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Online (Advertising) is Where You Want to Be

Each year, HAR engages in an online advertising campaign to promote the use of a REALTOR® in a property transaction and HAR.com as the source for all your listings. Based on prior years’ experience, we continued our placements on Continental.com, Houston Community Newspapers and MSN sites as shown below.

Continental.com

  • Flight selection page
  • Trip itinerary page
  • Six weekly e-mails of Continental.com specials
  • Run of Site
  • All geo-targeted to Houston DMA

Houston Community Newspapers

  • Fort Bend Sun
  • West University Examiner
  • Memorial Examiner
  • Pearland Journal
  • Katy Rancher
  • Conroe Courier
  • GetHomesHouston.com

MSN

  • Behavioral targeting of Houston DMA homebuyers
  • Home refinancing and home equity loans
  • Home improvement
  • Run of Lifestyle site
  • Run of Real Estate site

We also added the local news site CultureMap, which skews female and higher income and is a great target demographic for us and our members.

CultureMap

  • Homepage sidebar
  • Section front leaderboards
  • Section front sidebars and photo essay sidebars

This year, we also tried to think of additional sites that we could add to the mix that were somewhat off the beaten path, and we thought of two specific life events that would likely lead someone to make a housing change/decision—pregnancy and marriage. We focused on TheBump.com and TheKnot.com, which are two of the biggest pregnancy and wedding sites. These sites have specifically tailored ads that talk about expanding families needing an expanding house and that a new house makes a great wedding gift. These have been among the best received ads we’ve ever done.

The Bump.com — Run of Site

TheKnot.com — Run of Site

Perhaps the most highly trafficked media site in our region is the Houston Chronicle’s Chron.com website so we had to include it in our advertising buy as well. We targeted this selection to the audiences most relevant to real estate and home buying sections of the newspaper’s site

Chron.com

  • Homes section
  • Business section
  • Life section
  • Homepage
  • Run of Site

One of the advantages of online advertising is the ability to have instant feedback and to make changes in your ad buy based on that information. We will likely shift our buy around during the next few months as we learn what works and what doesn’t.

After the online advertising campaign has ended at the beginning of September, we will report back to you what we’ve learned, as we have done each previous year, and you can use this information when you are making your own online advertising buys.

All of the surveys also show that consumers increasingly go online as the first step in the home buying process so online is where you want to be.

If you need additional convincing, a recent study published by research firm Borrell Associates showed that real estate was the second largest industry advertising online now, just behind general merchandise retailers and ahead of automotive companies. As the real estate market rebounds across the country, the online spending in the real estate sector may dip, but it will continue to be a significant part of any successful advertising campaign for the foreseeable future.

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