Realogy 'Opens' OpenHouse.com to Entire Real Estate Industry
Real Estate Leader Provides Brokers with Free Postings on an Industry-Friendly National Open House Site to Help Reduce Newspaper Classified Ad Spending
PARSIPPANY, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services, today announced that its OpenHouse.com site will begin accepting bulk data feeds from any franchisors or brokerages who wish to post their open house listings on the site, free of charge. Previously, OpenHouse.com accepted open house listings exclusively from Realogy's CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, ERA® and Sotheby's International Realty® brand networks.
"We started OpenHouse.com as a way to help our franchisees and NRT offices get more exposure for their listing inventory," said Alex Perriello, president and CEO of the Realogy Franchise Group. "In our opinion, newspaper classified advertising for open houses is too expensive and grossly ineffective as a marketing tool. We are now opening OpenHouse.com up to the entire real estate industry, and we view this as a win-win situation for both consumers and the industry. From the industry side, brokers will now have a more compelling place to market their open houses and save money at the same time. For consumers, the site gives homebuyers a comprehensive and easy-to-use Web site to search open houses in their market, and sellers will receive additional exposure for their properties."
The National Association of Realtors® 2007 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers reported that among buyers, 78% rated the Internet as a "very useful" source of information while only 17% of respondents said the same about print newspaper advertising. The same NAR report also showed that almost half (48%) of those surveyed said that newspaper advertising was "not useful" in the home buying process in contrast to only 1% of buyers who said the Internet was "not useful."
OpenHouse.com will make available a comprehensive listings distribution agreement for all non-Realogy brokers who are interested in posting their open house properties on OpenHouse.com. There will be a nominal, one-time, set-up fee to establish each broker's incoming data feed that will vary depending on the technical complexity of the set-up, but there will not be any recurring fees charged for the posting of open houses. OpenHouse.com anticipates being able to sign listings distribution agreements and activate data feeds for non-Realogy brokers to go live by the beginning of March 2008.
"This move to aggregate even more open houses on the site is timed to coincide with the traditional spring open house season," said Ben Phillips, vice president and managing director of OpenHouse.com. "We remain committed to our promise that we will not charge any brokers to post their open houses on this site. All customer leads from OpenHouse.com go directly to the listing agent or brokerage, and we do not redistribute the open house listings or leads in any way."
OpenHouse.com currently allows consumers to search by price, date/time, location or number of bedrooms. The site will remain neutral at all times and will not allow searches by specific brand or brokerage name. OpenHouse.com has made the commitment that it will not accept any real estate brand, brokerage or ancillary service advertising on its site. However, a "featured open house" advertising opportunity is being considered for release later in 2008.
Any franchisors or brokers interested in establishing a bulk data feed to list their company's open houses on OpenHouse.com should send an e-mail to Inquiries@OpenHouse.com in order to receive a copy of the online listings distribution agreement.
OpenHouse.com has approximately 15,000 to 20,000 open house listings in markets across the nation on any given weekend. The easy-to-use site allows homebuyers to see schedules for open houses in their area, view detailed information about homes, print a route planner, request information or a private showing, and sign up for e-mail alerts. The site offers home sellers greater exposure for their open house listings while also providing an online marketing resource for real estate brokerages and sales associates. OpenHouse.com consistently ranks among the top organic search results for "open houses" on the top Web search engines. OpenHouse.com is owned by Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services.