Matrix Blog


Trulia Trends Report: August 2007 Consumer Search Patterns/Austin, TX

August 30, 2007 | 2:02 pm | |

Here is the August issue of Trulia Trends, a report of listing trends and consumer search patterns.

The report is based on a continuing evolution of ideas that has come as a result of the collaboration between Trulia and my firm Miller Samuel. (disclosure: I am a member of Trulia’s advisory board.)

In this month’s issue the spotlight focused on the Austin, TX area.

Download the August 2007 Trulia Trends Report [PDF] here.

Here is Trulia’s post about the new report.

Inman Connect Conference As A Social Object

August 6, 2007 | 12:36 am | |

Blue Monster from

After three days of real estate bliss at Inman Connect in San Francisco last week, I flew home early Friday afternoon.

Other than the:

  • 2-hour delay at SFO,
  • the lightning storm at JFK International that shut down all air traffic in the Northeast (so I heard),
  • taking a “bigger arc” over Chicago,
  • flying down to Virginia and staying in a holding pattern for another hour,
  • running so low on fuel the airplane had to make an unscheduled landing in Atlantic City,
  • waiting on the tarmac for another hour until about 2am,
  • and then finally arriving at JFK,
  • getting home at 3:30am, it was uneventful,

with one glaring exception: While trapped in the plane in Atlantic City, I got to spend about an hour speaking with Noah Rosenblatt, of, one of the smartest bloggers out there. It was 1am, and I am sure people around us thought we were insane, having excited discussions about the housing market, the economy, the fed to name a few. He’s an ex-Wall Street trader, current successful real estate broker who shared his insights with me about the turmoil in the financial markets.

We both saw the irony of the financial markets right now. Their volatility is driving a flight to quality so bond prices are rising, making yields fall…yet mortgage rates aren’t falling because of the credit crunch and diminishing liquidity.

I have felt strongly for the past year that the Fed would be forced to lower rates by the end of the year, but now its a real dilemna for them. Housing/mortgages have the potential to drag the economy down, spurring the fed to drop rates, yet, with rising oil prices, among other things, there are inflation concerns, causing the Fed to try to cool down the economy. The Fed’s position is probably going to have to remain neutral for a while, so perhaps the language in the upcoming FOMC meeting will be tweaked to show more neutrality.

but I digress…

Marketing is all about social objects.

Hugh MacLeod of Gaping Void gave the keynote speech and he was incredibly refreshing. Of course his use of language was much broader than the audience was prepared for if you know what I mean, but he was so interesting, and I feel more…literate, and stuff… His blogging success story with Stormhoek wine was truly amazing.

Bloggers connect, the concurrent conference was a big success and I learned a lot.

I spoke to a bunch of really enthusiastic bloggers brimming with ideas and excitement over their craft including, but not all inclusive because its late: Joe and Rudy of Sellsius who survived their cross country rv tour, Dan Green, John Keith, Joel Burslem, Jessica, Brad (of course) and Glenn of Inman, Lockhart Steele, Pat Kitano, Kevin Boer, Heather Fernandez, Dustin Luther, Ardell DellaLoggia, Teresa Boardman, Hugh MacLeod, Jim Duncan, and Matt Heinz to name a few.

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Trulia Trends Report: May 2007 Consumer Search Patterns/Los Angeles

June 5, 2007 | 1:54 am | |

The fifth issue of the Trulia Trends Report was released last week. I am a bit late here because I have been traveling a bunch over the past few weeks and have been slacking on my posts. I believe the term “apologist” is latin for “appraiser” ?

The report is based on a continuing evolution of ideas that has come as a result of the collaboration between Trulia and my firm Miller Samuel. (disclosure: I am a member of Trulia’s advisory board.)

In this month’s issue the spotlight focused on the Los Angeles area.

Download the May 2007 Trulia Trends Report [PDF] here.

Here is Trulia’s post about the new report.

Check out their national heat maps. And now, a totally cool feature was just released called Trulia Hindsight

Strong As A Sequoia: Trulia Secures Additional Funding

May 24, 2007 | 9:15 am | |

Sequoia Capital provided $10M in financing which will allow Trulia to go to the next level of their vision of becoming the “go to” place for real estate listing searches.

By partnering with the real estate industry, Trulia helps consumers find information on homes for sale using custom search criteria such as price and number of bedrooms to market trends and neighborhood data at the hyper-local level.

This is already well underway with 1.5 million monthly visitors to and a growing suite of tools for consumers to use. They have remained steadfast in their focus on the quality of the data coming in to enrich the consumer’s experience on the site. They will be able to expand staffing for technology, sales and marketing to further their efforts in a big way.

