To say that Aaron is an avid Trulia user would be an understatement.
“I love to look at Trulia on a daily basis to see what the market is like. I’ve also used the site for three separate moves. Trulia has taken all the best parts of real estate technology and put it in one great package.”
Aaron found out about Trulia while living in Brooklyn in 2010, and he was immediately hooked.
“I was looking to either rent out my apartment or sell it. When I found Trulia, I instantly fell in love with it because it was such a superior experience compared to Craigslist, which is what I’d been using. I liked having everything in one spot. It’s great to see the big, bright pictures, street views, and the map, where I could find out about other stuff in the area. It puts all the key information right there.”
In 2010, the real estate market was in flux, so Aaron decided to list his Park Slope apartment in Brooklyn on Trulia for sale and for rent, just to see what nibbles he would get. Within a matter of weeks, a couple contacted him, and they were interested in renting the place. Meanwhile, Aaron was looking on Trulia for a place to live in North New Jersey.
“During that search, I really liked how I was able to look at properties by specific criteria and preference type. That’s really important, especially in New York, because there are co-ops and competitive factors.”
Aaron easily found a place in North New Jersey through Trulia, and he stayed there for a couple of months before realizing it was time to move again.
“My girlfriend and I decided that we needed a bigger apartment, so we turned to Trulia again. We knew our desired location – we wanted to move to Monroe Township, New Jersey, because of her job – so during this search, I focused on the commute map. I loved to see exactly what our commutes were going to be like, and the maps made it easy to identify if a place we liked was in the middle of nowhere.”
Aaron wanted to find a broker and agent to work with to learn more about the houses he had his eye on during this search, so he sent requests to various professionals through Trulia.
“I would get feedback from them, and as a result, I found a broker that understood what I wanted and was able to make it happen. Trulia has done everything I needed it to, and more.”
Aaron and his broker ended up being a great team.
“We saw a couple of places in Monroe with our broker, and then my broker and I saw the places my girlfriend and I had found on Trulia that we knew we wanted to see as well. That research saved a lot of work, and when we found the perfect place, I just knew. It was a property my girlfriend hadn’t even seen, but when I showed her the pictures on Trulia, she fell in love.”
After going through the house hunting experience more than once, Aaron is impressed with how far the real estate industry has come.
“It used to be you just get one picture of the house and you have to physically go and see that it looks like crap. Thanks to Trulia, it’s all right there in front of you. It saves so much time. Trulia is intuitive, and it gets the job done”
We want to hear from you! Email us at MyTruliaSuccess@trulia.com to share your story!0 comments
Last June, Stacey’s husband came home and told her about Trulia. They knew that moving from their home in Detroit was imminent for his job, but they weren’t sure where they’d move or when. Throughout the summer, the couple casually looked on Trulia just to see what was available, and then, it happened. Her husband got a job offer in Fort Wayne, IN – three hours away from their home in Detroit.
“Once he got the offer, we started using Trulia heavily. We would lie in bed at night looking at Trulia on our iPad and compare homes. The biggest thing was that we needed to find the perfect neighborhood for our girls. We knew where his job was located, so we used that as our guide.”
The couple made plans to visit Fort Wayne immediately so they could find their dream home – and neighborhood.
“My husband’s job set us up with an agent, which was great, but we didn’t know the area at all, so our first meeting was more about researching the new area. I knew what I wanted, but it was just a matter of finding the perfect home in the best neighborhood within our price range. Trulia made it very easy to search for homes with all of our criteria, including number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and several other parameters.”
During their first meeting, Stacey and her husband sat down with their agent and looked on Trulia Local where they identified the best school districts for their children and the shortest commute times for her husband. From there, they were able to narrow down their prospective neighborhoods.
“I had a better idea of the local neighborhoods after meeting and looking around with our new agent.”
And since time was of the essence, Stacey dove in head first. Her husband needed to start his job quickly, and they really only had a handful of days to find a home. Back in Detroit, she went on Trulia regularly, found homes that matched her criteria, and sent them to her agent.
