How a real estate website can beat HAR.com in Houston

Beating HAR.com in Houston

Want to know how to beat HAR?

Well the truth is you SHOULDN’T. But first a story…


Story: Crushing the Competition

There is this idea in the business that says you should take out your competition at all costs.

Sounds like  dog eat dog world there. In the office building where we are located there used to be another web development company that did real-estate website since their portfolio had a lot of them. Originally, we thought, how we can we beat them? How can we blow them out of the water?

After thinking about it for some time we decided not to even try to do that but instead Bobby Breaux and I, Eric Wargo, decided to walk over there and introduce ourselves. Our goal was simple, how can we turn our competition into our friends and mutually support each other. This would turn them into an asset for us and vice versa. A win-win all around.

We realized that each company was geared to different markets even if they were in the general real estate market for websites? That company has since left our building and closed its doors. Not sure exactly what happened to them but we live with a clear conscience knowing we tried our best to be helpful to them. We have inherited some of their clients and those clients are doing well.


Back to beating HAR.com in Houston

If you haven’t used HAR then you have probably been living in a convent. Simply put HAR, which originally stood for Houston Area Realty, is a website for realtors to list properties that has a tremendous amount of traffic.

Houston Area Real Estate HAR

Houston Area Real Estate HAR.com

If you are in the real-estate business you probably look at that site and wonder why people would even look at your site. We wonder the same thing. Truth is, you can’t compete with HAR and you shouldn’t try to.

If you are in the real-estate business you probably look at that site and wonder why people would even look at your site. We wonder the same thing. Truth is, you can’t compete with HAR and you shouldn’t try to. That being said we have compiled a list of 7 ways to make HAR work in your favor. Some might be obvious but some are not.

1. Listings:

Your name is all about LISTINGS, the more listings you have the more times your name shows up.

2. Your HAR Profile needs to be completely filled out:

Does that sound basic enough for you? It should be but sadly enough many realtors don’t do it. They put their effort into showcasing a house but never themselves. Some realtors simply don’t do a good job and don’t care if their profile is properly filled out. Your profile is really like the digital, 2017 version of an ad in the yellow pages. Take it seriously and there will be some return.

3. Get a good profile picture:

Most ladies take time to post a good profile picture. They get their hair done, take care of the make-up and make sure they look great in the photo. Most men just take a photo once they did a quick Fonzi-style hair-combing. Make your photo look inviting. If you can, put your logo in the photo. These aren’t mug shots so a friendly face is truly key. We do a lot of things subconsciously because we want to feel like we are getting personal service. I gave asked “why did you pick that realtor” and most times the answer is, “I don’t know.” This just proves there is some level of subconscious thought involved.

4. Reviews:

Ask your buyers to leave you reviews on HAR and then use your website to pull in the reviews to your site. Remember that what we are interested in selling at this point isn’t a house but your company as either listing agents or realtors. People trust their friends and people trust non-biased people more than they trust salesmen. A realtor is really a salesman of sorts. We do sales so we get it as well. In the words of Dave Ramsey;

It’s a pleasure to do business with a good salesman.

Don’t be the guy who tries to make himself appear like “just one of your buddies helping you out” but instead as someone who knows their stuff backwards and forwards however is incredibly personable.

But how do you get reviews?

If people like you and enjoyed working with you then they are usually willing to write you a review. I’d do it if someone asked. One thing that does deter people is if they don’t know where and how to write the review. So, just send them a link directly to the place to write the review or to give the rating and give them an example of what to write. This gives them an idea of what they are looking for. This concept works for pretty much every place that offers review, not just HAR.

5. The HAR API:

Use the HAR API to pull in your listings on your site. If you have a lot of listings like our client The Reyna Group then you can even add filters to your listings to help people pinpoint what they are looking for. This is all being done through the HAR API so it’s not anything you are reinventing but instead you are using the available resource and branding it to your company. It can be a lot of work to setup but it’s nothing we can’t handle.

The Reyna Group Realty in Houston, TX

The Reyna Group Realty in Houston, TX

6. Get to know HAR:

The site is ever evolving and ever expanding. Originally it was only for the Houston and then it became the greater Houston area and now they service all of Texas. There is so much traction on this site that chances of it getting even better are super high and chances of it going away are slim to none.

7. Your own Site:

If HAR is so great, do I really need a site myself? Well that is a tricky question. To be honest, we build sites so my answer to that is always going to be a YES! but in all reality it doesn’t always make sense to have your own site but most people these days do expect you to have your own site. They expect to be able to learn more about you if they wanted to. With the advent of smart phones its easy to put up pictures of yourself on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram but to most clients that doesn’t look professional. Having your own site really hits to the human interaction part of marketing and it tells you prospective clients that you are serious about what you do and about what you sell. Must you have a car? Well no but if you showed up to a potential house for a showing on your bike or got dropped off from a cab it hits the emotional place that says to the client, “this person isn’t really in a place to take care of me.”


So what is the conclusion to all this?

You shouldn’t try to beat HAR. Not because you can’t but because you shouldn’t want to. Don’t re-invent the wheel. Call us if you have any questions but seriously, use all the available resources you have. Someone else put time and money into creating HAR. The literally paid the bill so it would be foolish to try and do the same thing. Enjoy HAR.com, we do.

Eric Wargo
Eric Wargo
Eric writes for Sneaker based on his observations and also what he has learned through his experiences and also the current projects he is working on.

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