Debra (Debbi…, Real Estate Pro in Livingston, NJ

Well, so Trulia now has a new agent "ranking" system - I am sure you all received notice of it - Play around with it - what do you think?

Asked by Debra (Debbie) Rose, Livingston, NJ Fri Aug 2, 2013

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124
Pat & Steve…, Agent, Westlake, OH
Sat Aug 10, 2013
BEST ANSWER
We commented on another thread that paying a tidy sum for a zip code (PRO) every 6 months and monthly for featured listings doesn't mean that you get anything for your money. We only had one (1) city in our service area and couldn't fix it. Today, we have our service area cities back. But, we are not getting the PRO Service for our choice of zip code. Apparently, some of the larger companies are paying for featured ads in our zip code. So, we are not getting anything for our hard earned money every 6 months. Trulia needs to make it clear what is going on. Its programs used to make sense. Trulia used to make clear what services those who pay and those who don't pay get. Now, even those who pay have no idea what one gets for the money. If the big real estate companies have paid for all of their ads to be featured in a city and zip code, admit it. Don't have us and others pay for something that no longer exists.
5 votes
J, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Thu Aug 15, 2013
It all goes back to those wonderful, experienced, intelligent, and educated agents who have been here for years contributing their time and effort and have EARNED their rewards, and in turn have GREATLY BOOSTED Trulia's web presence.

Fix the GLITCH already. Really! Do the right thing by these agents they deserve it!

Without credible agent contributions Trulia would be nothing...DO YOU HEAR THAT. The general public comes back to Trulia because of these loyal and experienced agents and their justified guidance.

If Trulia looses the good content and focuses more on the "dollar," chances are the general public may go elsewhere (other sites) for answers they know they can trust.
6 votes
Thanks for your post, well said.

Diane Christner
Bright Realty
Sarasota, FL
Flag Fri Aug 22, 2014
Joan Lorberb…, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Thu Aug 15, 2013
We are being played for fools. And we are being fed BS. #thatisall
5 votes
Scott Miller, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Thu Aug 15, 2013
@Jim Olive and Debbie. In addition to whatever monies we paid, I gave Trulia thousands of dollars in my valuable time and energy to help them create the success they have today.

What's happened? Is this how they really want to treat their core? If the answer is yes, then it's time to walk away and NOT come back.

There will be other Trulias and other Zillows down the road, that do what they do better.
5 votes
Exactly Scott. Many of us spent countless hours answering and researching advice questions, commenting, and creating blogs.
Flag Thu Aug 15, 2013
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Aug 15, 2013
actually, I am so frustrated now by the "we're listening to you" yadda yadda yadda, I am ready to wave the white flag and give up

this seems to go from bad to worse.....you have paying agents who are annoyed and confused as to how your system now works......and .....non-paying agents, but active contributors, who are annoyed for the same reason......so just who is happy with all these new changes??

and on top of it - you have a major, current system glitch that has deleted certain numbers on our voices activity list!
5 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Sat Aug 3, 2013
Dan it is nice to see you post, almost like the good old days a couple of years of ago. It is not so good to see trulia did not learn from it's mistakes back then and continues to offend those who are teh most active here.
5 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Fri Aug 2, 2013
I am NOT happy with it!!!


I also do not like that Trulia allows agents to post ads about their listings as blogs!


