Trulia Neighborhoods App Gives Homebuyers Aerial Views of Communities

The real estate search engine rolled out the in-app dashboard which uses drones to capture footage above the neighborhoods of potential homebuyers.

PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

Real estate search engine Trulia announced Trulia Neighborhoods today, an in-app dashboard that provides users with convenient photo galleries, drone footage, reviews, and photography of the communities being perused in order for potential homebuyers to get a better sense of the neighborhoods they’re considering moving into. According to VentureBeat, the Zillow-owned real estate search engine amassed aerial footage from over 300 neighborhoods in Chicago, Austin, Texas, and San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, California. 

“Prior to Trulia Neighborhoods, there wasn’t a resource that showed consumers what life is really like in a neighborhood,” said Tim Correia, senior VP and general manager at Trulia. “Our research found consumers were determined to find this type of information and even developed a series of hacks to source these valuable insights. It was clear it was time to rebuild the home and neighborhood discovery experience from the ground up and empower consumers with all the information to make the best decision for themselves.”

When it comes to drones and real estate, the primary industry use case thus far has revolved around inspection and utilitarian purposes. Surveying land or ensuring that a brewery’s ceiling has retained its structural integrity for insurance purposes, for instance, have comprised most of the conversation in recent months. 

Aerial footage and photography skills, of course, have become a skill with increasingly high demand in their own right, however, as newsgathering services and documentary crews have found vast benefits in utilizing unmanned camera-drones to garner the data they need more efficiently. Today’s announcement by Trulia seems to be prodding the rest of us to realize that drones are capable of maximizing far disparate, seemingly non-related industries, as well.

The national launch of Trulia Neighborhoods on the web, iOS, and Android devices began this week, and the company seemed more than ready to provide extremely practical information to its user base than ever. It isn’t just the aerial footage and photography on display here that distinguishes the service from its competitors, but social and legislative information, as well. 

Trulia reportedly draws on 16 million data points, ranging from Yelp reviews of local restaurants and businesses, public records indicating crime rates and safety levels, and even Local Legal Protection which allows potential homebuyers to assess whether or not the region has laws against sexual orientation or gender identity. "For us, the mission is to create a more neighborly world,” Correia told VentureBeat. "We’re trying to help prospective home buyers understand what’s going on and bring a voice to people in the neighborhood. It’s all about getting a quick sense of what’s going on."

In terms of giving users a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding environment, Trulia claimed 85 percent of its customers planning on purchasing a home in the next 18 months said that the neighborhood is just as, if not more important than the property itself.