Trulia Real Estate Blog

articles about “Real Estate Industry

Building Real Estate Apps Easier With Open Source Code From Trulia

This morning, Trulia announced a new tool for software developers interested in building applications for the real estate industry, thanks to a multi-month project to build open source code and spur innovation.

Trulia Java RETS Client, is open source software that makes the accurate and timely exchange of data easier for the real estate industry.

The software promotes industry innovation because it allows developers to more easily parse data to build real estate applications using information licensed from Multiple Listing Services (MLSs). After six months of development, the software is now available for download on the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) website.

RESO is an organization that promotes data standards and processes through the Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS), which allows many different real estate systems to connect and exchange real estate information including home listings, and make them available online.

As a member of the organization and the board, Trulia is aligned with RESO’s goal to provide an environment that facilitates innovation and builds efficiencies for all parties participating in the real estate transaction.

RESO

The new software is intended to jump-start software development for applications that access real estate listing data, such as mobile or tablet apps. Traditionally, developers have had to custom build the technology to access this data, which is time consuming and can be expensive.

Trulia’s Java RETS Client was configured to be flexible and has been tested with all major technology vendors. Trulia is committed to updating its open-source software to work with all MLSs and 3rd party providers, and non-compliant RETS feeds.

Trulia has a long history of contributing time and resources to open source communities across many disciplines representing the breadth of engineering expertise at the company, including iOS software development, geospatial technology, and data visualization.  The Trulia Java RETS Client software and many other useful tools that promote high quality real estate data are available on RESO.

Trulia Java RETS Client was forked from jRETS and supports all of that functionality with the addition of being compliant up to version 1.7.2 of the RETS specification.

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Market Leader Open Platform Now Accepts Leads From More Than 8 National Sources

This summer, Market Leader announced major additions to the company’s Smart Lead Technology including the ability to accept leads from Trulia, Zillow, HouseValues.com, RealEstate.com, JustListed.com and Realtor.com, as well as from major franchise websites. Now, the company is further expanding its Site Stream feature, making leads available from 2 additional sources, including RealtyNow and Active Rain, expanding the utility of Market Leader’s open platform.

In addition, Trulia and Market Leader have been working together to provide additional value to real estate professionals using the combined company’s products. Beginning this week, leads from either the Trulia Local Ads product or Trulia Mobile Ads product, will be captured in Market Leader’s leading customer relationship management (CRM) software with even more data, automatically triggering real-time alerts for the agent.

Market Leader Professional and Business Suite feature Smart Lead Technology, which is designed to help agents generate, engage and manage all of their leads. Site Stream is just one part of Smart Lead Technology, and its enhancements are making it easier for agents to receive all of their Trulia leads in the Market Leader CRM, enabling agents to quickly and intelligently engage and convert more of them into clients.

“It’s easy to increase productivity and income with one system that engages thousands of local leads at once” said Andrew Johnson, REALTOR® from Touchstone Realty in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

With Market Leader, agents have access to sophisticated follow-up tools to manage engagement with leads while they establish a relationship. For example, agents can share relevant content with prospective clients, such as custom listing alerts, based on their unique home search criteria, and send them polished email and print campaigns.

Look for the combined Trulia and Market Leader team in booth 719 in the South Hall at Moscone Center for the REALTORS® Conference and Expo, in San Francisco from November 8- 11. Visitors will have a chance to meet the Altman Brothers and also learn how Trulia and Market Leader branded products and services complement each other.

Agents interested in more information, please contact your Trulia and Market Leader sales teams.

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With 15 New Partners Trulia Accelerate Program Goes Into Overdrive

This morning Trulia announced it has expanded the Trulia Accelerate program to 16 partners overall, reaching nearly 70,000 agents total. For Trulia, this is an important milestone, while it executes on its strategy to engage partners across the industry and make its products and services available to real estate agents and brokers through important relationships with brokerages and franchises.

Trulia signed a major partner, leading franchisor RE/MAX LLC., when it originally launched the program in July. Since then 15 brokerages from across the country have decided to join the program and grow their businesses. Because Trulia Accelerate is a flexible set of products and resources, the company works with each partner to find the right mix of options that will help them meet their specific business goals.

Trulia Accelerate Program

New Partners: 15

Real Trends 2013 ranking by Volume

BH&G Gary Greene

62

Century 21 Award

70

Coach Realtors

Top 250 RIS Media

First Team Real Estate

11

Gloria Nilson

101

Hunt Real Estate ERA

94

Keyes

60

Mel Foster

284

Michael Saunders

55

Prudential New Jersey Properties

105

Prudential Preferred Realty – PA

116

RE/MAX DFW Associates

135

RE/MAX Results

433

Realty ONE Group

10

Realty World Northern California, Inc.

