Trulia Voice is meant to be consumer based - where real estate pros (Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, Appraisers, Architects, Inspectors, etc) come and ask questions on real estate related questions. They might ask questions as a brand new buyers and sellers or just feel the water, they may just want to get some opinion, some confirmation, or they may ask questions about specific area or may have very specific questions about what's happening on their current real estate transaction; or just a palce to get things off their chest.
My main reason for participating in Trulia Voice; at first, I thought it's a good place to get leads. Pretty quickly, I found out that's not the case. I started to see that there are consumers or real estate pros who really need a forum to address their concerns or qustions. That's when I really got going - to help and hopefully, to make a difference.
The spectrum of questions is really interesting and turns out to be what draws me in and makes me stay on. . If a lead comes from this, it's icing on the cake. .
Kind of like my Rotary club - when checking out the club, they made it very specific - this is not a place to get referrals, this is a place to help and make a difference. Maybe you make great friends, build wonderful reputation and get a few referrals along the way; but you just don't join Rotary for that!
In addition, although I have been in business for about 15 years , I can still learn a thing or 2 from my peers and customs in other markets.
Trulia sends me an email when someone asks a new question. To me it is like answering an email. I wouldn't ignore someone who sent me an email asking a real estate question. So Trulia's methodology is also greatly responsible for the success of the Q & A here.
Another thing is that you kind of get hooked and can not stop. Like now, it is 2am and I need to be up at 6, and get ready for the office but just can not stop typingâ€¦.
On another note, I feel that in Real Estate it is imperative to be involved in your craft and in the community of your profession. When I answer or review questions on Trulia I find that I am putting my knowledge to work for the benefit of the community on Trulia. If I have helped one buyer or seller or fellow Realtor with my knowledge base that is a plus for them and for me. It is my nature to help people and to evolve as a person to be the best I can...I do this by research, learning new things, and application of the knowledge I receive.
I have found that sometimes many of the replies or takes on a question sometimes share insight on a subject that maybe I had overlooked. It's amazing how much we can learn from one another and give back to those that make our business what it is. One answer or opinion is not enough when you are dealing with so many geographic areas, demographics, and areas of expertise. Many insightful opinions offer so much more punch for those seeking answers.
It is important to brand oneself as a local expert too and it does add credibility when you are known in your area as the local voice.
Personally I have yet to have any leads from responses I may have given on this site, however if you google my name you will pull up pages and pages of information about my listings and my responses to Trulia questions and so maybe it is driving some people to my website....but only if they knew how to find me in the first place. It's still a good idea to brand yourself as a local expert in Real Estate no matter what. Hope that helped answer your questions.
This question has been asked before
Here`s the link, http://www.trulia.com/voices/Using_Trulia/RE_Pros_Why_do_you
Not to be said ,that it doesnt need to be asked again. Those are just the previous answers.
To answer your questions.
1. NO.....There`s no helping this community. Sometimes it reminds me of a "B" rated Horror flick.
2. To build my brand as a local expert? I have many brands. I think with the changing market we have all shifted brands. Local expert, a true local expert is what other people say of you, after you have answered their questions. Interesting question, because my brand has shifted to Foreclosed/ REO property`s. Before in the good Ole days I was sexy Realtor guy, with waterfront property.
3. That would be the reason I first came to trulia. Now it is more important to develop a social media presence, which in turn will drive leads, and more business. Trulia will keep you competitively sharp with local professionals
I hope this helps, it sure has helped me.
I've always been kind of a mentor thruout my real estate career, both to other agents, and to buyers and sellers. Education is always part of the process whenever I'm working with buyers or sellers, and truly, while our legal responsibility is to represent the best interests of our clients, I also consider what I do to be a form of mentoring with my clients. Real estate isn't 'just driving around neighborhoods all day long', it's hard work, rewarding work, and sometimes, very emotional work.
As a real estate agent with more than 20 years of experience, I feel that many consumers are getting information that isn't always correct from their internet passions. There are many sources of information, and certainly, the internet is the first place many of us turn to when we need to research just about anything. But - the internet is only part of the equation to making a good decision.
