Following in the path of Homefinder, Trulia, and Zillow, the Nation’s 4th largest portal – Homes.com has announced that they are seeking to partner with Newspapers to offer online property search. Moreover, they are offering this service to Newspapers for free, in line with others. The new twist is that Homes.com seeks to leverage the relationship that Newspapers have with advertisers to develop a sales channel for their other products.
The announcement of the new strategy is coupled with the launch of their first newspaper partner. In this case, it is actually an announcement of a partnership with 50 newspapers operated by the holding company, Landmark Community Newspapers, LLC. The 50 Landmark Newspapers span 15 states. Here is the important bit.
If you are a broker, you may now publish your listings to the newspaper website in your market simply by adding Homes.com to your listing syndication strategy (ie. Listhub, Point2, or reDataVault). Presumably, enhancing your listings on Homes.com will carry through to being enhanced on your local newspaper website.
Historically, local newspapers have charged brokers and agents a king’s ransom to post listings to their site, or have made it a feature of print advertising. For those who have reasonable programs in place, the broker or agent had to enter listings or manage a data feed – both ver painful. This is a great benefit to brokerages, allowing them to overcome the seller’s request for print advertising by offering the digital alternative (which is far superior).
If you are an MLS who has been providing a data feed to a Landmark Community Newspaper or licensing a data feed to them, you may need to take a close look at how this will impact your existing relationship.
Here is the full press release:
Norfolk, VA (Sept. 6, 2012) – Leading real estate listing service Homes.com has launched the “Powered by Homes.com” platform, a media solution and easy-to-use product which offers media outlets access to Homes.com and ForRent.com classified real estate listings. The new feature lets media partners integrate Homes.com into their existing site. This platform is easy to implement, free of charge and also offers revenue opportunities for partners.
The highly customizable add-on is co-branded to match existing sites and gives partners control over the page’s appearance. Partners can make edits and incorporate elements of their websites, creating a seamless transition from the outlets’ sites to the listings.
Key benefits of “Powered by Homes.com” include:
- · The plug-and-play tool is simple to implement, allowing partners exclusive access to the Homes.com real estate classified network comprised of 4 million listings, including almost 20,000 apartment listings from ForRent.com.
- · Affiliate control panel allows partners to edit and incorporate elements of their websites into the co-branded platform.
- · Search widgets where users can conduct a real estate or rental search from the media outlet website.
- · Opportunity to generate revenue from the affiliation, including the ability to incorporate media partners’ display advertising networks, allowing them to generate revenue on a site hosted by Homes.com.
- · Homes.com controls the listing display to ensure content displays accurately and represents the listing broker and agent fairly by applying the same data quality assurance process used on Homes.com. This ensures that media partners receive and display only the most accurate listing data.
“Continuing to provide top-of-the-line products and tools to media partners, agents and consumers is our mission at Homes.com,” said Brock MacLean, executive vice president of Homes.com and For Rent Media Solutions. “The partnerships give consumers access to millions of classified real estate and rental listings across the country. It’s just another way we extend ourselves as a partner through every life phase, making the search for homes and rentals easy and convenient. We’re looking forward to continued success with the “Powered by Homes.com” platform and expanding partnership opportunities with outlets across the country.”
The first major media outlet to utilize the program is Landmark Community Newspapers, LLC. With more than 50 publications across the country, LCNI is thrilled with the opportunity to offer its readers an additional resource – real estate listings.
“The ability to expand and upgrade our real estate sections with this added feature on our online newspaper sites at no cost is very important to us.” said Dan Sykes, executive vice president of Landmark Community Newspapers. “Their ongoing support is excellent, which allows us to focus on revenue opportunities available with the Powered By Homes.com platform.”