sees profit and demand for its private shares, despite rough real estate market

October 12, 2010

Real estate Web site has hit an important milestone: the company is now profitable, according to CEO Pete Flint.

Trulia has been in the black for the past two months, Flint told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday, as the web site’s visitors and advertisers have continue to grow at a healthy pace.

PeteFlintUnique visitors to Trulia’s Web site, which offers listings for home sales and rentals, now total 9 million, up from 6 million visitors at this time last year, said Flint. The company’s revenue is growing at 100 percent clip, though Flint would not divulge the amount of money that Trulia is making.

The last few years have been a “roller coaster” ride for anyone in the real estate business, Flint said, but he said that he believed the housing market was slowly recovering.

Trulia competes with Zillow in the online real estate listings business, and shares of the privately-held San Francisco company are among the most sought after by investors who buy stock in private companies. According to a report by SecondMarket, an online market for trading shares in private companies, Trulia was among the companies that saw the greatest percentage of increase in interest among investors during the third quarter, alongside private firms like Groupon, Pandora and Zipcar.

Flint said the company does not currently work with SecondMarket, but is evaluating whether to let its 165 employees sell their private shares in Trulia to investors.

“At some point enabling shareholder liquidity will happen, absolutely. We just haven’t made any immediate decisions on that right now. I think we’re still a little bit early. And we don’t know enough about the trading platforms right now,” Flint said.

An IPO, meanwhile, is something that may make sense at some point, but isn’t a high priority right now, Flint said.

So what’s next? Flint hinted a new products in the pipeline that will allow Trulia to branch out from its current offerings of home sales and home rental listings.

“In 2011 we’ll be focused more on homeowners,” said Flint.

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[…] of $20 per share. But there are some notable differences between the two companies: Trulia hit profitable operations a year ago, while Zillow only hit profitability after its July IPO; and in the past Flint has noted […]

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