Just a thought.
I came across this profile when she responded to a question that I previously answered, and it immediately had 2 thumbs up - I mean within minutes. Like not only did many people read her responses, two of them thought it was so darn good that they gave it a thumbs up. Further, the majority of Maria's recommendations all have pictures of places as their profile picture (which happens I admit, but nearly all of them?). I've read many of her answers and they add nothing unique, just standard "I recommend you speak to a mortgage broker about your situation, they have many options which can help you." - for example http://www.trulia.com/voices/Financing/Hello_Would_it_be_pos which already has 5 thumbs up from this past Monday (a response usually needs to be witty, extremely insightful, and/or directly addressing the question asker's situation to get that many thumbs up). Another of her responses at http://www.trulia.com/voices/Home_Selling/How_much_would_you doesn't even really address the question, it's just a canned response and it got 3 thumbs up, much unlike Lara Ramsay's which specifically addresses the question and gives the poster some "food for thought". Another example is http://www.trulia.com/voices/Home_Buying/How_much_will_be_th which is being asked by Maryann Toro on Dec. 14th, Maria E. Cipollone answered the question that same day, and Maryann Toro wrote a recommendation that same day for Maria saying that she sold her home within 40 days. Actually, if you click on nearly every one of the people who have recommended Maria, you will see they have 1) posted a question that day, 2) Maria answered it, and 3) recommended Maria on that same day as well. I should be a Trulia forensic scientist.
Thanks for taking the time to bring this to everyone's attention and I think it's pretty clear that as a company they need to take an ethics refresher course.
I work hard to receive my recommendations and while I'm one of the top referred agents in my area, it's taken me a couple of years of consistent work and I don't recall ever having more than 2 clients make a referral on the same day.
Additionally, in my case anyway, I'm pretty specific as a rule to the Factory Built Housing Industry. As a company/s with a Nationwide reach and having worked in just about every State in the Country and having to know about building codes and zoning regs everywhere I feel I'm quite capable and qualified to answer questions for folks in many states albeit I tend to focus primarily on California where I hold a general and manufactured home contractors license as well as a manufactured home dealer and RE brokers license.
The 3 decades I've spent in the Manufactured Housing business has armed me with a vast knowledge and understanding of this industry and at this station of my life I really enjoy helping folks out when the opportunity presents itself as it does so often on Trulia and other venues.
As a buyer, seller, property manager, developer and investor in this industry I take very few listings. I'm usually purchasing, remodeling or replacing old trailers for new state-of-the-art manufactured homes and reselling them before I'm even finished with them or adding them to our rental inventory.
Here's an example if you care to know: http://activerain.com/blogsview/1148482/when-the-cubic-foot-
My question to you is, how do you know how many listings a person has? I know many very successful RE professionals who contribute to several blog venues and discussion groups that don't and won't advertise or list on a public platform. But they do get lots of leads by just being helpful and answering a few questions.
Once again, I'm not suggesting that you're directing any of your comments at me but I just wanted to drive the point home that just because RE professionals on Truila have a lot of points or VIP badges doesn't mean they're spending that much time on it. I've been a member for several years as have many VIP 1, 2 & 3 members and our points or badge status didn't come over night.
Have a great day!
Thank you for this very important post.....it's a sad reflection on the credibility of individuals that consider themselves professionals and a reminder that by leaving a crack uncared for the finest scooner can become a home for sea creatures.
Hopefully your post will get someone's attention!
Not only will I publicly call him out as a liar, but I would be happy to send Trulia the proof of such when I caught him posting as one of the names that has recommended him by accident. He apparently forgot to log out of said profile and answered a question where he signed it with his name and signature.
You are correct about some RE pros posting fluff. However, there are also those who engage in the Q/A forum because they really think they have answers and advice that can help those folks in need of accurate and informative advice.
I've come to get to know a lot of very honest and well experienced folks on Trulia, Shane being one of them, and I must say that the good ones by far outweigh the not so good ones.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We are currently investigating the issue and will resolve it shortly.
Also, thank you to everyone else for their responses and input. We are constantly working to improve this and all of our many features we offer to agents and consumers. We will incorporate your feedback into changes we roll out with improvements to this feature.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with feedback - vocal contributors like you are a crucial voice to helping us imrpove our services to you.
Great reply. There are far too many agents here who are just posting fluff to show how many questions they can answer. Their answers have no real content and in reality are not answers at all, just advice to go somewhere else. I never asked for a recommendation here and as a result I only have one from someone who happened to be here after a sale. I recently sent out a few, yes just a few, emails to ask for a recommendation. Yes, they could show up close to each other by date, but you can bet your booty they will be real.
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
Director - HGAR
Former Chairman - Professional Standards PCAR
I remember not to long ago when something similar happened to a one million point plus Active Rain member. I won't go into any detail because it wouldn't be the right thing to do on another platform. But this once #1 member is no more largely because of other AR members astute responses.
Congratulation to each and every one of them!
These enterprising folks decided to draw outside the lines and got some others really upset.
What a shame.
These enterprising folks jumped the confines of the box and EXPOSED the silliness of the 'recommendation' feature. Congratulation to each and every one of them.
The enterprising folks added to their Trulia 'authority' WITHOUT throwing their clients, friends or neighbors under the bus. Good for them!
We parrot approval for 'out of the box' thinking unless someone gets out of the box first.
What a shame.
But we ignore false for sale listings. Homes sold long ago. RealtyTrac embedded advertising. FBS Property management. Substituted data. Suppressed data. AND the deception of the public by aggregate websites! That seems a bit convoluted.
If you can find a way to make Trulia work better for you....do it.! If you are able to exploit situation or market in such a way that your peers feel it to b obnoxious...then you ARE doing it right!
Then look upon it as a job well done.
Isn't it a bit silly to NOT reciprocate a recommendation with one of your own?
Hats off to BLUE FERN REAL ESTATE for seeing an opportunity and taking ACTION!
Recognizing the influence of this critical mass of activity is INGENIOUS! The fact that they acted is courageous. The suggestion that is has any relationship to integrity is ludicrous.
After all, isn't ACTION the important lesson to learn. Those who don't act.....complain.
Yes, Trulia is a very social website and is very helpful to many people buying or selling a home. My reply was to this specific question and I gave my opinion. Please don't stop replying to questions here. There is no reason someone who enjoys the social interaction and likes being helpful shouldn't continue. I certainly didn't mean all those with vip badges here were just looking for the badge. I do think that the overwhelming majority are. When I see someone who answers 20,000 questions I think it would take an entire year working 8 hours a day to answer all those questions. To me you become a Trulia professional at that point and NOT a real estate professional.
Donald A Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
20 Years Experience.
I for one am very close to the vest about my RE deals. Just because a RE professional doesn't have a head count on Trulia, Active Rain or Zillow doesn't necessarily mean they're not for real.
Frankly, I participate and contribute to Trulia and other RE platforms because I enjoy the social exchange and the many relationships and networking opportunities that I've encountered during the past several years.
What happened to having to use a Facebook account to verify identity? While some of my clients were a bit annoyed by that, it certainly made the recommendations more credible.
I flagged one of my own recommendations from "Voices Member" (aka "Tina") who apparently wants to have a long term relationship & and send me her photos. I don't need that type of garbage on my recommendation list... plus my wife is a little upset =P