Kawain Payne, Realtor
5 votes
I am not happy either! That's why I started this thread - I was curious what others thought!
Flag Fri Aug 2, 2013
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sun Aug 18, 2013
150 responses and the emotions are still rock'n!
=
Of course Trulia is a mess at the moment. As others have pointed out, Truila MAY (if they have the smarts) be morphing from their catipillar to a butterfly.
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As we have all noticed, they can't keep the Bombay ads out of the Q&A.
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Now, lets see if a little spotlight be shed on the benefit of Trulia.
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We are all aware of the assets Trulia currently has and recently acquired
We are all aware of the changes of the past year Trulia has injected into the environment of the agent and client relationship as it pertains to Trulia.com (I refer to is as throwing your friends and clients under the bus) Do not be mistaken, there very well may be a strategic purpose you do not see.
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What many may not be aware of is the tectonic shift that has taken place in the past three years.
My exploration of Venue Theory exposes the reality that what happens on Truila.com and those who are so emotionally attacthed will find themselves in the 'outer darkness' of marketing. In a few years, maybe in just six months...NONE OF THIS WILL MATTER! This is a ship to no where.
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Based on actions Trulia imposed over the past year, leads me to believe they have a clue their boat is doomed. The acquisitions they have made CAN be leveraged to present to those of use who currently paticipate on Truila a gigantic advantage. This is the opportuntiy Trulia has.
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What will they do?
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The will ignore those who are here. Specificly ME and YOU! They will market to new blood. You as a professional must make yourself aware of Venue Theory and position yourself acccordingly. Stop trying to win riding a dead horse. If you don't have the energy to learn Venue Theory, then simply read the promitons offered by SurgarCRM or Hubspot. They are squarly on the outcome end of this process. They ARE where Trulia should be going. Can Trulia find it's way there? Not looking very promising at the moment. The trajectory revealed in Venue Theory predicts Tuila will find itself where Kodak did when digitial photography destoryed film. The move is underway, you can't stop it.
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Let Trulia do as they have exhibited themselves to be. You MUST do what is best for you. The dog Truilia currently has in game simply 'Does not hunt!" You should repsond accordingly until such time as Trulia exhibits they have caught the wave and allows others to participate. (be aware, that last phrase does not gaurantee we will be included)
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Agent ranking, rating, PRO, Local Spokesperson, Mayor...it is all white wash very much like what agents repeatedly pay from to append letters to their name. Seems agents have deomstrated they will buy ANYTHING!
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Trulila is restructuring. Will they build a better mousetrap? All I know for certain is they haven't asked me what would be beneficial to real estate professonals knowing the speed at which venue is changing. Do you have sufficient clarity of thought to answer that question should Truila ask you AND if you truly acknowledge this boat upon which you currenlly stand is DOOMED!
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Trulia knows it. They are attempting changes. These changes are major. They are comprehensive. They don't include you....or me. They are certainly doing a exceptiionally poor job communicating what is taking place. I get the feeling they are just like those big banks...the left hand is unaware of what the right hand is doing....so eveyone stays mum.
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It is depressing to think I may be giving Trulia way too much credit. Being the optimist I am....I want to believe their exists great big brains of imagination and strong disiplines of creation at work there. ...... and they are empowered to make decisions.
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However, I've found other horses upon which I have greater confidence in the result.
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How long till the thread gets to 225 responses?
4 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Sat Aug 17, 2013
ATTENTION MATT HOLDER: if that is true... WHY did I go from being number 1 based on all of my hard work over the years in contributions, blogs, q and a, best answers, thumbs ups and now Solds and recomendations to NOT even on the list in my own home city Manchester NH and the person that is listed number 1 is sales has NO sales? The system is broken. I am a PRO now and see no reason to re-up. You have taken away everything us agents have worked so hard to get by helping build YOUR site and we get stomped on and pushed out of your searches in our own home town and cities.
4 votes
Hi Scott. You are displayed very prominently in Manchester NH - http://www.trulia.com/directory/Manchester-agent--23287/.

I realize you are upset and we take your feedback very seriously. Your contributions over these years have not gone to waste and very much factor into your being prominently displayed in Manchester. We are continuing work to improve the directory based off your valuable feedback and that of others in this thread.
Flag Sat Aug 17, 2013
Laura Feghali, Agent, Stamford, CT
Thu Aug 15, 2013
Geez! So the "how to rank higher as an agent blog" says that best answers are a part of our profile. Really? Where?

Since I have "zero" points does this mean that I don't need to post any contributions to maintain my VIP badge status? Oh, wait! That is meaningless now anyways. Tell me some more, Matt!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
4 votes
right - where can anyone see the number of best answers you have??
Flag Thu Aug 15, 2013
J, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Sun Aug 4, 2013
A good and wise friend once said to me when considering a person's value consider this. "If a person is willing to compromise one thing for money what else will they be willing to compromise when you are not looking?"
4 votes
thank you for all your contributions!
Flag Sun Aug 4, 2013
Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Thu Aug 15, 2013
Debbie,

Please give ME the BEST answer! LOL.

Fact is, I saw this coming as soon as I read that TRULIA had gone public. Shareholders come first, the principles that got you to the top be damned. Frankly, it's how I became a Mortgage Banker in the first place. I worked for a great electronics company in the 80's and rose through the ranks as the company grew. Almost as soon as the company went public EVERYTHING changed; the company went bust not long afterward as the principles---and the people---who grew the company were cast aside to send profits to the shareholders. I got into the mortgage business so I wouldn't be beholden to corporate shenanigans.

I've been anticipating something of this nature happening with TRULIA---I assumed September as my targe date---and I had already begun improving my internet presence elsewhere.

I've been on the 'net since 2000 doing basically the same thing I do here on TRULIA, so I've seen my fair share of web marketing opportunities come---and GO.

This is a good time to revisit your SEO strategies, focus on BRANDING, and be sure to maintain your good online reputation (consumers REALLY do check us all out in advance).

For my part, you can always find me at http://www.tcurranmortgage.com and soon on Yahoo! Finance on a video segment called "Destination Home."

