Trulia Real Estate Blog

articles about “Social Media

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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New Trulia For Agents Mobile App Launches On iOS And Android

Trulia has released version 2.0 of its popular, free app for real estate agents on both iOS and Android. The Trulia for Agents App is one of the leading mobile apps built specifically for real estate agents, enabling them to convert more leads and better serve existing clients while they’re on-the-go.

Today’s upgrade features an all-new design that puts leads front and center. The new app includes improved navigation and search capabilities, as well as seamless access to helpful real estate news, coaching and tips from Trulia’s Pro Blog.

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Agents everywhere love using the Trulia for Agents app. “I get outstanding leads from Trulia,” said Stacey Feltman of Ebby Halliday Realtors. “Trulia’s mobile app is great because it’s easy to use and it helps me manage leads and stay on top of my business no matter where I am. The entire system is the very best out there.”

As real estate agents know, quick responses to new leads greatly increase the chance of converting them into clients. Recent research proves it, indicating that responding to leads within minutes doubles the chance of conversion1. If agents respond to a lead within 5 minutes, they’re 100 times more likely to make contact with that lead than if responding in an hour2.

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That’s why the Trulia for Agents App is designed first and foremost to help agents respond to quickly and manage leads from anywhere on their mobile device. As leads come in, alerts are pushed to the agent’s mobile phone, enabling them to respond immediately and make a connection to a new client. The app lets agents search and prioritize leads by centralizing all Trulia leads into one inbox. Each lead is than organized by conversation, providing context and easier access to a history of communication.

Agents can also easily access a list of personal contacts, browse Trulia’s Agent directory and search listings with Trulia’s advanced neighborhood information and map functionality. Agents can use Trulia for Agents to check-in to listings they tour and display these check-ins on their Trulia profile. It’s a great way for agents to demonstrate familiarity with specific properties and expertise in particular areas, creating opportunities to connect with prospective clients.

The free Trulia for Agents app version 2.0 is available today in Apple’s App Store and on Google Play.

  1. Research from Leads360, 2013
  2. Lead Response Study
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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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Congratulations to our #TruliaOpenHouse Winners!

Trulia is happy to announce the five lucky winners of our Twitter contest in honor of Nationwide Open House Weekend! The five winners each tweeted a photo of an open house they visited over the weekend with the #TruliaOpenHouse hashtag, and now each will receive a $50 gift card! Thank you everyone for all your entries. Here’s a list of the winners and their winning tweets – check them out!

It looks like Danielle has a keen eye for bay windows.

 

Here’s Marissa’s $50 winning shot, which allegedly put Marissa’s Twitter-doubting husband in his place. (#win)

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Maggie (who seems to resemble a cookie) snapped this shot last weekend, with…

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… Frank, who was also househunting with Marissa. We see what you both did there – well played.

  

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And last but not least… this epic shot is Rev. LaDonna, admiring the view from what could be her new home. Nice find!

Congratulations again to our #TruliaOpenHouse Winners!

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Win a Visa Gift Card This Weekend with #TruliaOpenHouse Photos

You could just use your phone to find open houses this Nationwide Open House Weekend, but why stop there? You could use it to win an extra $50 – just by tweeting photos of any open houses you visit this weekend to #TruliaOpenHouse. Every photo you tweet gives you a chance to win one of five $50 Visa gift cards.

Entering to win is easy and takes seconds:

1. Visit any open house this weekend (April 19th – 21st)
2. Take a digital photo of the open house from the curb
3. Tweet the photo with #TruliaOpenHouse before Monday

For more details, check out our Official Rules.

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Need to do any last minute planning? (It’s alright, we won’t tell.)

We’ve made it very easy to find open houses no matter where you are, with top-rated apps for your iPhone or Android phone, and online at Trulia.com. Wherever your house hunt takes you, we’ve got you covered.

To get you going, check out these Quick Start guides for iPhone, Android and Trulia.com.

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Find Open Houses with Trulia for iPhone - free in the App Store

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Find Open Houses with Trulia for Android - free in Google Play 

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Find Open Houses on Trulia.com

Happy house hunting!

