The $1,000,000 Question not only for Trulia but for ALL social media. I feel you create a "body of work" which a client can refer as they make their decision to choose a Realtor to strike a relationship. If you do a cursory glance at most "Buyer Profiles" compiled by CAR or NAR, you'll discover Buyers AND Sellers spend months on the internet before pulling the trigger on either becoming an active Buyer or Seller. These folks are gathering information, how to articles, do and don'ts of real estate, etc. Once they feel well equipped or hit a wall of overkill they will either strike out on their own or call a Realtor.
Realtors need to be in many places at once and hence the proliferation of social media and applications like Trulia that put us in front of these folks. I almost liken it to "institutional advertising" which in real estate has hisorically been long-term advertising "branding" a company. You are "branding" yourself and what you offer a consumer but not only your expertise but HOW YOU FEEL about certain things, what sirs your passions, what you stand for, an identification of "likeness" of the consumer.
Business--it will come. I'm working now with 4 buyers which I can attribute to my long-term involvement with Trulia. But you need to thing "longer", "deeper" and away from the immediate gratification of a sign or ad call. This is a different animal.
To give a simple, and succinct answer....I am currently working with 2 buyers that came as a direct result of my presence on Trulia, through the Q&A section. I have had a few other nibbles in the past, but no sales as yet. I also received 2 buyer referrals from other agents here.
Just so you know - I have only been on Trulia since last May. I especially love that I have learned a lot about how business is conducted in other states....so that's one of the big advantages of being here.
Hope this helps.
Prudential NJ Propertiese
Trulia has given me many opportunities to help people, and in different ways. I have two active clients I am working with right now that found me on Trulia, but I am also proud of the opportunities I have had to help others through this and other social media sites--people who have reached out to me to ask questions. I did not close any deals for these people, but helped them to understand a little nuance in how the market works, or in the legal area, etc. This information was valuable to them and I was able to make a difference.
The current business market offers a plethora of opportunity for every business person, no matter what field they are in. Sites like Trulia allow us to really express our knowledge and dedication to our field. People who visit these sites can really get a sense for the type of agent I am and you are, by reading our posts, our answers and our blogs. It is such a fantastic tool for potential buyesr and sellers--they can really find an agent with all the criteria they require and virtually make a decision before even meeting that agent.
It is a GREAT time to be a Realtor and really show potential buyers and sellers who you are and what matters to you as an agent. It's better than any kind of marketing you pay for--for both agents and those looking to find one.
I woudn't want to have Trulia be my only or even main source of sales but I can see that more people are browsing online first, reading what we have posted or our information and making decisions. Trulia is a good source of info for potential clients and we agents. I really like to read informative posts from other agents.
My parnter Sharon and I (Karen) have been on Trulia for the past year and a half. We have just closed on our second deal with a buyer from the site. The first one was last year the second just closed and we have missed his question but he knew about us from our first buyer who gave us great recommendation on Trulia after the deal was closed. Our second buyer just emailed us directly asking us to work with him.
In addition, we got few listing appointmens through it (none materialized into real business).
Our philosophy is that we are not trully covering all our grounds if we don't have an online presence. Today's buyers and sellers are very computer savvy and most of the time know more than us about many things. Answering a question does not mean getting a lead or a buyer. However, not asnwering the questions means missing on a free opportunity which does not too much time off your daily schedule.
Good luck to you!
Prudential New Jersey Properties
50 E. Mt. Pleasant Ave.
Livingston, NJ 07039
Also, I think that it is important for us to be answering the questions that consumers have (whether or not it leads to business), if for no other reason than to make sure they are getting accurate information.
I see some of the other sites, such as Active Rain, as a better outlet for agent to agent information and referrals.
Good luck to you in your efforts!
I think as agents we sometimes get swept up in the jargon of our industry and forget that the public may not have had anyone ever explain the variations of contracts or buying processes with different entities (REO's, probates, short sales, vs. standard seller). Trulia provides us all with a fine platform to both describe and clarify our unique styles of providing service to consumers.
I had a nice closing in September from Trulia. I had one blow out previous to that one, after monies were already escrowed and we were in the due diligence period. Nothing that was connected to Trulia made it cancel, just bad luck during the inspection.
I like Trulia more than Zillow and ActiveRain, it's more for the serious buyer than the others.
Scott Miller, RealtorÂ®
close to ten nibbles in about 18 months due to my Q&A, but zero closings.
Trulia prospects seem to fade very quickly and disappear even with diligent follow-up. My impression: Trulia prospects seem to feel especially empowered (probably because of the eagerness of many agents here) and regard us as a cheap source of information.
I enjoy helping people here and will continue to do so, but I do not hold my breath counting on business from this site, as much as I like it.
All the best,
Tobias Kaiser, MS, CIPS
Greater Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Broker + Consultant
Certified International Property Specialist
Director, Realtors Commercial Alliance of Greater Fort Lauderdale
At least 4 closed deals all out of state buyers. Conventional or Cash.
Currently I am working with a buyer in NY and one in LA, ( So cool, one on each coast ) that found me on trulia.
In addition I have a Investor from Colorado, who found me from an answer that was at least a year old. These three found me in November alone. The Investor wants to fix & flip, with a 30% profit in 30 days.
Hey I`m a Realtor not a magician.
One listing appointment, out of state owner, went nowhere.
Tons of leads / Contacts
I have spoken with several Realtors ( Chicago, NJ, NY, CA ) who have closed a lot more from Trulia than me.
Stay honest ( transparent ) in your answers. Keep it that way when you take the relationship offline.
BTW, I actually feel bad because I didn`t buy the trulia "pro" package....Cheap ba$tard.
I've just been exploring trulia from a lender's perspective for the last couple weeks so I don't have much business from it yet. I do, however, enjoy answering questions and writing about my industry. It's a great way to practice my writing skills and to learn from my colleagues. It's another great tool to have in your pocket.
Per Google Analytics for my site, Trulia is now the 5th largest source of visitors to my website. In terms of a percentage of traffic, Trulia is the source of about 1.5% of my sites traffic.
I don't bother with Zillow questions as they do not allow embedded links to Realtor sites in the answer to a question.
Anna Lee Trinidad
Prudential Gary Greene
Love Santa Rosa, have family there! I 've been with Trulia for two weeks and I feel I've gained a huge network of people who share my profession by asking one question. I agree we have to be in many places to be successful in this current market, but so far it's just been a great place to network!