Leading Franchisor

For example, participating brokers receive free resources including premium branded profiles for their agents on Trulia’s Find An Agent directory. They also have the option to receive an agent training curriculum focused on connecting and converting online leads or valuable marketing and advertising products that help brokers and franchises build their brand with consumers and expand their market share.

Ultimately, Trulia’s business goals are in line with those of their broker partners. Trulia has spent years building a popular consumer product offering and a large consumer audience, with 35 million unique visitors per month reported during the second quarter of 2013.

This valuable audience of home searchers is looking for information on neighborhoods and properties, using leading services such as Trulia Suggests to browse homes or Trulia’s popular map products that visualize commute times, crime statistics and other relevant neighborhood data. And now with Find an Agent, consumers can find useful information about agents and brokers who would be well-suited to help them with their unique real estate needs.

Trulia’s goal is to connect this group of engaged home searchers to real estate agents and brokers. It does this by serving as a technology partner, providing tools that agents and brokers use to win more listings and sell more homes.

To learn more about the benefits of partnering with Trulia, call 1-877-776-9521 or email brokersolutions@trulia.com.

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Now In Agents’ Email Inboxes: Free Listing Insights

Starting this week, agents with listings on Trulia will receive a new free email report that provides an enhanced level of insight into how their listings are performing. The email allows agents to review their listing marketing performance and make adjustments based on the information. It also provides competitive analysis about other comparable listings, allowing agents to understand which properties have most consumer interest.  Using this new information, agents can make decisions to help them increase interest in their listings with strategies such as adjusting property details, changing pricing or increased promotion.

The email is designed to provide important information at-a-glance, and provide insight into how each agent’s listings are stacking up against the competition. Agents will receive data about their most popular listing with views and followers, as well as the average views for all of the agent’s claimed listings. The report includes average views of all local listings and average views of local featured listings, as well as local listings with the most views overall, to get an idea of how the competition is performing.

ListingInsight_Email

Listing insight email

When agents click for more details they will be taken to the full listing report, which provides an even deeper level of insight.

In contrast to a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) used for pricing a listing for sale, Trulia tracks aggregate consumer behaviors on site to surface consumer driven comparables – primarily other homes consumers are looking at in comparison to that agent’s listing.

For example, the true competition might not just be homes near the listing, but homes in other areas that represent different trade-offs in price, location, size, etc.

By looking at the local comparable listings, the agent can view competing listings and get an idea of viewer interest and weekly views. With this added insight the agent can make sure they have the right marketing plan in place.

FullListingReport

The full listing report dashboard

If you’re a listing agent, sign up for your free My Trulia account today and start receiving this report. If you have questions or comments, please email our agent team at: agentprofiles@trulia.com.

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Trulia Welcomes Market Leader To The Family

Today is a very exciting day for Trulia as we welcome Market Leader into the family. Technology is rapidly transforming the real estate industry and we believe that Trulia’s vibrant marketplace combined with Market Leader’s comprehensive suite of technology and marketing solutions is the real estate industry’s leading platform. We can deliver even more value to our customers and partners and help them utilize technology to be more successful.

Together, we will help brokerages and franchisors harness the power of technology to reach consumers and enhance the productivity of their agents by offering them the most comprehensive end-to-end solution via the web and mobile devices.

Benefits for Franchisors and Brokerages:

  • Today, Market Leader and Trulia each have deep partnerships with hundreds of real estate brokerages and franchisors.  Market Leader’s SaaS solution allows franchisors and brokerages to provide leading-edge productivity and daily workflow tools to their agents, while Trulia’s broker and franchisor partnerships help agents close more business by promoting their listings and generating leads from Trulia’s transaction-ready consumer audience.

Benefits for Real Estate Agents:

  • Real estate agents will now benefit from the industry’s first end-to-end solution.  As the Trulia and Market Leader products integrate over time, customers will combine unmatched data with leading edge tools to better serve buyers and sellers. Agents who use the combined platform will see every lead become more valuable, realize greater visibility into their clients and gain more opportunities to sell homes.

Benefits for Consumers:

  • Home buyers and sellers will benefit from improved responsiveness and better service from the agents with whom they work.  Trulia anticipates that increased agent responsiveness will result in more consumer delight on Trulia’s web and mobile properties.

Trulia will operate Market Leader as a wholly owned subsidiary of the company and the combined company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock ticker TRLA.

To learn more about Market Leader’s comprehensive market and technology platform, please visit www.marketleader.com.

For information about Trulia’s marketing solutions please see www.trulia.com/business/.

Thank you, as always, for your support.

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New Find An Agent Directory Makes Life Easy For Consumers, Provides New Opportunities To Pros

It’s amazing to consider how much has changed in the last 20 years in the real estate industry. In the 1990’s most real estate search took place on newspapers and magazines.