Now Debbie, about that BEST answer...

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
3 votes
Trevor - good ideas - and right on! If I could give a 2nd best answer to you, I would! haha
Flag Thu Aug 15, 2013
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Tue Aug 13, 2013
Yes, Laura - this just gets better and better.

Of course, the rep from trulia, Matt Holder, who responded here earlier on this thread claimed our participation/contributions here (number of posts, thumb's ups, best answers) still count....really?......it's just not clear where or how - so I ask where and how do they count?

Seems to be part of some invisible mathematical mysterious algorithm......still haven't gotten any explanation as to what "BEST MATCH" means........everything is very vague........

actually, not so vague...........pay and you get more service areas listed on your profile.........pay and you get ranked higher..........pay, pay, pay

By golly, I think we figured it out!
3 votes
Laura Feghali, Agent, Stamford, CT
Tue Aug 13, 2013
Hi Debbie,
Another note: our VIP badges are worthless when it comes to ranking in the agent search fields as the top contributor tab is gone. Hence; my badge is now grey when I appear in the agent search but the Pro icon still remains a gold color (which I discontinued a couple of months ago).

So...your VIP badges, thumbs up, and best answer awards are now meaningless on the site. An agent with absolutely no contributions can hold the number 1 spot in the agent search area. Just doesn't seem right....

I can't change my service areas either. I got rid of Connecticut as a state but the 3 towns showing are still not my prime territories. Geez!

Thanks for your post!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
3 votes
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Tue Aug 6, 2013
IS this a horse race? Plus as of today at least on my search for Agents NOBODY shows up!!
3 votes
I entered 24 "solds " the other night - just because I could! - they are showing up as "24" on my profile page, but NOT on the SOLDS agent search - that only shows 13......what's with that? Seems the new system might have some glitches....or I am being punished for starting this thread?
:)
Flag Tue Aug 6, 2013
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Sun Aug 4, 2013
It is total BS in my opinion. In one instance I see a specific town where a COMPANY is #1(which it is not) on Trulia for Agents, lists no houses SOLD or ANY recommendations. Certainly sounds or at least reflects that money$$ can buy your ratings!
3 votes
Joseph Runfo…, Agent, Staten Island, NY
Sat Aug 3, 2013
Don't like it at all. Trulia sold out!
3 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat Aug 3, 2013
excerpt from an article in the Chicago Tribune (I will come back with the link to the article) discussing that the agent search was "retooled" - here is a quote from none other than Matt Holder:


"We're giving subscribing agents a higher boost in the directory," Holder said. "A paid subscriber is an agent who pays for one of our subscription app products, paying for display ads on our site to get leads.""


that kind of says it all..................
3 votes
J, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Sat Aug 3, 2013
I've given you all a thumbs up!!

The majority of us have been here for years and offered solid advice which in part has contributed to Trulia's following and success. I am so proud of everyone and their efforts to assist those in need regarding the housing industry. Experience is clearly evident in your responses.

As far as earning rewards, I hope you all know how valuable you are! Regardless of rankings, paid Pro status, or no status...paying for awards without earning them is SO unethical and misleading.

Buying a way to success...I'll not do it!
3 votes
bravo!
Flag Sat Aug 3, 2013
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Fri Aug 2, 2013
I suppose there is some sort of master plan/goal out there in trulia-land in regard to the 'resets' and "improvements"....and I further suppose we don't have to like it....nor do they care

It would be nice, however, if there weren't frequent glitches - like the current loss of profile and blog views!

Hello Matt??
Any comment?
3 votes
Hey Debbie. We've been made aware of other recent bugs where some voices points go missing, but we haven't heard of the profile and blog views going down. Can you send us some examples? customerservice@trulia.com
Flag Sat Aug 3, 2013
Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Fri Aug 2, 2013
Debbie, "I am not sure what "best match" really means - I did a few sample searches in my area and was surprised the list of "top" agents showed some who do little or no business .

does a consumer understand that's what it means by "featured" when they search?

It now counts "Solds" as a ranking filter - is there a limit on how far back that goes?
Since that figure is determined by whether an agent inputs this or not.....that "top agent" list can also be misleading to a consumer."

Best match means whoever sent trulia the most money this month.

When I see featured it means someone who did a great job and was in the news because they did so well. OOPS!!! Featured means they paid trulia something this month.

If an agent puts in their own sold numbers that could be manipulated easily.

Joe, " I spent months answering questions and being a huge part of the online forum and fought my way to the top of the list in most areas. I'm now lucky if I'm on the first page because of all the PROS that are at the top. Trulia obviously doesn't care about forum contributions. It's all about the all mighty dollar."

