The Houston Association of Realtors is offering its roughly 23,000 members free blogs as a marketing tool.

HAR has set up a blog directory that is open to consumer searches, and members who use the blogging platform can select from a list of categories in describing the overall blog and individual blog posts. Those members who maintain blogs hosted on other Web sites can also promote that blog through HAR’s online directory.

George Stephens, 2009 chairman of the HAR Technology Advisory Group, said in a statement, "Selecting different categories helps us more effectively promote the blogs … to the consumer."

In addition to the Member Blogs and blog directory, HAR also hosts members’ online videos, offers Web sites to members and operates the 713-Realtor phone hotline system, which allows consumers to call in for access to property listing information while generating leads for members.

The association also launched a program that allows homebuyers and sellers to rate the performance of participating Realtors (see article).

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