Horrible marketing strategy, annoying other agents which you may, or may not, work with in the future. Let's face it we all blog and post for improving sales, contacts, hits. But blatant listings - come on - this is not a blog.
Some agents ask questions that already have the answers built in for self-promotion or they answer consumer questions and end with "Contact Me!" along with their detailed contact information. I think this scares off consumers and is therefore bad for Trulia and for other professionals who use the site. I've swapped emails with many other agents who have committed not to do this and would support a "community rule" to end agent promotion in Q&A (Zillow already has this rule). If a consumer likes a professional's answer and wants to contact them, every agent's profile page is a click away.
I think someone in this discussion talked about the usual comparison between the real estate agent and the car salesman. Today's real estate consumers are so tired of the car salesman.
I am not "searching for relevance".
And - personally, I don't "care" about Trulia, per se - it's not a person, it's an entity, a corporation whose bottom line is to make money.......what I do care about is the image (or negative image) some agents leave behind in their wake.
I have had interaction with several of the trulia moderators, and they are very appreciative when inappropriate posts are brought to their attention. They can't read everything that is typed here, and they are happy when the more egregious comments are flagged.
Scott, I agree - the only real opinion that matters to me (and, I am sure, to everyone who takes the time to answer questions, trying be helpful here, and on other sites, is the opinion of the consumer.
.I think of it more as a misdirected, or ill conceived, approach to how they present themselves online.....or, they are so ego-centric, they think, no matter what they say, all their posts are pearls of wisdom.
I am sure other parts of the business model have evolved, as well....and will continue to do so.
Zillow's model is different - no tolerance for spam, but they push that controversial "zestimate" which comes under fire by so many agents AND consumers.
Everyone is certainly free to "test their skills" here, as most of us are doing.
Where I part company with your point of view, while I respect it, but just dont agree, is that those, as you call them "jelly beans" leave an impression on the consumer(maybe good, maybe bad, depending on the consumer) , and I DO care about the negative impressions. I feel they reflect a generic "us", and feed into the negative stereotype many have in regard to Realtors.
Some of those jelly beans even leave bad/wrong answers - that's certainly not good.
I want the image of Realtors to be elevated rather than sneered at.
I come to Trulia answering questions because I really enjoy it....and I enjoy learning how business is conducted all over the country - I have actually learned a few things along the way, too.
The side benefit is - I have gotten business from my exposure here.
It's all good.
But...it does trouble me when I see jelly bean comments and actions and lack of respect for the consumer and (I am using too many "ands") poor grammar and spelling.
We all reflect each other to those consumers reading what is posted here - those who may never type a word or make a comment or ask a question of their own - they just read, peruse and possibly form opinions.
I am always shocked to see the large number of views my profile has had, along with blog views (over 30,000 for the blogs, over 25,000 for the profile) - seriously, those numbers shock me - as that indicates, to me, that lots of people really ARE out there watching, reading and, most importantly, forming opinions.
Realtors are often jokingly compared to used car salesmen.........those of us who take what we do seriously, and I know you are one of them Annette, as your answers are always filled with passion, so it's clear you care,........but the kinds of responses being discussed on this thread...the cringe-worthy "call me" spammers, the responses that don't even deal with the question, and, yes, the agents who don't know the difference between "there and their" DO bother me, as I feel we all should hold ourselves to higher standards, and those around us, as well.
There is a Facebook group called: Raise the Bar in Real Estate"....it's a pleasure reading what those agents share......as all of them strive to do the best they can, and to make our image a better one.
The behavior of TRULIA to permit massive spamming of the blogs section by clearly identifiable flooders, AND Trulia's decision to place ads in alignment with the Q & A suggests to me that the QUALITY of the consumer experience on Trulia is NOT THE PRIME OBJECTIVE of the website owner.
