How does Trulia make money?

Steven Loeb · October 2, 2015 · Short URL:

Trulia makes most of its money from subscription products, along with some revenue from advertising

The truth is that I am really far away from having enough money to buy a house. So far, in fact, that it seems like something that may never happen. 

I hope it does, one day, and in that case I would go to Truila,the real estate site that provides tools and information for home buyers, as well as renters, including price trend information to if the neighborhood is going up or down, crime maps to see how safe it is, information on local schools, and even calculated commute times.

It will also help calculate mortgages, and help connect buyers and sellers with real estate agents and brokers. 

Since linking to property listings is free for sellers, as is browsing listings for prospective buyers, how does the company make money? In two different ways: its primary revenue stream comes from sales of subscription products to real estate professionals, which are designed to increase their visibility on the site, promote their listings in search results, and generate more high-quality leads from potential home buyers.

Trulia sells three different plans: the Basic Plan, which costs $30 a month for one featured listing; the Plus Plsn, which costs $70 a month for three featured listings; and the Deluxe Plan, which costs $200 for 10 featured listings. 

Subscribers get a pro membership badge on their listing. They also receive a text message or phone call when they receive a lead; they can listen to messages, calls, and manage leads all in one place using their personal Trulia phone number.

They also get additional lead info to identify serious buyers. Details may include move timeframe, pre-approval status and if the buyer is already working with an agent.

In the third quarter of 2014, the last time that Trulia released its earnings before its acquisition by Zillow for $3.5 billion, which was completed in February of this year, it made $55.8 million from this revenue stream.

The other revenue stream for Trulia consists of display advertising that is sold to leading real estate and consumer brand advertisers. The company made significantly less money, $11.3 million, from this stream as of this time last year.

Despite taking in over $67 million in revenue, Trulia still managed to find itself $23 million in the red, with the majorty of its money, $38 million, going to sales and marketing. It's next biggest expense was technology and development, which cost it $14 million. 

San Francisco-based Trulia was founded in 2006 by Pete Flint and Sami Inkinen. The company raised over $33 million, including raising a $10 million Series C in 2007, led by Sequoia Capital, as well as previous investors Accel Partners and Fayez Sarofim & Co., and raising a $15 million Series D in 2008, from Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners.

(Image source:

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Making Money" series

More episodes