At Trulia, we spend a lot of time thinking about ways to help consumers who are looking to buy real estate and brokers/agents who are looking to sell it. Our goal is to help both groups wherever possible, creating a virtuous cycle that results in a continually improving website for everyone. Keeping with this tradition, today we are announcing the launch of our first test with Sponsored Listings on Trulia.
To date, we have received positive feedback from brokers and agents who have found that Trulia is great at connecting them with potential buyers via our organic search results. They have asked us what more they can do to increase the number of visitors that they get from Trulia. Our response, Sponsored Listings, is essentially a program that will allow brokers to more prominently display their listings on our site.
Yes, it is true that brokers will pay us money for this product (Alas! – we must pay the bills!), but we won’t let that get in the way of us serving consumers. In fact, we will only show sponsored listings if the properties match what the user is searching for. So, if you’re looking for a 2 bedroom apartment in Los Angeles, we won’t show you a 3 bedroom home in San Francisco, even though there are some lovely ones on Trulia. In our opinion, having sponsored listings that are relevant to a consumer’s search is the best user experience and will provide the most qualified visitors to our broker and agent partners.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be playing around a bit with the format of sponsored listings (primarily on the search results pages) to see how users interact with them. If you are lucky enough to be in a test bucket, you will be able to see the sponsored listings. We’ll be running some numbers (yes, a lot of us are engineers) to decide what to keep and what to modify. In the end, none of this should negatively impact things for users or agents and brokers. Users will still be able to find properties that interest them, and brokers and agents will still be able to have their properties viewed.
We really want to elicit as much feedback as possible, so let us know what your thoughts are–both positive and negative. We will provide an update as our testing continues.