Fix the GLITCH already. Really! Do the right thing by these agents they deserve it!
Without credible agent contributions Trulia would be nothing...DO YOU HEAR THAT. The general public comes back to Trulia because of these loyal and experienced agents and their justified guidance.
If Trulia looses the good content and focuses more on the "dollar," chances are the general public may go elsewhere (other sites) for answers they know they can trust.
What's happened? Is this how they really want to treat their core? If the answer is yes, then it's time to walk away and NOT come back.
There will be other Trulias and other Zillows down the road, that do what they do better.
this seems to go from bad to worse.....you have paying agents who are annoyed and confused as to how your system now works......and .....non-paying agents, but active contributors, who are annoyed for the same reason......so just who is happy with all these new changes??
and on top of it - you have a major, current system glitch that has deleted certain numbers on our voices activity list!
Since I have "zero" points does this mean that I don't need to post any contributions to maintain my VIP badge status? Oh, wait! That is meaningless now anyways. Tell me some more, Matt!
Prudential Connecticut Realty
Why not just admit that the system is really broke right now? I don't pay for advertising, but if I was an agent that paid for advertising and there was another agent or broker with lots of listings and no contribution at all here on Trulia other than listings that was above me in the rankings, I would be cancelling my subscription to Trulia YESTERDAY! What's the point of paying if you are going to have a system of ranking other non-paying agents with more listings ahead of me?
You, or whoever, really need to re-think exactly what you're doing. It doesn't make sense. From an ethical standpoint, you can't tell me that an agent that has 20 listings and no contribution here on Trulia deserves to be ranked ahead of someone that has spent years here on Trulia playing by the previous rules and working to increase their rankings by the system that was in place at that time.
Obviously the weight given to past participation here on Trulia factors VERY LITTLE into the overall process now and that's not right!
Please explain the market areas now!!! So if my market area is Texas, why don't I show up in all cities in Texas? What is the point of having Texas as a market area? Same thing goes for a specific county in Texas. What's the point of having a county? What about a zip code? Does having a zip code guarantee that I'm going to show up on a city search that's is in a specific zip code. Why is everyone having such a hard time changing their service areas? Do you really think limiting agents to three service areas is fair, especially for agents that work in major metro areas and have 20 different cities they do business in? It might be different for someone that lives in an isolated area, but it's not realistic for someone that works in the Dallas / Fort Worth market.
Joe - -
Remember, I have 3 Listings, 3 Recommendations,668 Voice Activity and 86 Toured Homes, yet I'm buried pages back...??
Actually here's all my activity on Trulia..
Create an account 100 pts
Complete your profile 100 pts
Publish a blog post 63 - 315 pts
Answer a question 597 - 2,388 pts
Leave a blog comment 175 - 525 pts
Write a review 0 - 0 pts
Select a best answer 4 - 8 pts
Ask a question 8 - 8 pts
Receive a best answer award 6 - 600 pts
Receive a thumbs up 134 - 536 pts
Receive a blog comment 12 - 60 pts
Receive blog page views 0 - 0 pts
Receive profile page views 0 - 0 pts
Recommendations 3 -150 pts
Check-ins 90 - 900 pts
Add Sold Listing 0 - 0 pts
Verify Sold Listing 0 - 0 pts
Total points 5,630 pts
Of course Trulia is a mess at the moment. As others have pointed out, Truila MAY (if they have the smarts) be morphing from their catipillar to a butterfly.
As we have all noticed, they can't keep the Bombay ads out of the Q&A.
Now, lets see if a little spotlight be shed on the benefit of Trulia.
We are all aware of the assets Trulia currently has and recently acquired
We are all aware of the changes of the past year Trulia has injected into the environment of the agent and client relationship as it pertains to Trulia.com (I refer to is as throwing your friends and clients under the bus) Do not be mistaken, there very well may be a strategic purpose you do not see.
What many may not be aware of is the tectonic shift that has taken place in the past three years.
My exploration of Venue Theory exposes the reality that what happens on Truila.com and those who are so emotionally attacthed will find themselves in the 'outer darkness' of marketing. In a few years, maybe in just six months...NONE OF THIS WILL MATTER! This is a ship to no where.
