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Joetta Fort,  in Arvada, CO

Are agents referring each other as a way of avoiding the 'spam' flag?

Asked by Joetta Fort, Arvada, CO Sun Jun 9, 2013

There seems to be suddenly a lot of agents referring other agents, though usually not including any justification for the referral beyond 'They'll do a great job for you'. Are people entering into agreements to refer each other, just to avoid getting the 'spam' flag they would get if they recommended themselves?

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Answers

9
I would never refer anyone to an agent I see on Trulia or give an agent a recommendation on their Trulia profile unless I had further vetted them through other sources. Referrals reflect upon us and we shouldn't give them without proper care.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 9, 2013
Excellent answer John--every agent should do their homework on whomever they are referring. I know I am only as good as my last referral and keep that in mind every time someones asks for a recommendation on an agent or other professional service.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 9, 2013
Annette - I agree! Trulia's primary income stream is (I assume, since I don't work in their accounting department...) from agent advertising. My point is simply that agents won't buy advertising if consumers don't come to the site.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Annette - I get your point, but the problem is deeper and more long term than I believe many understand. Consumers - NOT AGENTS - are the lifeblood of Trulia. As the noise level from excessive agent self and cross-promotion becomes more distracting, consumers will migrate to other online sources of information. After awhile, 99% of Trulia visitors will be agents all fighting to get their profile in front of the few consumers left.
As I previously stated, most of us know each other just by what we see online. It's like my friend who tells me she's been very active on Match.com for years but has never actually gone on a date. She just likes meeting people and sending emails (too bad for the guys, she's extremely beautiful and rich). Before any of us should refer clients to each other, we need to know more than just what we see on Trulia. Sorry - I got married last month, no dates...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
An example today was someone looking to rent and later to buy. I assumed the referrals I saw were to agents who could/would work with renters.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 9, 2013
What I'm seeing is different - agents are 'answering' a question by saying, "Call so-and-so". I'm sure it's someone they know, and I suspect that person is answering other questions by saying, "Call so-and-so" as payback, getting around Trulia's rule of not saying, "Call me!". Do you see what I'm asking?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 9, 2013
Annette - I'm so sorry you misunderstood my question. I did not imply that those being referred can't do the job, I'm questioning the motivation of why agents are referring others in their own locale, who don't seem to have any qualifications the referrer doesn't also have. It's pretty obvious that they could just as well refer themselves, and they WOULD except that they're not allowed to. So, it appears that they are gaming the system rather than earning the trust of consumers by old-fashioned hard work.

I could be wrong about the motivation, and I am open to knowing if I am, but so far no one who has done it has said so.

When a consumer asks a question and they get BS in response, I don't think that makes our profession look good. That's why I'm glad Trulia doesn't allow self-promotion as the only response to a question.

But that's just my opinion. And I fully realize that many agents don't care how our profession looks to consumers, as long as they are lining their pocket. That's fine, to each their own.

I find this trend interesting because it has so quickly become common place, I would bet a commission check that there is someone teaching this tactic in a seminar, or large brokerages are encouraging it.

I'm not so absorbed in the issue as to spend a lot of time on it, just wondered if anyone else had noticed.

AND, if anyone who was actually doing it cared to join the thread, I'd be very interested to hear what they have to say.

As far as this big discussion on what Trulia is 'about', I have gotten clients from well thought-out, honest answers. But that's the way I roll and I won't be gaming this or any other system even if I come across some tactic others are jumping in on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
John,
Thanks for the comment and well though out explaination.
Where the disconnect occurs is your premise, "Trulia is about consumers."
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It is not.
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IT IS ALL ABOUT SELLING AVERTISING TO REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS AND LENDERS.
The only role the consumer plays is to justify the 'rate' Trulia charges agents. Impressions...if you know what they are, then you also know TRULIA are selling vapors to agents AND SOME ARE WILLING TO PAY!
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Seriously, if it were consumer oriented would Realtytrac be allowed to misdirect consumers with FREE TRAILS and homes perceived to be for sale?
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Would 30% of the homes shown for sale be sold long ago?
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We both know how INCREDIBLY easy it would be to fix these persistent issues.
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AGENTS ARE THE LIFE-BLOOD OF TRULIA.
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You are right, after a while 99% of Trulia visitors will be agents fighting to get their profile in front fo the few consumers left. Now, how is this different then any other online enviornment in which agents must compete. The only difference is, here, we openly compete, where in other venues our money competes. One may be viewed as more gentile than the other.
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The direction open to Truila at this time will make much of this discussion irrelevant. Those who are not asleep at the wheel have already identified the migration and understand why this can't be a loose sleep issue for Trulia. They have set sail to intercept those consumers to which you refer.
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Now, where did/will all those consumers go?
That is actually the only question to discuss and reflective of the REAL purpose.
IN the meantime, BAs and recommends are excellent currency. This, however, is the shallow end of the pool, the deep water, the stuff that matters is below the surface and of exponetually greater value.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
727.420.4041
http://RealEstateMadeEZ.us
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Avoiding the spam flag?
Why would you think that?
Why are you not able to accept that these agents are recommending or referring those they know or believe can do a great job of representing this person?
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If, by the way, it does avoid such flags...that is an additional benefit.
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When an agent is doing a highly EFFECTIVE job of marketing, the predictiable outcome is other agents will be distressed over their saturation. Such critical reviews suggest to me an agent has found a great solution while others choose to complain.
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A thumbs up to those alert users of Trulia who have found a way to leverage the resources available.
It's marketing. Plain and simple. And if they can leverage the synergy of a team...that is even MORE SENSATIONAL! Look at the open door of opportunity and act.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence. Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, Fl
727.420.4041
http://RealEstateMadeEZ.us
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
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