Author Archives: Marketing Department

About Marketing Department

We are the marketing department for Homes & Land Affiliates, LLC., based in Tallahassee, Florida, USA.

Mobile-ready Digital Magazine innovates home search

Digital_Magazine_FEATURED

Evolving media has brought the newsstand of the past to the palm of your hand. Publications all over the world have advanced to the point where readers have a variety of formats from which to choose. In other words, when they settle in to peruse the pages of their favorite magazines, buyers and sellers have options. In no other real estate media is this level of convenience more readily available than with Homes & Land Magazine, which recently launched a new mobile-ready Digital Magazine to complement the printed product.

Seizing the opportunity

A study by Kantar Media outlines how digital magazine advertising is shaping the current media landscape.

“Without question, the tablet PC is an enormous opportunity for magazine publishers and advertisers. In 2014, device usage is projected to reach 44 percent of the U.S. population, or 138 million people. Users currently spend an average of 156 minutes per day with their tablets, almost a 40 percent increase in just two years.”

Thanks to the growing prominence of tablets, magazines have been fitted with a new layer of functionality. The technology behind Homes & Land’s Digital Magazine places it among the most innovative publications with tablet advertising, based on Kantar Media’s findings, which note that “fewer than five percent of tablet ads take advantage of the technology’s interactive features.”

Homes & Land Digital Magazine

With a Digital Magazine from Homes & Land, more information about a listing appears with one touch, giving the buyer access to Virtual Tours, more photos and a real estate agent’s contact information. Additionally, an agent’s offerings are all on display in their chosen layout, complete with branding, slogans and marketing messages. For the agent, it constitutes a total package that’s in a class all its own.

In turn, buyers and sellers viewing the Digital Magazine are afforded the opportunity to browse at their own pace, with the option to narrow the search to listings of a certain price range or number of rooms. Sharing and subscription capabilities also enhance the overall consumer experience.

Bells, whistles and beautiful performance

Designed for buyers and sellers to easily browse, subscribe and connect with agents from their laptop, smartphone or tablet, Homes & Land’s Digital Magazine is well equipped to improve the home search process.

  • Digital Magazines are available any time, any place — complete regional, national and international reach
  • Increased exposure for real estate agents — links take consumers directly to specific pages within the Digital Magazine
  • With a touch, listings prompt viewers with contact information, larger photos, or Virtual Tours
  • Consumers can subscribe to Digital Magazines right from their devices, or share them on social media
  • For added value and convenience, a printed magazine can be ordered directly from the Digital Magazine
  • Compatibility with the myriad list of mobile brands — Android, iPhone, iPad, etc. — assures top-notch performance on any device

The Digital Magazine and all of its useful features, including email subscriptions and the option to order a printed magazine, are available to consumers free of charge.

Ready to experience it for yourself? View your local Homes & Land Digital Magazine by visiting HomesAndLand.com/Magazine-Directory. Want to take advantage of this integrated marketing opportunity for real estate agents? Contact your local Homes & Land publisher to get started.


40thRGHTsm

Homes & Land Affiliates, LLC, is the most trusted, integrated multimedia real estate brand in North America. A leading resource for local real estate information, HomesAndLand.com welcomes millions of unique visitors every month. Headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, with magazines across the United States and Canada, Homes & Land has been serving real estate professionals, homebuyers and home sellers since 1973. In addition to Homes & Land Magazine, the company publishes Home Guide, Rental Guide, and Estates & Homes magazines.

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14 fair housing facts

Fair_Housing_FEATURED

With the end of April comes the end of Fair Housing Month, but it’s good business to be up to speed year-round on the history and rules that have been in effect for more than 40 years. After all, that little Equal Housing Opportunity logo is found on many of the printed real estate advertisements in the United States.

1. Enacted as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the Fair Housing Act serves to prohibit discrimination in transactions related to the sales, rental and financing of homes. Significant amendments made in 1988 expanded the act to include protections against discrimination based on disabilities and familial status.

2. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — often referred to as HUD — is responsible for the initial enforcement of the FHA. Consumers have one year to file a complaint after a violation of the act has allegedly occurred.

