Trulia Real Estate Blog

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What’s the Wall Street Impact on You?

September 30, 2008
CONTEST: Win a GPS and find open houses from your car!
Everyone has their favorite local secret spots. Blog about your area’s hidden gems on Trulia Blogs and get a chance to win a Dash Express GPS for your car!
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It’s hard not to notice the housing market is in the hot seat these days. Between the credit crunch, the new Housing Law, rising foreclosures, the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae takeover, and now the financial market turmoil, it’s hard not to worry about your finances. How will all these changes affect you?
What's the Wall St. impact on you?
The answer may not be simple, but we’ve pulled together some questions and advice from real home buyers, sellers, and locals that may give you the information you need.

What will be the effect of Wall St. on home values?
Q: What will be the effect of today’s melt-down on wall st. on home values and mortgage rates?
Asked by Kojn Scicc, Home Buyer in Alexandria, VA
A: In the short term, it’s only the beginning of a fairly long process of restoring credit liquidity. In the long run, it’s probably a… see more or reply

What are your options as a home owner?
Q: What are the options for sellers who owe more than their house is now worth?
Asked by RKB, Home Seller in Madison, WI
A: People who did qualify for a home two years ago, don’t even come close in today’s mortgage standards. Talk to your lender and attorney. Find out what will happen to you financially and legally if you do… see more or reply

How safe is your money at your local bank?
How to check a bank’s FDIC insurance status
With the wild ride that banking institutions and insurance companies have been on lately, you might wonder how safe is your money? You can check out a bank’s FDIC insurance status by going to the… see more or reply
Written by Janeese Jackson, Real Estate Professional, Portland, OR
Advice & Opinions Ι Get insightful, fast, FREE advice on home buying & selling
Blog of the week
Tips for selling your home fast
Do you know that the person who ends up buying your home will drive by at least twice when making the decision. . . during the day and/or at night? Following is a list of 12 things you can do to WIN THEM OVER… see more or reply
Written by Fernando Herboso, Real Estate Professional in Maryland
 
Question of the week
Q: How do you purchase foreclosures? Can the previous owner reclaim the property later?
Asked by Janet, Just Looking, in Hudson Falls
A: There are several ways to purchase a bank owned property. Foreclosure sale (last step in the foreclosure procedure), through an agent once… see more or reply
 
Real Estate Eye Candy Ι Trulia picks
Couch potatoes unite
Need a break from the campaign trail to catch up on your favorite fall shows? With views like these, you may even forget how the market looks.
We’ve picked four homes that fit the bill from Emmy-award winning shows Grey’s Anatomy, Boston Legal, Entourage, and Saturday Night Live. From practical radiant heated floors and funky downtown condos to extravagant Hollywood homes and sophisticated ‘legal pads’, these homes are as unique as each series. See for yourself.Browse more homes
 
New York, NY
$655,000
1br / 1ba
 
Seattle, WA
$549,950
3br / 2ba / 1,615 sqft
 
  Boston, MA
$849,900
2br / 2ba
 
Los Angeles, CA
$1,249,000
2br / 5ba
 

Happy House Hunting
The best place to start your real estate search
Trulia Inc. 208 Utah Street #310 San Francisco CA 94103
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Just Like the Weather, Real Estate is Local

September 12, 2008

What’s the Forecast?

weather is local

If you Google the word “weather”, you’ll find national sites like the Weather.com and Wunderground.com. Both sites start with a national forecast. Then, you can narrow down to the local area you are interested in and find what the weather will be for that day or week. You’ll see a 5 day forecast and all the local data about current weather conditions. Google “New York Weather” and Wunderground.com, NYTimes Weather and Intellicast.com appear. They are all national sites that allow you to focus in on your specific area and get hyper-local weather related information.

So What’s All this Talk that Real Estate is Local?

We all know that just like the weather, real estate is local. Unique micro-climates exist in each of our Cities and towns we live and work in. You won’t hear the weatherman say the average national temperature in the United States is 65 degrees. Nor would you hear him say that it will be 82 degrees in California today.

Real estate is a very local and relationship driven people business. As agents, we live in the markets we serve. We know our neighbors. We know the people who work in the local businesses we frequent. Over time, they become our friends. They become our clients. But we can only be in so many places at once. We can only meet so many people each day. Wouldn’t it be great if we could expand our reach and grow our sphere of influence? Yes it would. And yes you can.

Have a Home Base

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Having a local blog or website about your business is essential. You need a “Home Base”. You need a place to add your listings and create local content that consumers could use. You need a place share your expertise. Your blog and website are great for this. But is this all you should be doing? Some would have you believe that it is in your best interest to just contribute your knowledge and listings on your own site or blog. I believe otherwise.

