Better Homes and Gardens to Help Sell Homes

Better Homes and Gardens is lending its name to one of the nation's largest real estate brokers--Realogy Corporation, which manages residential real estate brands including Century 21, Coldwell Banker, and ERA, publisher Meredith Corporation announced Monday. These well-known brands will be joined by a new franchise, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, beginning July 2008.

In return for putting the magazine's stamp on real estate transactions, including "for sale" signs, promotional brochures, and a Web site, Meredith hopes to see lucrative returns in the form of guaranteed ad spending by Realogy in various Meredith titles, as well as royalties from actual real estate transactions. The deal is scheduled to last 50 years, after which it may be renewed.

Per the terms of the deal, Realogy will also gain access to certain database services. Meredith maintains a consumer database with about 85 million names with a host of demographic and lifestyle information. Better Homes and Gardens in particular has a circulation of 7.6 million and a readership of almost 40 million.



Meredith said the deal will also help create new advertising opportunities for new and existing clients. Plausible candidates include manufacturers of homewares and home-improvement products.

In May, the company debuted a new market research product, HomeSight--which identifies and quantifies products used by consumers in home renovations, including where they usually buy them. HomeSight was launched in partnership with CNW Marketing/Research, a consumer research organization based in Portland, Oregon. CNW's database of 5 million households covers a spectrum of geographic locations, financial attributes, "lifestages" and various related demographic attributes. Meredith said it will present the data to major homeware manufacturers and makers of other products used in home renovations, focusing on specific areas like bathroom or kitchen projects.

Last week Meredith announced its acquisition of Dallas-based Directive Corporation, a firm that specializes in database strategy, analytics and customer-asset management.

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