Based on actions Trulia imposed over the past year, leads me to believe they have a clue their boat is doomed. The acquisitions they have made CAN be leveraged to present to those of use who currently paticipate on Truila a gigantic advantage. This is the opportuntiy Trulia has.
What will they do?
The will ignore those who are here. Specificly ME and YOU! They will market to new blood. You as a professional must make yourself aware of Venue Theory and position yourself acccordingly. Stop trying to win riding a dead horse. If you don't have the energy to learn Venue Theory, then simply read the promitons offered by SurgarCRM or Hubspot. They are squarly on the outcome end of this process. They ARE where Trulia should be going. Can Trulia find it's way there? Not looking very promising at the moment. The trajectory revealed in Venue Theory predicts Tuila will find itself where Kodak did when digitial photography destoryed film. The move is underway, you can't stop it.
Let Trulia do as they have exhibited themselves to be. You MUST do what is best for you. The dog Truilia currently has in game simply 'Does not hunt!" You should repsond accordingly until such time as Trulia exhibits they have caught the wave and allows others to participate. (be aware, that last phrase does not gaurantee we will be included)
Agent ranking, rating, PRO, Local Spokesperson, Mayor...it is all white wash very much like what agents repeatedly pay from to append letters to their name. Seems agents have deomstrated they will buy ANYTHING!
Trulila is restructuring. Will they build a better mousetrap? All I know for certain is they haven't asked me what would be beneficial to real estate professonals knowing the speed at which venue is changing. Do you have sufficient clarity of thought to answer that question should Truila ask you AND if you truly acknowledge this boat upon which you currenlly stand is DOOMED!
Trulia knows it. They are attempting changes. These changes are major. They are comprehensive. They don't include you....or me. They are certainly doing a exceptiionally poor job communicating what is taking place. I get the feeling they are just like those big banks...the left hand is unaware of what the right hand is doing....so eveyone stays mum.
It is depressing to think I may be giving Trulia way too much credit. Being the optimist I am....I want to believe their exists great big brains of imagination and strong disiplines of creation at work there. ...... and they are empowered to make decisions.
However, I've found other horses upon which I have greater confidence in the result.
How long till the thread gets to 225 responses?
Please give ME the BEST answer! LOL.
Fact is, I saw this coming as soon as I read that TRULIA had gone public. Shareholders come first, the principles that got you to the top be damned. Frankly, it's how I became a Mortgage Banker in the first place. I worked for a great electronics company in the 80's and rose through the ranks as the company grew. Almost as soon as the company went public EVERYTHING changed; the company went bust not long afterward as the principles---and the people---who grew the company were cast aside to send profits to the shareholders. I got into the mortgage business so I wouldn't be beholden to corporate shenanigans.
I've been anticipating something of this nature happening with TRULIA---I assumed September as my targe date---and I had already begun improving my internet presence elsewhere.
I've been on the 'net since 2000 doing basically the same thing I do here on TRULIA, so I've seen my fair share of web marketing opportunities come---and GO.
This is a good time to revisit your SEO strategies, focus on BRANDING, and be sure to maintain your good online reputation (consumers REALLY do check us all out in advance).
For my part, you can always find me at http://www.tcurranmortgage.com and soon on Yahoo! Finance on a video segment called "Destination Home."
Now Debbie, about that BEST answer...
Another note: our VIP badges are worthless when it comes to ranking in the agent search fields as the top contributor tab is gone. Hence; my badge is now grey when I appear in the agent search but the Pro icon still remains a gold color (which I discontinued a couple of months ago).
So...your VIP badges, thumbs up, and best answer awards are now meaningless on the site. An agent with absolutely no contributions can hold the number 1 spot in the agent search area. Just doesn't seem right....
I can't change my service areas either. I got rid of Connecticut as a state but the 3 towns showing are still not my prime territories. Geez!
Thanks for your post!
Prudential Connecticut Realty
BTW, Trulia called me again early yesterday morning, because I clicked on the Pro / advertising section of the website the night before just to browse around. If you don't want to get woke up in the morning, don't click on that!