In addition to your “Home Base”,  there are numerous national and local websites, social networking sites and micro-blogging sites where you can establish a valuable local presence. Consumers are frequenting these national sites and are actively participating on them. You should too. They are sharing information about themselves, their home buying and home selling wants and needs and are asking questions. You should be there to engage them. Say it ain’t so Rudy? Really? Yes. But most of you reading this already know this. I am talking to those who might be confused, on the fence or just unaware about how YOU can be sharing your knowledge by marketing yourself and your businesses and networking outside of your own blog or website.

Were you hoping for more details? Great, for those of you who are interested in being more proactive in the Social Media space, my answer is coming up in a follow up blog post…….later today.

 Note: Hurricane IKE is bearing down on the Gulf coast of Texas. Our thoughts are with everyone. Stay safe.

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It’s the 10 Blog Commandments – Tips on Blogging on Trulia Blogs

August 29, 2008

Image Source Courtesy ofMariana Wagner  - Wearing our Markerman Outfit  at The Keller Williams Event

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 – it’s the 10 Blog Commandments

In addition to Trulia Voices Q&A, blogging on the new Trulia Blog platform is a great way for you expand your thoughts, ideas, opinions and tips to your readers. You can dive deeper by adding pictures, videos, charts and more. We want to see you succeed so we came up with this basic framework for you to follow when writing your blog posts.

1. Create a Blog Plan

Create a list of specific topics that you plan to write about. Things like local market conditions, local inventory, new developments, first time home buyer tips, home seller tips, home buyer tips, community report, building report, neighborhood news, local businesses and more. You can even create a calendar, either online using google calendar or in print – a simple calendar journal with specific topics for each day or week. This will help you stay focused and manage your time better.

2. Know your target audience

Are your writing to other agents or are you talking to the consumer. It’s ok to do either one but knowing who you addressing in a particular post will help you choose your words a little better.

3. Know What your area of expertise is and Own it

Are you a new construction specialist? Do you work with seniors? Are you a investment property expert? You get the idea. Blog about what you know best in the areas you know best. Get specific to your geography.

4. Keep it simple

You don’t have to write a novel. Think about the point you’d like to make with you post and keep it concise. One to three paragraphs is more than adequate.

5. Take your own local pictures

What better way to show a consumer that you know your area than by documenting it via photographs? Take pictures of anything real estate related. You never know when you will need a photo for a future blog post. I have my camera, two actually, on my hip at all times. Sometimes, a photo may be the inspiration for a blog post.

6. Use Video

This is more of an advanced technique to add valuable content to your blog. But anyone can do it easily. Shoot very short 10-60 second videos of your neighborhood, local businesses, parks, attractions and more. This will give the consumer, especially one relocating from outside the area a glimpse, your personal view, of what could be their future neighborhood. Then, you could even interview local businesses, consumers on the street, home sellers, buyers and get feedback on their real estate thoughts.

7. Use the Community for Ideas

Trulia Voices Q&A is a great resource to get ideas for blog posts. Find threads that you feel you can provide more in depth information on and then link back to that thread. It will expand the conversation to another level.

8. Be Original – Don’t Just copy and Paste

It may be tempting to just copy and paste someone else’s great article or post in it’s entirety, but it’s not the right thing to do. If you find such an article, copy a quote or a portion of it into your post. Then add your opinion and personal take on it. Make sure to include a link back and attribution to the source of the original article – this is proper blogging etiquette. By doing this, you are creating new content while crediting the original source. It allows you to give credit where credit is due while adding your original perspective to it. Be original :)

9. Create Optimized Blog Post Headlines

This is very important – for both getting readers attention and search engines. It’s one of the most important parts of a blog post – Voices Q&A question too. If you are writing about a neighborhood, make sure that neighborhood name is in the title. If you are writing about a city and town, the same applies. Ditto if your writing about one of your listings, buildings or communities – make sure you include them in the title.

Another angle could be to create unique and catchy post titles like – The 5 Best Reasons to Live in Manhattan or My Clients Can’t Stop talking about me – Find out Why. Try different things.

10. Write from Your Personal Experience

Share your real life real estate experiences. People love stories. It’s what conversations are all about. Your blog is a way to share these stories. Someone who is looking to buy or sell may relate to something you mentioned in your blog post which can lead them to call you. I am fascinated with the personal stories and experiences of people. It gives us an insight into who they are as a person and as a professional. Ultimately, it helps us decide whether we want to work with them, be friends with them or not. Your blog and Q&A contributions give consumers a glimpse of who you are. It’s your opportunity to make a good first impression on them. And, it gives consumers a chance to study you. The same holds true for consumers who will choose to write on Trulia. You will give agents an opportunity to see who you are too. It’s a two way street. Let’s meet in the middle and get to know each other a little better.

