Trulia has always been an impressive site to me and it continues to become more feature rich. Today the company relaunched its site with more user-friendly and powerful property filters and community (Trulia Voices). Here’s an example from San Francisco.
In many site environments community has a kind of perfunctory or obligatory feel. But in real estate it helps people obtain concrete information about the crime rates, parks, schools and other features of their intended residential areas. Zillow recently added community, but ties “Home Q&A” to the particular property as opposed to an area.
Real estate is probably the most interesting local search vertical, given how aggressive and generally savvy its SMB practitioners are (relative to the general population), how inherently local it is and how rich and interesting the consumer-facing sites are becoming. In some ways it’s a “leading indicator” of larger trends in the market.
Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local marketplace.