Real estate marketplace Trulia has expanded their “What Locals Say” feature into a “Neighborhoods” section with a similar look and feel to an Instagram story. Neighborhoods will feature photos and reviews from the community about aspects of a neighborhood including safety, commutes, schools, parks and laws for the area. It will have drone footage and an interactive interface to help organize the information.
Trulia’s Senior Vice President and General Manager Tim Correia remarked that this was something that most buyers were already doing through various sources:
“Our research found consumers were determined to find this type of information and even developed a series of hacks to source these valuable insights […] It was clear it was time to rebuild the home and neighborhood discovery experience from the ground up and empower consumers with all the information to make the best decision for themselves.”
A piece of real estate is inseparably tied to the area where it resides. This idea was the impetus for a keynote presentation by Aaron Ren at MIPIM PropTech Europe about how cities can best develop their brands. In order to sell a property a real estate agent also has to sell the area, which can be hard or easy depending on the buyer’s perception.
Now, it looks like residential properties are getting the same style of holistic treatment. Trulia might be the first to bring this type of neighborhood information onto its platform, but it will definitely not be the last. Other platforms will certainly start to incorporate similar types of information to help their users better understand their purchase options.
What will be interesting to watch is whether or not other companies merely import some of Trulia’s data onto their own site, much like Google did with Yelp’s reviews, a move that has put them in a nearly seven year legal battle against each other. So far, regulators have ruled in favor of aggregators like Google being able to import data from other sites. This might not be a huge problem for Trulia, whose parent company Zillow is the largest residential real estate platform by far, but could become a factor if any of the tech giants decide to tackle real estate market themselves.