Bonnie Cha

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Trulia Thinks Outside the Search Box for Smarter House-Hunting

Buying a house is already stressful enough, so Trulia wants to ease some of the pain — at least when it comes to finding your perfect home.


Today, the real estate site released a new feature called Trulia Suggests, which aims to provide smarter and more personalized search results by learning your preferences.

Now live on Trulia’s website, each home listing features a “Like” or “Hide” button. Once you’ve “Liked” a property, Trulia Suggests uses that information to surface similar properties, while filtering out homes that resemble those you’ve hidden.

In addition, users can click a “Follow” button to get email and mobile alerts about a property.

Lee Clancy, vice president of consumer products at Trulia, likened it to the personalized recommendations features on Netflix and Amazon.

“Rather than saying here’s a search box and here are your results, we want to empower consumers with better and easier tools for finding a home,” said Clancy in an interview with AllThingsD. “Instead of inferring from checked boxes, we now have the ability to look at a user’s patterns and help them discover a new property they might not have seen through traditional search.”

Trulia Suggests was developed by the company’s data-science team several months ago, and uses a proprietary algorithm to come up with the personalized search results.


Trulia Suggests is just one way the company is trying to differentiate itself from competitors like Zillow and Homesnap, which launched a new website and announced plans for an Android app yesterday.

Providing the best user experience and access to user-generated content, like neighborhood reviews and ratings, are also key focus areas for Trulia, Clancy said.

Though launching just on the website today, Trulia plans to roll out the feature to its iOS and Android apps next quarter. After that, it plans to bring Trulia Suggests to rental listings, and envisions using the technology to help users find real estate agents and more.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald