Agent2Agent in Colorado>Question Details

Susan Alvarez, Real Estate Pro in Longmont, CO

Does anyone else think that Trulia has the right to ask us to provide email addresses to them?

Asked by Susan Alvarez, Longmont, CO Tue Oct 9, 2012

Haven't they heard to something called privacy? I've been receiving email from Trulia asking me to confirm my recommendations by providing emails for the people who posted. I'm not doing it. If Trulia wants to market to people who have graciously offered some words about the service I provide, they can get the emails themselves. We already give generously of our time in providing answers for the Q&A. And, Trulia just went public, didn't they? Does anyone else think that Trulia has stepped across a line here?

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I don't think their purpose is to market to these people. I think they just want to make sure that the recommendation is legitimate. If your clients post the recommendation themselves I don't think there will be an issue, it's only when WE as realtors post the recommendation that Trulia asks for an email address so they can confirm that the post is legitimate. I have never had a client complain and several that have confirmed.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 10, 2012
Hi Susan!

I am sorry you are upset with our new policy. If you add a recommendation for yourself, we require the author of the recommendation to confirm they said it. Once their email is provided, we send them a quick email asking them to approve the recommendation. This gives consumers a choice in privacy, deciding whether or not they want their recommendation displayed on Trulia.

If your client were to give you a recommendation on Trulia themselves, they would have to register in order to do so, which would provide their email that we could check against other records to prevent fraud.

Since recommendations now count toward VIP points, it's important that we protect the system from fraud to prevent users from posting multiple recommendations for themselves and moving up the ladder in the Find a Pro directory. Verifying emails is the best way for us to ensure fair play.

We work very hard at Trulia to create an awesome experience for everyone.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2012
I have provided almost 850 answers. Actually, the number includes a few questions. I've brought more than 23,000 visitors to the Trulia web site.

I can count the number of leads this activity has generated on one hand.

I'm taking exception to this practice of Trulia using threats to prompt me to ignore the privacy of the people who spoke well on my behalf. If this information was not collected, Trulia has the ability to retrieve it themselves. I refuse to get involved. This ham-handed move by Trulia closely resembles a phishing scam. They haven't disclosed why they are "confirming" these referrals at this late stage. They have not disclosed what they will do with this database when they have finished collecting it.

No thanks, Trulia.

I'm on strike, too. I'm only adding comments to this string - until I get some answers. And even then, I will not provide any email addresses for them.

That's a promise.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 13, 2012
Probably on one thumb.

Warmest regards,
Flag Sat Oct 13, 2012
BoulderSuz,
Glad to see you have recognized there is more behind this than simple 'validation' of the recommendation source. What should be in play, if Trulia is paying attention, is the creation of a gigantic pool of emails addresses. As you know, these emails are pegged to an IP address.

If Trulia is paying attention, this should evolve in a Platmuim$$ program for with real estate professionals will pay a preminum$$ to receive leads of significantly higher quality that the typical aggregate website troller.

Providing Trulia with an email address for your family, friends, neighbors, past and present clients will most certainly put them, your family, friends, neighbors, past and present clients, in the Trulai asset column. Much like 'Find a gazillion homes for sale on Trulia!" Will the means justify the ends when you surrender your assets to Trulia.

Give some thought to creating a Pennsylvania group. This group of your friends may prove beneficial in regards to protecting those who have trusted you. You do have an option other than throwing your family, friends, neighbors, present and past clients, under the bus.