If some jelly bean(s) want to promote their listing. or some lender want to promote their 'stolen rebates' or, (my favorite) some agent has a 27 line signature with every conceivable vanity imaginable listed, or a property management company want to blabber and blabber and blabber on...they should do so.
If others on Trulia want to be the self-appointed police. well,that's a nice hobby too. See, we all add purpose to one another's lives!
This great big advertising 'test' facility, has value for those experimenting with their craft....and that is to test one's skill. Use it as such and you won't live with frustration. This is an aggregate website that HAS exhibited their intent. I don't care if a jelly bean want to spam, ask dumb questions. can't distinguish their from there, or post blatant misinformation, or posts their data in Romulan! For those who are paying attention, there is now and will be in the future, opportunity.
Hopefully, everyone here has a great plan B rolling in the background.
I've got a 'beautiful" 4/2/2 pool home, with a 'Arabian Stallion" training facility over the back fence............." won't last long!
For example, promoting a listing on a blog is allowed, and often suggested, in lieu of posting that listing information in the Q&A section.
I often see agents new to trulia post in the Q&A section something like:"Want to know how great it is to live in Wonderfulville, USA? Call me and I will tell you"
Now, those kinds of posts are often removed by trulia moderators.......yet, if posted as a blog are perfectly acceptable.
Maybe a bit confusing.........as to when it is, or isn't "ok".
It seems that some people don't have the ability to step back and see how their words come across.
Example - an agent on a forum for some reason thought it was a good idea to correct the consumer/poster's misspelling of the word "realtor" before going on and answering the question.
My jaw dropped, as I thought, why would you embarrass someone in an open forum by pointing out their spelling error (and who knows, maybe it was a typo - I sure make enough of them). No one else on that thread thought it was polite to point it out - why would you............except for that agent.......what was she thinking? Did she really think she would be endearing herself , not only to that poster, but to anyone else who happened to come along and read that?
No idea why people do what they do sometimes.....blogs are the least of it!!
Have a great day!
So...to respond to the question: "Why wouldn't one do that?
In my opinion - and this is just how I look at it - a blog is an avenue to share information or a point of view - a slice of life - whatever you want to call it
. If you offer enough information - and it could be telling consumers about what a great life style your area offers - about new restaurants that opened, etc. - doesn't always have to be a drole real estate related topic (ie: what to expect at a home inspection), but.....if one consistantly offers information consumers might find interesting, then they may want to follow up and "call you" when the time is right, on their own - without having to be "asked" for that call.
I reference my blogs from time to time when answering questions online, as over the years I feel I have developed a sort of "blog library" that covers a lot of topics consumers seem to question a lot.
I also follow, on Trulia, the number of "views" my blogs have received, and I am amazed to see it has grown to over 30,000 views in the past few years, but more importantly, I check to see which topics/blogs garner the most attention with the most views..and those that continue to attract views.
That gives me an idea of what the consumer is looking for.
This is just how I look at it.......and we're all entitled to our points of view. That's part of what being an independent contractor is about.......we all have our different styles and modes of doing business.
If it works for someone - go for it!
Oh, and in regard to blogging about a listing - my goodness, my company syndicates our listings to hundreds of websites where consumers are purposely searching for homes for sale............I don't think consumers are looking to blogs for their house search.
Again, just my opinion.
So - Yanoska - since you asked the question.....what is your point of view?
It's their company, not mine, but I don't care for it.
And, I personally don't do that........... but, to each his own.
I also don't think it is productive, nor do I think it's appealing to read that sort of post.
Apparently, though, it seems a number of agents think that saying "call me" or rambling on about their listings or how good they think they are will result in more business.
Who knows.....maybe it does workj for them!
In regard to the comments such as: "Great blog, Way to go", blah, blah, blah etc...I think that is a carry over from what I have seen on Active Rain (which I find amusing and pathetic all at the same time).
An agent can say it is "sunny outside today" and a bunch of agents will join in and tell them what a great blog that was, and how astute their observations are!
