Question Details

Mike Kelly &…, Real Estate Pro in Santa Rosa, CA

Trulia Top Ten Fixes!!

Asked by Mike Kelly & Allison Norman, Santa Rosa, CA Thu Apr 24, 2008

I'm growing weary of Trulia Land and want to throw in some fixes which might allow a greater exchange of ideas. Your thoughts oh Trulians?? My suggestions are as follows as a reponse to my own question!

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Answers

9
I have just joined Trulia land and I do think it could use some tweeking. I think it is tacky that agents say " I can give you the information you need if you email..call..etc" I know the market is tough but the less me can make ourselves look like blood suckers the better. Let's leave that to the sub primers! Also it would be a good idea if agents didn't respond to questions in states they don't live in or even cities at the other end of the state! If you are trying to get a referral out of it, shouldn't we be better than that?

The other fixes would be nice but I know from my stand point, I would like to see these things cleared up first!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 24, 2008
Here are MY Top Ten Fixes to get the thread rolling!!

1. Limit the threads to one person reponses--that' it! No ongoing buyer/sellers or agents bickering back and forth ad infinitum!
2. Give a date expiration for any question. I saw an agent reponse to a rude Seller seeking a price basis for an estate and the question started in August of 2007 and the agent responded yesterday!! Enough! Agents!!--Read the darn threads and quit repeating just so you can get an "question answered" check mark!
3. Determine who is a "real estate pro" by entering a license number or some verification if we choose to do a real Agent to Agent site. Maybe make it area or zip code specific. I loathe those who answer questions from another state where they no NOT of their practices but want that vaunted" question answered" on their profile voices!!
4. Get rid of the "first answer"--who cares! Get rid of the "best answer"--who cares!
5. Get rid of the thumbs up/down as who cares!!
6. Can we get a survey as to who actually has gotten business from this site?
7. Cut with the cutesy alias's and photos (sorry, Elvis!). And no more photos of DOGS!! or Animals!!
8 Moderation of the constant back and forths which leave both Seller/Buyer and Realtor/Licensees not in a good light with either party!!
9. Spamming under control. You can place your web page in the "web reference" plus your contact information in your profile--You DON'T need to state it in your reponse!!
10. Reponses where the Realtor/Licensee states, "Call me for my answer or for more infomation!" Hello! That's why we have this format!!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 24, 2008
Michael, thank you so much for posting this question

I’d also I’d like to thank everyone for your feedback. Your suggestions are very important to us and we are always taking them in consideration when planning our next product enhancements ( agent2agent was one of the most popular requests, ability to provide more information about you on your profile was another one and you will see much more coming!)

Looking at the comments below, I see many that can add a lot of value on Trulia Voices such as set expiration date to questions, authenticate that someone is indeed real estate professional etc.

It becomes a bit more ‘tricky’ when it comes to certain features and self expressions tools. For example we know that some members love the ‘first answer’ but others not so much; some members prefer all real estate professionals to display their real photo, but others feel that by displaying something else (i.e. their pet) they actually share much more about their personality with other members.

It is a very delicate balance between providing an open platform where you can express yourself and ideas and suggestions can flourish and monitoring/restricting it, so everyone behaves at its best or has enough flexibility to express themselves. Our goal is to find the right balance! We are listening to you very carefully, we are learning every day and we are constantly fine tuning the Trulia Voices experience so we can provide a superb service.

About success stories using trulia voices, you can check out a testimonial video here: http://www.truliablog.com/?p=364 or this thread here: http://www.trulia.com/voices/Agent2Agent/Has_there_been_any_…

Thanks again all of you for the feedback! Please keep it coming!
vicky (Trulia Voices Product)
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 25, 2008
And I'll throw in mine as well:

1. Limit the threads to one person reponses
I don't agree... sometimes some of the most interesting conversations get started from the "back and forth" I'd be okay with a limit to the length of a thread...but not sure it's really necessary.

2. Give a date expiration for any question.
Sure... but how long are you going to give? 30 days?

3. Determine who is a "real estate pro" by entering a license number or some verification if we choose to do a real Agent to Agent site.
Here, here!

4. Get rid of the "first answer"--who cares! Get rid of the "best answer"--who cares!
Agreed.

5. Get rid of the thumbs up/down as who cares!!
Agreed.

6. Can we get a survey as to who actually has gotten business from this site?
Who cares? That's not (or shouldn't be) the purpose of this forum.

7. Cut with the cutesy alias's and photos (sorry, Elvis!). And no more photos of DOGS!! or Animals!!
Really? you think I'm cute!? (I think you know where I stand on this one.)

8 Moderation of the constant back and forths which leave both Seller/Buyer and Realtor/Licensees not in a good light with either party!!
Better moderation would be most welcome.

9. Spamming under control. You can place your web page in the "web reference" plus your contact information in your profile--You DON'T need to state it in your reponse!!
This would be part of the moderation. Spam should not be tolerated, and should be grounds for removal of the post, and potential cancellation of your account, if you're a repeat offender.