Trulia reset the find a pro directory quite some time ago. I (a non-realtor etc.) was on page one of the rankings in every category. Apparently trulia decided that only pro's could be found as obviously a non-pro who looked better was not acceptable. To me the best contributors were easily recognized and no more than a dozen professionals. When I saw someone who knew what they were talking about and did not spout NAR-nonsense they could easily gain my respect. It was not about having vip 1,2, or 3. It was about the knowledge they had and shared. To me vip3 was easy and quick to get. (see) http://www.trulia.com/blog/dan_chase/2010/03/vip2_to_vip3_in… Apparently trulia has forgotten that an award with no meaning devalues all awards. Apparently each time trulia resets the find a good professional rating system it makes it worse.

Also, trulia has (different rant) sent me an email every day telling me I have a vip1 now. I hate to reply more on here hoping that email will go away.
3 votes
thanks for your input Dan - nice to 'see" you again - hope all is well!
Flag Fri Aug 2, 2013
John Souerbry, Agent, Fairfield, CA
Fri Aug 2, 2013
Everyone's answers make me glad to be a capitalist
3 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Fri Aug 2, 2013
I HATE IT!!!! I tried some sample searches and again agents who do little of from other areas show up. Gone is the reward for hard work and time spent on Trulia. They sure know how to slap the agents who made them what they were.
3 votes
Hi Scott. Voices activity and VIP status still factor into your ranking in the directory and you are in the first spot in Manchester, NH - awesome! The major change is that the ranking is not solely based on VIP points. The updates we've made help us showcase the agents who are responsive, community focused (like you) and true experts in their areas. You will continue to get credit for your voices contributions plus additions you make to your profile that will help you stay at the top of the heap.
Flag Fri Aug 2, 2013
Judi Monday,…, Agent, Green Valley, AZ
Fri Aug 2, 2013
John--I agree. My feeling is this could be very misleading to the public and definitely is in the best interest of Trula only.
3 votes
Hi Judi. You're at the very top in Green Valley! Congratulations! There's no way to buy your way to the top, but because you've contributed to the community and added your transaction history, you get the top spot - well done!
Flag Fri Aug 2, 2013
totally with you on that!
Flag Fri Aug 2, 2013
John Souerbry, Agent, Fairfield, CA
Fri Aug 2, 2013
Our local MLS tried to play the agent ranking game at the urging of the large franchise offices who have the bulk to push everyone else around with misleading statistics. It's total BS. Just like the agents who advertise "I sell more homes than anyone" - then you find out they have a team of 25 agents who all close their deals in the team-leader's name.
Aside from the ability to game the system by assigning someone to answer questions, post blogs, etc. in an agents name while the agent is drinking mai tai's by the pool, there really is no way to know who "is the better agent" for a client simply by counting points.
I'm fine with showing an agent's Voices activity, listings, closings, etc. - but telling Trulia users that one agent is better or inferior to another is an ill-conceived idea.
3 votes
Yanoska Diaz, Agent, Miami, FL
Mon Aug 19, 2013
My points also disappeared for a few days, so I said to myself, good bye to the fabulous VIP status as well ;)

The 3 areas we are now allowed I just realized they randomly deleted and chose on my behalf, well, thank you Trulia! It took me hours to select the right 3! WHAT A MISSION!
2 votes
Scott Miller, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Sun Aug 18, 2013
At this point, I think the conversation and thread is going nowhere. If you continue to write to each other with -0- response from Trulia, it's a moot subject. If they engaged the agents on this thread, that's a different story. But it's not happening.

You can vote with your wallets and move on. You can post on Twitter with hashtags for #realtor #realty #trulia #realestate to get the word out.

What a slap in the face, what else is there to say?

Time to create a hybrid of Zillow/Trulia that's owned by agents and not always looking for the next financing round on Wall Street.
2 votes
Scott, great idea.
Seems the Point2 folks are the closest to creating a competing forum, but is most certainly profit based. Have you explored what they have to offer? I do like their 'peer-to-peer' prmission based listing service. If they had a Q&A or agent to agent forum would you promote and participate?
Flag Mon Sep 2, 2013
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Aug 15, 2013
Good points Trevor...i will work on that BA for you (maybe you can get Pat & Steve to sell you theirs!)
2 votes
Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Thu Aug 15, 2013
Here's my favorite part:
Not only did I go from number one to number 13 when you look for an agent in Key West (yes, it took a lot of effort to stay in that number one slot, but at least I could figure out how it was calculated!), but now, with this mysterious "Best Match" system the SAME AGENT has beaten me twice!! She is listed at number 7 AND number 11, so apparently that "Best Match" criteria must think she's twice as good a match as me, cuz it put her out there twice before it got to me, way down at 13!!
2 votes
Matt from Trulia here: Thanks for reporting a duplicate account. We have taken appropriate measures to moderate the issue, which will take affect within 24 hours.
Flag Thu Aug 15, 2013
Matt from Trulia here: Thanks for reporting a duplicate account. We have taken appropriate measures to moderate the issue, which will take affect within 24 hours.
Flag Thu Aug 15, 2013
J, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Tue Aug 13, 2013
None of this is good for the seasoned, educated, and competent agents out. You've all EARNED your place. I've followed many of you over the years and your advice has been commendable and on point. YOU KNOW YOUR STUFF! Unfortunately many services providers and linked providers are finding ways to piggy back off of our business to grow their business. We feed their inventory of housing exposure (website purpose) for free and earn credible rewards/status, and now they want payment to buy back your rewards/status.

