- Real estate agents can use advertise with a community calendar aggregator to burnish their brands.
- Advertisers get branded calendars they can share with their network.
Marina Kolmer, a New Rochelle, New York-based associate broker at Houlihan Lawrence, believes in burnishing her brand by sharing local news and events with her network.
Recently, she found a way to really nail this tactic: by advertising with a service that aggregates local events and happenings into a community calendar hub.
Burbio scoops up calendars from the websites of community organizations and services, like libraries, local government and schools, and plops them into a central repository where residents can easily browse a wide-ranging collection of local events.
Advertisers also appear on burbio.com next to numerous calendars and a curated events feed that plucks some of the most noteworthy events from the startup’s batch of calendars.
Where does Burbio operate?
Burbio currently covers a little more than 100 towns, but it can churn out calendar hubs in a day, according to founder Dennis Roche. If agents outside Burbio’s current coverage area want to advertise with the service, then Burbio is willing to launch in their market lickety-split, he said.
The reason Burbio can expand so quickly is because about 80 percent of library, school and government websites already provide calendar feeds that can integrated with other calendars — such as those powered by iCal or Google Calendars — or imported onto other websites.
Using these feeds can be cumbersome, however, so they often remain untapped.
Burbio has turned the process into a science to create hubs where community members can pick and choose local events from various calendars and drop them into personal calendars on Burbio.
Shared group calendars and key ad placement
Burbio users can also create group calendars to share with friends, family or peers. They can then synchronize their Burbio calendars with calendars powered by Apple’s iCal or Google Calendar, if they use either service to manage their schedules.
Roche sees Burbio as filling a void left by local newspapers, which have struggled to stay afloat in the digital age.
“Local media has imploded in many ways,” he said. “Even basic info can be hard to get now.”
Agents who pay Burbio anywhere from $100 to $200 a month get ads placed alongside calendars covering their communities that users can view on burbio.com. They also receive weekly calendars stamped with their branding that they can share through email or on Facebook. In addition, sponsors can embed Burbio calendar feeds on their websites.
Kolmer said she can’t attribute any business to her Burbio advertising so far.
But the point of being a sponsor with Burbio, she said, is to establish herself as a community expert, not to capture lasso leads.
“A lot of my sphere of influence is looking at Facebook all day and LinkedIn, and they want to know what’s coming up this weekend for their kids,” she said.