Your VIP 2 / PRO status coupled with your 1137 questions that you have answered and 8 Recommendations put you on PAGE SIX, behind 110 other Westlake, OH. agents.. You have effectively been buried and are pretty much non-existent on Trulia now.. Kinda sucks, huh?
Joe - -
For Arlington, TX. Agents: Yesterday I was #40 on the list. I entered 7 SOLDS and the system bumped me to #18 on the list.
BUT: There are still people much further ahead of me on the list and there is no OBVIOUS reason why, unless active listings are given extremely heavy weighting in the ranking system. For instance, there an Agent named Josie White w/ Coldwell Banker. She has ZERO everything, except for 7 listings. That's right, there's no indication that she has ever participated on Trulia at all, expect to create a profile. There's no indication that she has ever sold a house, only 7 listings. How in the world could 7 listings bump an agent above me. What has Josie White ever done for Trulia? I have been an active member here on Trulia, answered hundreds of questions and spent hours and hours here helping out people that come to Trulia looking for answers to their real estate questions. All of my Trulia activity is clearly listed below in an earlier post.
For the record, I have no problem with Josie White / Coldwell Banker or any of the other agents above me on the list. My problem is with the Trulia agent ranking system and the fact that Trulia is being less than forthcoming about exactly how it works.
Joe Stone - RealtorÂ®
"We're giving subscribing agents a higher boost in the directory," Holder said. "A paid subscriber is an agent who pays for one of our subscription app products, paying for display ads on our site to get leads.""
that kind of says it all..................
The majority of us have been here for years and offered solid advice which in part has contributed to Trulia's following and success. I am so proud of everyone and their efforts to assist those in need regarding the housing industry. Experience is clearly evident in your responses.
As far as earning rewards, I hope you all know how valuable you are! Regardless of rankings, paid Pro status, or no status...paying for awards without earning them is SO unethical and misleading.
Buying a way to success...I'll not do it!
Your profile is in good shape! Don't forget to add homes you have sold.
Hell, I'm just happy to have a 100% complete profile now. It took them months to finally get that straightened out.. :-)
Here in Texas we are a Non-Disclosure state.. so I don't think I can legally add my sold data.. The data is ONLY allowed to be listed on our local MLS..
It would be nice, however, if there weren't frequent glitches - like the current loss of profile and blog views!
does a consumer understand that's what it means by "featured" when they search?
It now counts "Solds" as a ranking filter - is there a limit on how far back that goes?
Since that figure is determined by whether an agent inputs this or not.....that "top agent" list can also be misleading to a consumer."
Best match means whoever sent trulia the most money this month.
When I see featured it means someone who did a great job and was in the news because they did so well. OOPS!!! Featured means they paid trulia something this month.
If an agent puts in their own sold numbers that could be manipulated easily.
Joe, " I spent months answering questions and being a huge part of the online forum and fought my way to the top of the list in most areas. I'm now lucky if I'm on the first page because of all the PROS that are at the top. Trulia obviously doesn't care about forum contributions. It's all about the all mighty dollar."
Trulia reset the find a pro directory quite some time ago. I (a non-realtor etc.) was on page one of the rankings in every category. Apparently trulia decided that only pro's could be found as obviously a non-pro who looked better was not acceptable. To me the best contributors were easily recognized and no more than a dozen professionals. When I saw someone who knew what they were talking about and did not spout NAR-nonsense they could easily gain my respect. It was not about having vip 1,2, or 3. It was about the knowledge they had and shared. To me vip3 was easy and quick to get. (see) http://www.trulia.com/blog/dan_chase/2010/03/vip2_to_vip3_in Apparently trulia has forgotten that an award with no meaning devalues all awards. Apparently each time trulia resets the find a good professional rating system it makes it worse.
Also, trulia has (different rant) sent me an email every day telling me I have a vip1 now. I hate to reply more on here hoping that email will go away.
Aside from the ability to game the system by assigning someone to answer questions, post blogs, etc. in an agents name while the agent is drinking mai tai's by the pool, there really is no way to know who "is the better agent" for a client simply by counting points.
