I am an almost 5 year veteran of Trulia Voices and I find that my organic presence as a Q&A "voice" helps people get to know me better. I do not pay for any extra enhancements on Trulia other than my annual Trulia Pro subscription.
I buy that privilege because it helps to be called a "Pro" if thousands of people are coming to your Trulia profile every year.
I earn the VIP 1 or 2 designations regularly by contributing to the Trulia community in different ways - usually through simple contributions in Voices - answering a question is my most frequent contribution.
I have closed 23 sales from relationships started on Trulia since December 2007 - mostly with buyer clients. All of them in Intown Atlanta and Decatur, GA.
About 9 years ago, I read about "thought leadership" as a marketing edge in a marketing book called "Eating the Big Fish," which is all about "challenger" brands finding success.
If you want to know more about the ongoing work of the author, then check the web reference.
The idea of being a "thought leader" as a way to break through the marketing clutter and moronic messaging that pervades our business is why I do what I do on Trulia...
There are thousands and thousands and thousands of successful real estate professionals and all will have many ways, some with exclusive ways, of ascending the ladder of success.
Your most precious resource is your TIME, not your money. The best use of your time is determined by your understanding of YOUR MARKET and your business goals.
Some successful agents only target the 90 day market. These folks are not encumbered with resource tapping stay in touch and drip marketing and direct mailing incubation systems. Some will gather or buy a database of thousands of email addresses and wait for the lead to raise their hand.
Others delegate all responsibility for managing their business to surrogate marketing companies and hope that 'internet' lead will transform from a vapor to a person.
The message of these marketing companies, and the message agents are believing, is you must be EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME...(for only $350 a month) It is true, if you can't figure out from your understanding of your market, where you should be, the default option is the frantic 'EVERYWHERE" solution that those marketing to real estate agents are counting on.
You will find it repeated by those successful thousands that it is not so much the horse you ride in the race but how well you ride. What this means is the success of any plan is fully dependent on the agents willingness and ability to fully execute the plan. It is the last 5% that pays the big dividends. Most agents only go as far as 80% and the say, "It didn't work!" It is only true that it didn't work for them.
IN nearly every instance of the aforementioned, the agent hit their IDWDT wall. They could not overcome their limitations and stalled in EXACTLY the same place they stalled every other time when "it didn't work."
Trulia works, but not in the way you think. You would be well served to spend time observing what takes place here in regards to the consumer experience. Converge that observation with best practices of the most basic marketing concepts and that is all you will need to do.
You may enter into a life changing 'revelation' moment should you choose to 'call' an agent or two you see here on Trulia, one a PRO and perhaps one who is not, and find out their experience and why they are here. Please don't make what you discover public. If you do, others will try to find a way to monetize it.
However, you most precious resource is TIME. Mega agents at the top, spend little time doing what we are doing right now. (A clue)
Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL