Fellow Phoenix area real estate blogger Steve Belt had a great post today about “opting out” of Trulia Voices.
For those not aware, Trulia Voices is a web based “Q&A” area where ostensibly anyone — agents, buyers, sellers, lenders, the curious — can post questions which are then open to being answered by, in theory, someone qualified to answer.
The problem as Steve outlines (as have I and others, particularly yet another Phoenix real estate blogger Jonthan Dalton) is that Voices has a “point system” that ranks agents based on the number of answers they provide — apparently with zero regard to the quality of said answer. This ranking systems leads to a feeding frenzy amongst real estate professionals as they submit answer after answer in the hopes of climbing the ladder to be anointed “The Best” voice.
So what you get is some agent from Maine that most likely can’t find Gilbert, Arizona on a map answering a question specific to the Gilbert real estate market.
Voices is full of, “Call me I can help!” answers, or “Ask your Realtor for specifics” — which is fundamentally a worthless answer for a “consumer” seeking help.
Steve said in his post:
In response, I’ve decided I can no longer associate myself with Trulia Voices. I look at it as an example of guilt by association. If I blindly continue to ignore the problem, in effect I am part of the problem, not the solution.
. . .
So I’ve decided the best solution for me is to opt out. I’m not going to answer questions from Trulia users at Trulia Voices any longer. If I find a question I like, that I want to discuss, I’ll discuss it here. I suppose you could say, I’m on strike from Trulia Voices.
Unfortunately, I’ll be joining Steve on the Voices picket line. Sad, because it had such potential as a conduit for folks with real estate questions to get answers. All Trulia has to do to fix the problem with Voices is eliminate the silly ranking system. Yes, there will be far fewer people answering questions, but who really needs the guy in Long Beach telling the person wondering about Scottsdale schools what to do? End the ranking system, and you’ll find Trulia Voice answers from local agents and experts who know the market and want to help.
Pete Flint, the Founder and CEO of Trulia, commented on this blogs “Why Trulia Voices Drives me Crazy!” with:
. . . However now there has been a significant increase in usage and a wide spectrum in the quality of answers, we are working on rethinking this and building out a better way to rank contributors . . .
Well Pete, it’s been just over two months since that comment and if anything it’s gotten worse on Voices. I’ll just sit out until when/if something really changes…
[tags]Trulia Voices, great ideas gone bad[/tags]