A private investment firm that purchased the publisher of The Real Estate Book in 2012 has acquired another venerable real estate marketing brand, Homes & Land, saying local print advertising remains “a very strong business model.”
Both The Real Estate Book and Homes & Land publish local real estate magazines in hundreds of markets across North America, power consumer-facing listing portals, and offer mobile, social and direct mail marketing tools for real estate professionals, Lion Equity Partners said in a press release.
Lion Equity subsidiary Real Estate Media Holdings LLC bought Homes & Land along with Estates & Homes, Rental Guide and Home Guide from Endurance Business Media Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Lion Equity acquired NewPoint Media Group — the publisher of The Real Estate Book, New Home Finder, Senior Living Choices, Mature Living Choices, and other publications — in June 2012.
“Real estate marketing and, specifically, locally distributed print advertising, is a very strong business model,” said Ari Silverman, Lion Equity Partners co-founder and partner, in a statement.
“Reaching local buyers and sellers is paramount to an agent’s business, and hyperlocal offline advertising does that very effectively. We’ve experienced this with The Real Estate Book and feel that adding Homes & Land will strengthen our investment in the industry and further build the return to our investors.”
Given Zillow’s planned acquisition of Trulia, Lion Equity Partners feels the two magazines will give consumers and agents “a compelling and competitive offering that delivers a truly integrated media opportunity with print, digital, social and online,” Silverman said.
Although spending on newspaper ads continues to free-fall, spending for “other print,” especially homes magazines like The Real Estate Book and Homes & Land, was anticipated to rise 45.6 percent in 2013, to $480 million, according to a 2013 real estate advertising study from research and consulting firm Borrell Associates Inc.
Such an increase indicates “that they have some usefulness,” Gordon Borrell, the firm’s CEO, said in the report.
Real estate magazines’ continued presence shows that the need to please sellers with demonstrative marketing efforts is still one of the three key motivators for real estate advertising, Borrell said, along with an effort to actually sell homes and generate leads.
“Many would have you believe consumers shop for homes exclusively using the Web,” said Scott Dixon, president of NewPoint Media Group, in a statement.
“Our experience is that when a consumer is in the zone, in terms of shopping for a home, any and all information regarding the most important financial investment in their lives is deemed relevant and useful.”
In addition, local real estate magazines offer a way for agents to distinguish themselves from competitors who rely solely on their company’s website and Zillow or Trulia, Dixon said.
“Zillow and Trulia … have effectively become a public MLS system, while our offering is targeted to showcase those premier agents who offer their clients marketing services above and beyond simple Web exposure,” he said.
Agents who also advertise in print inspire a higher level of credibility among consumers, said Allen Harrod, president of Homes & Land, in a statement.
“They realize that this agent is a professional who makes a conscious decision to invest in quality advertising, a step above just anyone who puts their photo and phone number online,” he said.
Homes & Land and The Real Estate Book will remain separate from each other, and will be run independently with their own management, sales, customer support and marketing teams, said Jim Levitas, partner of Lion Equity, in a statement.