“For me, the photos were great! The more photos, the better idea you have of what a house looks like. It’s just way easier to visualize, and you don’t waste your time house hunting for places that you wouldn’t buy.”
Then, it was time for the final visit to Fort Wayne. This was it. Stacey had to find a house for her family so they could relocate and start their new life.
“I was really worried about finding good schools and the right neighborhood for my three daughters. I never wanted to uproot them – but now that we’re planning on staying put for a while, this house had to be the perfect place. On the final day of the visit, we found this house. It was toward the end of the day, and I had found the home and neighborhood on Trulia through all my research. It was a new property, and it was perfect. We made the offer the next day. I was so excited.”
They closed on the house in December and moved in shortly after – just in time to host Christmas with their families.
Now, months later, Stacey still pinches herself that they are living in their dream home and neighborhood.
“We looked at many houses – but this is our dream home, and I still can’t believe we live here. I’m just thankful. Not only did we find our dream home on Trulia, but we found our dream neighborhood too.”
We want to hear your story too! Email us at MyTruliaSuccess@trulia.com,and we’ll feature your story on our blog!0 comments
This was the last week of my Trulia Internship with the Altman Brothers. During the past seven days, I had the opportunity to put a lot of what I’ve learned throughout my month-long internship to the test. Matt and Josh gave me a challenge: work on growing my own high-end luxury business, which is quite an endeavor. If this internship was a class, this last week has felt a bit like a final exam…time to execute!
The first hurdle to establishing a successful business is building clientele, so I spent a lot time during the week developing my lead generation plan. I’ve set up my first million-dollar property showing, and I secured a meeting with an investor who is interested in seeing a project site, which is so exciting. Thankfully though, Matt and Josh haven’t left me to my own devices quite yet; they’ve been really helpful when I have questions or need some clarity or direction.
As I reflect back on my month with the Altmans, and look toward the future, I think what’s had the greatest impact on me was learning how to create a unique personal brand. Establishing my own hallmark and identifying how I can provide a different kind of value in an oversaturated space will be pivotal in launching my real estate career. Matt and Josh have done such a fantastic job positioning themselves as experts, and I can only hope that some of their know-how has rubbed off on me and I can replicate their success. Wish me luck!0 comments
But Trulia’s NEW Rent vs. Buy Calculator Does!
Today we announced our summer Rent vs. Buy Report where we reveal whether buying a home is more affordable than renting in America’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. Well, the results are in, and despite higher mortgage rates, buying is still 35% cheaper than renting in all of the 100 largest metros – but San Jose, San Francisco, and Honolulu are on the verge of tipping.
Trying to figure out if you should rent or buy is a big, sometimes agonizing, decision, and we want to help ease that pain. So, in addition to kicking off our summer report, we’re also releasing a new Rent vs. Buy Calculator.
Now, house hunters can compare the cost of renting and buying to see if purchasing a home makes financial sense with an easy-to-use tool. Applying the same math behind the Rent vs. Buy Report, this one-of-a-kind Rent vs. Buy Calculator allows prospective purchasers to input actual prices and rents for homes they’re considering, along with the mortgage rate they qualify for, their tax bracket, how long they plan to live in the home, along with customized fields such as cost of utilities, annual maintenance and insurance costs.
To give you an idea of how the calculator works let’s give it a try! First, enter your desired metro. We’ll choose San Jose for this example. Use the sliders on the left to figure out what you pay in rent, your target home price, how long you expect to live there, your income tax rate, and finally your mortgage rate. You’ll see, after we put all the sliders where they need to be, that it’s actually 22% cheaper to rent than it is to buy in San Jose.
We also take other factors in to account like closing costs, annual property tax, renters and homeowners insurance, utilities, and the down payment – along with many more options. Consumers can input as much detail as they’d like to get an even better idea if they should rent or buy in the Advanced Settings section of the calculator, shown below.
