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...from a Sow's ear.

(hey! come look whut I made from thet Sow's ear!)

By Alan May | Broker in Evanston, IL

Converting Trulia leads to signed contracts!

As some of you may know I spend a fair amount of time on Trulia Voices, answering consumer real estate questions.  Trulia Voices is the "discussion" area where consumers come for a little Q&A of real estate professionals.

They ask generic questions, specific question, sometimes they're real estate, sometimes they're mortgage/lender questions, often they're about inspection issues, and of course there's the occasional spam.

I answer questions from my region as well as areas around the country, when the questions aren't location-specific.

There are many who look down their noses at the entire Q&A process on Trulia, and concurrently at the Realtors and Agents who chose to participate there. Some people have the temperament to play on Trulia, and some people don't have the patience.

That's all well and good, if you don't want to participate in the Q&A area, then that's your decision.  But I gotta tell you, that answering questions on Trulia has been very good for me.

Yes, there are a bunch of foolish questions... and some moronic answers from agents who should know better.  My personal favourite is the "What is the average commission? ..." question, and there are always a few doofus agents who will take the bait with "oh, the average is X%"... d'oy!!

I figure it's the department of justice asking those questions, trying to cull the herd.

All the more reason to participate, because those agents who can present themselves as knowledgeable and professional stand out from the crowd. I get regular calls and regular business that ends in a closing and a check, merely from my participation on Trulia Voices.

This last week... I converted three separate Trulia leads into accepted contracts.  That's right... three phone calls from people who found me on Trulia that turned into buyers and all three of them, coincidentally, decided to buy during the same week.  So I can tell you for certain that being the local "expert" by displaying professionalism and real estate knowledge on a national website, such as Trulia, can be a good source of leads.

-10

ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
• Licensed in Illinois

    

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Comments

By Barbara Grandolfo,  Mon Jul 9 2012, 17:25
Well said. Thanks, Alan, good post.
By Jennie Miller PLLC,  Tue Jul 10 2012, 14:35
Thanks for sharing this great information.
By Stephanie Burg-Brown, CPM, CRS,  Wed Jul 11 2012, 18:53
Great information Alan.
By Juliette Ferguson,  Wed Jul 11 2012, 19:49
great blog!
By Bellesheiml,  Thu Jul 12 2012, 15:07
I appreciate your answers. I am new to this and my questions may sound foolish to some but if I don't ask I will never learn! I would buy from you if you were in my area! Keep up the great work and congratulations on your signed contracts this week, you deserve it!
By Maria Avellaneda,  Fri Jul 13 2012, 10:29
my sentiments too, I participate to show my knowledgeand and help the communit. I also had people called me because tthey saw my answers.
By Lynn Brock,  Sat Jul 14 2012, 05:58
Alan May, your comments and observations are so true. The questions posted seem to reflect curiousity, frustrations or confusion regarding the "poster".

My endeavors responding to Trulia questions have also helped me to connect with
"poster" that have become clients and subsequently happy home owners.

