Archive for the ‘Ruby on Rails’ Category

The Elevator Pitch

September 20, 2006

Dear Venture Capitalists,

Over the past several months, my team and I have been working diligently on what we feel will be the business model that revolutionizes the real estate industry.  Our sophisticated, web 2.0 technology allows users to search for properties via an interactive map.  Buyers that choose to purchase a home through our online service will receive a 150% rebate on the full purchase price while perspective sellers receive $20,000 to consider using our free services.

The management team is willing to relocate to Seattle.  We have embedded our website below for your review.

 

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redfulia

stand by

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trulia – I don’t like it

September 15, 2006

trulia

Today I am going to take a look at trulia.  I am going to point out some strengths and some weaknesses, and then I will give you my take.

Strengths:

1. Although trulia is considered “web 2.0,” they have done an almost flawless job with their web 1.0 SEO efforts (with the exception of adhering to w3c standards – their San Diego listings page shows 182 errors).  The site’s architecture is set up exactly the way it should be…unfortunately, their programmers wrote some ugly code.  It’s nice to see a 2.0 company that still worries about search engines, even if their programming team is what I would consider second rate.

2. Trulia does a great job at implementing RSS feeds.  Although RSS is still very far from being main-stream, geeks love it, and it meshes nicely with real estate.

3. They have been able to do a good job with PR.  PR is the most important strategy for a web 2.0 business today.  When meeting with a VC, you get to say things like “we haven’t spent anything on advertising.”  Then you get to say things like “our growth is organic” or “our growth is viral.”  Everyone likes that.

Weaknesses:

1. No inventory.  Sure, trulia has a ton of listings…maybe 2% of the listings in each market they serve (probably less).  Why in the hell would Joe Buyer want to look at 2% of the available homes for sale in his market when he can visit any local IDX site and view everything?  So he can play with a map? 

2. Slow, slow, slow.  When you use trulia it feels like you are on a dial-up connection.  The pages take forever to load – if you accidentally mouse over something, it slows everything else down.  The site is just dreadfully slow.

3. I think the two points above are fatal.

My Take:

First: What it comes down to is this.  Using trulia is a waste of time.  If I am a serious buyer, I do not want to visit 15 websites (not even 2 websites) to see what is available.  I want to go to one website – and I do not want it to feel like I am on a 14.4 modem.  Trulia will never have a meaningful percentage of the market (unless they join every MLS in the country).

Second: As far as agents and brokers using trulia – Its pretty simple, trulia is a pimp – and if you feed them all of your listings, you are a whore.  Without your listings, trulia would not exist…they should be paying you for content…not the other way around.

Sure, they may not be charging you anything right now, but a good crack dealer never does.  When you find yourself dependent, you better believe you will be paying the piper. 

If you want to spend your time and money building businesses for other people, give me a call – I can help you out with that.

Hello Web 2.0 world!

September 14, 2006

Welcome to Real Estate 2.0. This is my first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

me

I decided to start this blog today because I needed a place to vent.  I am the founder of a small (self-funded) internet real estate startup that does not utilize any of the retarded ajax or ruby on rails technology bullshit that we see oozing all over the web.

I am a strong believer in Web 1.0 – meaning a well built, w3c compliant, search engine friendly, lots of indexed (or index-able) pages, fast loading, old fashioned type website.  You know, the kind that does not have a tag cloud, a 36+ size font, and a google map-mashup on it’s homepage.

Although I will be focusing my energy on the Real Estate 2.0 crowd – I will most likely be biting the ankles of other web 2.0 companies (outside of the real estate industry) as well.