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TruliaCEO_PeteFlintAs a part of a discussion today at MobileBeat about developing mobile marketplaces, Trulia’s CEO Pete Flint gave an unconventional tip about disrupting a marketplace: Get your start in a recession.

While a massive housing crisis wouldn’t seem like a great opportunity for a startup that focuses on buying a house, Flint said that it was a great opportunity to upend the status quo in the real estate market and grow Trulia’s business.

Here’s how Flint, whose 8-year-old company recently agreed to buy Kirkland-based Market Leader for $355 million, put it:

“…Trulia was so much more valuable in 2008, 2009, when there was a lot of anxiety, and a lot of the incumbents were knocked sideways. And so I think for the audience, if they’re thinking about is an economic downturn the worst time or the best time to enter a marketplace, if you can raise the money, it’s the best time. Because the incumbents are knocked sideways, and you can build the participants in the market and they will give you a little bit more leeway until you develop the (consumer) side (of your business).”

Of course, managing to successfully find funding in a recession is easier said than done. Trulia. like its rival Zillow, was able to navigate the choppy fundraising climate through a series of venture rounds.

Now, publicly-traded, Trulia’s stock has soared in recent months as the housing market has improved. The stock is up more than 105 percent this year, and Trulia now boasts a market value of $1.07 billion. That compares to Zillow’s value of $2.1 billion.

Previously on GeekWire: Real estate dorks unite: Trulia developing a Google Glass app

Editor’s note: GeekWire’s Blair Hanley Frank will be reporting this week from the Inman Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco. Stay tuned for updates. 

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