Trulia is an online real estate listing website that started in 2005. Recently, they were bought out by Zillow. The website provides pricing information for homes, which combines listing and public data, showing how the price has changed over time. The home price is also compared with other homes in the same city. On July of 2014, Zillow acquired Trulia for $3.5 billion. The site will remain independent from Zillow, with users and real estate agents having access to the same resources as they did before.
The company's web site provides crime maps, also. The maps are taken from websites such as CrimeReports.com. The maps then generate a map of criminal activity in different urban areas. User can see the crime report information so that they can determine whether or not they might want to purchase a home in a neighborhood.
One of the things about Trulia that is neat is how schools and other local conveniences are listed and are used to generate a transit score and walking score for the home. The information includes critical information on schools near a home, including contact information, grades taught, and whether the school is private or public. Site users can also comment on the neighborhood's safety, pet hospitality, and other demographical information.
Trulia also has several resources on its website for customers to get in contact with a realtor who is connected with a home listing. Real estate agents can submit their listings to Trulia and most listings with Trulia are generated through real estate listings and public listings.
- Listing features
We liked the listing features that Trulia has for its site users. Users can search via home address, city, state, or neighborhood. They then can see the homes listed in a map, photo listing, or list format. Information about the home includes the following:
- Multiple photos of the home's exterior or interior.
- Demographics about the urban area where the home is located.
- Natural hazards, including floods, earthquakes, and wildfires.
- Crime density for the urban area.
- Pricing information on the home, based upon past and current public listings.
Trulia's information is much more detailed than the information available on Zillow.
We particularly liked that each listing had a realtor attached to it. With each listing, there is information about who holds the listing and the name of the realtor agent. The site user can then use the "Request More Information" button to send a personal note to the realtor.
Trulia's transit listing is also a useful tool. The transit score is taken from www.walkscore.com. If a home has a score of 50 or higher, the area is pretty well served by public transit. The listing on Trulia's website also provides sources of public transportation hubs that are located nearby.
Overall, we felt that Trulia gives site users the best "picture" of the neighborhood where a home is located. Trulia's information about crime stats helps a user get a picture of the crime in a neighborhood. Also, the ratings about schools are compiled from the GreatSchools ratings. Overall, the website does a good job of giving a prospective homeowner facts about making an informed decision about a new home.
We also liked the Trulia apps. The apps offer the same features as the web site, in terms of search listings, photos, and information, such as the transit score and walking score.
- Lack of support for site users
There were many red flags about Trulia.com. We were particularly concerned about the complaints from real estates who had been "deceived" by Trulia representatives on the phones. The complaints mentioned that Trulia didn't provide them with the leads that had been promised during the real estate agent's purchase of services. Realtors had been promised high levels of leads from zip codes where the housing market was "hot," but many realtors complained about not getting the number of leads that they had been promised. Also, most of the complaints for Trulia came directly from realtors. Overall, Trulia seems to not get prospective buyers set up with a realtor as their website promises.
We were also concerned about the lack of support for site users from Trulia. Trulia doesn't have a live chat support feature, nor is a toll free number listed in the help section of the web site. Customers only have access to a knowledge base and email support form. This is a detriment to customers that might have questions regarding a particular listing on the website. Also, there is not direct contact information provided for how to get in touch with the realtor who is in charge of showing a property. Users have to fill out a form on the listing in order to be contacted by the realtor. We feel that providing direct contact information for the realtor for a provider might help both the realtor and the prospective homeowner get the ball rolling when it comes to purchasing a new property.
The Bottom Line
We would recommend Trulia as a website for customers who might want to get in touch with a realtor for a listed property. Here are the things that we liked about Trulia overall.
- Detailed crime information for a listed property.
- Photos and pricing information about a particular property, as well as maintenance prices listed for condominiums, townhouses, and other rental properties.
- Transportation and amenities for a listed property, providing information on public transit hubs and businesses listed in proximity to a property.
The best information available in the online real estate sector for schools that are located near a home, including the school's GreatSchools rating.For realtors, however, we'd pass on some caution before paying for listing properties with Trulia. Many realtors complained about not getting leads from the website as promised. Before subscribing to Trulia, realtors may want to fully investigate the "promises" that Trulia does not always keep. Also, our review of Trulia's website reveals that they may not provide the best connection between realtors and prospective homeowners that is promised on the website.