In a recent conversation I had with Pete Flint he said something very telling. He said, “When what you have to offer has become commoditized, the only thing to do is to commoditize yourself.”
Trulia, with their latest offering, which they’ve playfully dubbed “Trulia in a Box” and more formally known as the Trulia Publishing Platform, is doing just that. It’s allows small to medium-sized media publishers to create their own white-labeled versions of the Trulia site.
You can see a demo of the new service live at forem.trulia.com
The service will be free for all publishers and the company is aiming to entice small newspapers and regional media (as well as bloggers) to create their own Trulia portal. In addition to the demo for FOREM, Trulia is also launching sites for Kiplinger, Village Voice Media and American Towns with this release. Agents can already embed Trulia’s search tools on their sites, albeit without the unified branding.
Much like what Ning is doing around social networks (see Create Your Own Web 2.0 Site with Ning), Trulia is trying to do with real estate search. It’s a fairly obvious progression for the company, as they’ve already started to power other media properties searches (see Tipping Point for Trulia?)
The upside to publishers is that they get a fully functional real estate search engine for no upfront investment. By distributing its platform, Trulia hopes to drive more traffic to its partners listings.
I’ll be curious to see whether Trulia will get folks to bite on their new tool – and whether we’ll soon see a bunch of mini-Trulias springing up all over the web. It’s also interesting to see the company take baby steps away from its portal model. Whether or not it takes off, one thing’s for sure though, the company is not done morphing itself quite yet.