I'm fine with showing an agent's Voices activity, listings, closings, etc. - but telling Trulia users that one agent is better or inferior to another is an ill-conceived idea.
The 3 areas we are now allowed I just realized they randomly deleted and chose on my behalf, well, thank you Trulia! It took me hours to select the right 3! WHAT A MISSION!
You can vote with your wallets and move on. You can post on Twitter with hashtags for #realtor #realty #trulia #realestate to get the word out.
What a slap in the face, what else is there to say?
Time to create a hybrid of Zillow/Trulia that's owned by agents and not always looking for the next financing round on Wall Street.
You're right the system IS broke! It makes no sense to reward someone with the #1 spot only because she has 23 listings and has contributed nothing to the Trulia community, unlike someone like you that has been here on Trulia for years helping the Trulia users. It's a slap in the face to all of us and shows that Trulia really doesn't value any of our past contributions.
TRULIA ! ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS!
Not only did I go from number one to number 13 when you look for an agent in Key West (yes, it took a lot of effort to stay in that number one slot, but at least I could figure out how it was calculated!), but now, with this mysterious "Best Match" system the SAME AGENT has beaten me twice!! She is listed at number 7 AND number 11, so apparently that "Best Match" criteria must think she's twice as good a match as me, cuz it put her out there twice before it got to me, way down at 13!!
Wow...I don't think the majority of us are missing anything...it's clear...this is what's happening.
Of course, the rep from trulia, Matt Holder, who responded here earlier on this thread claimed our participation/contributions here (number of posts, thumb's ups, best answers) still count....really?......it's just not clear where or how - so I ask where and how do they count?
Seems to be part of some invisible mathematical mysterious algorithm......still haven't gotten any explanation as to what "BEST MATCH" means........everything is very vague........
actually, not so vague...........pay and you get more service areas listed on your profile.........pay and you get ranked higher..........pay, pay, pay
By golly, I think we figured it out!
I got my BLOG view points back.. I got bumped up to VIP2 status.. I'm still missing my Profile View points.. Now I just noticed that I lost all of my Service Areas in my profile..
I got an email from Trulia that states,
In recognition of this achievement, your VIP status will be shown on your profile and across our site. You will also enjoy more exposure throughout Trulia as well as higher ranking within our Find a Pro directory.
Funny, but I don't see that I'm ranked any higher on the list..
Oh well, one step forward, two steps back. THIS IS ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS I DON'T PAY FOR TRULIA ADVERTISING. They need to get this stupid Agent Profile area of the website working properly. I don't pay for crummy service...
Joe Stone - Realtor
I don't think you realize that there is hardly any ROI!
Anyone who has been dedicated to Trulia, with a selfish attitude.....
If your goal is to find Clients; you are better off with a pair of comfortable shoes and knocking on doors.
Why all the grumbling?
Truila is what Trulia is. You've heard me say this MANY times.
Those who have substituted fiction for fact are being disappointed with the outcome.
Trulia is an advertising platform that sells vapors to gullible agents.
It is the responsibilty of those using Trulia to recognize how Trulia can be used to their benefit. Don't be a gullible agent.
Zlllow and Trulia have assended to prominance on a platform of deception and misdirection.