I find it fun and interesting. Great blog. How did you post art work in your blog?
By Chad Gray,  Mon Jul 16 2012, 05:26
Another excellent post Alan! It looks like I may be getting more company answering questions on Trulia as a result.
By Jennifer Fivelsdal,  Mon Jul 16 2012, 20:31
Allan congrats on your success converting leads. Participation does lead to phone calls.
By Kevin Olson & Jessica Laude,  Tue Jul 17 2012, 18:27
Does it help to be the Mayor? J/K happy for you
By Allan Erps,  Wed Jul 18 2012, 04:37
Congrats Alan, amazing about the (3) in a week! But truthfully loved the d'oy ALOT!!
By Debbie Starnes, Realtor,  Wed Jul 18 2012, 13:54
Thanks Alan - I'm new to Trulia and the Q&A but excited to be apart of the team.
By Wolfgang Croskey,  Fri Jul 20 2012, 09:06
Thanks Alan,
I was starting to lose faith on answering the questions here, but will keep going.
By Amy Liu,  Mon Jul 23 2012, 04:54
Thanks Alan! Great blog!
By Pat and Steve Pribisko,  Mon Jul 23 2012, 06:49
Alan, this is an excellent blog. Besides personal referrals, I believe our best leads come from Trulia. Just yesterday, we took a couple out for the first time to view 7 homes. They called us last week, because they saw us on Trulia.
By Matias Escobar - 239.738.0451,  Mon Jul 23 2012, 11:10
Totally Agree!
By CLAIRE WILLS ®,  Tue Jul 31 2012, 00:13
Thanks Alan! Great Info!
By Mary Beth Hurtado,  Tue Jul 31 2012, 15:42
I take it that the contracts all happened in the same week for leads that came in over the last couple months. Correct? I have an accepted contract last week from a July Trulia lead and am writing an offer this week for a client who found me on my Trulia mobile ad. Still I think my best leads have been from our own website. We also get good leads from Zillow. All voices activity is positive. Thanks for your thoughts Alan.
By Jolie Muss LREB,  Thu Aug 2 2012, 14:13
Good for you Alan! I've also gotten a few decent leads from Trulia, one that finally led to a closing..For some reason many of the people who have contacted me seem to think I can do magic- Like find them an apartment here that they can buy with a VA loan or find them something that never existed or find them a loft in Tribeca for the price it was 20 years ago.. LOL!
By Stephanie Leon 786-664-7710,  Thu Aug 2 2012, 18:10
I have closed several leads from Trulia and I have had many dead leads too. But the good out weighs the bad... Congrats and thanks for sharing..
By Lisa and Goran Forss (Broker),  Fri Aug 3 2012, 12:05
There are many ways to be successful, and you certainly found a great way to get new clients! Congrats!
By Marcus Necessary,  Fri Aug 3 2012, 20:31
Glad you're having success. Keep at it and great post!
By Endre Barath,Jr.,  Sun Aug 5 2012, 16:33
Alan, congrats on your success, I agree the more you participate the more likely there will be results! NOthing like a closed transaction from this great platform.
By Brady Miller,  Tue Aug 7 2012, 07:37
Great advice, Alan, thanks! Certainly seems like wading through all the junk leads in Trulia is worth it when you come across a few gems here and there. Also, if you take time to write a thoughtful answer on Trulia, users more often than not are very appreciative. I enjoy the humorous answer here and there, but there are way to many non-sensical and back-handed answers from agents that can be frustrating to see.
By Marco Torres,  Wed Aug 8 2012, 07:31
I haven't got much success with the Q & A. But Trulia has being good to me for Rentals and Sales by getting good leads. You have a lead and small window of opportunity to convert that lead into a client or good prospect. There are also the bad leads but that we should expect.
By Alan May,  Thu Aug 9 2012, 08:49
Bellesheimi - nice to hear.
Kevin & Jessica - it don't hurt.
Mary Beth - yes, that's right... leads that had come in over the past few weeks and months, but all three gelled in that same week.
By Jim Olive,  Fri Aug 10 2012, 11:14
Good stuff Alan. Do you mind if I ask if you are an "elite" member, or do you attribute getting so many leads strictly to your participation in Voices? Do you know how many hits Trulia reports for Evanston every month? I know for little Key West it's around 35k, so I'd be interested to compare that to your market. Keep up the stellar work!
By Wes Black,  Sun Aug 12 2012, 12:16
Really enjoyed this post. Thank you.
By Michael DeFilippi,  Sun Aug 12 2012, 15:07
I've never got anything from the Q&A. I get a ton of leads (and close a good percentage) from Trulia Pro though. The key to Trulia Pro is knowing how to identify the areas property. For instance I wasn't receiving as many leads when I had the general 'Miami Beach' but I changed it to specific areas 'West Avenue, South Pointe, etc.." then the amount of leads increased substancially. Also never purchase the local ads. You absolutely will get a return on TruliaPro.
By Jacob Thomas,  Mon Aug 13 2012, 04:19
Alan!!!
Thanks for your information!!! Very informative
By Janet McCarthy,  Thu Aug 16 2012, 13:59
Congratulations! I have many contacts but few closings at the moment. Do you think you just got lucky or do you have any tips to share on how you got your buyers to move forward.
By Bill Wallace,  Fri Aug 17 2012, 05:12
Good information - provides some encouragement to keep responding.
By Pat and Steve Pribisko,  Sun Aug 19 2012, 07:45
Alan, I totally agree with you. Currently, I and my partner (& spouse) are submitting an offer to purchase a home. I received a call from the husband through Trulia and the couple immediately became our clients.
By Carla Pennington, Realtor(R),  Wed Aug 22 2012, 23:39
Add my voice to the list of closings from my Trulia participation. It's kind of a numbers game - every lead isn't necessarily a good one, but I learn something from almost all of them. I certainly learn all the time from the other Realtors on the site, so I find it worth some of my time as I sit in my easy chair!
By Siarhei Zavadski,  Thu Aug 30 2012, 10:42
Great Info!
By Manisha Jain, Broker, Realtor,  Fri Aug 31 2012, 17:06
Great tips, Trulia seems to be working out good leads
By Marianne Bandy,  Mon Sep 3 2012, 17:49
We are starting to gain traction with Trulia leads as well. As internet leads are typically a longer incubation period, keeping in soft contact with them is critical to success.
By Mary Beth Hurtado,  Wed Sep 5 2012, 11:57
Hey Trulia Blog gang - How many weeks is this going to be the post of the week? :-)
By Judi Monday, CRS,  Sun Sep 9 2012, 09:24
I totally agree. Trulia has been good to me as well and I believe it is because I work hard at being "seen" on the site which means answering questions and blogging.
By Brent Germany - Buyer Expert,  Tue Sep 11 2012, 09:52
Good article Alan. I am relatively new to Trulia as an agent and have already had some success. Closed one deal already and landed 5 new build townhomes in my area.

