Trulia eyes revenue from rental business

SAN FRANCISCO Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:09pm EDT

Pete Flint, co-founder and chief executive of Trulia, speaks at the Reuters Global Technology Summit in San Francisco, June 17, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Pete Flint, co-founder and chief executive of Trulia, speaks at the Reuters Global Technology Summit in San Francisco, June 17, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stephen Lam

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Online real estate company Trulia Inc (TRLA.N) is considering ways to generate revenue from its fast-growing rental business, possibly by introducing listing fees, Chief Executive Pete Flint told the Reuters Global Technology Summit on Monday.

Trulia's rental business is growing at about 100 percent a year and that is almost entirely on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, the CEO said at the summit in San Francisco.

"In the next couple of years we will focus on monetization," Flint said. "It's an important area for us to focus on. The market opportunity is several billion dollars."

Trulia vies with Zillow Inc (Z.O) in the U.S. online real estate sector, which is benefiting from a rebound in house prices and a move to the web by both real estate agents and buyers. Trulia shares have surged more than 80 percent so far this year, while Zillow's are up about 90 percent.

Rather than bypassing real estate professionals, Trulia generates a lot of revenue by selling ads to agents and providing them with other marketing tools to reach home buyers.

Trulia's rental business provides similar services to landlords and larger property owners. But so far, the company has not done anything to generate revenue from this, preferring to build an online market first.

Craigslist is the leading U.S. online rental website. In October, Zillow launched a free rental listing service for property managers, rental agents and landlords.

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(Reporting by Alistair Barr; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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