If I were Trulia I would be doing EXACTLY what they are doing to leverage the position Trulia holds in the aggregate real estate website arena. The end result will be a home run for them and create a five star revenue stream. For those agents who pay the premium $$$ the results will certainly be better than dismal. Some advanced CRM's are providing this incredibly clever capability for the exclusive use of the agent. Using these vendors means you keep watch and throw no one under the bus.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
727.420.4041
http://RealEstateMadeEZ.us

First Look: http://youtu.be/PumYpkgybXE
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 10, 2012
Certainly they can ask, but the person they are asking is the one with the "right" to say no. Practically every day someone is asking for my email address--usually because they want to market something to me and each time I am the one who decides whether I want to share it or not.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 19, 2012
I have seen it happen in my office.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 18, 2012
I make it a practice to get approval from my recommenders before providing their e-mails to anyone for a trestimonial; so far, none of my clients have objected. Even if my clients receive e-mails they don't want, the e-mail should contain an opt-out option.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2012
A pat answer will not do, Matt. You invited our clients, colleagues and business associates to recommend us. I will note that I don't recall seeing any assurance that these emails were not going to be used for any other purpose.

It doesn't surprise me that people took advantage of a poorly considered policy. I suspect there are thousands of recommendations that are not genuine. In my area, agents almost overnight had accumulated 15 and 18 recommendations. I just roll my eyes. I don't know what the public makes of this. I get a few unsolicited recommendations from time to time. In fact, it is very flattering that recommendations cme from other agents, some of them who might be regarded as competition.

But, does anyone really care?

Here are three reasons why I will not comply with your amended policy.
1) violation of the trust of people I asked for recommendations
2) complying under threat of losing those recommendations
3) and performing work I never agreed to perform

In social media, there is an understanding that doing things for others is not always compensated. I respond to hundreds of requests throughout the year for everything from looking at someone's web page to helping spread the word and even giving money to charity. But, usually there is a single request and that's the end of it.

Despite stated assurances, I'm not going to assist a big corporation with collecting information for a database. There is nothing that can change my opinion on this matter. The corporation may feel free to add policies months and years after the fact. I find that suspicious.

If Trulia wants to take away recommendations, that is the prerogative of the company. Take away whatever you want, Trulia. I'm but a guest here. I have no right to anything beyond civility. On this matter, Trulia, you have crossed the line. I will not assist you in this matter.

Susan Alvarez
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2012
Please review our privacy policy as it may help answer your questions: http://www.trulia.com/privacy/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2012
I agree and thought the same thing when I first saw this change. Over the line... yes. Bold.. yes. I can assure you some clients will not be happy knowing their agent has provided their info without their consent. Lame answer Matt.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2012
Here are the potential outcomes of surrendering your family, friends, neighbors and those who trust you, email addresses.

1. They could be spammed and advertised to by Trulia. Matt's repose was directed to rogue real estate folks but did not address Trulia's future intent.

2. Others may have the opportunity to use Trulia to deliver advertising to your family, friends, those who trust you and neighbors such as real estate agents, mortgage brokers (you know the one I'm talking about) or insurance folk.

3. These emails pegged to IP can be used for 'activity based' marketing. This resource can be made available to agents, brokers, insurance folks and anyone Truila chooses to rent access to this database. Trulia will have registered users and those you compelled to register through the recommendation strategy. Your friends, family, neighbors, and those who trust you.

Here's where the rubber meets the road. By surrendering your family, friends, neighbors and those who trust you email addresses, you may be making available to other agents the opportunity to contact them BEFORE YOU DO because their ad popped up when they visited Zillow or typed in Homes of sale or home value in Cleveland. (activity based advertising) Better still, since they are REGISTERED, they may be able to deliver an email directly to YOUR friend, family, neighbor or those who trust you.

Additionally, adjacent to your 'Agent of integrity" ad will be a giant bank of america promotion. As long as you are aware of the potential CONSEQUENCE of offering up a direct contact to your family, friends, neighbors, and those who trust you, there should be no problem.

None at all. Just know what the consequences may be and the potential 'fees' you will volunteer to pay to protect your exclusive access to your very own people.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
727.420.4041
http://RealEstateMadeEZ.us

First Look: http://youtu.be/PumYpkgybXE
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2012
Yes. I agee with you... This was uncalled for.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2012
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