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2007-05-16 12:00:00

Houston Real Estate Maverick Shares Stage with Search Execs


Houston is home to a real estate consumer web site that most REALTOR associations can only dream about.

A BLLION hits last month. A million unique visitors.  More than 90,000 consumers keep track of listings there. Over half a million leads delivered to member agents in 2006.

What is the secret to Houston Assn. of REALTORS’ success?

The secret is that there is no secret. It’s all online, for everyone to see. While some associations still guard their data like the family jewels,  Houston REALTORS embraced the power of the Internet and served up a full course of data, information, and online education that consumers are devouring in increasing numbers.

The HAR web site greets consumers in six languages, offers complete mapping, schools, and demographic information, and a suite of information that will satisfy the hungriest data palate.

Bob Hale, president and CEO of HAR, drew a shocked response in many quarters of the real estate industry last year when he announced that HAR would upload all of its listings to Googlebase for an even broader outreach to consumers. HAR was the first multiple listing service in the country to take the bold step to search engine upload.

Hale said that fear is still holding real estate professionals  back. “There is still fear everywhere,” said Hale. “We’re not afraid of the Internet. We are giving consumers what they want and we are delivering leads to our agents and brokers.” The leads that brokers and agents receive from HAR are part of the prix fixe at the Houston menu of services, there are no lead generation fees attached.

It was a bet that paid off, and now the HAR Technology Task Force is reviewing options for the next steps in the association's Internet marketing program.

Hale will share the stage at the National Assn. of REALTORS Mid Year meetings tomorrow with the likes of top executives from search engines Zillow (Jeff Somers) and Trulia (Sami Inkinen), Point2 NLS’ sBrendan King, and NAR’s CRT chief Mark Lesswing, and RealTown's Saul Klein.

Business Technology & Information Systems Forum: Appreciate Your Assets

05/17/2007 | 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Omni Shoreham, Empire Room

Listings represent more than just commissions paid when the transaction closes. Listings are a Marketing Asset. As a REALTOR®, you need to think daily about marketing yourself, marketing your services, and marketing your inventory/listings. Effectively marketing your listings will also market you and your services and add cash to your bottom line. Our panel will present thought provoking ideas that are sure to generate a lively discussion among those in attendance!

Speaker(s): Saul Klein GR, CEO of Real Estate Electronic Publishing Company, home of Realtown,; Mark Lesswing, NAR; Brendan King, Point2 NLS; Sami Inkinen, Trulia; Jeff Somers, Zillow; Bob Hale, HAR; Michael B. Koval; Tony Floyd, Long and Foster Rreal Estate; Prudential Georgia Realty. 

Relevant Link:

Public or Private Web Sites? Sold or Active Data?

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