I dont like the general answers that really are just......call a good agent (broker, mortgage loan officer)
to get this question answered. ie meaning if you want me to answer you need to call me.
Also reasonable to me, is the concept a consumers question can not be answered precisely knowing the reader submitting the question on trulia does not provide adequate informaton for a real estate professional to make an absolute response. The invitiation to call the agent should be interpreted as 'More information needed, call if you have interest."
As a comsumer, I am very capable of determining when I want to stop reading. It is of no benefit to me to have third parties imposing restrictions that have no material benefit to me. I live in a world saturated in promotions of all kinds. I don't expect Trulia to be any different. Why do you?
I am of the opinion that the blogs should not be as tightly watched - the consumer can choose to read or not and so if the content of a particular author becomes unappealing, they can just choose not to tap it. I'd focus on keeping the Q&A clean - and agree that lowering standards on that side could diminish the draw and stickiness of the site.
The questioner then posted another question--complaining about "spam" from out-of-state agents. He clearly wanted a direct answer to his question: Where could he find a discount broker? He was irritated that out-of-state agents had responded with what he considered to be irrelevant responses.
If that's the question you're referring to, I defended the out-of-state agents for providing useful information.
But you raise an interesting question:
Are posts with names, phone numbers web addresses, e-mail links, and more spam?
Or are posts that don't specifically address the precise question asked spam?
Regarding that first question, it's a fine line. Someone could simply post: "Yes, there are discount brokers in Louisiana." But that might not satisfy the question.
Or: "Yes, there are discount brokers in Louisiana. Please contact me for more information."
Or: "Yes, there are discount brokers in Louisiana. Contact me. John Smith, ABC Realty, 123 Main Street, Anytown, Louisiana. http://www.JohnSmithDiscountRealtyLouisiana.com."
My personal preference would be for that second answer.
Hope that helps.
I do, however, get extremely irritated when a question is asked and an answer is made such as: (Q) "My house has been on the market for over 6 months, no showings, no offers. What am I doing wrong?" (A)"Call me, John Doe, John Doe Realty (123)456-7890." This is inappropriate and a misuse of Trulia. Of course we don't know anything about the property or what the questioner has done to sell their home, but that's when we can post a question to the questioner, or gives an answer with stipulations.
As a consumer, I would be irritated if I got answers that say "Call me." As a Realtor, I appreciate sound answers with contact information.
@Gita I donâ€™t have a problem with you doing this, but you stated unless the consumer is looking for an agent you do not ask link to your other posts. However, I noticed when you left this answer and other answers you attach your Remax website as a link with your answer. This is the topic at hand.
Jennifer Henning, REALTOR
If someone asks are there any lenders, agents.... that's one thing. Then maybe a call me response is in order. But lately it seems that there are alot of posts with lame answers and a lot of email, phone number, website address, "Realtor for Life" "Your Forever Realtor" Your Shortsale Specialist" and on and on responses.
My understanding of the Q & A was for consumers to ask a question of professionals for answers and advice. I didn't think that the Q & A was a billboard for advertising.
We are all looking for business, but I think that it cheapens our profession when agents beg for business here and in the blog section. I didn't want to link to anyone thread inparticular, that's not my style, but I could have linked a dozen or so just today. I've been on Trulia for over a year now and IMO think that it has changed for the worse from what it use to offer the consumer, and feel that it reflects that with the amount of questions that are being asked by the consumer. Just my thoughts.
I don't think there is anything wrong with putting your information below a thought-out, helpful, insightful answer. It's like signing anything you write.
What I think is utterly ridiculous is what agents put on here as blog posts. They put their listing up as a blog post. They put their open house info as a blog post. There's someone on here who has answered over 7,000 questions, rarely with anything of value, and then puts up blog entries of a 2-3 sentences such as saying it is a good thing to have house plants - house plants make your house look nice. There should absolutely be some kind of monitoring of "blog posts."
At some point Trulia changed their rules and wrote me an email that said I had to drop my tagline but that I could keep name, phone number, brokerage, city, state, website, etc. Maybe they need a clearer policy like you suggest. Zillow was mentioned as having an extremely strong policy against personal info in answers from agents.
If a person is asking for help specifically about a property in someone's area, and they're requesting contact information, then it's not soliciting.
What's MUCH worse is all of the spamming going on in the BLOGS. It's horrendous and I brought up a similar question today at:
Please let me know if you think I'm right or wrong.
Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
Agents that sign off (as Jennifer mentioned) with a couple words telling the client to call them are not going to get the call. The agents that spent time and effort answering the question should (and will) get the call. This seems to be in the best interest of everyone (Trulia, Client, and Agent). You agree? I don't see any downside. An agent should be recognized for their hard work.
Why not write an email to Emily, Rudy and management? I don't like Zillow at all, but maybe they have a good policy when it comes to zero tolerance for soliciting.
And Jenet's right, too, about the abuse going on in the blog posts. It's gotten to the point where it looks like Acitve Rain, where people will write just about anything, including their deodorant preference, shoe size, or try to convert you to their religion with no shame. Maybe I'm stretching it with the deodorant and shoes, but Trulia doesn't want to look like AR, there's just waaaaaaaaay too much spam there.
So now what?