The Billings Gazette is a 52K daily paper in Billings Montana, owned by Lee Enterprises. The Gazette launched Classified Concepts’ Open House Map program in November 2007 as part of a corporate partnership between Lee and Classified Concepts.
The Gazette’s stated goals were to be a better real estate resource for their readers in print and online, and to grow advertising revenue. By adding an Open House program featuring the Classified Concepts map and interactive locator, they were able to do exactly that. Now, five years into their partnership with CC, they continue to add value to their program by incorporating mobile platforms to their real estate offerings by way of texting and a custom branded smartphone app.
Billings sells a sponsorship inclusive of print, online and mobile app exposure. The Gazette strongly feels the map is their Real Estate franchise and when they first launched, they needed to make the price point a no-brainer. They instituted a listing charge of $5 per open house and $35 for featured listings, and also packaged their banner and skyscraper ads online. They have a goal each year of 80% participation from their Realtors®, which they tracked closely, comparing their open house statistics with that of their local MLS. After just two months, they were up to 62% participation, and on track to generate over $81,000 in new annual revenue! The Gazette considers the Open House map & locator program from Classified Concepts to be an integral part of their long-term growth strategy, helping them build and maintain relationships with their valued real estate advertising clients, satisfy their readers and accomplish their revenue goals.