It's a lot of fun to be able to talk with people all over the country, and to read what my fellow agents and business associates have to say - but I also want to help buyers and sellers understand how a good agent can really help them. Buying a home DIY isn't for everyone; there is a lot at stake, both financially, and in terms of nuiances of quality of life.
We're coming out of one of the most severe recessions since the 1930's depresssion, and not to sound trite ... but today, more than ever, buyers and sellers will do well to ask lots of questions, and find a good real estate agent to be their trusted advisor. I definitely believe that a caring, intelligent and skilled real estate agent can mean the world of difference to any real estate transaction.
Inman News just posted an article about your question in their blog...I'm linking it below for your reference. I'm almost wondering if your question spurred this post to be written!
Great question...I like to think to think people are doing it for the greater good of the community. The info is out there and the next generation of buyers is tech savvy and uses forums like these to communicate for everything. As a realtor, I've learned so much from trulia voices and I love hearing the different answers and ideas other professionals have. This is a great place to bounce ideas around and to ask those burning questions you might not ask in your office. To me this forum is far more telling of real estate around the country than the media.
Besides, it really gets addicting! :)
Plus, I like reading other agents' answers; it's like painless continuing ed.
Since my leads all tend to be referrals, that makes me #2, a brand-builder, I guess.
author, "Diary of a Real Estate Rookie"
Insider Real Estate Tips with a Twist of Humor: http://tinyurl.com/2ag28z
I'm with Duke, I'm dumbfounded how/why someone would answer question that could potentially be a future liability to their business.
Oh, and watch the TD's on this post go up, up, up! Reality bites!
However, when I can contribute to the Trulia community and to my local community I love to. One of my passions is to be actively involved in my local community and this is just one what that I work to accomplish that. I am glad to see more and more people in this region beginning to embrace that so that our local information will grow better.
Yes, I do have selfish reasons for being on here to. Honestly, I do post my website at the bottom each time which is an indicator that I want leads....it also helps my website gain in popularity and in search engines....this is just another avenue for me to do that.
But, no....that is not my primary motivation. Trulia has not brought me any business in the past and I really doubt that it will in the future...however, it has helped me in the building of my business in more ways than I could ever describe.
For me it's all of the above and more. Please join us and add your expertise. But PLEASE don't be like many that answer questions about local issues if your not local to the question. I believe there are respondants here that do so just to gain position and don't have any clue as to the nature of the question. As an example, I have had questions forwarded to me that have asked questions about specific addresses or neighborhoods only to find someone from across the country gave a generic response that had no bearing on the question. This does nothing for the credibility of the customer, this forum or the respondant. Please do join us and add to all our knowledge and your personal success.
Personally I love to help people and probably should have been a Minister as I was trained to do.., or a teacher. Neither get paid much in general, with some exceptions naturally. :) Its also a way to learn.
One of the reasons why we are all in this business is our love for people and helping them! That, three possible answers and probably a love for the business has all that answer questions answering them!
:-) Thanks, Todd
Many of us are local experts, regardless of how narrowly-spread our fame may be.
Ultimately, things in life work better when people have the correct answers.
I like to read the other agent's posts. I also like learning how things are done in other parts of the world.
I like it when I can answer a question. It makes me feel good, and it is good practice for knowing how to answer my clients.
It helps me to "think like a client."
Sometimes I get a little lonely, and its a way to reach out and connect.
I might meet an agent online to whom I would like to send referrals.
It would be great if this did lead to some leads! But mostly it seems to be gratis. That's OK, I like it!
Warm thoughts to all! Linda
I personally like the way things are going in my community. We still have a vibrant real estate market and we have good, qualified buyers. We have 4000 active MLS listings......but we also have over 1000 pending sales.
Thanks Trulia for giving me a new voice. And thanks to those people out there who need me! (smiling)
Kathy Pierson-Schultz Exit Real Estate-Jones & Associates Spokane, WA 509-270-2133
Most Real Estate agents honestly enjoy helping people and I think many of us will be able to admit, that we hope one day a question will come our way, and the asker might become interested in establishing a relationship with us.
The main reason I got into real estate was to help people and this ads to that. And I too believe, it's good karma.