Steve Belt finally figured it out. Of course it took lunch with Heather Barr to be convinced that there was little reason to be a contributor to Trulia Voices; why he didn’t come to this conclusion based on my incredibly persuasive arguments the world may never know.
Steve has decided to stop participating in Trulia Voices, the free-for-all where buyers and sellers who want the advice real estate agents can provide but don’t want to have to pay said agents for said advice can ask whatever questions they choose. Answers about local real estate here in Phoenix amazingly often come from the West Coast, from New Orleans and from other areas where Arrowhead Ranch neighborhood experts are laying in wait like sleeper agents.
(My favorite moment was when someone in California was arguing that their knowledge of real estate in general qualified them as an expert in Casa Grande. Sure it does.)
Jay Thompson is following suit. Bully to both.
A large percentage of answers are of the “ask your agent” derivative, ignoring that if these folks had agents they wouldn’t be on Trulia looking for free advice. Other answers pay no heed to small details such as Fair Housing laws. And others have no basis in reality.
Some answers are dead on … you usually can tell these by the “thumbs down” votes from agents who believe “call your agent and if you don’t have one call me” is the best answer to virtually any question.
The product we as agents sell is ourselves, our knowledge and our expertise. When you have someone asking for a valuation of their home, as happened the other day, why does it make sense to answer the question? Especially without ever seeing the property? If they want a blind guess send them to Zillow. You’re not going to win any business this way. And if you do it’s based off the list price you’re suggesting which is a no-win way to compete.
Back on target …
Trulia could fix the problem in an instant. Stop counting the number of questions asked. Stop counting the number of answers given. Stop highlighting how many “first answers” someone has and how many “best answers” someone has.
Just stop counting and the problem will go away. It’s a remarkably easy fix.
Until then, let’s hope some others see Voices for the farce it has become and join Steve, Jay and I on the sidelines.
P.S. Taking your answer you would have posted on Voices and posting it on your blog is a tremendous idea. I should know. 🙂
[tags]Trulia, real estate marketing, real estate technology[/tags]