An enterprising real estate searcher would use the Sunday paper classifieds, a landline telephone, a marker and a paper map to search for interesting properties and reach out to agents accordingly.

In retrospect it was a painful, time consuming process.

Finding a home today is an entirely different experience. Consumers use Trulia on the web and powerful mobile devices to gain insights not just on homes with color photos and stats but also neighborhoods with crime rates, average commutes, and amenities.

And with this engaged, consumer audience, Trulia also provides an ideal platform for real estate professionals to promote themselves and their listings to connect with new clients.

Technology has fundamentally changed the experience of searching for a home, but finding a real estate professional has remained primarily a referral process, with little insight into the actual expertise of the agent that helped sell your Mom’s home, for example.

The new find an agent directory from Trulia is improving the experience of searching for an agent, just as Trulia helped change the way people search for homes.

faa_landingFind an agent directory home page

The agent directory makes it easy to search for and find the right real estate agent with at-a-glance results and the option to filter searches based on relevant experience, local expertise, sales history, and client recommendations as well as see advice they have provided to other people within the Trulia Community.

For example, if you want to find an agent that both speaks French because your husband doesn’t speak much English, and has experience with single family homes in Palo Alto, you can use the property types, language and ZIP code filters to find the right match.

palo_alto

Find an agent filters are at the top of the page

For real estate professionals, the new directory provides agents with a place to easily connect with a large audience of qualified buyers and sellers who are seeking out the guidance of real estate professionals. Agents can differentiate themselves by showcasing their local expertise, demonstrating the number and location of homes sold and listings.

Even agent interactions on Trulia, such as providing advice to consumers in the Trulia Community are also searchable and view able in the new agent directory. In addition, agents can improve their ranking and visibility in the directory through a number of factors, such as responding quickly to leads and posting more sold homes and listings on Trulia.

 

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Trulia Enables Social Sharing of Listings via the Trulia for Agents Mobile App

Property listings with check-ins receive twice as many consumer views 

We are excited to announce new social media features on the Trulia for Agents mobile app to help real estate professionals establish themselves as experts in their local market and attract more buyers for their property listings. The app enables listing check-ins and property insights to be shared by agents through Facebook and Twitter, as well as on their Trulia profile with the click of a button.

“I recently closed a $350,000 transaction with a new client I met as a result of a property check-in that was shared on Facebook, “ said Kenny Truong, top producing Realtor with Michael James Real Estate. “With so many buyers starting their search online, using Trulia is one of the key strategies that puts me on the front line of this competitive market and gives me the edge in the marketplace.”

The app’s social features also enable agents to receive immediate inquiries from both consumers and agents. When a home is checked-in to, alerts are instantly sent allowing for real-time communication between the listing and buyer’s agents. During 2012, for-sale listings on Trulia that were checked-in to received twice as many views as listings that did not have check-ins.

Property listings with check-ins benefit from the added exposure, receiving double the views from potential home buyers who can now discover properties shared by their agent. With the Trulia for Agents mobile app, agents can build their online presence, connect with customers, and boost their productivity all from their mobile phone, ultimately helping them provide better service to their customers and close more deals.

In addition to the social functionality, the Trulia for Agents App includes key tools for managing a real estate business, including lead notifications and contact management. Other features include:

  •  Converting Leads. Agents get notified instantly with every new lead so they can respond quickly.
  •  Connecting with clients. Agents can easily share homes they tour with prospective buyers on-the-go.
  • Displaying Local Expertise: Allows Agents to showcase their knowledge and activity in their local market.
  •  Staying informed. Listing agents can gather feedback and communicate with buyer agents as they show the listing.

The Trulia for Agents mobile app is available for free from the Apple App Store and the Android Market. For more details, visit www.trulia.com/agents/mobile.

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Mobile Adoption Rising as Real Estate Professionals Look for New Opportunities to Engage Home Buyers and Sellers

Mobile Check-Ins on Trulia for Agents Mobile App Highest in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago

Mobile adoption is on the rise for real estate pros looking for new ways to connect with home buyers and sellers.  Recently, we took a look at the top ten U.S. cities for mobile check-ins to property listings by real estate professionals on the Trulia for Agents mobile app.

Available on Apple iOS and Android devices, the Trulia for Agents mobile app allows agents to demonstrate their local expertise by checking-in to properties they tour and sharing the listings they’ve seen on their Trulia profile.  Home Buyers and sellers using Trulia to find an agent or broker can select and contact a real estate professional who has toured a listing and has the inside scoop on a property.

“As a Realtor, I need to be an expert in my local market area. One way to accomplish this is to preview properties currently on the market to assist both property sellers and buyers,” said Victor Gonzales, Real Estate Agent at Century 21 Powerhouse Realty in Chula Vista, California.  “Trulia’s Mobile App for Agents helps me locate nearby properties without being tied down to my desktop computer and the check-in feature lets prospective clients see the properties that I have previewed.”

