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Are Trulia Estimates Too Little, To Late?

Trulia Estimate

National real estate player Trulia began its foray into the home valuation space yesterday.

Trulia Estimates, as they’re called, are currently in beta and available for sold properties in the San Francisco Bay Area. Brian Boero of 1000Watt Consulting provides a thourough break down of the Trulia Estimate launch, so I won’t go any deeper. Instead I’ll focus on:

  • What this move means to consumers,
  • How it might affect the business side of things,
  • What it means to SEO,
  • A comparison of Trulia Estimates and Zillow Zestimates.

Consumers’ Perspective

From a consumer standpoint, I think this is great news. When I was searching for my last home I used my own real estate search site, of course, but was constantly heading over to Zillow for previously sold data and, more importantly, Zestimates.

Once Trulia breaks out of beta and launches nationwide for active properties, Trulia Estimates will provide similar useful data to consumers…and that is good news for home buyers and sellers alike.

Business Perspective

It’s no secret that home buyers use multiple websites when searching for property, as I did in my example above. And there is no doubt that this move is aimed directly at Zillow’s Zestimates. What this does for Trulia is provides their users with a reason not to leave their site. Smart move? Yes, and the same reason we’ve launched Value Scores on HawaiiLife.com.

For the time being Trulia’s Estimates pose no threat to Zillow, but once they’re available nationwide for active properties it will be interesting to see how much Zillow’s web traffic will be dinged.

SEO Perspective

Google rewards sites for providing useful information, and Trulia Estimates will definitely be useful to consumers. Over time this will be a positive move for Trulia’s SEO.

Comparison Trulia Estimates vs. Zillow Zestimates

For this comparison we’ll be looking at 88 King Street #717, San Francisco CA 94107:

Both sits provide valuable information, including price/sq ft and nearby similar sales. Zillow, however, gives much more previous sales history as well as tax history. Zillow also provides a graph showing several years of their Zestimate. I don’t think that Trulia can do this as their Estimate is brand new, but maybe they’ll figure out how to use their algorithm historically.

The one place where Trulia wins is that they offer the ability for consumers and agents to provide feedback on the home valuation. As Jim Bilbao comments on Mr. Boero’s post, “bringing crowd sourcing to home pricing is attractive.” I couldn’t agree more. Will this force Zillow’s hand to integrate something similar into their algorithm?

Conclusions

This is a great move by Trulia. A long time coming, maybe, but better late than never. The question is, can Trulia catch up to Zillow? After all, Zillow has a 5 year head start.

About Justin Britt

Justin Britt (justin@hawaiilife.com) is Head of Innovation and Co-Founder of a little Hawaii Real Estate company. Britt oversees user interface design, SEO, programming, public relations and social media for Hawaii's 6th largest and fastest growing real estate brokerage.

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