‘A lot of attention’

Barbara Pearce may be well known in the volunteer and real estate circles in New Haven, but it seemed odd to her when a complete stranger approached her a couple of weeks ago and said he recognized her. In fact, he said he felt like he ate breakfast with her every morning.

Pearce, the president and chief executive officer of North Haven-based H. Pearce Real Estate Co., is getting recognized a bit more these days after bringing a mini version of traditional televised home shows to Greater New Haven.

“We’re getting a lot of attention,” she said.

Pearce discovered the format for mini home show commercials during a recent trip to Iowa. She is a member of a national organization of independently owned real estate firms, and one of the other members had been producing the shows in Davenport, Iowa. Pearce saw one of the programs and thought they might be a good fit for H. Pearce, and the firm started to produce 90-second home shows.

The shows have been running for about four weeks so far. They run six times a week – every weekday and on Saturday – before “Good Morning America” on the local ABC station. The shows consist of an introduction by Pearce – 12 intros were taped during a shoot at her home – and pictures, with voiceovers, of five homes that are up for sale. Each program also shows a picture of the Realtor who is selling the property and a phone number to call.

Agents have been getting a lot of calls about homes that are featured on the shows, Pearce said.

She added that she hopes the time and placement of the mini programs will appeal to a demographic that is not reached with traditional, half-hour home shows.

“We’re aiming at a different [person] than the one who watches the Sunday home show,” Pearce said.

The mini shows appeal to people who are busy and who perhaps are not actively shopping for a new home. But because the shows reach a large audience of professional people who are getting ready for work, Pearce hopes factors like low interest rates, combined with the exposure to homes that are on the market, might plant the idea of buying a new home in their minds.

H. Pearce’s effort is the only short home show Pearce has seen in Connecticut.

“Everything else I know is a half-hour home show,” she said.

Putting together the shows is fairly easy, Pearce said. The firm uploads photos of homes from its Web site to make up the bulk of the shows.

“Once we got it figured out, it was OK,” Pearce said.

The mini home shows will run for 13 weeks now and another 13 weeks in the fall. The firm won’t run any over the summer because people don’t watch the morning news as often during that season, Pearce said.