Scripps Networks today announced the launch of FrontDoor.com, a property search and resources site that is intended to draw traffic from the company’s Home and Garden Television audience.
Scripps Networks has partnered with real estate brokerage powerhouse Realogy to populate for-sale property information at the site — Realogy’s brands account for about 700,000 of the roughly 1.2 million searchable properties as of the site’s launch. In addition to HGTV, Scripps Networks also owns Food Network, DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Network, Fine Living TV Network and the Great American Country network.
Despite the slowdown in many housing markets across the country, Scripps Networks Interactive’s HGTV real estate programs are having a strong year, said Vikki Neil, vice president of the company’s real estate division.
“These shows, even in a slow market, have been receiving some of our highest rankings,” she said. HGTV’s “Secrets that Sell” ranks first and “Get it Sold” ranks second among all of the network’s shows for overall household ratings and for attracting viewers in the network’s key demographic niche: adults 25-54 and women 25-54. Both shows were launched in May 2007, and the network’s “House Hunters” and “Designed to Sell” programs also rank in the network’s top-10 list.
In addition to FrontDoor’s home-search tools, which are integrated with interactive maps, FrontDoor.com features search tools to find articles and videos in a particular market area. The site also offers educational articles and guides on a range of topics, and recurring features such as “Cool Houses Daily” and “Today’s Hot Listings.”
Neil said, “The majority of our content comes from Home and Garden Television. We are very focused on great video content.” A goal of the site is to give site visitors a sense of what it’s like to live in a community before they actually visit, she said.
The site is open to accepting feeds of property listings information from brokers, she said, and it is free for brokers to display listings at the site. “At some point we will roll out some advanced advertising opportunities.” The site isn’t yet accepting property listings information from individual agents and homeowners.
Site development began about 90 days ago, Neil said, and there are plans to add additional functionality to the site over time. In 2008 there are plans to launch a promotional campaign to alert consumers about the site.
John Lansing, president of Scripps Networks, said in a statement, “FrontDoor closes the loop for the millions of home enthusiasts who know and trust HGTV as a valued resource, while also supporting the business strategy of strengthening our footprint in the home space online as well as on-air. With our family of brands, we are able to provide … information to consumers covering the entire home-ownership lifecycle — from search and decision-making with FrontDoor, to decoration and personalization with HGTV, maintenance and remodeling with DIY Network and HGTV Pro, then preparation to sell and start the cycle again with FrontDoor.”
And Alex Perriello, president and CEO of the Realogy Franchise Group, said in a statement, “This is a terrific fit with our online listings distribution strategy where we are actively placing our respective brands’ property listings with the most highly trafficked online search engines and the most relevant Web sites used by today’s home buyers and sellers.”