ASK: Develop a communications strategy in two weeks flat
To make Trulia known for its differentiator, the neighborhood feature. This tool is meant to help users discover more about their neighborhood before they make a move but many users are unaware of the tool and it's benefits.
We scavenged online forums and reddit threads, did one-on-one interviews, and held a focus group of recent movers all to try and hear from the source how important finding the perfect neighborhood really is.
Trulia’s neighborhood discovery tools may be a good differentiator on paper, but that’s not how people are using Trulia in real life. Our research showed that users are instead using Trulia’s neighborhood information as more of a “report card” for properties they’ve already found. While they may use the platform to check crime rates around a property before they visit it with their realtor, they hardly use it for true “neighborhood discovery”.
In our focus group we learned that people are often using all of the real estate apps at once (and even a few online platforms that aren’t meant for real estate), but the most important tool cited for finding the right neighborhood was still social. Whether it be online or off, real life social connections or online reviews, people still trust word of mouth over every other source to give them the personalized information they need to make a decision.
While the desire to find the “right” neighborhood is universal, each person’s criteria for what is “right” is wildly different. Our priorities are as varied as our personalities. This means self discovery and reflection are a crucial part of a successful home search thats a perfect fit for what the individual wants.
While we all recognize that your neighborhood often ends up dictating how you live your day to day life, our research showed that most home seekers want it to be the other way around. Thankfully Trulia has the tools to help so users can let your lifestyle choose your neighborhood, not the other way around.
Through our research we identified three different stages or mindsets of the home seeker. We believe the best opportunity for this messaging to shine is for the dreamers and the browsers. These people often haven’t yet contacted a realtor and are putting in the time and research on their own. They're reflecting on their preferences and seeking personalized information, and that’s where we fit in perfectly.
We also realized that young dreamers provide a unique opportunity because they are most in need of the self discovery and practical information this new strategy aims to provide. Not only are they likely making their first big move, but research shows they’re likely to move 8 more times throughout their life, so getting in on the ground floor with this group could lead to a lifelong relationship with our brand.
WHERE DO WE FIND YOUNG DREAMERS?
Young people poised to make their first big move can easily be found on college campuses across America in the months leading up to graduation. By telling them the practical information they need as well as encouraging them to reflect on what it is they want out of a neighborhood, we can introduce them to the benefits of Trulia and encourage them to become ambassadors for our brand.
Our goal after our conducting our research was to transform Trulia from just another outlet for information and stats to a discovery brand that provides useful and personalized feedback to create more informed and open minded consumers. We see this as important for Trulia because it not only provides value to our customers but also the real estate professionals they will ultimately work with as they move into the “signers stage”.
MY FAVORITE PART OF THIS PROJECT WAS...
learning great tips from recent movers that I can use during my next big move!
STRATEGIST: ELIZA HADJIS & HUNTER KELLY