Century 21 will be spending more money online in 2009. The company has said that, after a few TV ads to publicize April as the Century 21’s “open house month,” it will stop running national television spots entirely in favor of display ads, search-engine marketing, and partnerships with real estate listing sites. Century 21 already dropped print advertising, on the corporate level at least a year or two ago.

Century 21 is positively bullish about where online advertising is heading. Online lead generation was up more than 237 percent in 2008, and the cost per lead dropped 62 percent from a year ago.

Local agents and brokers are not affected by the Century 21 corporate decision and will be free to run cable spots according to their marketing needs.

Century 21 is actually a bit of a latecomer to the party. Realogy’s ERA Franchise Systems stopped running ads on national broadcast networks three years ago; cable television marketing is gone too.

Michael Fischer, senior vice president of marketing at Coldwell Banker, another Realogy brand, said that television still has its place. He suggested Coldwell Banker might decide to launch a television campaign to spread the word about the company’s new mobile application for iPhone and BlackBerrys, which facilitates property searches in 28 countries.