That's why I stopped going to AR - too much with the high fives and virtual hugs for my taste.
One of the highlights and refreshing parts on zillow, imo, is their intolerance for spam of any kind. It's just not allowed, and their moderators remove it quickly.
I suppose these kinds of sites have to walk a fine line between appeasing agents who they need as a major source of revenue (buy those ads, zip codes and orange badges!!!)...and yet, not allowing the site to look like, and turn into, one huge billboard.
What a conundrum!
My tragic weather event this week was being caught on the far reaches of the beach without sunscreen. :)
@Yanoska - the repost example you provided is a great example of a build in 'self-select' mechanism.
Self-select mechanism sort the curious time-wasters from the folks whom you can and want help. Since adding the "serious' clause to my comments, the response, although fewer, are pure gold.
@John - Valid points, I don't like such "Jelly Beans" either.
The delima is I can not care MORE about Trulia than they care for themselves. If Trula demonstrated any real commitment to an exceptional consumer experience, then the voluntary Trulia police would have merit. At this time, however, these busy bodies seem to be in search of relevance.
If possible, I will try to follow such policing activity with my comments of the value they bring to the community. That brings me relevance. It is possible that a potential home seller in Akron really needs the encouragement to 'Call me, I'll sell your home in 30 days.!" That specific advertisement is interwoven into the Q and A by Trulia.
If an agent wants to post, "I can find you the perfect home, call me." I say go ahead and use all CAPS. Weight loss. Go ahead. Can't find a date..Go ahead. Cooking lessons...Go ahead.
All Trulia needs to do to suggest they care is to fix the Realty Trac problem.
If Trulia does not care ONE would be guilty of inappropriate goals to care more than they do. YOU can not care more for an individual than they care for themselves. That will be an exercise of futility and great disappointment. That is a fundamental truth.
You are developing a Plan B, right?
Care...so we talked about common sense, good judgement, but does it really boils down to caring?
To be honest - sometimes, I flag so many posts, my index finger hurts!
A few years back there were more restrictive policies regading spam here............long signatures, for example, were not allowed.
Then, for whatever reason, the powers that be decided it was ok to use every letter in the alphabet after an agent's name to show every designation and award they achieved since entering elementary school, along with every phone number they ever had, cutesy slogans, and the name of their favorite pet.
Ok - I jest!........but can you tell that sort of stuff irks me just a teensy weensy bit?
My online philosophy has been - just answer the darn question.... try to add something (new) to the discussion rather than just parroting what 10 other agents already said (unless someone is asking for opinions, then it may have some relevance to repeat what others shared).
I feel that anyone who wants to follow up with me, or learn more about my background in real estate can easily look that up.
as an aside as long as we're talking here..........what do you think about the few agents who, at the end of their responses, ask (beg) for a thumbs up or best answer award? I cringe every time I see that (thankfully it's not too often these days)
ps for what it is worth - I believe in the past some contributors were "advised" to repost their blogs often so that they would continue to appear at the top of the list! Maybe the sales people selling the zip codes and badges were suggesting ways to garner attention....who knows.
I don't believe that Trulia endorses that agent members blog about the individual services they offer which is also known as self promotion. It is stated in Trulia's Community Guidelines that it is considered spam and may be removed by Trulia moderators.
Here is the link to Trulia's Community Guidelines: http://www.trulia.com/guidelines/
I believe that answering questions and blogging about your own local real estate market activity, lending and law changes, and other real estate related information is the key to obtaining the most leads and helps to show that you are in expert in your region.
Prudential Connecticut Realty
That being said, if we are doing a good community informational post, i see no harm in adding links back to our blogs/websites etc. In addition as long as we are actually supplying information in our posts and not just puffing out our chests in a "look at me, I'm the best agent around mode, I don't think it's a problem.
The blog itself serves as a promoting vessel, make it count.
They are not just "playing" to the consumer for potential business.