3. The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is responsible for investigating claims filed with HUD. In situations where the office issues a Charge of Discrimination, a hearing before an administrative law judge is scheduled. Either party in the proceeding can call for litigation in federal court.

4. In a precursor to the FHA, President John F. Kennedy issued an executive order banning discriminatory practices in federally funded housing on Nov. 20, 1962. According to History.com, “the policy was never enforced. The order left it up to the individual housing and funding agencies to police themselves, leaving much room for non-compliance from state to state.”

5. In 1963, California statesman William Byron Rumford spearheaded passage of the Rumford Fair Housing Act, ensuring protections against discrimination for black residents and other minorities. Though it was repealed in a 1964 referendum set in motion by the California Real Estate Association, the act was ultimately upheld by the state’s Supreme Court in 1966.

6. According to the Chicago Tribune, Martin Luther King Jr. led a series of marches in the summer of 1966 with the goal of pushing the Windy City toward “making solid commitments to open housing.” The marches ultimately prompted the Chicago Real Estate Board to drop its opposition to open-housing laws.

7. HUD policy states: “The provisions of the Fair Housing Act make it unlawful to discriminate in the sale, rental, and financing of housing, and in the provision of brokerage and appraisal services, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.”

8. HUD’s policy also states: “All advertising of residential real estate for sale, rent, or financing should contain an equal housing opportunity logotype, statement, or slogan as a means of educating the homeseeking public that the property is available to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.”

9. Guidance regarding advertisements states: “The use of secularized terms or symbols relating to religious holidays such as Santa Claus, Easter Bunny or St. Valentine’s Day images, or phrases such as ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Happy Easter,’ or the like does not constitute a violation of the Act.”

10. Additional guidance states: “Advertisements describing the properties (two bedroom, cozy, family room), services and facilities (no bicycles allowed) or neighborhoods (quiet streets) are not facially discriminatory and do not violate the Act.”

11. HUD marked the first anniversary of the FHA in April 1969 with a gala at New York’s Plaza Hotel. April subsequently went on to become “Fair Housing Month” in many states.

12. Training sessions on the FHA are available through the Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST initiative. The organization hosts an online calendar with training events that cover topics like FHA policy, and requirements for design and construction.

13. The Code of Ethics of the National Association of Realtors contains an article dedicated to the principles of fair housing as they relate to Realtors, described as “a firm statement of support for equal opportunity in housing.”

14. Fair housing information and resources are available from many of the agencies listed above. Additionally, the National Fair Housing Alliance’s resources page contains links to legal resources, reports and research, and fair housing videos for the deaf and hard of hearing.


40thRGHTsm

Homes & Land Affiliates, LLC, is the most trusted, integrated multimedia real estate brand in North America. A leading resource for local real estate information, HomesAndLand.com welcomes millions of unique visitors every month. Headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, with magazines across the United States and Canada, Homes & Land has been serving real estate professionals, homebuyers and home sellers since 1973. In addition to Homes & Land Magazine, the company publishes Home Guide, Rental Guide, and Estates & Homes magazines.

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Why pink ribbons and partnerships matter in marketing

Why pink ribbons and partnerships matter in marketing

There’s a cause — a mission, a collaboration, a conviction — for everyone to hold closely to their heart. It’s not something to be taken for granted or exploited. It flourishes when thoughtfully aligned with a person or organization’s vision and chosen pathway to success.

Cause marketing generally concentrates on cooperation between a company and a non-profit organization, and is designed to promote the philanthropic goals of the two entities. It’s not to be confused with corporate giving, which is rooted in tax-deductible, charitable donations.

Real estate professionals, whose presence and visibility in local communities are ubiquitous, are in the unique position to lead the way when it comes to giving back or, better yet, “paying it forward” with cause marketing.

Forbes Contributor David Hessekiel writes that the prominence of cause marketing continued to come into focus for many companies in 2013. “In addition to typical pairings of corporations and nonprofits, we saw meaningful alliances take many shapes — even between companies that otherwise view one another as major competitors.”

Cause marketing in real estate is going to look different for every agent or brokerage. It may require some soul searching, but making the effort is sure to have a positive impact in more ways than one.

