I will write more details about my personal interactions w/ clients as a result of my participation in Voices at another time. Yes, I have some success stories to share.
Congrats to Cindy on the sale and WSJ article. I have read many of your posts over many months...consistent, great quality content.
John........ I am NOT a fan of Realtor.com; although I remain a paying customer of theirs. The count of Realtors who believe they were ripped off by Realtor.com is enormous. Count me in that group. Begrudgingly, I renewed my personal Showcase account yesterday. Literally, it was yesterday. I still encourage agents to buy their Showcase package...if the agent will take the time to edit their listings. What boggles the mind is the number of showcase listings where agents do not take the 15 minutes to customize their listings. As a broker, we used to pay for this for agents, but not anymore. Another rant; another time. The featured homes positions on Realtor.com are extremely expensive. I used to have several. I currently have a few, and have not been renewing upon expiration. I might keep oneâ€¦or twoâ€¦..at most. Realtor.com has utilized their alliance w/ NAR to bully agents for years.
There are other companies which have sold agents a "bill of goods" and as a broker, I have agents come to me and share their experiences with these companies as they work toward building their business.
Earlier this week, on Inman, there was an article featuring Sami from Trulia. He stated that agents needed to trim waste in these times, and I left a comment that I agreed. http://www.inman.com/news/2008/06/2/trulia-co-founder-snubs-
I hope that Trulia does not follow in a "little brother" or "me-too" model, and instead, directs their focus to a quality product that delivers results. When I first read Rudy's question here, I thought that it was an inquiry about Voices. Oops, my mistake. It just goes to show how all of us think from the shoes we walk. As a Voices regular, my thoughts immediately went to Voices. I hope more people respond to the question about Trulia's products for branding, featured homes, etc., as I would certainly like to hear their comments.
So many real estate vendors are chasing the same $$ via the same business model, yet none are looking at vast opportunity that is untapped. That remains the ultimate mystery to me.
Yesterday, I met the CEO and founder of a company in another industry and I could not, in my mind, stop comparing his company and industry to Trulia, Realtor.com, and real estate. He is currently leading a company about Trulia's size and age. He previously spend 12 years with a larger, industry leader in his field, which might be analogous to Realtor.com. The industry served is not real estate; but it is online media. The discussion yesterday focused on the focus of the roles of online media companies delivering results. Discussions included defining the customer and the source of revenue. I absolutely could not stop thinking about Trulia, as I listened. It just goes to show that I never stop thinking about real estate!
I have often heard comparisons made between Realtor.com and Trulia, and the tag line of Trulia being the little brother. Since I am not a fan of Realtor.com, that does not conjure a positive image. I do not personally think of Trulia as Realtor.comâ€™s little brother, but I do see Trulia making some of the same mistakes and missing opportunity. Brokers and agents have invested (wasted) heavily in models, including, but not limited to Realtor.com that did not deliver results.
I hope more posters come here and share their experiences with Trulia from both Voices and other products.
I will come back later and share a few success stories, including closings and referrals that have resulted for me from my participation on Trulia Voices.