They are also being viewed by fellow agents and lenders, who may very well be a source of future business, for them as well.
Personally, from observing agents here over the years, I have a mental list of those, all over the country, I'd reach out to in a heartbeat with a referral .....those who are impressive online, and have shown themselves to be knowledgeable and professional.
It's not just consumers who are forming opinions.
Have you tried to make a search as a buyer would? Other than a buyer getting a hit via email when a new property is listed in his saved searches, I can't see any other way. I figure it will be the same in Illinois where there are still a great number of foreclosures.
While they let you write what you want in your blog, the only opinion that counts is a potential Buyer or Seller who will glance at it and in seconds decide if it contains worth while information to read the whole thing. Trulia Blogs have been an incredible source of leads for me. The key is to blog daily, faithfully and provide good content.
As far as Active Rain, I also blog their becuase I have found it reaches a dofferent audience than Trulia. this way i can double my exposure by posting in 2 different sites. I Love the fact other agents read and comment on my blogs. Many then re-blog providing even additional exposure. I do not feel teh sites compete becuase people go to each site for seperate reasons. If you are not on Active Rain... check it out here http://activerain.com/action/referrals/sctprop
You get what you put into it, offer bad content and get bad results
we still have snow piled up on the grass from Friday's storm (my clients who were scheduled for the weekend cancelled), but the streets are fine....except.......the potholes all over are terrible....hit a crater-sized one in Manhattan the other night and got a flat tire!
oy - what fun!
The Trulia posted generated questions are GREAT! Love the responses!!! I am sorry we have to find some humor among all the non-sense.
How's the weather up in Jersey? ;)
just curious what you all think of the Trulia posted/generated questions?
Personally, I don't like them (and have shared that w/ trulia) because so many agents jump in and respond as though they are answering a consumer.....I feel embarrassed for them as they clearly don't realize when they say "Call Me" they are asking a corporation to call them, not a person.
I suppose those are "conversation starter" questions, but if this is a real Q&A section, then that's what should be posted here (imo).
Do you have a property for rent in the areas around Midtown?
I have a very dear client looking for a 1/1 or better in Midtown for around $800.00, pet friendly. I have already search the MLS so of course this would have to be a pocket listing. Commission is negotiable. I would appreciate all responses even if you may be referring someone.
In less than 5 minutes I received a bunch of responses:
"I don't know" "I don't have one"
Can we talk? Are you kidding me now? There is a couple of points for helping the community!
I deleted the question and re-posted:
Do you have a property for rent in the areas around Midtown?
I have a very dear client looking for a 1/1 or better in Midtown for around $800.00, pet friendly. I have already search the MLS so of course this would have to be a pocket listing. Commission is negotiable. I would appreciate all responses even if you may be referring someone. I ask you that you please be reasonable and do not reply "I don't have one". Thank you.
Those "set up" (as I think of them) questions are really annoying ...asking a question simply for the purpose of providing their own answer. When I see agents new to this site dong that, I wonder if they were coached to do so by the sales rep selling them whatever it is they bought.
In regard to signatures, I kiddingly suggested that there should be a rule stating one's answer needs to at least be longer than their signature !
And, how about those "non-answers" floating around out there........last night I responded to a questionn as to why a fsbo coudn't complete posting her home here - I was the 1st to respond - simple answer - said - "fsbos' aren't allowed"......
Along comes another agent and this was his response: "Debbie hit it head on - good luck".
What was the point of that, other than gaining more points?
I understand that the main purpose of blogging on Trulia is to share your knowledge with the community by providing some resourceful information that would lead to a productive discussion.
I also believe that applies to the Q&A section of Trulia where 90% of the replies are: "Call me, my name is and my number is" in a more elaborate 10 paragraph annoying response that they copy and paste on every single question even when the question relates to the whatever. I have seen these responses on the Agent to Agent section!!!! Humorous I guess...I figure discernment does not come easy to some...