Wow...I don't think the majority of us are missing anything...it's clear...this is what's happening.
2 votes
you know your stuff, too!
Flag Tue Aug 13, 2013
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Tue Aug 6, 2013
the 2 leading ways I get leads from trulia are from my effort and have nothing to do with paying anyone. i tried paying for leads and they were junk. The 1st is answering questions in Q and A. Those who answer questions because they sincerely want to help, shine over those who answer with a "self promotional style of call me i can do it". Over the years I have received many leads from simply answering a question with a sincere, honest and true answer that actually helped. Typing "what does you agent think" or "contact an attorney" without letting them know why offers little help. The 2nd is writing blogs. Adding genuine content does get those emails dinging in the inbox and gets that phone ringing. Those that blog self promotional material may not get a return. I am not sure if every buyer or seller uses the search first to find an agent. MOST will find it through the content provided. The consumer can easily click on their profile to learn about them. As far as i see Trulia hurts themselves with this new search and drives more agents away. I know i do not spend as much time here any more as the reward for it is gone, I know find myself on Active Rain as well. I would not say to give up on Trulia as we have seen these changes before. But do change the way you answer questions, write blogs and spread your time out.
2 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Tue Aug 6, 2013
Mary Beth;
I don't think you realize that there is hardly any ROI!
Anyone who has been dedicated to Trulia, with a selfish attitude.....
If your goal is to find Clients; you are better off with a pair of comfortable shoes and knocking on doors.
2 votes
well, Mary Beth said she got these big leads/sales - of course, we all have at times...but...whether it was a direct result of her paid subscriptions or not is anyone's guess!
Flag Tue Aug 6, 2013
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Mon Aug 5, 2013
79 reponses to date. That's not too bad. Congrats Debra!
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Why all the grumbling?
Truila is what Trulia is. You've heard me say this MANY times.
Those who have substituted fiction for fact are being disappointed with the outcome.
Trulia is an advertising platform that sells vapors to gullible agents.
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It is the responsibilty of those using Trulia to recognize how Trulia can be used to their benefit. Don't be a gullible agent.
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Zlllow and Trulia have assended to prominance on a platform of deception and misdirection.
What is of greater significance is the consumer KNOWS the values are wrong, 30% of the listing are invalid and the Foreclosures are FAKE..because you have been advising the so....RIGHT? (opportuntiy lost 1)
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Knowing the values are fake, the lisitng are fake, the foreclosures are fakes, consumers contuine to visit these websites because THEY WANT/EXPECT TO BE LIED TO! Questions are asked solely to align opinions to do whatever they wanted to do anyway. They search homes for sale knowing the good ones are LONG GONE! They want to believe they can consult professionals and sell their home FREE! THose professionals who participate on Trulia need to understand, when citizens need real information the right answer is just a click/call away. (opportunity lost 2)
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Why are so many agents expressing concern with anything Trulia does? Do what works for you. If alternate profiles work...go ahead. If collaborating with a pool of paticipants work...do it! If you need to hire someone to blog for you...hire someone who can spell. then do what serves you best. If you can game..the game it. If you choose to stay in the box, don't complain about the size of the box. (opportunity lost 3)
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There is a real and valuable dynamic Trulia and Zillow offer that should be the sole objective of those seeking to leverage these platfroms to YOUR greatest potential. Sorry, you can't buy it, You can't subcribe to it. Most will never recognize it. But you see it first hand...every week! (opportunity lost 4)
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These who fail to recognize see aggregate websites as a valid place to chase the vapors of buyers and seller. They expect some level of integretity from a system that exhibits no integrity. Why do you complain....you get EXACTLY what they consistantly demonstrate. Let me repeat,,,,,,they consistantly demonstrate agents are gullible and will willingly(saome pay) participate in a platform of deceit in the hopes of a crumb dropping from the table. Without proper 'squeezing' the baby will be thrown out with the bathwater. (Opportunity lost 5)
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Nothing Truiia has demonstrated in the past or present suggests there should be any expectation of what some seem to compare to FAIRNESS. That idea evaporated the day you were promoted from the playground days. Use the nature of Trulia to your advantage and treat Trulia with the same integrity with which they treat you. Go have some fun and don't take "Agent Ranking" seriously. Rather than strain at the knats, take a few steps back, try to remember what you read about advertising...and do your very best to connect the dots. You will find in the archives of Debra's writing the benefit that has the greatest potential for your business. It is a potential that you must exploit, the rewards do not march through the door.

Go have some fun.....
...Be controversial (the second meaning)...
...and don't be gullible...
....relax, Trulia won't make or break you.
2 votes
John Souerbry, Agent, Fairfield, CA
Mon Aug 5, 2013
Scott - if I worked for Trulia, I would not get involved in this conversation. It's a minefield with no upside.
I have been invited to Trulia's offices twice to share my opinion on new site features in development (they even paid me for it), though neither time did we discuss agent point accumulation and ranking systems. That controlled environment is much more conducive to productive feedback. They know that getting involved in a hostile discussion online is pointless, possibly destructive to their image.
I think we're placing too much importance on agent participation as a contribution to the success of Trulia or any other search, knowledge and data site. Since they receive syndicated listings from the MLS's and elsewhere, they already have content that draws consumer traffic. If consumers want to find an agent online, it's easy enough to click on REALTOR.org or a local association site to find one (if you're not a REALTOR, sorry...). The Trulia staff I met are smart and energetic. If an agent ranking system was really important to their operation, they would have fixed it by now.
Trulia is the wild, wild west of real estate interaction among agents and consumers. The questions asked by agents and consumers can be pretty stupid (yeah, I said stupid) and some of the agents provide answers that are just as stupid (I said it again). Yet Trulia maintains an open forum that, if I were running things, I'd probably tighten up to improve the quality and reputation of the site.
If agents who signed up for the Trulia Pro package were the only agents allowed to answer consumer questions, those questions would probably still get answered. It might be argued that they would be answered more accurately. MY POINT IS: Consumers don't need 10 answers to their question from 10 different agents who all say the same thing. Or answers to questions they posted two years ago. And they sure as hell don't enjoy reading answers to their questions that are punctuated with blatant business solicitations and 10 lines of agent contact information. If anything, there are too many agents participating in Voices just to generate points that - it appears from this discussion - don't benefit the agent, the consumer, or even Trulia. In that, Trulia has created their own problem that they should either solve or just scrap the system to rid themselves of the headache.
I have no idea how each revenue channel generates income for Trulia. Agent Pro accounts and agent advertising appear to generate a lot of that revenue based upon the screen space they they occupy. But that space could just as easily be allocated to consumer-pointed advertising with a larger income stream by... well, if Trulia wants my opinion on that they'll have to pay me again.
I yield the soap box.
2 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Mon Aug 5, 2013
This morning I tested some searches for Manchester NH and other areas and the top home seller has 1 sale and I have never heard of her but worked in this market for 28 years. Dont worry though the number 2 top home seller has 0 sales,. Yes none and again you guessed it, I dont know who they are. I have been removed from all lists, maybe a reward for commenting here. The guy with the most points in the state of NH on Trulia, the most answered questions and on and on and on doe snot exist. I do pay for PRO but it was summed up nicely during a sales call last Friday when i was told it was buying zip codes that NOW count. I dont buy any, dont need to, the leads are JUNK and this is my reward to be wiped from the top spots i worked so hard to get to. Trulia does NOT care about the agents who made and who make their site, plain and simple.
2 votes
Sharon Felton, Agent, Nashville, TN
Sun Aug 4, 2013
I have not seen a question on Trulia that has generated this much discussion. Perhaps it would be a wise idea for Trulia's management to take notice of the level of frustration and anxiety they are causing the agents who are a backbone of their business model. And it would certainly be a good business decision to enact standards that would support and motivate said agents... Just sayin'...
2 votes
I wonder if anyone who matters is reading this....or cares!
This isn't the first time Trulia changed the "rules" so to speak, and many agents left as a result.
Flag Sun Aug 4, 2013
Yanoska Diaz, Agent, Miami, FL
Sun Aug 4, 2013
And how does participation affects your ranking on this new search? Last time I checked I was number 1 voted best answer in Miami, top contributor week after week and I can't find myself in this search. I have added 55 sales to my profile and when I do the search by number of closed sales there are dozens of agents before me with 0 sales entered...

What do I think? Trulia has basically screwed us! We, the agents who take the extra time of our very busy day to provide helpful answers, to share our expertise and to increase the traffic of their very own site.

