Trulia Question - Shall There be an Option to Stop Posting More Answers?

Asked by Sylvia Barry, MAS,CIPS,SRES, Marin, CA Wed Aug 15, 2007

I have been reading answers that are recently posted, and noticed that quite a few are answers to some really old questions from consumers. A lot of real estate questions are time sensitive and the answers do not add anyting to the person who asked the questions a month later.

So, my question is, shall Trulia add a button to allow the person who asks the question to OPT OUT of receiving any more answers?
My fear is that while some might have very valuable opinion to add after a month or two, it could very well bother the consumer enough where they might opt out of Trulia altogether later
Your opinion?

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Pete Flint, Home Buyer, Noe Valley, San Francisco, CA
Wed Aug 15, 2007
Hi everyone,
This is Pete from Trulia.
I'm really interested in your answers here.
We were just about to ask you all for your opinion, but you beat us to it!
Rest assured, we're reading these answers and they are essential to enable us to make the right decision.
We have lots of things we want to add in and improve. So if the Trulia Voices members recommend a change, we'll work on it, but I can't give any specific time frame right now when it will go live!

We currently keep all questions live and allow anyone to post answers to these questions. We thought this is the right way to start and see how it goes and evaluate as we grow.

We are hiring more web developers to build cool stuff for you. So if you know anyone in San Francisco, Silicon Valley that is super smart that could be interested, we'd love to hear from them. More here:
4 votes
J Lo, Home Buyer, California Glory, Brentwood, CA
Wed Aug 15, 2007
Wow - I like the question and the answers so far... so I am torn. I agree that old questions should be deleted 60 to 90 days after posting; but I am gonna waffle on the fact that the person asking may not have gotten what he/she was looking for from the first posters...

So - does 90 days seem more reasonable vs. flat 60? I do believe there should be an OPT OUT option on all questions - just not sure of the timeline.

How about no timeline - but the original poster decides when he/she has gotten the information completely?
3 votes
Vicki Masell…, Agent, Duluth, GA
Thu Aug 16, 2007
I venture to guess that for now, while the Trulia Voices database is still building momentum and expanding to eventually cover all areas around the country, they should remain available for posting. At such time when better saturation occurs, I would recommend that there be a 30 to 45 day window from initial posting of the question for participants to respond. If a particular topic is of significant interest, someone else can always re-post the question, right?

I try to visit and participate in Trulia Voices at least 4 or 5 times a week with the focus on QUALITY not QUANTITY responses. However, I find it a bit annoying to see new participants to the site answering every (or almost every) question simply to increase their ranking in Top Voices. I guess those of us primarily interested in learning, interacting and offering expertise in an open forum to the community will be the ones who ultimately benefit the most from the exchange.
2 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Wed Aug 15, 2007
Hi Sylvia,

It’s an interesting question, and I had to ponder it for a while to find my own position on the matter. I am usually quickly decisive. I had to think.....

Part of my struggle is not understanding Trulia’s goals here. Does Trulia take off all Q&A after a period of time? What is that time frame?

Some Q&A are time sensitive and others are not. How many of us may field a question from a client that we are working with that we have dealt with many time before? Some of the questions on Trulia are like that. Those have a long shelf life. The search mechanism allows the public to search archived answers on subjects of interest. How far do those go back?

Other questions are time sensitive, and a RE Pro (mortgage, title, Realtor) reply is only valid when the information comes quickly.

I noticed that Trulia answers and profiles will return in the results upon a Google or Yahoo search. I was not successful on a Technorati search for a Trulia post. I wonder if there is value in keeping posts longer for that reason. The buyer or seller who is unfamiliar with Trulia as a source may find Trulia as a result of a search engine inquiry. A new buyer or seller may find an old post helpful as a result of a Trulia search or Search Engine Post.

I am in full agreement that a buyer or seller should be able to easily turn off email alerts if that is their desire. I believe that option is easy for them to exercise.

After considering this for several hours, I haven’t a solid position because I don’t understand Trulia’s goals here. Based on limited knowledge, my best guess vote is make it easy to turn off email alerts, allow revival of posts by new posters, and archive data. Frivolous posts created to revive threads that are better left to sleep can be moderated by our quick responding Trulia members who will so diligently and quickly offer guidance. Then, of course, we have the official Trulia moderators to step in.

2 votes
Tisza Major-…, Agent, Upland, CA
Wed Aug 15, 2007
Hi All,

I agree with Patti. As long as a consumer can opt out of receiving notification of additional answers if they wish to, than leaving the question up, if for no other reason than historical data is of value.

I also think that while RE information and questions can indeed have an urgency behind them, that is not always the case and where consumer's are concerned, they may be in the information gathering stage and not at the ready to move forward stage so seeing what comes in as time wears on may still be of great value to them.

Also, answering a question requires that you not only feel confident offering your opinion, but that you also really read the whole question, not just the part that tickles your fancy.

Closing questions because they are declared arbitrarily "old" (30, 60 or 90 days past original posting) is right up there with forbiding an agent in Michigan from answering a question posed by someone in California. While it is true that there are differences between the two areas in everything from market condition to pricing strategy and rules, they may still be able to offer value.

And, most folks are internet savvy enough now to be able to just click delete if they don't want to read a notification email.

My 3.5 cents worth :-)

Take care,

Tisza Major-Posner, Realtor, Keller Williams Claremont/La Verne
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2 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Wed Aug 15, 2007
That is actually my original proposal, the originator of the question decides whether he/she has enough information or not.

It's great that as Realtors we want to get as much information as possible by looking at other postings, so we might not mind to read new answers to old questions, but that's us;

We also all have the urge that our own answesr might be better, or have a different angel or help more (admit it, we do), and decided to post answers to questions that have already past the time. I think we also have to agree that sometimes the answers we post bring up totally different discussions which might not be what the originator want by that time.

My personal opinion is that automatic purge might not be the best answer to this because sometimes the originator is still looking for answers, or some questions are about specific area's characteristsics, which do not have a time limit to it. So, auto purge might not work.

But I feel that the orginator should have a right to OPT OUT receiving any more answers on their own question.
2 votes
Infinity Rea…, , Saratoga, CA
Tue Nov 6, 2007

I read this late, so im sorry but i still see this as an issue. So many posts in my area are brought back up by ever new member that joins including myself when i joined. We go search our city then are like hey i know the answer. The thing new users dont realize is the dates on the questions. So it is a good and bad thing. It lets New users get there feet wet with local questions even if the new home buyer is refinancing his house already.

But it does bring up alot of old material, for new consumers to have to shift through. I would like at times to end or close a thread after i got my answer. In other Bulletin boards we have a active questions or threads and a closed section. So agents can search through and read closed ones but cant add onto them.
1 vote
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Wed Aug 15, 2007
TY to Sylvia for this starting this thread!

Q for Trulia? Any possibility of indexing Trulia posts on Technorati?
1 vote
Steve Ostrom, Agent, Roseville, CA
Wed Aug 15, 2007
I agree with you Jeanette about 90 days out. If the person feels that passionate they can write the person directly whether it is the person posting the question and/or someone within the forum. Or perhaps one can form a new question to either further discuss the post or take it in a new direction. It would be nice to retrieve old posts for reference purposes, but closed for responses.
1 vote
Bridgette Ko…, , Florida
Thu Aug 16, 2007
Thanks Sylvia!
I have deemed myself accidentally guilty of this very offense. Coincidentally, just the last question I answered! Someone else revived a post from June 15th yesterday. I saw it in recent activity and replied before I noticed that vital little date. But, I also responded to two other "revived" posts today of older interesting questions, and asked for updates/resolutions. I'm hoping that the original poster still has his/her email alert on. I don't think a question should ever be deleted, but a time frame for posting answers may be a good idea. 60-90 days? I think we need more discussion on the topic...
0 votes
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Wed Aug 15, 2007
Interesting question. Today I just clicked on a recent activity question to answer. After reading your question, I noticed this question was originated in May and decided not to answer. I did feel it was a question worth answering and it looks as if someone else did as they just answered it today. So now I hesistate which is not a good thing.

There are two ways to answer questiion: "Recent Activity" or "New Questiions". Which way is best?

Ok in answering your question, maybe a 90 day fuse or an Opt Out button is the way to go.
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0 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Wed Aug 15, 2007
Questions and answers should be deleted after 60-90 days. That will keep the information current, keep people participating, and solve many of the problems you state. If a seller or buyer posts a question, they probably don't need answers after their sale or purchase.
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0 votes
Patti Pereyra, , Chicago, IL
Wed Aug 15, 2007
Hmmm, a good point to consider, Sylvia.

However, from the perspective of the outsider - and not the person who actually asked the question - I find it very valuable to read all of the responses, even those "Johnnny-Come-Lately" ones that may no longer be of use to the original question-asker.

I do believe the consumer can stop receiving notifications to his email so that he is not bothered, but I see no reason to close a question entirely.
0 votes
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