What is of greater significance is the consumer KNOWS the values are wrong, 30% of the listing are invalid and the Foreclosures are FAKE..because you have been advising the so....RIGHT? (opportuntiy lost 1)
Knowing the values are fake, the lisitng are fake, the foreclosures are fakes, consumers contuine to visit these websites because THEY WANT/EXPECT TO BE LIED TO! Questions are asked solely to align opinions to do whatever they wanted to do anyway. They search homes for sale knowing the good ones are LONG GONE! They want to believe they can consult professionals and sell their home FREE! THose professionals who participate on Trulia need to understand, when citizens need real information the right answer is just a click/call away. (opportunity lost 2)
Why are so many agents expressing concern with anything Trulia does? Do what works for you. If alternate profiles work...go ahead. If collaborating with a pool of paticipants work...do it! If you need to hire someone to blog for you...hire someone who can spell. then do what serves you best. If you can game..the game it. If you choose to stay in the box, don't complain about the size of the box. (opportunity lost 3)
There is a real and valuable dynamic Trulia and Zillow offer that should be the sole objective of those seeking to leverage these platfroms to YOUR greatest potential. Sorry, you can't buy it, You can't subcribe to it. Most will never recognize it. But you see it first hand...every week! (opportunity lost 4)
These who fail to recognize see aggregate websites as a valid place to chase the vapors of buyers and seller. They expect some level of integretity from a system that exhibits no integrity. Why do you complain....you get EXACTLY what they consistantly demonstrate. Let me repeat,,,,,,they consistantly demonstrate agents are gullible and will willingly(saome pay) participate in a platform of deceit in the hopes of a crumb dropping from the table. Without proper 'squeezing' the baby will be thrown out with the bathwater. (Opportunity lost 5)
Nothing Truiia has demonstrated in the past or present suggests there should be any expectation of what some seem to compare to FAIRNESS. That idea evaporated the day you were promoted from the playground days. Use the nature of Trulia to your advantage and treat Trulia with the same integrity with which they treat you. Go have some fun and don't take "Agent Ranking" seriously. Rather than strain at the knats, take a few steps back, try to remember what you read about advertising...and do your very best to connect the dots. You will find in the archives of Debra's writing the benefit that has the greatest potential for your business. It is a potential that you must exploit, the rewards do not march through the door.
Go have some fun.....
...Be controversial (the second meaning)...
...and don't be gullible...
....relax, Trulia won't make or break you.
I have been invited to Trulia's offices twice to share my opinion on new site features in development (they even paid me for it), though neither time did we discuss agent point accumulation and ranking systems. That controlled environment is much more conducive to productive feedback. They know that getting involved in a hostile discussion online is pointless, possibly destructive to their image.
I think we're placing too much importance on agent participation as a contribution to the success of Trulia or any other search, knowledge and data site. Since they receive syndicated listings from the MLS's and elsewhere, they already have content that draws consumer traffic. If consumers want to find an agent online, it's easy enough to click on REALTOR.org or a local association site to find one (if you're not a REALTOR, sorry...). The Trulia staff I met are smart and energetic. If an agent ranking system was really important to their operation, they would have fixed it by now.
Trulia is the wild, wild west of real estate interaction among agents and consumers. The questions asked by agents and consumers can be pretty stupid (yeah, I said stupid) and some of the agents provide answers that are just as stupid (I said it again). Yet Trulia maintains an open forum that, if I were running things, I'd probably tighten up to improve the quality and reputation of the site.
If agents who signed up for the Trulia Pro package were the only agents allowed to answer consumer questions, those questions would probably still get answered. It might be argued that they would be answered more accurately. MY POINT IS: Consumers don't need 10 answers to their question from 10 different agents who all say the same thing. Or answers to questions they posted two years ago. And they sure as hell don't enjoy reading answers to their questions that are punctuated with blatant business solicitations and 10 lines of agent contact information. If anything, there are too many agents participating in Voices just to generate points that - it appears from this discussion - don't benefit the agent, the consumer, or even Trulia. In that, Trulia has created their own problem that they should either solve or just scrap the system to rid themselves of the headache.
I have no idea how each revenue channel generates income for Trulia. Agent Pro accounts and agent advertising appear to generate a lot of that revenue based upon the screen space they they occupy. But that space could just as easily be allocated to consumer-pointed advertising with a larger income stream by... well, if Trulia wants my opinion on that they'll have to pay me again.
I yield the soap box.
What do I think? Trulia has basically screwed us! We, the agents who take the extra time of our very busy day to provide helpful answers, to share our expertise and to increase the traffic of their very own site.
I have been quite busy the past 30 days and this issue was just brought to my attention, this is absolutely ridiculous, either that or this search is just too challenging for me.
"@Joe - "But I knew something was up when the Trulia rep called me last time and told me that if I didn't subscribe I probably wasn't going to continue to be as successful as before due to Trulia changing things up"
Matt - I have a question in regard to "solds" - did trulia really intend for agents to be able to list every house they have ever sold in their entire careers - because they can??
Was putting a time limit on this "stat" not considered, or was it considered and ignored?/