Howard Hanna Syndication Announcement

by Victor Lund on February 13, 2012

Howard HannaAnother shoe is going to drop today. Howard Hanna, one of America’s largest brokerages will announce their new listing syndication strategy. This is an important announcement because it brings forth a new chapter to the ongoing saga of finding an online advertising paradigm that balances the broker’s needs with the publisher’s needs, in the best possible way.

Howard Hanna has spend the past 15 – 18 months studying. They study their website. They study the website of similar size brokerages. They have studied publisher websites. They became experts.

Howard Hanna has been testing. Howard Hanna ran lots of experiments with syndication. Turning sites on. Turning sites off. Turning listing enhancement on, and off. They made note of the results.

Howard Hanna has modified the data feed in multiple ways too. They reduced and increased the number of photos in the feed. Make changes to the property description text to include agent contact information. They explored and they innovated.

Howard Hanna convened focus groups with consumers and agents. They listened. They gained a deep understanding of their customers’ attitudes, wants, and goals.

After all of these considerations, Howard Hanna developed an online strategy. One that supports their entire business – real estate, mortgage, title, and insurance. They met with leading publishers to share their vision for a cooperative relationship. A few publishers aggressively expressed a willingness to work with the broker, and are making some rather significant adjustments to their business to accomodate the thoughtful research performed by Howard Hanna. Those publishers will be the recipients of Howard Hanna listings and advertising, others will have their data feed turned off.

I doubt that Howard Hanna will publish a case study or a guide to managing syndication the Howard Hanna way. But other brokers and MLSs should watch what they are doing. Howard Hanna has well over 1 million visits a month to their broker website. It is not accidental. They average more than 12 page views per visit – also not accidental. The Howard Hanna strategy is not a strategy for the entire industry. It is a strategy for them. Pieces of it may work for you.

Howard Hanna has set targets for outcomes from their new syndication strategy. They have an expectation of positive impact to lead generation and traffic generation from their new partners. The launch is just the first step. The next steps of measuring, adjusting, augmenting and reporting will be the fun ones. Their strategy will continue to evolve, thoughtfully and practically.

Congratulations to Howard Hanna and their new partners. You are paving a bold new path for yourself and for others.

Disclosure: Howard Hanna is a WAV Group client, and a member of The Realty Alliance.

Partnership Announcement with Zillow.com from the HowardHanna.com website. See the Release Here.

February 13, 2012

Starting today, Howard Hanna listings will appear as featured listings on the Yahoo!-Zillow® Real Estate Network, the largest real estate network on the Web, and on Zillow Mobile. Featured listings appear at the top of the search results for the area in which the listings are located. In addition, the Howard Hanna green and gold logo, theHanna listing agent’s photo and telephone number, and a link to the property on the Howard Hanna website will appear prominently on each listing.
The partnership benefits agents, buyers and sellers by ensuring the listing information is accurate, showing high-quality photos andreceiving maximum exposure.
“I’ve always believed in going to the highest mountaintop to expose listings to the most buyers. Our ultimate goal is to operate in our clients’ best interests, which means showcasing listings across the website and mobile platform with the most eyeballs,” said Hoby Hanna, president of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. “We talked to our agents, buyers and sellers and found what we were looking for with Zillow — marketing choice and client value.”
“We are honored to help Howard Hanna and its outstanding agents drive the future of the real estate industry, and give buyers and sellers choice in how they buy and sell homes,” said Greg Schwartz, Zillow’s chief revenue officer. “Zillow’s leading technology and unique content captures tens of millions of monthly visitors, of which more than three-quarters are ‘in the market’, bringing Howard Hanna’s listings increased exposure to the right audience.”
Also today, Howard Hanna Mortgage Services will join the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace lender program, providing home shoppers and those looking to refinance with more choices when shopping for a loan. Zillow Mortgage Marketplace is a free, open and transparent lending marketplace, where borrowers anonymously connect with lenders to find loans and get the best mortgage rates.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt Walsh February 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Not sure whether this is good or bad news from your announcement. It’s a bit undisclosed.

One thing I do know is there is 1 million visits a month to a site that looks terrible.

The “I’m pulling out of syndication!” press releases wouldn’t be needed if brokers just made a good site in the first place.

Reply

Victor Lund February 14, 2012 at 7:02 am

It is never a good practice to call someone else’s baby Ugly. At a glance, HowardHanna.com may look cluttered to a technologist. But to a consumer – it looks like a treasure of resources and high quality information. Howard Hanna knows the site is right because they have double the pages per visit of the portals. They have as many pages per visit as other broker sites of their size. Moreover, they have consumer focus groups and survey consumers.

All things aside – HowardHanna.com is working just fine. The site is provided by Constellation Web (http://retechnology.com/companies/constellation-web-solutions/contact-info).

Reply

Matt Walsh February 14, 2012 at 7:22 am

You are right my comment was a touch heavy handed. Green is not my favorite color :)

Reply

Janet Gommel February 14, 2012 at 8:47 am

I think it is fantastic that Howard Hanna took the time to analyze what buyers and sellers of real estate are looking for on a website and creating a better environment for them.

Reply

Victor Lund February 14, 2012 at 9:03 am

We agree Janet. Thanks for the feedback. Many critique companies from the outside – it is much better to see the difference on the inside. That is the perspective that you lend – and it is awesome.

Reply

Mark Eller February 15, 2012 at 10:49 am

As an office manager at an Erie Pa. location for Howard Hanna for the past 2 years, I have yet to see a company more willing to develop their company around the needs of the customer than Howard Hanna.

Reply

Ed Donofrio February 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Great news! The research – well done. Just another of many reasons I’m so glad I’m affilliated with Howard Hanna !!!

Reply

Tim Kuzma - Coldwell Banker February 22, 2012 at 8:22 am

Good Luck my friends at HH. We all work together to move people in Erie, PA!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: