Print and online publisher Homes & Land is offering its advertisers featured listings on Yahoo! Real Estate — and the company says it will be the only real estate media company doing so for several months under an exclusive agreement.
Homes & Land, which also has alliances with sites like Trulia, Zillow and the Wall Street Journal’s RealEstateJournal.com, says the deal represents a deepening of the company’s decade-long relationship with Yahoo, which online metrics company Hitwise ranks second only to Realtor.com among real estate related Web sites.
"We’ve got over 20 partners right now, and we partnered with Yahoo at least 10 years ago," said Rob Wicker, Homes & Land’s chief marketing officer. "This is really just an expansion of our relationship."
Until now, that relationship was not a revenue-generating one — Homes & Land, like other real estate publishers and portals, has been sending Yahoo! listings on behalf of Realtor clients.
Now, Homes & Land will earn what amounts to a commission when those clients choose to upgrade their listings to "featured" status in order to receive more prominent placement.
Featured listings land on top of Yahoo! Real Estate’s local search results pages, increasing exposure and generating higher click-through rates and views than nonfeatured listings, Yahoo says.
Homes & Land has built the capability to buy upgrades for listings into the control panel on HomesAndLand.com, where Realtors input listings to be advertised Homes & Land and its partner sites. Realtors can also use the control panel to buy featured listings on HomesAndLand.com and RealEstateJournal.com.
The ability to purchase a Yahoo! Real Estate featured listing was introduced on Oct. 15, and in a little over a week Homes & Land sold more than 1,500 upgrades, Wicker said. That number is expected to grow as users get comfortable with the new capability, he said.
Homes & Land also sells print ads in about 330 monthly publications produced by 175 publishers in local markets. Chief Executive Officer Pat Nadler said that while the company is getting more involved in online, "we’re not going to forget the print side of our business, because we feel like we can be a one-stop shop for agents."
Although newspapers have been hit hard by a downturn in real estate-related ad spending, Homes & Land has been less vulnerable to the downturn, Nadler said.
The company’s monthly publications are an affordable way for Realtors to take a more targeted approach to print advertising, he said. Not everyone who buys a newspaper is interested in real estate. But by definition, those who pick up Homes & Land and its partner publications are in the market to buy or sell.
That makes the print publications a good place not only for listings, but for agents to brand themselves, Nadler said. Buyers and sellers who pick the publications up, he said, "see which Realtors are aggressive in marketing, and who has the resources to market themselves."
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