Andrew

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Trulia Refreshes Consumer Products Ahead of Red-Hot House Hunting Season

The weather is heating up, and so is the real estate market, with many people finally getting off the sidelines to buy or sell a home. Perfectly timed with the market resurgence, Trulia has completed a period of rapid innovation on a suite of tools for house hunters including refreshed apps, larger pictures on mobile and web, and more neighborhood insights.

New Market, New Tools!
Many people are looking at real estate for the first time in years, and since they bought their last home, the tools and resources available have drastically changed. Now, with Trulia’s revamped product suite, consumers have the best data and insights available at their fingertips to help navigate a hot housing market!

Let’s dig into the specifics!

While on the go, house hunters can aid their search with the newest features from Trulia Mobile:

  •  View screen-sized photos on mobile: Images have been optimized to be larger than life on a small screen.
  • Get better access to crime and local amenities: Trulia’s redesigned iPhone app makes it easier to find crime rates and local amenities like restaurants, banks, and grocery stores.
  • Color-code your mobile searches: Easily distinguish which new properties you’ve seen via color-coded markers: black represents new, unviewed homes, grey means you’ve already seen it.
  • House hunt in 3D with Trulia’s new Android Maps: Trulia Android apps now incorporate Google Maps 3D, which offers more detailed, realistic map imagery, including actual structures.
  • Find an agent on the go: Trulia’s iPhone and Android apps now enable prospective homebuyers to quickly find an agent in their search area with a single tap.

Trulia Mobile App Property Details Page

Trulia Mobile App Map Search

House hunters on Trulia.com can now boost their search with:

  • Big, beautiful photos: The new, photo-centric experience on our property pages features big images, a sleek user interface, and faster-loading times.
  • Recommended homes from Trulia Suggests: Trulia now offers a unique, personalized approach to real estate search with recommendations based on past search behavior and which properties consumers ‘like.’
  • Streamlined search results: Find the right property faster with a results page that’s less cluttered and easier to scan.
  • Home suggestions by email: New, targeted emails look at the preferences of millions of home shoppers like you to provide relevant home suggestions.

Trulia Search Result Page Refresh

Try It For Yourself!
To see how Trulia can help your house hunt and to experience the revamped products for yourself, visit www.trulia.com or www.trulia.com/mobile

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Introducing Trulia Suggests, A New Way to Discover Homes Picked Just For You

Today, we announced Trulia Suggests—a personalized, photo-centric way to discover homes you might like. Trulia Suggests considers what homes you do and don’t like, as well as the property preferences of users similar to you, to suggest other homes you might find appealing. You can continually improve your suggestions by liking and following homes you like, or hiding homes you don’t.

Think about it: you get suggestions for movies, books, and music online. But when it comes to the largest purchase of your life, there’s no technology that makes personalized recommendations. Our Data Science team applied machine-learning and smart algorithms to this problem, and as a result, flipped the home search experience on its head.

Instead of using filters that may unnecessarily limit your search, we look at your property preferences in the context of Trulia’s 31 million unique monthly users. Then, billions of user actions are applied to algorithmic groupings of millions of properties to best predict which homes you’ll like. And the more you interact with homes on Trulia, the better your suggestions will be.

If the technology sounds complicated, well, that’s because it is. But the beauty of Trulia Suggests is that for you, the user, the experience couldn’t be simpler—or more fun:

  • To get started, we’ll show you a list of homes; you pick the one that is the closest match for you.
  • Next, ‘like’ 5 properties, and we’ll provide your first round of suggestions. (You can skip these steps if you’ve already liked 5 properties)
  • Once you’ve liked five homes, our proprietary algorithm works its magic to produce your first round of suggestions.

Like and follow the homes you love and hide homes you don’t, and we’ll refine your suggestions as you go.  It just takes a minute to get started, but you may find yourself gawking at your home suggestions all day.

See what Trulia Suggests for you.

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U.S. CTO Todd Park Visits Trulia

Last Tuesday, U.S. CTO Todd Park stopped by Trulia’s San Francisco headquarters to have a fireside chat with Trulia’s COO Paul Levine. In his talk, he shared his background as a serial entrepreneur – he founded his first startup, Athenahealth, at age 24 — and his current role as the White House’s “entrepreneur-in-residence.”