Colorful campaigns

Whether it’s “going pink” to help fight breast cancer, donning purple for Alzheimer’s disease awareness, or putting on a puzzle-patterned ribbon for autism, there are a number of different ways colors can show support for a cause. Participating in a campaign that uses colors, while including information about partner organizations in your advertisements, can be a great way to raise awareness for the causes you care about.

Positively patriotic

Supporting veterans and military families hits close to home for many Americans. Working with a local or national veterans organization to promote events or assist with fund-raising can be a rewarding partnership, as well as an ideal way for agents to recognize the soldiers and families whose service and sacrifices help sustain the nation.

Home-based help

Habitat for humanity comes to mind when thinking about cause marketing and homes. Humans aren’t the only inhabitants in need of living quarters, though. If you have a soft spot for finding homes for furry friends, supporting animal adoption groups may turn out to be the perfect pet cause.

#GivingTuesday

In stark contrast to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday promotes a spirit of generosity. It’s an outstanding outlet for storytellers, too — GivingTuesday.org collects and shares postings describing the compassionate moments that make a difference and help inspire communities.

There are a number of different ways to make the most out of the abundant opportunities to get involved with the causes that matter most to you — think social media, print advertisements, online banner ads, or participating in events.

Working hard to increase consumer engagement wherever and whenever possible is an important component of your success. Increasing the level of civic engagement goes hand-in-hand with those efforts, while at the same time helping to improve the communities buyers and sellers call home.


40thRGHTsm

Homes & Land Affiliates, LLC, is the most trusted, integrated multimedia real estate brand in North America. A leading local resource for real estate information, HomesAndLand.com welcomes millions of unique visitors every month. Headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, with magazines across the United States and Canada, Homes & Land has been serving real estate professionals, homebuyers and home sellers since 1973. In addition to Homes & Land Magazine, the company publishes Home Guide, Rental Guide, and Estates & Homes magazines.

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Easy 5-step strategy for turning old clients to new

Easy 5-step strategy for turning old clients to new

Moving, like other life events, is not often repeated in rapid succession. You can never tell when a happy homeowner is about to become a motivated buyer/seller. However, when it comes to the biggest of all big-ticket purchases — real estate — a repeat customer can represent a big win for agents.

Recently released data on mortgages from Fannie Mae indicate that there’s no time like the present to be in the market buying and selling real estate. With a growing number of Americans thinking now is the right time to attain a home loan, now is definitely the right time for agents to revamp their retention strategies.

These five steps to develop a top-notch retention strategy are important to your success:

1. Recognize the retention reality

In an article for Realty Times, author and former Realtor Bob Hunt points out that “the cost of acquiring a new customer is six to seven times greater than the cost of keeping an existing one.” A commitment to keeping in touch with former clients benefits your budget and your reputation.

2. Your brand in demand

Successful real estate agents make the most of a recognizable brand. Leverage your brand by advertising more than your listings — advertise yourself. Blending traditional methods, like placing a branding advertisement in Homes & Land Magazine, with more unconventional tactics will likely prove to be the perfect brand-awareness boost.

3. Networking on the net

Social media sites, the Web’s destinations for water-cooler conversations, are surprisingly useful, user-friendly and can be your best friend in the retention game. Being visible on Facebook and Twitter is hassle-free with Homes & Land, making regular marketing activities part of your retention strategy by reminding former clients you’re still hard at work.

4. Just being neighborly

A hand-written note. A quick phone call to check in and say, “Hello.” Even a polite email will be welcome amid the flood of other marketing messages your former clients are receiving. In this age of “big data,” taking the time to reach out on a personal level will help you cast a positive light on your client relationships.

5. Don’t forget direct mail

Your Homes & Land publisher is the best local resource for direct mail. Whether it’s post cards, flyers, or magazines featuring your advertisements, targeted mailings can reach former clients without being intrusive. Agents affiliated with Homes & Land have the added benefit of being able to schedule magazine mailings to home sellers right from the online control panel, demonstrating that the agent is gaining maximum exposure from print and ensuring the agent is top-of-mind when the seller is ready to buy or sell again.

Marketing professionals are quick to extol the benefits of a good retention strategy. Don’t be an afterthought next time one of your former clients chooses a real estate agent. With a bit of proactive planning, you’ll be the one getting a call when the decision to move is made.


