're legitimate leads.Â Real people at the end of those calls, looking for real estate assistance from the guy they perceived to be on Trulia all the time, and surely he'll respond to my contact request.
So... for all of you people who've tried to contact me, before, through Trulia, and have reached a dead-end.Â I apologize.Â I will be looking at my Trulia leads, far more carefully from now on.
UPDATE: Trulia, after hearing about this is furiously brainstorming some new language for the standard contact comment.Â Now that's responsive!Â Thanks Pete... thanks Emily.