Are you looking to buy or rent a house? Perhaps instead of searching online, you would rather whip out your trusty iPhone and simply click "Find Homes Nearby"? That's the basic idea behind Trulia Real Estate Search. What started out as a "skunk works" project at the San Francisco-based Trulia, has now exceeded all of the company's expectations. Yesterday, I spoke with Pete Flint, Founder and CEO of Trulia, to learn more about the application and it's success. Trulia's original goal was to create an application that did one thing really well - allow consumers to find open houses near them. Rather than delaying entry into the market and building a "fat application", they developed Trulia Real Estate Search with a core set of basic features and a the plan to upgrade it frequently over time.
Some important lessons can be learned from Trulia's approach to "launching early and often!" When it comes to developing for any new platform, time to market is crucial! Coming out early gives you a "first-mover advantage" and allows you to establish a beachhead from which to grow your user-base. Pete also stressed the importance of soliciting feedback from users in an effort to help guide the development of the product and I couldn't agree with him more. The idea is to come out with something basic (but useful), and then let users (not developers) decide which features they want. Pete assured me that all the feature requests made by early adopters will make their way into the next version of the application.
Since its release, a little over four weeks ago on August 21, Trulia Real Estate Search has enjoyed over 60,000 downloads and is one of only three applications that focuses on real estate. If you are in the market for real estate, be sure to give Trulia Real Estate Search a try. It may not have every bells and whistles imaginable (yet), but it will get the job done!