My… Times have changed since…


…I used to get negative comments (and worse emails) for liking Trulia! 😉

Today’s News: Trulia Launches Online Agent Community: Agent2Agent.

Greg sees this as a play against ActiveRain, and while it is true they are going after participation from the same audience (agents), I’m not sure what problem this new site is attempting to solve. Is the fact that agents don’t have a place to “talk shop” with other agents really a problem? And if so, will it really be enough to motivate activity from agents?

At first glance I’m extremely skeptical, but then I see this question from October that already has 17 answers from other agents.

The real answer for this feature may have LESS to do with engaging the real estate agent community and MORE to do with segregating agent conversations from consumer questions. I haven’t played on the site much, but I would be surprised if consumer feedback was saying that the Q&A feature was overrun by agents and Trulia is looking to do whatever they can to segregate the agent conversation without alienating agents so that consumers will feel less intimidated from taking part. Maybe not, that’s just pure speculation.

However, assuming you think Trulia is really looking to use this to build a strong agent community on their site, can someone educate me on the motivation that agents would have to take part in Agent2Agent?


8 responses to “My… Times have changed since…”

  1. If you look at Trulia Voices prior to the agent to agent new feature, I think you will see most of the top voices of it are already members on Activerain. Some not as active anymore, but still in the top voices.
    I don’t think it will make a difference for loyal AR people, but maybe the feature will bring in other agents that don’t like to blog and would rather just talk to each other, IMO.

    Who knows if that was their motivation? Nobody just speculation.

  2. I agree that it’s more an attempt to segment the conversation, rather than gunning for AR.

    Personally, I haven’t seen much of an ROI from voices, but I’ll answer a question every now and then, if for nothing else than to deposit a little social capital into the community bank.

  3. I think it’s going to be as easy to ignore Agent To Agent as it has been to ignore AR.

    Sometimes I get the feeling that some of these sites are trying anything they can think of to be relevant. There’s no need for something like A-2-A except, perhaps, that it’s possible to do.

  4. The main purpose of Trulia Voices is to allow consumers to get in touch with Real Estate professionals to discuss matters that are of interest to them and get advice. On the flip side Trulia Voices is a great way for agents to actively interact with consumers who are interested in home buying or selling for free and for agents to demonstrate their knowledge to the millions of Trulia visitors.

    As the community grew, we saw that agents wanted to ask advice, socialize and ask each other questions, we didn’t have a place for them to do that. We responded to the requests from the members, it’s really that simple.

    This is just one of the many updates that you will see coming on Trulia Voices on 2008. Stay tuned!

    vicky gkiza – trulia voices product manager

  5. I think it’s kind of a partial play on AR. My guess, they want to get some converts from AR, have them self-identify by building profiles on their areas of knowledge, then try to upsell advertising. These A 2 A conversations in turn will get longtail searches the SE’s from other green/new agents looking for info, who then will also join voices and eventually / hopefully sold advertising.

  6. Vicky,

    Thanks so much for stopping by… It’s been quite impressive how quickly the Trulia team has been responding to posts about your stuff!

    Your comments make way too much sense, but aren’t as much fun as the speculations we like to throw around! 😉

  7. From the beginning of Trulia Voices it appeared to only attract agents trying to up other agents with questions that they would answer, rather than have the opportunity to answer consumer questions. If Trulia hopes to move this from the Voices platform to an agents platform, I wish them luck. There are a couple of other sites out there that strictly have consumer questions and few agents are yakking on them. I don’t want to share one of those sites because it will be over taken by everyone, so I won’t, but in my opinion, if Trulia could get the Voices pages reserved for the consumer only I might find it a useful tool. Until then, it’s a waste of time.

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