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When it comes to finding your target audience, proper listing exposure can make or break your sales success. And in a market over-saturated with online content, it can be hard to rise above the rest. This is where creativity can be key.

“For a new home builder, it’s important to manage the visibility of our listings closely,” says Will Duderstadt, web platforms marketing manager with M/I Homes, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio, one of the nation’s largest builders of single-family homes. Since 2011, Duderstadt has been heading up M/I Homes’ internet marketing team, where he oversees online marketing campaigns, lead generation, EO, PPC, SEM, social media and content strategy for 14 divisions in 11 states.

In hopes of increasing exposure for their listings, M/I Homes joined forces with listing portal Homes.com in 2012. At first, Duderstadt and his team merely relied on Homes.com to advertise their listings, but as he worked to maximize exposure, Duderstadt realized the seasoned marketing-services company was capable of much more.

“The power of [Homes.com’s] organic search ranking, combined with their strong brand, results in a hyper-focused audience,” explains Duderstadt, who has since added several Homes.com programs to M/I Homes’ arsenal. “Homes.com has tailored products specific to builders that make it an important part of our online portfolio,” says Duderstadt. One such product is the .Homes Pioneer Program, part of the launch and operation of the new .Homes domain name extension.

“As part of the .Homes Pioneer Program, we were challenged to build a fun and engaging microsite,” explains Duderstadt. This challenge resulted in the creation of the interactive domain NewVsResale.Homes, which houses a shareable online survey that helps match consumers with their dream home style. With questions ranging from the more generic “Which floor plan do you prefer?” to “What unconventional pet suits you best?” (think photos of piglets and Grumpy Cat), the quirky quiz requires users to provide their contact information before they can see their quiz results—perfect for lead generation. Once the results are in, quiz takers can easily search for homes in the area that match their style.

“NewVsResale.Homes is a fun and lighthearted way to talk about new homes,” says Duderstadt. “A few simple questions provoke thought while encouraging a bit of humor. When someone matches with a new home, we give them an opportunity to view some of the homes and communities we build in their area.”

Looking to capture today’s social-obsessed audience, Duderstadt and his team took cues from popular online quizzes like “Which Friends Character Are You?” or “Are You a Fast Food Expert?” To increase its reach potential, they made sure the quiz could easily be shared on social media platforms, especially Facebook.

While the fun component of NewVsResale.Homes definitely helps it stand above the rest, the support of Homes.com has, for Duderstadt, been invaluable in the success of this new top-level domain. “The Homes.com team has always been very transparent and interested in hearing from their customers,” says Duderstadt. “Their team cares greatly about building strong, long-term relationships and growing alongside your business.”

Creativity and a sleek interface go a long way in earning you that extra exposure—and of course, a little dose of Grumpy Cat can’t hurt.

Interested in learning more about .Homes domain names? Please visit www.register.homes.

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