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Trulia Social Search

August 07 2011

Trulia launched a new program called Trulia Social Search on July 28th of this year. If you have not taken a look at it, you should. Many speculate this this is Trulia’s way of providing a more soothing solution to Agent Ratings found on Zillow, one of Trulia’s competitors. This is also probably in line with what Realtor.com has with their acquisition of Social Bios.

For years, agents have put quotes from past clients on their website. These recommendations are not quite as harsh as Agent Ratings. But they do demonstrate that some people who have received services from the agent were satisfied with the agent.

When I look at the recommendations, they feel a lot like Linkedin recommendations. It provides people who may not know the agent to get some feedback from others, which is a good thing.

Trulia allows recommendations to be submitted in two ways. In both cases, the agent requests a recommendation from a past client. The customer has the choice of entering the information into Trulia, or connecting using Facebook. Moreover, agents may request recommendations from their Facebook friends.

The Facebook integration is pretty cool in part due to the nature of Facebook itself. When a client posts a recommendation, it is published to Trulia, the Agent’s Wall, the Client’s Wall, and the walls of both the agent and client’s friends. In that sense, it is as part advertisement and part collecting recommendations.

 

I am a big fan of Agent Ratings done right, but am skeptical when ratings do not require the purity of a third party rating agency that validates that the rating is coming from a real client who participated in a real transaction. In the Trulia approach, my concerns are belied.

Here is a screenshot of how the recommendations look. Suffice it to say that agents who have listings on Trulia would serve their online reputation well by inviting some clients to provide some recommendations.

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