Incidentally, Sequoia Captial, as an associated brand, says a lot about their belief in Trulia’s success. A who’s who of Silicon Valley success stories come from Sequoia. From the press release:

Sequoia Capital provides startup venture capital for very smart people who want to turn ideas into companies. As the “Entrepreneurs Behind the Entrepreneurs”, Sequoia Capital’s Partners have worked with innovators such as Steve Jobs of Apple Computer, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Bob Swanson of Linear Technology, Sandy Lerner and Len Bozack of Cisco Systems, Dan Warmenhoven of Network Appliance, Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo!, Jen-Hsun Huang of nVIDIA, Michael Marks of Flextronics, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen of YouTube, Steve Goldman and Sujal Patel of Isilon Systems and Dominic Orr and Keerti Melkote of Aruba Wireless Networks.

Pete Flint and Sami Inkinen, co-founders of Trulia, invited me to join their industry advisory board in 2006 when the endeavor was less than a year old. It was an easy decision because I was a big fan before they approached me. I remain in awe of Trulia’s rapid growth and continue to be impressed with the clarity of their vision, their reliance on teamwork (yes, “Internet” provides the “I” in teamwork) and the talent of the people that work for them.

Here is the official Trulia announcement in their blog.

More fun to come.

Voices Carry: Trulia Launches New Tools For Users

May 11, 2007 | 9:21 am | |

Trulia has launched a new feature set to compliment their already robust listing search engine, providing marketing opportunities to agents and useful ground level information to consumers. They continue to provide tools that enhance the experience, rather than cramming things into the search engine window. Yuck. It seems that only yesterday Trulia was in beta. Its come of age with more than 2M listings and nearly that many monthly users.

Perhaps one of the greatest strengths of the Trulia experience, aside from the power of the engine and tools, is the interface. Clean, simple and powerful. Thats one of the reasons I accepted their invitation to be on their advisory board last year. Sami, Pete & Co. are very focused on making things simple but powerful (I guess thats why I am also a Macintosh nut). There is more coolness to follow.

The summary of the rollout on the Trulia Blog should be up soon. Some of the highlights are described below:

Trulia Voices Perhaps the most innovative enhancement, which was in the works for a long time, is the Trulia Voices feature. Its an eBay – like experience which allows users to ask questions and provide answers, get rated and seek out experts. (light bulb turns on) Agents have the opportunity to become known as experts in their particular market, which is what angents are really trying to do in their own blogs, but benefit from the high influx of traffic that Trulia generates. Web 2.0 thats actually useful.

Trulia Trends This is something that is near and dear to my heart because it gives real estate junkies the ability to slice and dice locations. Sort of the Rolling Stone Magazine album chart for real estate. You can look at the strongest and weakest cities in terms of median listing price, ranked by popularity, changes by price and search requests. This is using the monthly data generated in the monthly Trulia Trends report that I helped develop. Neat stuff.

TruliaStats The widgets that Trulia provides the users are powerful. These aren’t new but are really cool and leverage the power of the search engine to your own web site. Being a fan of charts, the TruliaStats widget is my favorite.

Ok, enough of the lovefest. Back to work.

Trulia Trends Report: April 2007 Consumer Search Patterns/Chicago

April 30, 2007 | 11:33 am | |

The fourth issue of the Trulia Trends Report was released this week. Its a continuing evolution of ideas that has come as a result of the collaboration between Trulia and my firm Miller Samuel. (disclosure: I am a member of Trulia’s advisory board.)

In this month’s issue the spotlight focused on the Second City, which interestingly enough, was the 2nd hottest city on the list.

Download the April 2007 Trulia Trends Report [PDF] here.

Here is Trulia’s post about the new report.

Check out their national heat maps. They are one of my favorite features of their service.

Trulia Trends Report: March 2007 Consumer Search Patterns/Phoenix

March 21, 2007 | 10:02 am | |

March 2007 Trulia Trends Report

The third issue of the Trulia Trends Report was released this week. Its a continuing evolution of ideas that has come as a result of the collaboration between Trulia and my firm Miller Samuel. In this month’s issue the report focused on Phoenix.

(disclosure: I am a member of Trulia’s advisory board.)

Download the March 2007 Trulia Trends Report [PDF] here.

Here is Trulia’s post about the new report.

Check out their national heat maps. They are one of my favorite features of their service.

Trulia Opens API, Opens Possibilities (Can of Worms)

February 20, 2007 | 2:35 pm | |

One of the pioneers of listing mash-ups on the web, (disclaimer: I am on their advisory board) has decided to make their API available to the public. Its basically a way to tie in their search (ie listing) data for your own use. Here’s the summary from Trulia and more tech stuff from Tech Crunch.

They had their own interoffice competition which came up with a bunch of demos, two of which were posted on their web site.

Openness a great idea and I think there will be a treasure trove of uses that will evolve with this API by opening the proverbial can of worms.

My favorite of the demos created in this effort (I repeat: demos) was Plot or Not. In this application, different data sets within the Trulia domain are compared to see if they actually correlate, although it may not be a matter of cause and effect.

The screen shot I showed was (I think) pretty obvious. Average household income does correlate to average listing price.

Trulia assures me these demos were created for entertainment purposes only (they obviously know me too well).