40thRGHTsm

Homes & Land Affiliates, LLC, is the most trusted, integrated multimedia real estate brand in North America. A leading local resource for real estate information, HomesAndLand.com welcomes millions of unique visitors every month. Headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, with magazines across the United States and Canada, Homes & Land has been serving real estate professionals, homebuyers and home sellers since 1973. In addition to Homes & Land Magazine, the company publishes Home Guide, Rental Guide, and Estates & Homes magazines.

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Boost your digital marketing with Homes & Land

The significance of a solid social media strategy should be hitting home for real estate agents looking to grow their business.

In real estate, where referrals make a big difference to the bottom line, online social networks impact your potential for connecting with buyers and sellers.

A major finding from the 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report sums up the importance of your online social presence: “Increased exposure is the top benefit of social media marketing: A significant 89% of marketers stated that increased exposure was the number-one benefit of social media marketing.”

The significance of a solid social media strategy should be hitting home for real estate agents looking to grow their business.

When it comes to implementation, the mechanics don’t have to be burdensome to your daily grind. A partnership with Homes & Land comes with plenty of built-in benefits, including an all-in-one Dashboard for sharing your listings to social networks, the just-released, invaluable Craigslist Posting Wizard for online classifieds, and scores of options for syndicating listings to your choice of nationally known real estate websites.

In regard to the online social sphere, the Homes & Land Dashboard has direct-line interfaces with some of the biggest players in the game, like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube — all potential referral resources. Take strides toward reaching new prospects with the following tips.

Facebook

Create specific lists of friends to make your postings more targeted. For example, after clicking on the “Friend” button on the left side of the home page, click “Create List” and make a list for your prospects, a list for your past clients and a list for fellow Realtors. Read more about Facebook lists in this instructional post from Inman News.

Twitter

Use hashtags more effectively. One way that little tic-tac-toe pound sign can help extend the reach of your tweets is by using a hashtag with the cities where your listings are located. Tweets sent from the Homes & Land Dashboard do this — #YourCity — automatically. That hashtag will help align your listings with tweets that are already focused on that area.

YouTube

After Homes & Land automatically creates an EZ Tour Video for your listing, post it to YouTube from your custom Dashboard. Go one step further and add annotations with extra information about the house or the rooms, offering viewers a few useful details they weren’t expecting.

Having looked at some tips for the most prominent social media outlets, it’s worth taking a quick tour of some sites that seem like outliers in comparison. You may not have accounts on the following platforms, but the up-and-coming millennial demographic are likely to be users.

Instagram

According to TechCrunch, Instagram is the fastest-growing social site globally. Designed for use on smartphones, Instagram has several photo filters that can easily add contrast or a soft glow to listing photos.

Pinterest

The Internet’s bulletin board, Pinterest is popular as a means for cataloging photos of dream homes, gardening projects and decorating ideas, often with an emphasis on DIY and crafts. In fact, it’s the next feature soon to be added to the Homes & Land Dashboard.

Vine

The video sharing site Vine helps you create six-second looping videos that can be shared quickly and easily — perfect for capturing a panorama of a home’s backyard or interior.

Tumblr

Investing time to blog can seem like a daunting task, but with Tumblr, blogging can be quick and easy. Its layout features ample space for photos and text, as well as a “Queue” feature that allows posts to be scheduled over time.

Google+

Live video “Hangouts” on Google+ could come in handy, especially for long-distance conversations that would benefit from having a maximum of 10 participants meet face-to-face.

Demonstrate your digital marketing prowess by keeping an eye on social media trends. By taking advantage of real estate marketing tools from Homes & Land, you’ll find plenty of extra time for networking. “Friend” or “follow” your local Homes & Land publisher on social media — then contact them to learn all the different ways an integrated marketing strategy helps you connect with more buyers and sellers.
40thRGHTsm

Homes & Land Affiliates, LLC, is the most trusted, integrated multimedia real estate brand in North America. A leading local resource for real estate information, HomesAndLand.com welcomes millions of unique visitors every month. Headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, with magazines across the United States and Canada, Homes & Land has been serving real estate professionals, homebuyers and home sellers since 1973. In addition to Homes & Land Magazine, the company publishes Home Guide, Rental Guide, and Estates & Homes magazines.

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