Check out all the local listings for DFW at http://www.estatechase.com/
By Joe Stone - Realtor (R),  Tue Sep 11 2012, 23:33
That's good to know. Thanks for the info. Trulia Voices is definitely an exercise in patience that I'm still trying to work on. I should probably learn to just bite my tongue some of the time.
By Adam Wills,  Thu Sep 13 2012, 14:54
Im enjoying the Q&A actually, and plan on utilizing it to ask questions I dont yet know the answers to as a new agent. Thanks for taking the time to help.
By Marvin Von Renchler,  Fri Sep 14 2012, 20:11
I made over $10,000 in commissions the first week I started doing Q&As here. If others think thats chump change for something that is beneath them or takes too much of their time, It came from two blogs that took me about 15 minutes each. Thats 1/2 hour at $10,000, or $20,000 an hour. Hard to do that at a mini mart pumping gas.
By Becky Morris,  Sun Sep 16 2012, 08:15
Congratulations! Great post. I've been blogging on Trulia for three years and know it works!
By Jae Ng,  Mon Sep 17 2012, 21:26
Great post, Very motivating!
By Kerry Lucasse,  Thu Sep 20 2012, 04:27
Great post -- congrats on your new clients!
By Morcos Azer,  Thu Sep 20 2012, 23:44
Thank you for sharing. God Bless
By Brian Walsh "Buyer's Agent",  Mon Sep 24 2012, 06:59
Really Great Post and Congratulations! This gives me the drive to keep on top of my leads...
By Bradley Gill,  Mon Sep 24 2012, 19:22
It's always great to hear success stories from agents using Trulia...I totally agree, Voices is a highly undervalued forum!
By Valli Lopez,  Wed Sep 26 2012, 12:55
I've had similar experience. A key is to not answer typically like the rest of the agents, there's a trend in responses and I always try to think outside the box, making my answers stand out.
By Kristen Jones,  Sat Sep 29 2012, 08:26
Thanks Alan! I totally agree.
By Alan May,  Tue Oct 30 2012, 11:38
Jim - I am not an elite member... I do not pay Trulia any subscription fees at all.
Wes - why thank you.
Michael - and I don't use Trulia Pro.
Jacob - you're welcome.
Janet - consistency. I answer a lot of questions in Trulia Voices, and people have come to know me.
Bill - glad to hear it.
Pat and Steve - and that's how it works.
Carla - I've had plenty of poor leads... but enough to make it well worthwhile.
Siarhei - thank you.
Manisha - thank you.
Marianne - it took me a long time to gain any leads, but those that I do obtain seem much closer to an actual "purchase" than the average.
Mary - I wasn't aware that it WAS the post of the week?
Judi - that's been my experience, too.
Brent - that sounds like some success to me.
Joe - you've got to keep it professional.
Adam - rather than "asking" questions... you'll do better answering them... it sets you up as the local expert.
Marvin - results not typical.
Becky - ahh... preachin' to the choir, eh?
Jae - thank you.
Kerry - thank you.
Morcos - you're welcome.
Brian - glad to hear it.
Bradley - it take a while... but it's worthwhile.
Valli - I think if you're professional, informational, and knowledgeable without "begging for business"... people respond.
Kristen - you're welcome.

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