Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, the fourth-largest real estate brokerage in the US, has made the decision to promote its listings on Realtor.com and Zillow stating that, exposure on the national listing portals complements the brokerage’s own website and other marketing efforts, both online and off.
The company’s Ohio President Howard “Hoby” Hanna IV declared that, the Pittsburgh-based brokerage is making a substantial financial investment (in the seven-figure sum) in agreements with both Realtor.com and Zillow to distinguish its listings and also prevent ads or lead forms for other companies’ agents from showing up next to theirs.
The brokerage is not scaling back in its other marketing efforts, among them direct-mail campaigns and a Sunday morning television show.
According to the company, as of March 1, Realtor.com, Zillow and three other websites that those sites supply listings to will be the only US websites allowed to display the nearly five thousand listings represented by Howard Hanna, associates in 134 offices across Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and West Virginia.
Howard Hanna has indicated that the agreements with the two portals are a result of 18 months of research, during which time the company hired consultants not affiliated with either company to evaluate its site and national portals, removing or truncating listings from some national sites to gauge the impact not only on Howard Hanna, but on consumers.
After agents were informed in March, of the testing, Howard Hanna began pulling feeds from national sites, or providing truncated listings to the sites with the most traffic.
Currently the Howard Hanna listings on Realtor.com and Zillow, are surrounded by the company’s branding, advertisements and listing brokers.
This is especially the case with Realtor.com, which wraps each Howard Hanna listing detail page in a branded ‘page skin’ and provides a banner ad above the listing and another ad for the brokerage’s mortgage company; while the listings appear as ‘featured listings’ on Zillow, at the top of search results for the area in which they are listed.
Howard Hanna supplies listings directly to Zillow, but Realtor.com collects information at the multiple listing service level, because of that Realtor.com listings in the Pittsburgh market don’t include addresses, which West Penn Multi-List Inc., the MLS that Howard Hanna belongs to in that area, does not provide to Realtor.com.
At a time when companies such as Edina Realty and San Diego-based Abbott Realty Group have started removing all of its listings form third party agregators such as Trulia and Zillow, even taking to YouTube, with very public declarations as to why the decision to immediately stop syndicating listings to third-party websites, Howard Hanna gives potential home buyers further access to their listings on portals Realtor.com and Zillow as well as their mobile apps for the iPad, iPhone, Android and Windows 7 phones, bringing millions of highly active and engaged potential home buyers to Howard Hanna agents and listings.