In Santa Barbara, California, where the median price for a home is over one million dollars, real estate is an even hotter topic than it is in most communities. The Santa Barbara News-Press is therefore very attentive to their Sunday real estate section. In February 2004, the News-Press became Classified Concepts’ first client, redesigning their real estate section to incorporate a dynamic Open House Locator Map.
Results of the locator map program at the News-Press have been outstanding from both revenue and readership standpoints.
The main revenue-generating component of the News-Press’ Open House program is “Feature Page” ad positions. The back of each map page is sold as a full-page premium ad to highlight one property for sale. These were a hit from the outset. The paper started with four “Feature Page” ad positions and added more in response to growing advertiser demand. They also implemented a per-listing charge when they launched the map program. Between these two components, the News-Press realizes a ten-time return on investment with this program.
In addition, reader response to the maps has been overwhelmingly positive. Realtors report potential homebuyers walking into open houses with the map in hand.