In recent weeks, there has been a lot of chatter in the real estate industry about data accuracy and lead quality. We understand these issues are important to our industry partners and have been working on solutions to help address industry concerns and meet the changing needs of our customers. I wanted to share with you some of the ways we are tackling these complex issues.
First off , the data problem. Unfortunately, inaccurate property information is an industry wide problem- garbage in, garbage out. Providing highly accurate listing information is of utmost importance to Trulia, our consumers and industry partners. We have a Broker Advisory Board and an MLS Advisory Board to help us work directly with the industry to address data issues and enhance the data accuracy of listings on the web. We’ve also invested significant engineering and product resources to further this goal.
Last year Trulia launched the Trulia Direct Reference program – a quality assurance system which allows local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) and agents to find and correct inaccurate data within their markets, improving data accuracy, not just on Trulia, but across the web. Trulia Direct Reference provides the ability to identify where the errors are originating and then the information to correct them at the source. We’ve partnered with MLS organizations across the country to implement this program and correct inaccurate listing information. We’ll continue to expand this program in 2012.
In January, Trulia issued a Data Pledge for Listing Syndication and Display. This pledge is the first of its kind in the industry and demonstrates our commitment to balance the needs of the consumer and our industry partners. This pledge details how we handle and display data, including how we:
- Always display and link to the listing data source at no charge
- Always provide a prominent, free option for listing agents to receive leads from their listings. If a listing agent wants to be the only agent displayed on the lead form, all they need to do is create a free account with Trulia. Agents can choose to enhance their listings further, but we always offer a free option for listing agents.
Another theme that we commonly hear from real estate professionals is a request to improve the varying quality of leads they receive from online sources. As a response to this agent need, we launched Trulia Insight. Trulia Insight gives real estate professionals access to lead prequalification information as well as consumer home search preference data, helping them identify and convert the best leads from Trulia into clients. We’ve seen overwhelming positive feedback from the program. 97% percent of agents in the beta test have found the additional Insight information helpful when qualifying leads and working with clients. We’ve also found that Insight leads from consumers are very high quality—72 percent are transaction-ready and planning to buy a home in the next six months.
Every day I get the opportunity to speak with agents who are building their business (and paying their bills!) because of the clients they meet on Trulia. This one came across my desk this week:
“I could not be happier with my Trulia Pro account and the Insight component helps me to qualify the leads prior to contact so I can determine what the best approach is for the contact. Since joining Trulia (end of October) I have actually CLOSED 5 deals (over 1 million dollars in closed sales in 90 days!!!) who were Trulia Leads and have 2 more in contract. I also have literally dozens of qualified leads we are working with.” We have tons more success stories here.
20 million serious home buyers and sellers come to Trulia each month to get the inside scoop on real estate. We’re committed to providing them with the best possible search experience by delivering accurate data and connecting them with responsive, qualified real estate professionals to help them complete their transactions. Our broker and agent partners who do syndicate their listings to Trulia who have a greater opportunity to meet new clients and ultimately close more deals.