Pete Flint, who leads online real estate search and marketing firm Trulia as its CEO and co-founder, discusses mobile and social technology tools and trends during an Inman News video interview at Inman’s Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco in July 2011.

Flint notes in the video that about 40 percent of consumers find their real estate agent via word of mouth and referrals, noting that the company has built tools that tap the power of social media as a potential source for referrals. During a session at the July 2011 Real Estate Connect conference, Flint said, "Agents are the biggest offline social network in the world."

In the video, Flint also highlights consumer confusion due to the abundance of real estate information online and the downturn in the real estate market. He referred to the "super-abundant" volume of Web info, which he says can almost overwhelm consumers. Providing context for consumers can serve to alleviate that confusion, he said.

"Consumers today, as you think about how they view real estate — they’re more confused than ever before because of all the scary headlines that they read. So the job of the industry is to help to turn that information into context and make it easily digestible, and I think that’s a big challenge for the industry," Flint states in the video interview.

Consumer activity on mobile devices vs. on a desktop computer is akin to snacking vs. a full meal, Flint says. "It’s a very different user experience."

Trulia has worked to cater its apps to these different appetites, he says. "Going to the website is like a meal. The website is a much more in-depth experience. Mobile is about short, quick, precision information discovery." Tablets, meanwhile are "playful" devices by nature, he says, best suited for discovery and exploration. 

Trulia last week announced two new executive hires, including new Chief Financial Officer Sean Aggarwal and Scott Darling, the company’s new general counsel, and Trulia last year announced pursuit of an initial public offering. Competitor Zillow completed a successful IPO last year.

Ginger Wilcox, head of training for Trulia, is scheduled to speak at the Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs from Jan. 11-13, 2012, at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square.

Freelance writer Mary Umberger contributed to this report.

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