Currently, Sunday is the busiest day for check-ins while agents are out touring open homes with their clients and Tuesday is the second busiest day as agents are going to visit brokers open homes to see the new properties that came on the market. Meanwhile, the highest volume of mobile check-ins happen in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Mobile Check-Ins

# U.S. Metro
1 Los Angeles, CA
2 New York, NY
3 Chicago, IL
4 Dallas, TX
5 Atlanta, GA
6 Philadelphia, PA
7 Fort Worth, TX
8 Brooklyn, NY
9 San Jose, CA
10 Seattle, WA

“Mobile technology is changing how today’s real estate agents manage their business. Our dedicated agents apps are the only ones offering check-ins to agents and giving them a free way to market themselves directly to consumers,” said Pete Flint, CEO and co-founder of Trulia. “Trulia’s Agent App not only helps agents boost their productivity by rapidly responding to consumer inquiries. Tools like check-ins also allow them to demonstrate their knowledge of the local real estate market.”

Using the Trulia for Agents mobile app to check-in helps facilitate real time communication between real estate professionals and home buyers and sellers, as well as with cooperating agents. Key features include:

  • Real-time Showing Alerts: When agents check-in to a listing, the listing agent gets a real-time alert notifying them of the showing.
  • Agent Collaboration: Listing agents can gather feedback and communicate with buyer agents as they show the listing.
  • Client Communication: Agents can easily share interesting homes they tour with prospective buyers on-the-go.

The Trulia for Agent mobile app is available for free from the Apple App Store and the Android Market.  For more details, visit trulia.com/agents/mobile.

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RE/MAX Results Partners with Trulia to Reach Home Buyers in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin

We’re excited to announce a partnership with RE/MAX Results, one of the twenty largest residential real estate firms in the United States with nearly 11,000 real estate transactions and over two billion dollars in sales volume last year.

As part of this agreement, nearly 700 RE/MAX Results real estate professionals will receive prominent placement and brand exposure for their property listings on Trulia. 23 million home buyers, sellers and renters come to Trulia each month to search for homes.

“Our number one priority is to provide our agents with the tools they need to effectively market their properties,” said Marshall Saunders, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Results. “Trulia is one of the leading sites for home buyers in MinneapolisSt. Paul. We’re excited to strengthen our relationship with Trulia and help our agents connect with Trulia’s transaction ready audience, reducing the time on market for home sellers we work with.”

“In today’s real estate market, home sellers want to work with brokerages who provide them with prominent exposure on sites where home buyers are looking,” said Matt Dollinger, Head of Industry Relations at Trulia. “We’re committed to making the home buying and selling process easier and connecting home buyers and sellers with qualified real estate professionals to help them close their transactions.”

RE/MAX Results operates out of the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul as well as Western Wisconsin. Based upon the principles of entrepreneurship and customer service, RE/MAX Results has grown to 24 offices and nearly 700 Sales Executives.

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Trulia Partners with OpenCoSF in the City By The Bay

Earlier today, Trulia opened its home to the local community as part of the OpenCo San Francisco initiative. Danielle Farnedi, Trulia’s Vice President of Engineering, presented an overview of Trulia and its history in San Francisco. Danielle also shared the narrative of Trulia’s culture of product innovation in context of the rapidly changing real estate industry, and the company’s efforts to deliver the inside scoop to consumers.

Trulia is one of many San Francsico-based companies that is active in the local tech community, benefiting from the unique collection of social, creative and technical talent that the region offers, while also working to give back to the community in the process. The company was founded in San Francisco in 2005 and since being headquartered in neighborhoods such as the Mission District and Potrero Hill, today the company calls the vibrant South of Market neighborhood home.

Finding a place to live can be challenging and stressful – it’s the problem that the company was created to solve. In the 1990’s searching for a home was primarily an offline experience, where consumers searched in newspapers and apartment guides enduring a relatively grueling process. As the Internet grew, listings became available online in the early 2000′s. Today, Trulia provides more than just listings and information, delivering real insights for consumers who are trying to find the right place to live.

So what does “insight” mean in this case? It’s bringing data and neighborhoods to life for consumers in a simple, visual format. For example, Trulia commute maps make it easy to determine what areas have convenient access to work. Trulia users can view school district rankings and crime heat maps that highlight safe neighborhoods.

As Danielle mentioned in the presentation, when looking at properties people ask themselves, “How much time will I spend in the car going to work and will my children be safe on their way to and from a quality school?” These are the  important questions that that Trulia helps answer.

Trulia was happy to participate in the inaugural OpenCoSF initiative and looks forward to the growth of the program and further engagement with the San Francisco tech community.

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