I have been quite busy the past 30 days and this issue was just brought to my attention, this is absolutely ridiculous, either that or this search is just too challenging for me.
2 votes
agreed!!
Flag Sun Aug 4, 2013
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sun Aug 4, 2013
I did find the email/announcement I received from trulia regarding their new, improved agent search options, but have been having trouble getting the link to work - hopefully this one does work


http://pro.truliablog.com/using-trulia/introducing-the-new-f…
2 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sun Aug 4, 2013
just thought Joe's comment was worth bumping up to the top, so those who are new to the forum can see without having to scroll through all 60 responses...

"@Joe - "But I knew something was up when the Trulia rep called me last time and told me that if I didn't subscribe I probably wasn't going to continue to be as successful as before due to Trulia changing things up"

Matt - I have a question in regard to "solds" - did trulia really intend for agents to be able to list every house they have ever sold in their entire careers - because they can??

Was putting a time limit on this "stat" not considered, or was it considered and ignored?/
2 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sun Aug 4, 2013
Matt - to answer your question - I added 19 "solds" for a total of 24 - they are not showing up in the rankings
2 votes
Pat & Steve…, Agent, Westlake, OH
Sun Aug 4, 2013
We have had a few days off, so I did not read messages from Trulia. I've read the other posts. It is not a popular addition for Realtors who posted. I need to check it out.
2 votes
thanks for joining in - let us know what you think once you get a chance to look it over!
Flag Sun Aug 4, 2013
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sun Aug 4, 2013
ps John - I think we all agree with the points you made.

Hopefully consumers will be wise enough to do their due diligence before selecting an agent based on sorting options offered by a site/corporation whose main goal is to show a healthy profit.

as an aside - I added a bunch of "solds" last night to my profile.......and for some reason - they aren't showing up!

Another glitch?
What else could it be?
:)

So - Matt, could you please look into it?
Thanks
2 votes
well, Matt Holder's own words in that interview say it all...............agents who pay will get a "boost" His words, not mine! That's clearly where the emphasis is now.
Flag Sun Aug 4, 2013
Hi Debbie. How many did you add? I see 24 added to your profile.
Flag Sun Aug 4, 2013
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sun Aug 4, 2013
@John - it isn't gaming the system to add old solds if the "system" didn't set any limits. (more of a game, imo, for someone, like Matt, to have TWO profiles)

Trulia doesn't say to only post closed sales from the past 6, 12 or 18 months, for example (as I said, the agent who was, as of last night, listed #1 had posted sales dating back to 2003)....is she gaming the system or just doing what is allowed?

Trulia says nothing about a time frame and readily accepts any closed sales.................not gaming anything - just playing by Trulia's NEW rules.

Maybe they weren't very well thought out......or maybe they were.

Maybe trulia was afraid of offending agents who are willing to pay for services here, but don't do a lot of business, so by letting them list every sale they ever made, they can show better numbers.


The "glitch" with the missing blog and profile numbers is probably just that - a glitch - hopefully they are working on it (any response Matt?).

Truth be known - any business I have done from trulia is a result of what I have said - MY input - ie: responses on forums. It was not a result of someone searching random rankings on a sorting option list - at least that's what the clients have told me

What annoyed me about this is the blah blah blah about how great the new system is ( it is great for trulia if it brings in more money). But it isn't so great it there are a lot of flaws, and there are.

Regardless of the comments Matt is leaving under "reply" the goal is to increase revenue.
I get it.
It is what corporations should do......it doesn't mean those of us who have been here for a long time, helping the site grow have to like it.

It comes down to money...pay for services and get rewarded, or as Matt put it - "get a boost".
2 votes
Jennifer Fiv…, Agent, Red Hook, NY
Sat Aug 3, 2013
This seem a bit like what Redfin tried to do. How will an agent be rated who might sell 4 properties but they are all million dollar homes? More should go into this analysis than just number of units. Do I go to the top if I sell 50 manufactured home at $80,000?

This system is flawed anyway you look at it..

I think Trulia should focus more on making sure the listing date is current so consumers aren't so frustrated about having old data.

A consumer can always ask to see an agent activity before doing business with an agent.. Why should Trulia try to weed out an agent? the consumer should be the one making the decision. Consumersmake their choice not just on number of units sold.
2 votes
Thanks for your feedback, Jennifer. We are constantly working to improve our listing accuracy, especially since we're not tapped directly into the MLS.

