Voices of Women Talks with Karen Hough on the Newest Journey for HarmonHomes.com
Recently Michael D. Harris Jr. of Ardynn PR sat down with Karen Hough, President of Harmon Media Group and had a candid talk regarding real estate publishing, the break away from Dominion Enterprises and her passion for the industry.
Karen, I want to thank you for taking some time to visit with me now that you have settled into your new role over at Harmon. I have to say that it came as a surprise when I found out that the Harmon Homes suite of magazines were no longer part of the Homes.com lineup. What prompted the change back to a stand-alone brand?
Dominion is a great company and we still have a very strong working relationship with them. With the market swing and the economics being what they were, we felt that we could better serve our customer segment and audience through a more specialized focus that would allow our dedicated team to be in the best position to continue to move harmonhomes.com portal and our Harmon Homes magazines and their online magazine version forward.
Harmon Homes magazines and HarmonHomes.com had such a strong brand identity before Dominion. What is the reaction from the REALTORS and the consumer alike? Is it still the recognizable brand that it was 7-8 years ago?
The Harmon Homes brand, supported by HarmonHomes.com, is one of the oldest, most recognizable and respected names in the industry. Our dedication to providing the best solution to the real estate industry and the home buying and selling public has long been above industry standards.
I know that we still see the media telling the buying public that print is dead and online is the only way to go. As a publisher, are you finding it more difficult to grow your print publications and if so, what is Harmon Homes doing to meet and exceed the consumer’s new expectations?
HarmonHomes.com has always adapted, modified and provided the most up-to-date products and services to meet the industry and consumer where they are in the life cycle of the buying and selling process. Our strength has always been strong and consistent in serving this need to the targeted segmented consumer provided through both online and the print targeted periodicals that are distributed into the marketplace. The publications strongly serve their segment, while being enhanced by our portal harmonhomes.com, and the every growing free subscription online version of our magazines e.harmonhomes.com.
With the economy going into its second decline in a handful of years and the housing market now officially worse than the great depression. What role do you see Harmon Homes playing to help alleviate growing concerns and educate the community on dealing with this new crisis?
Harmonhomes.com has always concentrated our focus on the positive in the housing industry and sharing that with the consumers. The dream of home ownership is real and homes are selling! We want to educate the public through harmonhomes.com and our magazines through very positive and relevant content.
With social media more than the next fad, but a proven business tool, what are Harmon’s plans regarding the social arena?
We are expanding our reach through marketing efforts to social media via blogs, press releases, etc.
Karen, I know that technology also plays an integral part in your plans for your future plans at HarmonHomes.com. How are you setting yourself apart from the other online listing portals?
Our products, services and offerings are targeted towards not only the Realtors and customers with the marketing of properties, but are focused on helping brand, drive more leads and response to our customers through additional marketing services. We also offer additional help to the home buyers and sellers by providing useful market tools and most recently the 1 Minute Housing Trend Report to help with the education and buying process.
Well Karen, it was a pleasure sitting down with you today and I guess my last question for you is, how does it feel to have one of the strongest women’s voices in an industry that for decades was dominated by men?
Hahaha … Well, that’s certainly an interesting question and I can’t say that it’s not had its challenges. I think that through hard work, dedication, commitment, and proven success done with integrity and honesty whatever career choice you make, regardless of your status, you can prevail and make your footprint. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to be opinionated, strong-willed and feisty either.
For other interviews in the Voices of Women series, visit FrogPond.com.