If any of the fields in the Advanced Settings section have you stumped, you’re in luck! We provide helpful definitions to guide you through the process. Things like long-term capital tax gains, annual property tax, and price appreciation can be confusing, so we break it all out for you in an easy-to-understand format.
After you crunch the numbers, simply use Trulia to find the perfect house or apartment in your desired location. Happy hunting!0 comments
Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals – which focuses on the advancement of sustainable Hispanic home ownership – with the Altman brothers. While we were there, I got to watch Josh present a keynote speech to a sold out audience.
Check out a behind-the-scenes shot of Matt, Josh, and I in a limo on our way to the conference:
1. Love what you do, because having true passion and excitement for real estate makes a huge difference in your interactions with buyers, sellers, and other players in the industry.
2. Be available 24/7, and deliver on the promise to provide the top-notch service your clients deserve. This includes simple things like always having a listing agreement, purchase agreement, etc. ready to go at all times.
3. Demonstrate that you’re an expert by having a top ten list of the best properties at various prices points, such as the best homes at $300K, $400K, $500K, $600K up to a million, and so on.
Go out and see every house you can on the market; you must know the entire inventory in your location inside and out. Combine this knowledge with a great team of mortgage and loan officers and escrow, title, insurance companies that are available at all times to really maximize efficiency and results for your clients.
4. Develop and expand your brand; it will pay off in your long-term relationships. Josh explained that a brand is really a shortcut to establishing trust in a relationship, which is critical when meeting with potential clients.
This step involves honing your website, marketing, and network of contacts – which requires a lot of time, effort, and money – but the return on your investment is incredible when it’s done well.
5. Have a Mentor. I’m lucky enough to be learning from the crème de la crème right now, but another great opportunity to learn from a mentor would be to take on co-listors with experience in the luxury market when you have the opportunity to close a mega-dollar listing. By going through the process with a seasoned pro, you can learn so much more than managing it alone.
This is just a taste of what I learned from Josh’s lecture. I am excited to start applying what I’ve learned in my career and in my future relationships.
Finding the right real estate agent can be a difficult process. People often rely on word of mouth from friends and family – one strategy that will always remain – but sometimes, the agent that worked for someone else isn’t the best option for you. Trulia solved that problem with the launch of its Find an Agent directory this summer. For Jena and her husband Beau, this tool proved to be invaluable.
Their story starts in San Francisco. The couple started looking for their first house in 2009 with an agent that came recommended by a friend.
“We looked for a home on Trulia for almost an entire year in 2009, and at the end of October, we found one we really liked and made an offer that was actually accepted. But after the inspection, we had to walk away. There was over $100,000 of repairs that needed to be done.”
With the holidays right around the corner, the couple took a break from their home search and decided to start fresh in the New Year. But 2010 didn’t bring any luck.
“Between 2009 and 2013, we used three different agents and made twelve offers.”
Discouraged, they decided to make a big move – one that had been in the back of their minds for years.
“After searching for so long, our odds in the Bay Area weren’t looking good, so we decided to relocate to southern California to be near family and try another housing market. The possibility of a big move had come up throughout the years, and this just felt like the right time.”
At the beginning of 2013, they packed up and made the move to Los Angeles, excited, yet nervous about what was in store. Jena knew they would approach this housing market differently.
“We were in a new, unfamiliar city with a housing market that was totally different from San Francisco where we’d lived so long. I felt it was really important to find an agent that was an expert in the LA market. We needed someone that could not only help us find a house, but also find a neighborhood that would be perfect for us.”
Because the duo had exhausted the traditional methods of finding realtors, they tried something new and turned to Trulia’s Find an Agent feature.
“This time we needed an agent with an extra edge because we needed more than just help buying a property – we needed guidance. We didn’t even know which part of the city was right for us. We had been looking at homes on Trulia all along, so it seemed natural to try Trulia’s Find an Agent tool to find an expert as well.”
Jena started browsing through LA-based agents and spotted Henry Plascencia’s profile. She was immediately impressed.
