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The Benefits of Targeted Advertising: Real Estate Magazines Aren’t Just for Real Estate

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RISMEDIA, March 29, 2007- Virtually every type of business can benefit from this "mover market;" the trick is finding an effective way to reach this segment of the market at the crucial moment-right at the beginning of the home-prep-for-selling process and the home search process for buyers.

Forty million people a year-over three million every month-move to a different home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. During the home selling, buying and moving process, consumers have a need for a large variety of goods and services. Once they're in their new home, they'll need to find new providers for almost everything. Targeted print publications are the perfect venue for businesses to reach this market segment in a way that is both timely and cost-efficient.

Real estate brokers and agents have long recognized the value of advertising in Harmon Homes' targeted real estate print publications and on HarmonHomes.com, but many related businesses are missing out. Consumers spend about $170 billion annually on move-related expenses, spending more within the first 90 days of moving than they will over the next four years. Purchasing a new home is one of the most exciting events in a person's life, and people want to show off their new investment, so they will be spending for necessities and extras for months.

The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) states, "Many persons in the home improvement industry have long suspected that above average levels of home improvement activity occur just prior to the sale of a previously owned home as it gets readied for sale as well as in the new one moved into for the next one to two years out, whether it is a newly constructed or previously owned or occupied one."

HIRI further adds, "Just because a person or family moves into a newly constructed home doesn't mean that nothing remains to be done to make it more livable, functional, presentable and comfortable for its new owners."

Harmon Homes publications offer businesses to cash in on the "mover market" because they reach buyers and sellers right as they enter the market. In addition, they are likely to hold onto the book for weeks, even months, viewing it as their "wish book," giving prolonged exposure to all ads in the magazine.

People moving to a new town or across town will be searching for new providers of all types goods and services. Remember: their previous providers are back in their former location, and it is essential for businesses to reach these consumers before the competition does.

Today's home buyer and seller market can be divided into four distinct generational groups: Generation Y, Generation X, Baby Boomers and Traditionalists. The younger generations prefer Internet while the older generations prefer print. With so many groups of people searching for homes in so many different ways, there is no one method that reaches everyone. It is essential for businesses to implement a marketing strategy that integrates print and Internet to target all these groups with a variety of methods. Choosing a single method of advertising will completely ignore a large portion of the home buyer and seller market, leaving a significant number of consumers without your message.

Although employing a variety of search methods is essential in any business model today, methods such as online search engines, for example, can be extremely expensive, and quite often, ineffective because you're lost in the crowd. Entering a search for "home improvement" into a major search engine returns over 100 million results. However, picking up a Harmon Homes magazine or searching HarmonHomes.com will give a home buyer or seller a phone number, e-mail address, and Web site URL for businesses in the their local area. This total marketing approach provides advertisers with search engine marketing (SEM) that is far more targeted and cost-effective than major search engines. With just a single click, buyers and sellers can link to advertisers' Web sites for more information.

In addition to having ads in print and on industry-leading Web sites, Harmon Homes advertisers get their ads online as interactive digital eBooks on eHarmonHomes.com. eBooks are exact replicas of the print publications, ideal for the out-of-area relocation buyer. eBooks contain links to the advertiser's Web site and e-mail for easy contacting, and are also available before the respective publications even hit the street. Businesses can also purchase banner ads on HarmonHomes.com for a national presence. Advertising with Harmon Homes in print, online at HarmonHomes.com, and on our eBooks site, eHarmonHomes.com, provides a full circle of advertising, ensuring total reach of buyer and seller segments, providing some of the most effective and cost-efficient SEM available today.

A study recently featured on Yahoo! Finance analyzed companies with the most potential profit gain on the mover market. It was concluded that many companies whose products and services are essential to the move do not target consumers at critical decision-making points in the moving process. Many companies market through mass media advertising outlets rather than utilizing a targeted reach, thus ignoring a segment of the market that could be providing them with a significant source of revenue.

"Home buyers and sellers are busy and value the convenience our publications offer by putting all the information in one resourceful place," explained Dave Mangold, vice president of business development for Harmon Homes. "We position our magazines and our Web site, HarmonHomes.com, as a reference source for the home buyer. We just target. Period. We target the segmented consumer in the home buying and selling process, and we have better reach capability than any other media when it comes to impacting that audience. Our magazines and Web sites do not create a need or want for a new house; our readers already have that. Our specialty is providing research and reference material to those who have already decided to buy a home. We don't create the need for a home inspector, mortgage lender, insurance agent, mechanic, or moving company; we provide the contact information to people who have already established the need for such a business."

"We recently launched our National Advantage Program, allowing businesses to advertise in our targeted print publications and on our Web site to reach over 140 mover markets nationwide with a single ad," explained Ernie Blood, executive vice president of Dominion Homes Media. "It's simple: if your prospects are buyers or sellers of real estate, then it only makes sense to advertise in our magazines."

For more information on the National Advantage Program, call (866) 860-8665, e-mail GetTheAdvantage@dominionenterprises.com or visit www.HarmonHomes.com.

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