Our goal is to help make it easier for consumers to find the perfect agent for them based on many key criteria research has shown they care about. That means they can search not only by location, but for agents with specific expertise, certifications, and experience in a particular price range of homes. Furthermore, they can see your level of activity in the community through your Q&A activity as well as Blog posts, which helps them create a better connection with you.
Flag Sun Aug 4, 2013
when you get a chance, read through the other posts - you will see that trulia has changed other ways a consumer can search for an agent.number of "SOLDS" is one option - other options have to do with agents who pay for ads and Pro - trulia has deleted showing the number of helpful answers and best answers as options......their focus seems to be on the money ...the number of "solds" is just totally irrelevant - so I agree with you!
Flag Sat Aug 3, 2013
Sharon Felton, Agent, Nashville, TN
Sat Aug 3, 2013
Debra Rose says she's sure we "all received notice of" the new ranking system... Uhhh--no, I haven't heard anything. But I did notice (and I'm not at all happy about it) that my 500+ blog page view points have been removed from my account. I only started with Trulia just over two weeks ago, so to have the rules changed two weeks in is very, very disappointing and frustrating. I am still waiting for word from Customer Service.
2 votes
Hi Sharon. We're looking into that issue right now. We have not made any changes to how agents earn points for their blog posts or Q&A activity, there's just a bug we need to fix. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Flag Sun Aug 4, 2013
ahhh, I received an email from Trulia about this....maybe because you're new, you didn't get it! Since you are new - you don't know how things have changed......it (the rankings in agent search parameters) now favors agents who pay for ads or the orange Pro badge.....
Flag Sat Aug 3, 2013
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat Aug 3, 2013
@ Matt:
"It is not possible to buy your way to the top...."

Yes it is - you said so in the article


Where are the "best answers" that you say are available on our profiles?
Unless you mean someone has to go through, for example, all 4,000 + responses I have posted to find them. I don't see them singled out anywhere.

You still haven't explained what "best match " means.............or how our contributions to the forums factor in.

Why did you delete "best answers" or "helpful answers" from the drop down list of options?
Why not keep them in place and add to them if you want to make it better for the consumer to select an agent? The more options, the more choices.

OK, so I will answer my own question........because, the bottom line is... the bottom line... and the subscribing (paying) agents are the ones you are courting.
2 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat Aug 3, 2013
in case anyone's interested:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-07-19/classified/sc-…



clearly the new emphasis , based on Matt's own words, is on the "subscribing" agents, and giving them a boost....not so much the consumer's best interest........but heck, I am not running a corporation, and if I were, I'd probably be concerned about the bottom line, too.

I just don't like a lot of puffery trying to pretend it is something other than what it is..
2 votes
Matt Holder, Home Owner, Menlo Park, CA
Sat Aug 3, 2013
Hi all.

Thanks for your feedback and we are listening. @Debbie, I am the product manager who works on the directory, so I want you all to know your feedback is being heard. Our goal is to help consumers connect with local experts, the same it has always been.

To address a few concerns, here some insight into some of the changes:

1. It is not possible to buy your way to the top - that's on another site. "Best Match" does not equal "Featured" and it is a frequent occurrence that an agent who pays us no money is displayed higher than someone who does. To maximize your exposure in the directory, keep answering questions, getting best answers, ensure your profile is complete, add your client reviews, and add your transaction history.

2. Your voices contributions are very much a part of your position in the directory. Your answers, best answers, and blogs are readily available for consumers to view on your profile.

3. The most sought after information on agents is reviews from past clients - consumer care about this a lot and that's why we display it in the directory.
2 votes
Matt, what you're saying just doesn't ring true.

Each of us (on this thread) know our home turf VERY WELL. We know most of the other Realtors in our towns, and we certainly know our main competitors. When we see a competitor who doesn't provide ANY Trulia Voices feedback, blogs, etc. rated #1 in each of our towns, we KNOW there's something very wrong with the system.
I sent a "THUMBS DOWN" email to my Trulia rep, and I hope lots of others do the same!
Flag Tue Aug 13, 2013
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Fri Aug 2, 2013
In reality, "It's much do about nothing...." wait.....be patient.....don't feel you have to do anything....
There are other similar forums that may be good agent options as well.....

Time will tell......

Bill
2 votes
what other forums besides Zillow and AR, Bill?
I'd like to try them out!
Flag Fri Aug 2, 2013
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Fri Aug 2, 2013
Misleading the public! Deception! Self-seving to Trulia...
Say "It's ain't so!"
-
2 votes
Hi Annette. Thank you for your feedback. It's not possible to buy your way to the top of the directory and Voices contributions still greatly help you show up higher in the directory pages. It is very possible for you to show up higher than agents who buy our subscription products; however, you have not added any of your transaction history to your profile. Second to recommendations, showing your successful transaction history is extremely important to consumers and will also help you move up the ranks in teh directory. You can start adding your transaction history from you my listings page.
Flag Fri Aug 2, 2013
hahaha!!!
Flag Fri Aug 2, 2013
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