“He had a really robust profile with a lot of information in it. I was drawn to him because he had his skills and successes front and center, and it showed he had a deep knowledge of the area – and credentials! We’d tried to buy a place for so long unsuccessfully, so it was important to us to pick someone that knew the area and also had a proven track record of success.”
And Henry did not disappoint. Jena contacted him and he called her back in the same day.
“I told him everything: my concerns about being a first time home buyer coupled with buying a home in an unfamiliar town. I got a good vibe from him right away.”
A few days later they headed to Henry’s office and jumped in his car, and he drove them around to a variety of neighborhoods so they could get a feel for the area.
“He basically gave us a tour of the town. We stopped to see some houses and get a sense of the different neighborhoods and what we could afford. He helped us get comfortable and really just walked us through the process every step of the way. What we really loved most about Henry was that, in addition to being really knowledgeable, he also had our individual interests in mind. He was honest and up front during our home search and would always say ‘I want you guys to be happy with your purchase now, but I also want you to be happy ten years from now, because I want to work with you again.’”
With Henry’s stellar help, Jena and Beau made four offers, and the last one stuck – they had an offer accepted!
“He really fought for us tooth and nail to get this place.”
The couple closed on their dream home and got the keys the first of August. And even after closing, Henry is still there to help. He has referred the two to a variety of vendors – from painters to landscapers – and is taking them out to dinner next week to celebrate their success.
“He went above and beyond what he needed to do. Henry’s by far the best agent we’ve had.”
We couldn’t be happier for Jena as she used to be one of our co-workers and is now contracting for us.
We’d love to hear how you found your home – or agent – using Trulia. Email us at MyTruliaSuccess@trulia.com to share your story!0 comments
This morning Trulia announced it has expanded the Trulia Accelerate program to 16 partners overall, reaching nearly 70,000 agents total. For Trulia, this is an important milestone, while it executes on its strategy to engage partners across the industry and make its products and services available to real estate agents and brokers through important relationships with brokerages and franchises.
Trulia signed a major partner, leading franchisor RE/MAX LLC., when it originally launched the program in July. Since then 15 brokerages from across the country have decided to join the program and grow their businesses. Because Trulia Accelerate is a flexible set of products and resources, the company works with each partner to find the right mix of options that will help them meet their specific business goals.
Trulia Accelerate Program
New Partners: 15
Real Trends 2013 ranking by Volume
|BH&G Gary Greene||
|Century 21 Award||
Top 250 RIS Media
|First Team Real Estate||
|Hunt Real Estate ERA||
|Prudential New Jersey Properties||
|Prudential Preferred Realty – PA||
|RE/MAX DFW Associates||
|Realty ONE Group||
|Realty World Northern California, Inc.||
For example, participating brokers receive free resources including premium branded profiles for their agents on Trulia’s Find An Agent directory. They also have the option to receive an agent training curriculum focused on connecting and converting online leads or valuable marketing and advertising products that help brokers and franchises build their brand with consumers and expand their market share.
Ultimately, Trulia’s business goals are in line with those of their broker partners. Trulia has spent years building a popular consumer product offering and a large consumer audience, with 35 million unique visitors per month reported during the second quarter of 2013.
This valuable audience of home searchers is looking for information on neighborhoods and properties, using leading services such as Trulia Suggests to browse homes or Trulia’s popular map products that visualize commute times, crime statistics and other relevant neighborhood data. And now with Find an Agent, consumers can find useful information about agents and brokers who would be well-suited to help them with their unique real estate needs.
Trulia’s goal is to connect this group of engaged home searchers to real estate agents and brokers. It does this by serving as a technology partner, providing tools that agents and brokers use to win more listings and sell more homes.
To learn more about the benefits of partnering with Trulia, call 1-877-776-9521 or email email@example.com comments
My second week interning with the Altman brothers has been very exciting. I’ve loved learning more about high-end Los Angeles real estate from the city’s top experts, but I think one of the biggest highlights of the week was getting to watch the taping of a few segments for the TV show Extra.
