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RISMEDIA, June 19-“One billion served” can now also be used by the Houston Association of Realtors®’, one of the pioneers in Internet real estate sites.

As housing sales across the country are slowing, interest in the real estate market in the greater Houston area is topping all previous records, as displayed by Web site traffic numbers from the Houston Association of Realtors®., registered more than one billion hits in March, which was more than double the 490 million hits on the site in the same month last year. The site also had 920,000 unique visitors generating more than 4.4 million visitor sessions in March, who viewed Realtor listings 11.3 million times. It was the highest level of traffic ever experienced on the real estate listing site. was launched as a groundbreaking initiative of the Houston Association of Realtors® in 1997. At the time, few public Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sites existed in the country, and arguably none has achieved the dramatic success of In fact, is the only local Web site that regularly ranks among the top 25 real estate sites in the country, according to the Real Estate Vertical Metrix.

“We knew our site represented innovation, but could not have anticipated just how visited the site has become,” said HAR Chairman Rob Cook of Robert D. Cook Properties. “ was visited by 49 percent of internet real estate consumers in Houston during April, according to comScore Media Metrix. It’s great to know that people in the greater Houston area love to search our site and know what an amazing resource is.” comScore Media Metrix measures Internet traffic in a variety of industries.

“When we developed the Web site 10 years ago, we knew it would be something big…we just had no idea how big,” said HAR President and CEO Bob Hale. “Houston is recognized across the country as being the most innovative and cutting edge real estate market, and the success of the site is a testament to our Realtor members, their elected leaders and the consumers in the greater Houston area who have so strongly embraced This is a great way to celebrate and recognize our 10 years in cyberspace.”

The Houston Association of Realtors® has also provided more than 16,000 free member Web sites, more than 1,100 free company Web sites and more than 500,000 consumers were connected directly with Realtors through in 2006 alone.

Cook added, “We have become a habit for consumers and that habit links them to Realtors every hour of the day. We call it, the virtual ‘drive-through’ of real estate information. Consumers have access to as much information as possible to help them achieve the American dream of home ownership, and they are astonished when they find out that most other major metropolitan cities don’t have a comparable site.”

Founded in 1918, the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR) is a 26,000-member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling. It is the largest individual membership trade association in Houston, as well as the second largest local association/board of Realtors® in the United States.

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