10. Reponses where the Realtor/Licensee states, "Call me for my answer or for more infomation!" Hello! That's why we have this format!!
Again, moderation.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 26, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
Contact
My thoughts on Michael's suggestions:
1. Limit the threads to one person reponses--that' it! No ongoing buyer/sellers or agents bickering back and forth ad infinitum!
MY OPINION: A valid point. However, sometimes clarifications are appropriate. Sometimes the questioner doesn't supply enough information and the first questions are along the lines of "Can you supply more details?" Then the initial questioner does, and that brings additional responses, including from those who asked for the clarification. So I wouldn't limit it to one. I assume Trulia could use cookies to increment up to 2 responses.

2. Give a date expiration for any question. I saw an agent reponse to a rude Seller seeking a price basis for an estate and the question started in August of 2007 and the agent responded yesterday!! Enough! Agents!!--Read the darn threads and quit repeating just so you can get an "question answered" check mark!
MY OPINION: Agree.

3. Determine who is a "real estate pro" by entering a license number or some verification if we choose to do a real Agent to Agent site. Maybe make it area or zip code specific. I loathe those who answer questions from another state where they no NOT of their practices but want that vaunted" question answered" on their profile voices!!
MY OPINION: Generally agree. However--and I'm not sure how you'd do this, maybe by creating another category--there are some very knowledgeable real estate investors who aren't licensed agents. I started off as a real estate investor, and there are whole areas that investors are familiar with that licensed agents generally aren't. However, regarding the Zip Code specific criteria, yes, some questions are very location-specific. (Which is a better Zip Code to buy in: 22030, 22032, or 22043?) Most agents don't answer those. Where there's a gray area is a question like: "When will the market turn back up in Northern Virginia?" Sure, much of that is location-specific, but it is possible that someone from somewhere else can offer valid comments on interest rates, the concept of absorption, the overhang of foreclosures nationally, etc. And other questions are valid regardless of area or region. Maybe when answering, there'd be a way to indicate geographic specificity--a little "map" icon preceding the answer if the answerer is from the same state, and two little "map" icons if the answerer is from the same city or county.

4. Get rid of the "first answer"--who cares! Get rid of the "best answer"--who cares!
MY OPINION: Generally agree. One drawback to "first answer" is that the pressure is on the person attempting the first answer to make it very short and sweet, in order to beat the other answers. Take a look at many of the threads. The first answer often is technically correct, but doesn't supply any real detail, depth, or nuance. The follow-up answers--when there are some--must be relied on to do that.

5. Get rid of the thumbs up/down as who cares!!
MY OPINION: Disagree. They generally seem to reflect the quality of the answer, and that can be helpful for someone totally unfamiliar with the topic and presented with widely divergent opinions or pieces of advice.

6. Can we get a survey as to who actually has gotten business from this site?
MY OPINION: That'd be OK. I know I haven't. While it'd be nice to, I really enjoy this more for the mental exercise it gives me. And because I learn a lot.

7. Cut with the cutesy alias's and photos (sorry, Elvis!). And no more photos of DOGS!! or Animals!!
MY OPINION: Disagree. Let me let you fellow Realtors in on a little secret: Many non-agents--your average Joe and Jane Doe--are mystified why agents plaster their pictures everywhere. Especially when the agents are, umm, less than attractive. I know it's to personalize the experience; I know it's supposed to make a connection, etc. Maybe one day I'll use my picture. (Nah! I look like a cross between Richard Simmons and Henry Kissinger. No way that'll sell any houses.) So, if someone wants to use a cutesy photo, or even Elvis (who only uses pictures of the early Elvis, none of the bloated older Elvis), that's fine with m.

8 Moderation of the constant back and forths which leave both Seller/Buyer and Realtor/Licensees not in a good light with either party!!
MY OPINION: Maybe. But make sure the moderation is done with a very light hand.

9. Spamming under control. You can place your web page in the "web reference" plus your contact information in your profile--You DON'T need to state it in your reponse!!
MY OPINION: Agree.

10. Reponses where the Realtor/Licensee states, "Call me for my answer or for more infomation!" Hello! That's why we have this format!!
MY OPINION: Agree.

And (before I run out of characters), a suggestion from me: Isn't there any way we can improve or create a search tool so that the same questions ("How does a short sale work?" or "Where can I find a list of foreclosures?") aren't asked over and over again?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 26, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
Contact
Hi Pam:

I think Murphy Brown is very cute, and if you want to use Murphy as your Truli alto Ego, do it! Anybody who wants go know who you are, they will Google you. :-)

I think Murphy's feeling will be hurt if you stop the picture just because Michael says so. :-)

Sylvia
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 24, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Novato, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Great Improvements suggested. I just like the information posted that helps agents. DO I get a check mark for this?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 25, 2008
Mike.....

I support the suggestions you outline in the answer below. Guess I will need to post my own picture and not of my pupp (murphy brown). Let's see what happens.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 24, 2008
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
MVP'08
Contact
good start to Trulia fixes!! Hopefully the powers at be will see it!!
cheers
leanne
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 24, 2008
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