The opportunity for Josh to film actually came about the very morning the segment was taped, and the whole thing was completely unscripted. It was really fun to watch Josh promote one of his listings in front of the camera: he knew exactly which aspects of the home to highlight and how to leverage the opportunity to increase his personal brand, all while selling a spectacular home.
Watch Josh chat with Extra’s Terri Seymour about the show’s upcoming season!
Later in the week, I accompanied Matt to the Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills neighborhoods for a few showings. The properties we saw were spacious and perched high with plenty privacy, and of course, views.
In addition to seeing some amazing homes, Matt taught me a lot about how specific prices reflect different aspects of a property. I’ve always been curious to see what exactly determines real estate listing prices. What makes a home worth $25M versus $20M? Well, I learned it’s not just about square footage: it’s also about location – and the privacy that comes with it, the home’s style, and of course the details of the inspection and property reports.
I can’t wait to see what week three has in store!0 comments
Here at Trulia, we’re passionate about innovation, and mobile ingenuity is our lifeblood. Our goal? To stay on the forefront of cutting-edge technology, so users can find their dream home more easily and efficiently. We recently launched many new features across our mobile platforms, and today, we’re excited to announce one more: the new Samsung Air View feature on our Android app, designed exclusively for the latest Samsung phones.
Trulia’s Samsung users can experience the wonder of Samsung Air View by hovering their finger – or S Pen – over a listing on the map to see property details like price, street address, and the listing brokerage information. Samsung Air View gives home buyers, sellers, and renters the opportunity to scan through the home stats, instead of having to tap on each property, making the home-shopping process more streamlined and fun. It’s truly the latest and greatest thing in mobile real estate.
Phones compatible with this new feature include: The GALAXY Note I, Note II, Note 8.0 and Note 10.1 as well as the GALAXY S4. Samsung users who don’t have the Trulia app yet will be able to easily download it today in Google Play. And, keep an eye out on September 6 when Trulia’s app will be featured in S Suggest.
The fastest-growing segment of our audience at Trulia, mobile users comprise approximately 13 million monthly mobile visitors in Q2 – up 100 percent year-over-year – and the lion’s share of traffic during peak weekend periods. To keep up, we now offer 15 mobile apps across all major platforms, including dedicated apps for renters, mortgage seekers, and agents.
We’re so excited about this partnership with Samsung. If you’re a Samsung user, please download the app, and let us know what you think by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!0 comments
Starting this week, agents with listings on Trulia will receive a new free email report that provides an enhanced level of insight into how their listings are performing. The email allows agents to review their listing marketing performance and make adjustments based on the information. It also provides competitive analysis about other comparable listings, allowing agents to understand which properties have most consumer interest. Using this new information, agents can make decisions to help them increase interest in their listings with strategies such as adjusting property details, changing pricing or increased promotion.
The email is designed to provide important information at-a-glance, and provide insight into how each agent’s listings are stacking up against the competition. Agents will receive data about their most popular listing with views and followers, as well as the average views for all of the agent’s claimed listings. The report includes average views of all local listings and average views of local featured listings, as well as local listings with the most views overall, to get an idea of how the competition is performing.
Listing insight email
When agents click for more details they will be taken to the full listing report, which provides an even deeper level of insight.
In contrast to a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) used for pricing a listing for sale, Trulia tracks aggregate consumer behaviors on site to surface consumer driven comparables – primarily other homes consumers are looking at in comparison to that agent’s listing.
For example, the true competition might not just be homes near the listing, but homes in other areas that represent different trade-offs in price, location, size, etc.
By looking at the local comparable listings, the agent can view competing listings and get an idea of viewer interest and weekly views. With this added insight the agent can make sure they have the right marketing plan in place.
The full listing report dashboard
If you’re a listing agent, sign up for your free My Trulia account today and start receiving this report. If you have questions or comments, please email our agent team at: email@example.com comments