Now, the company is embarking on a real relationship with ActiveRain, the real estate blogging platform. Trulia acquired ActiveRain in July 2013, as part of its acquisition of Market Leader, and beginning now, all ActiveRain blogs will be branded with Trulia’s URL. ActiveRain.com has become ActiveRain.Trulia.com.
ActiveRain announced the change to its more than 250,000 members yesterday in a post on the site. The post says that the members of the site contribute over 25,000 new posts to the site each month. Now each of those posts will be available and accessible from Trulia’s site as well.
“Trulia.com has over 35 million unique visitors coming to their domain every month,” ActiveRain’s post states. “So in a bold move, we are combining the ActiveRain.com domain with the Trulia.com domain. Our own SEO experts, as well as a number of outside experts we have consulted, believe that the two domains combined will be stronger than either domain standing alone.”
According to the post, ActiveRain will remain an “independent community of real estate professionals that encourages open discourse, sharing ideas and growing as a community.”
ActiveRain’s post announcing the change also features a FAQ section about the change. It attempts to preemptively assuage some of the concerns ActiveRain’s members may have about the change.
In a section titled, “Why would I help Trulia? Don't they get most of their traffic by taking my listings and then selling the leads back to me? Now they are going to take my content and find some way to sell that traffic back to me...”, the ActiveRain team tells its members that the listing agent always receives the leads on their listings for free.
“Hundreds of thousands of agents also maintain a profile on Trulia and are being found by consumers through the Trulia agent directory,” the post continues. “As a blogger on ActiveRain, you have the potential to get more traffic to your blog as we leverage Trulia’s 35+ million consumer visits per month and its domain authority towards continuing to build the presence of ActiveRain. We believe that this relationship will bring more eyeballs to the blog posts you write.”
Trulia’s co-founder Pete Flint posted a blog of his own on ActiveRain announcing the change and telling ActiveRain’s members, “I admire the passion and strong sense of community that you have built with ActiveRain. It’s an authentic place that was created with a lot of hard work by its members.”
He continued, “We believe that combining Trulia’s 35 million consumer visits per month with the enormous amount of blogging content on ActiveRain is a great fit. We intend this to be a great move for both websites.”
The comments from ActiveRain’s members on both posts have been mostly positive, but there is some trepidation among ActiveRain's membership. The site’s homepage features four blog posts from ActiveRain members about the change and their feelings about it.
One post states, “Issues and concerns surrounding this change are not at all an elephant in the room. Instead, I’d say they are probably just a tiny fly that you don’t even notice. I don’t give a lick that activerain.com is now activerain.trulia.com. That doesn’t change who I am, what I’ve learned, how I conduct my business, or what I will do on the site. It doesn’t change how we can benefit from the network, and how the network can launch your career.”
But another poster says, “In conclusion I fear the lack of service and willingness to push their (Trulia’s) active users out of the way in order to charge for everything under the sun will make it's way to AR. Like I said, I could not get a feature if the feature board was the ocean and I fell out of a boat so you may not see me for another month or so for speaking up. Yes I love new features, but they have not fixed their old baggage which leads consumers to ask ‘if the site is for real?’”
Other posters call the change “a VERY good thing” and offer “congrats to the ActiveRain crew for taking a pretty bold step.”
What, if any, impact there will be on the ActiveRain members or on the Trulia members is yet to be seen. But it’s certainly an interesting development. Will the relationship bear fruit or end in a messy public divorce? We'll soon find out.