HAR Continues Success With Effective Consumer eMail Campaigns

by Victor Lund on December 13, 2017

The Houston Association of REALTORS® has long held the honor of celebrating success at the top of the MLS consumer facing website leaderboard. WAV Group has referenced this center of excellence in countless writings, research reports, and planning sessions. We turn once again to this well operated company to exhibit an example of how they are continuing to progress.

One of the keynotes of driving consumer engagement is through email marketing campaigns. Today, RealInsights (the name of the HAR newsletter) is sent to an opt-in list of 800,000 consumers every two weeks! That is a vast consumer reach to promote Realtors and their properties to consumers. Even though the Broker Public Portal and Homesnap are fast approaching the heels of HAR success – they continue to shine bright in the great State of Texas.

The Name Change

All of us industry folks refer to HAR.com the same way that Texans say it “H-A-R Dot Com.” What some of you may not know is that they embarked on a mission to extend HAR.com to encompass all of Texas. As part of that strategic initiative, the letters have new meaning. No longer does H.A.R. stand for the Houston

Association of REALTORS®. It now denotes a broader consumer brand name that is more encompassing and supporting of their expansion efforts. H.A.R. now denotes Homes and Rentals.

Content Strategy

Like many website operators, the creation of great consumer content requires great journalists. Common options for content creation include hiring full time staff or outsourcing to free-lance writers.

Full time writers are expensive, often charging $60,000 or more plus benefits. You can hire free-lance writers for about $300 to $500 per article for good stuff, but you often run into a time management issue of finding the writer, following up on deadline, and the quality of work can sometimes prove difficult to manage. HAR found a great solution!

HouseLogic®, a service of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATON OF REALTORS® is an excellent resource for content. You will notice that the articles in the HAR.com newsletter are all sourced from HouseLogic with attribution. In the footer of the article on the HAR website is the statement – Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

HouseLogic® has done a great job of generating content for consumers. The company comes under fire for their efforts to attract consumers to the site. In November, HouseLogic was ranked 41st in consumer website traffic among real estate sites in America according to Hitwise® – attracting an estimated unique monthly visitor total of just over 400,000 per month. By contrast – HAR.com ranks 15th in the nation despite their regional focus (one spot removed from ColdwellBankerHomes.com).

In my opinion, HouseLogic can create great content for their Associations and Realtor® members to share – that may be well worth the effort. I did not research the terms of licensing content from HouseLogic or anything like that. But I applaud the efforts by the Houstonians at finding a resource for great creative content. I suppose that any Association may be able to kindle a similar flame.

Great Calls To Action

eMail marketing communications take the form of satisfying many strategies for companies. In this case, its clear that HAR is helping drive awareness that HAR means Homes and Rentals. Over time it will stick.

I especially like the holiday imagery used in email to set the tonality by using photos of candles and Christmas trees. It screams consumer appeal rather than some cold email like the ones you see coming from the autoresponders.

The real genius comes at the very bottom of the email. Remember, Texas is a non-disclosure State. But HAR offers the same functionality as its competitor, Zillow – “What to know how much your home is worth?”

Below that call to action is a reminder that the best way to search for homes is by using the HAR.com mobile app. Getting consumers to download apps is heavy lifting and you need to remain ever vigilant in reminding folks that there is a valuable resource available to them. Besides, mobile app customers are more engaged and more likely to convert than website visitors (fun fact).

Kudos again to HAR. As for the rest of you – give HouseLogic a call to see what you can arrange for your consumer email campaigns. HAR is a WAV Group Client – HouseLogic is not.

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