RISMEDIA, Feb. 6, 2007-Home buyers today are looking for one-stop shopping now more than ever before. Paging through the Sunday paper's real estate section is a thing of the past. Targeted publications like Harmon Homes magazines and HarmonHomes.com aim to assist home buyers' in one convenient stop, unlike searching through the newspaper's meager section of real estate properties, says the company.
Targeted print publications offer a cost-effective way to advertise by targeting your marketing dollars. Consider the audience for each publication: newspapers are a form of mass media directed at everyone, which is what makes them so costly; targeted print publications are designed specifically for those in the real estate market. Since people only go through the home buying process approximately once every seven years, only about 3-5% of people are actually looking at the real estate section at any given time. So why pay to advertise in the newspaper-the most expensive place to advertise-when only four out of every hundred people will view your listings?
When advertising in targeted print publications, you're only paying to advertise to those who are picking the magazine up, which are those people in the home buying market. Harmon Homes conducts market research studies to determine where the best locations are and how many consumers are picking up magazines, so you only pay for what is actually used.
Another advantage targeted print has over newspaper is its shelf life. Newspapers generally last about three days before being thrown away, and are only on the streets for one day. Research has shown that a targeted print magazine lasts an average of 30 days and has a shelf life of the same amount of time. These books are held onto for longer periods of time, becoming a home buyer's "wish book." They can read through the magazine, circle ads they're interested in, and then share their findings with their spouse, friends, and family. Advertising in color in the newspaper can be costly, however Harmon Homes reports such advertising in its magazines is cost-effective. The decision to read or discard an ad is made in the blink of an eye, so it only makes sense to advertise with color rather than black and white, says the company.
Demographics groups are another major factor to consider.
"Look into any newspaper's circulation statistics and you will find the readership shrinking by large numbers every year. The primary reason is that the younger half of Baby Boomers and all of Generation X and Y do not get the newspaper as a whole, meaning that the vast majority of the people intended to see the listings are being missed," explained Dave Mangold, vice president of business development for Harmon Homes. "They have come to rely very heavily on the targeted distribution magazine as well as the Internet, which Harmon Homes incorporates with the real estate agent's site, eHarmonHomes.com and HarmonHomes.com. By focusing on newspaper distribution, you have decided to market yourself to the 50+ crowd almost exclusively, completely leaving the 21 to 49 age group without your message."
All the ads in Harmon Homes' print publications are listed online at HarmonHomes.com and eHarmonHomes.com. Buyers can search HarmonHomes.com to find real estate in any market across the country. eHarmonHomes.com offers exact digital replicas of the print magazines, making it convenient for buyers to call a friend across the country and point to the specific page they're looking at. The sites have interactive links allowing viewers to check out real estate agents' Web sites, e-mail real estate agents, or get more information about other companies participating in the magazine. The magazines are often a buyer's first look into the market, and are picked up long before they ever contact a real estate agent.
Harmon Homes' targeted print magazines are segmented in different markets across the country. "Our publications are focused on specific areas. Buyers can pick up a book that has listings exclusive to the market in which they are looking to buy. In today's busy world, this makes it a convenient and focused one-stop-shop to buy and sell real estate," says Mangold.