UPDATE: Since I posted this in Dec ’07, I’ve interviewed numerous brokers and agents who’ve said that Trulia’s delivered lots of real business to them (i.e., high quality traffic that resulted in leads that closed), and that their clients are extremely pleased with the exposure their listings get via the Trulia vertical. Further, several interviewees informed me that Trulia is their number one or number two source of traffic, with one interviewee telling me that Trulia beats all other sources including paid traffic sources.
“Was anyone surprised with Trulia’s business model?,” wonders this post. For industry watchers? Not really. For real estate firms that shared listings content? Not really (at least the 30+ firms I’ve spoken with). But then again Trulia essentially repeats an earlier model: TV GUIDE.
UPDATE: Many of firms interviewed informed me that the Trulia relationship allows them to manage their advertising costs more efficiently for more effective results.
TV GUIDE used data provided by television programming companies to create a profitable company. It was the early years of broadcasting and broadcast companies were searching for new and creative ways to advertise their shows. TV GUIDE employed creative editing and advertising services (e.g., enhanced listings) to generate revenue and expand its reach (into broadcasting services); so much so Rupert Murdoch purchased it in 1988 (along with Seventeen Magazine and The Daily Racing Form) for $2.8 billion.