US CTO Todd Park and Trulia COO Paul Levine Fireside Chat at Trulia

Todd also spoke at length about the open government data initiative — a landmark effort pioneered by the Obama Administration to liberate government data on education, health, law, energy, safety, & research, and encourage innovators to use this data to build products, services and apps that advance public safety in creative and powerful ways. Afterward, he jumped into an energetic, on-the-fly brainstorm with Trulians about what kinds of government data sets Trulia should consider using to further deliver the inside scoop, and what government datasets have yet to be surfaced and made accessible.

To check out his talk, here’s a clip of his visit:

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Data Visualization Workshop for Journalists (Part 2)

On Monday, Trulia hosted the second session of our two-day Data Visualization Workshop for Journalists in our San Francisco office — an event that we co-hosted with Fast Company’s Co.Design, O’Reilly Media and Hacks/Hackers to support the White House’s Safety Data Initiative. Fast Company hosted the NYC workshop that same day, a few hours earlier.

The focus of this week’s session was on data visualization tools to help journalists tell stories with data — TileMill, Adobe Illustrator and Google Refine. Introducing and demoing each tool were Nathaniel Kelso, Design Technologist at Stamen Design and Chief Cartographer at NaturalEarthData.com, Joe Golike, Design Technologist at Trulia, and Kai Chang, Visualization Engineer at Boundary and organizer of the Bay Area D3 User Group.

Here are the clips on each of their presentations:

Nathaniel Kelso on TileMill

Joe Golike on Adobe Illustrator

Kai Chang on Google Refine

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Trulia Now Offers Personalized, Real-Time Mortgage Quotes with Trulia Mortgage Center

Today, we are excited to launch our newest product aimed at helping consumers tackle the number one obstacle to buying a home: getting a mortgage.

The Trulia Mortgage Center, simultaneously released online, along with free dedicated iPhone and iPad apps, delivers the inside scoop on financing rates for homebuyers and homeowners. By providing personalized mortgage quotes that are updated in real-time and presented with detailed information about each quote, this new mortgage marketplace aims to help consumers find the best financing deal. Additionally, the Trulia Mortgage Center comes complete with online educational guides to help people understand the real costs of homeownership, the basics of borrowing and what happens after you make an offer.

Trulia Mortgage Center offers:

  • Personalized Quotes: Input your property location, loan purpose, home price, down payment, credit score, and property type to get a custom mortgage quote that fits your needs. Sort by lowest fees, APR, rate or payment for a more customized search.
Trulia Mortgage Center Personalized Quotes
  • Real-Time Estimated Payments: Get rates that are updated in real-time for the most accurate estimated payment possible.
Trulia Mortgage Center Real-Time Payment Quotes
  • Connect with Lenders: Learn about and connect with lenders about a specific quote by sending a direct email right from the quote detail page.
Trulia Mortgage Center Connect With Lenders
  • Get Mortgage Questions Answered: The ‘Discussions’ board allows users to submit mortgage related questions to our Voices community to get input from local real estate professionals and experts.

Trulia’s Free Mortgage Apps For iPhone and iPad offer:

  • Affordability Calculator: Determine the home price you can afford easily, and see a visual breakdown of your monthly payment and total cost of ownership.
  Trulia Mortgage iPhone App Affordability Calculator
  • Quote Comparison: Get personalized quotes updated in real-time that you can sort by lowest fees, APR, rate or payment to find those just right for you.
Trulia Mortgage iPad App Quote Comparison
  • Connect with Lenders: Contact lenders directly from your mobile device to learn more about a specific quote.

We hope you enjoy the new Mortgage Center online and the dedicated apps. We are just getting started so keep an eye out for additional product enhancements in the future.

  • To learn more and check out the Trulia Mortgage Center, visit www.trulia.com/mortgages.
  • To download the free Trulia Mortgage app for iPhone and iPad from the Apple App Store, click here.
  • To find out how you can advertise on the Trulia Mortgage Center, contact mortgagesales@trulia.com.
  • To download screenshots of the Trulia Mortgage Center, click here.
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