The package (which runs $39 a month) gives you unlimited “Feature Listings” (meaning participants get their listings floated to the top of the search results) and unlimited Local Spotlight Ads – Trulia’s new take on self-service ad concept.
Trulia CEO Pete Flint gave me a demo of the system recently and it looked pretty straightforward. Ads are easy enough to create (in fact, if you have a profile on Trulia already it’ll prepopulate the ad with your photo). You can add a tagline and a URL to your web site or blog (no-follow’d, natch).
When buying your ads you can pick to have them run in zip codes, neighborhood or cities. You can choose up to 20 locations when checking out (and change them later on if you want to tweak the campaign). Ads show up on Trulia’s search results pages, mid way down the right column.
Nothing terribly new here; Zillow already has its EZ Ads pay-as-you-go platform and Realtor.com has long offered up geographic regions to own. Trulia’s twist is they are offering unlimited impressions – so you’re not paying for a set amount of views. They’re throwing all the pageviews into a bucket and divvying them up according to how many people are wanting to be there.
(It is proportional however, meaning those who have fewer locations overall get more impressions in the areas they have chosen to mark.)
Flint made a good point when I spoke with him that fortune will favor the early adopters – the more people piling into the mix later on means the fewer impressions go around. If you get in early, right now you can own a city – for a while at least. Portland Real Estate is up for grabs, for example.
And Trulia is definitely trying to goose this out of the gates and poach some ad dollars from from their competitors by offering a Trulia Pro promo for the first three months free for current EZ Ad or Realtor.com advertisers.
My biggest concern with the ads however, is the placement on the page is poor so I doubt it draw many eyeballs beyond the initial curiosity phase. Past that, I’m also not sure how many home buyers will actually click through on any of the ads, making the ROI questionable in the long run even with the low monthly costs.
It’ll be interesting to see and hear what people’s experiences are running Local Spotlight ads. And, for that matter, any of the other self-service ad platforms that exist out there already.