As you know, real estate is a people business. Be personable yet professional in your posts and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.

Good luck all.

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Why does the world need another blogging platform?

Pete Flint, CEO
August 29, 2008

pete-flint1.jpg

Earlier this week was a big step for me as I’ve started blogging on our new blogging platform. You can read my first post here. Two posts so far this week and many more to come – I’m delighted to become a blogger!

In the post, I explain why I’ve started blogging and also why we’ve launched a blogging service on Trulia. I’m including an updated excerpt below.

So you may be wondering why on earth does the world need another blog platform. Here are my thoughts on why we’re launching Trulia Blogs:

It’s uniquely useful. Other than our Q & A service, Trulia Voices, there is no good national real estate site where you can have useful and interesting discussions about all things real estate between active consumers and industry professionals. Sure, I’m biased and there are some great local services, but Trulia Voices and Trulia Blogs are really a unique way to interact with a large and interested group of people. We see Trulia Blogs and Trulia Voices as complementary services.

It’s free and really easy. We have deliberately tried to make blogging as simple and accessible as possible. It shouldn’t be daunting. We know there are many options out there if you want to build your own blog, but Trulia Blogs is a simple service for you to get up and running as quickly possible in front of a targeted audience and learn the basics. We don’t have every possible feature you can find on other paid services, but we have the basic important tools and will be constantly adding new features.

It’s local. When it comes to real estate everyone knows that location is critical. We all love (or hate) our communities we live in and have an opinion about what goes on there. We are interested when new shops open up, roads are built, schools re-zoned, licenses granted and thousands of other things, Trulia Blogs is a way to share this information and begin the conversation with others in your vicinity. I’m truly fascinated to see what people use Trulia Blogs for and what conversations start here.

Trulia Blogs was launched along with our new home page and mobile applications. We’re delighted to have so many posts up and already and are looking forward to seeing many others up there soon! Join in, start blogging on Trulia today.

Also, we know it’s the community that makes Trulia popular and useful so..a huge huge thank you to the users of the community here on Trulia. It’s you that make Trulia’s community services great and thank you for showing up and participating. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with product ideas, bugs and suggestions. We’re constantly releasing new updates so will work on including them.

The full post here:

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Guest Perspective: Trulia Voices – It’s not about the questions…

August 28, 2008

trulia-voices-blogs

OK, so Trulia Voices is a little bit about the questions, but it’s really about the answers. It’s called Trulia VOICES for a reason. Let’s dive in a little bit further.

With Trulia Voices, a consumer logs on and types in a question like, Hi, My wife and I are working with a Realtor and… Before you rush off to answer that question you should be asking yourself WHY?

Perhaps you want to be the top answerer like Deborah (she’s really a machine, no really… no, I’m not jealous… OK… I’m Jealous, are you happy?). Or you could want to convert the question-asker into a potential client. Finally, you could be one of the poor souls who have been told blogging and “forums” are good for business – something that isn’t necessarily true.

So what is Trulia VOICES all about? THE ANSWERS.

Or better yet, it’s about YOUR VOICE. Again, it’s called Trulia VOICES for a reason. I’ll contend that Trulia is an interviewing platform. It’s a home search tool, a knowledge base (FAQ even), a developing social network and now with a blogging platform. But at the end of the day it’s a Real Estate agent’s blow horn. Do you want to be a whiner like I am about the low barrier to entry into Real Estate and sit on your rear end? Or, do you want to get out there and be that VOICE that is going to resonate with YOUR clients. Do you want to show the world (or at least the 5 million people on Trulia) that you have a relevant, sometimes professional opinion that affects their current situation?

And with a voice, you will get business…

The business you get will be Truli-a Golden. Here’s why. The people who contact you through Trulia do so because they READ YOUR ANSWERS – THEY HEAR YOUR VOICE. And they liked what they read. Don’t you think that might be someone that you would want to work with? Or would you prefer to call that FSBO that has that sign that says NO AGENTS. Exactly. (Well, you should want both, but that’s another topic.) The truth is that your “leads” from working with TRULIA will be less in quantity than other methods, but the business you do get is ready to go! I like working with people who want to work with me, and that’s what Trulia allows me to do.

So next time you answer that question, think about the potential client that might be viewing on the other end, because just like the question mentioned above, that “asker” already has an agent. That leaves 4,999,999 other potential clients!

Thanks for reading, now I’m off to boost my “BEST ANSWER” numbers… 6 best answers… ugh.

joshua-jarvis

Want to know more about Joshua Jarvis? Check out his own blog, or Trulia profile.

(Note from Trulia… We’ll be featuring guest bloggers during the next week. Hope you enjoy the new perspectives!)

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