Trulia Trends Report: February 2007 Consumer Search Patterns/Ski Resorts

February 14, 2007 | 4:10 pm | | Public |

February 2007 Trulia Trends Report

Trulia has continued to grow and evolve as a search engine destination for real estate listings nationwide. One of the benefits of their service, is they are able to track user search behavior which possibly provides clues as to where the next “hot” markets are. Each month they will look at different sub-markets and cities.

(disclosure: I am a member of Trulia’s advisory board.)

The second issue of the Trulia Trends Report was released today. Its a continuing evolution of ideas that has come as a result of the collaboration between Trulia and my firm Miller Samuel. In this month’s issue they focused on ski resort real estate and San Francisco.

Download the February 2007 Trulia Trends Report [PDF] here.

Here is Trulia’s post about the new report.

You’ve got to check out their national heat maps!

[List-o-links] 1-11-06 From The Tank: Surge and Escalation

January 11, 2007 | 9:19 am | |

Since this week is all about surges and escalation, here are a few treads from The Tank.

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Trulia Trends Report/National Heat Maps Launched Today: What Are Consumers Looking For?

January 9, 2007 | 6:37 pm | | Public |

January 2007 Trulia Trends Report

After joining the real estate party a little over a year ago, Trulia has made great strides establishing their role as a leader in the listing search business, working with Realtors rather than against them. Trulia has working agreements with 90 of the top 100 real estate brokerage firms with more on the way. (disclosure: I am a member of Trulia’s advisory board.)

They crossed the million listing milestone last year. While impressive on that point, I think its more important to note that these are clean listings, not simply raw feeds rife with errors, duplicates, stale product or junk.

I had spoken with Trulia shortly after their initial launch with the idea of developing a market report, since I found their approach to the listing process so refreshing. The finished version now being released reflects market conditions and includes consumer search behavior.

We decided wanted to break out the market by major cities rather than as a national statistic since both Trulia and myself have serious issues with the accuracy in this type of approach, despite the fact that Trulia covers all 50 states. The list of major markets will expand and so will the metrics covered, as their service is able to build more historical content with the passing of time.

Thus the Trulia Trends Report became a reality today at 9am. Its a first step with more content and analysis to come as a collaberation between Trulia and Miller Samuel.

Download the Trulia Trends Report [PDF] here.

Download the Trulia Trends Report press release [PDF] here.

Here’s Trulia’s post about the new report.

My personal favorite section of the report is the…ahem…Matrix table on the third page. Especially the favorite neighborhoods and cities columns. Manhattan, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Boston had favorite cities in different sections of the country and were most heavily concentrated on the east and west coasts. The searches originating from the remaining cities stayed within the same state or adjacent state.

Trulia National Heat Maps

This is a dynamic resource that breaks the US up by state, county, neighborhood and zip code. Consumers can see what markets got the most traffic. This is a live resource that is continually updated.

Here’s Trulia’s post about expanded Heat Maps.

Another important announcement today (to me that is): Apple developed an iPhone product to be released in June. Thank goodness, I am about to throw my Treo out the window (and I am on a high floor).

Tags: , , Announces Real Estate Advisory Board, And Yes Its Still A Big Country

December 14, 2006 | 8:52 am | | Public |

Trulia, the real estate search engine, formed an advisory board to help with strategic planning from a diverse group of real estate professionals. Here’s the release. Yours trulia truly was recently invited to join, along with a wide range of experts ranging from traditional brokers to new concept brokers representing both national and regional markets. Technology and analytical real estate types are part of the group because, after all, this is a technology venture.

Lots of opportunities to crunch new types national market data by location [hint, hint]. They now have more than one million listings. What intrigued about them from the beginning was their focus on clean, quality data rather than generic feeds with a lot of duplicates. They also collect public record information. Brokers and consumers have access to all sorts of data for free including both listing and sales data plus extras like heat maps. Cool stuff.

Still, the awareness of what this service provides to the brokerage community has remained under the radar but it is growing. Here’s a previous post about Trulia. today announced its ten-member real estate advisory board, made up of established industry leaders, who provide expertise to the national real estate search engine on its strategy for delivering consumers the best neighborhood and home search experience online. Through interactive heat maps, neighborhood guides and property listings in all 50 states, a consumer researching a home for sale on is easily connected to the property page of the real estate professional most knowledgeable about the attributes of that home: the listing broker or agent.

The new Advisory Board is comprised of a diverse, well respected group of real estate brokers and industry leaders representing markets across the country including:

  • Anthony Azar, CEO, Realty Executives Southern Arizona
  • Sherry Chris, COO, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation
  • Van Davis, Consultant and Former CEO, Foxtons
  • Michael Koval, CTO, Long and Foster Companies
  • Jonathan Miller, President/CEO, Miller Samuel Inc.
  • Robert Moles, Chairman, Intero Real Estate Services
  • Steve Ozonian, Chairman, Realty Information Systems Inc./Help-U-Sell Real Estate
  • Michael Pappas, President, The Keyes Company
  • Bob Peltier, President, Edina Realty, Inc.
  • Kaira Rouda, COO, Real Living, Inc.

Cream of the Crop UPDATE: Here’s Trulia’s blog post about the announcement.

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