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Exclusive interview: NAR’s new “That’s Who We R®” campaign

(ASSOCIATIONS) The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has launched a new ad campaign – we dig deep into the creation and meanings.

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Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is launching a new campaign, entitled, “That’s Who We R®,” separating their members from non-member real estate agents who don’t subscribe to the Code of Ethics.

In a statement, the association says the campaign reinforces what NAR has always stood for, while signaling the organization’s future, educating consumers about the Realtor difference, and inspiring pride among Realtors for their everyday actions.

Watch:


To learn more about the creation of the ad campaign and the process, we asked Victoria Gillespie, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at NAR a handful of questions that will give you deeper insight into the campaign:

1. Who’s the narrator!?? Voice sounds familiar. 

Damon Taylor. I’m glad you find his voice familiar – he could be your neighbor, your friend or your REALTOR®. We cast a wide net to get the right sound, across style of voice, gender, and delivery, and ultimately felt that Damon did the best job of bringing this new message forward in an ownable way.

2. The commercial is included in a more high profile way than in the past – what’s the thought process behind that?

We wanted to highlight all the work NAR and REALTORS® do – that includes all aspects of real estate that REALTORS® are involved in, so in addition to the residential aspect – it’s the work we do on the commercial side, the advocacy and even the incredible volunteer work we do in the communities.

3. Where will this be distributed? Online? TV? And for how long? 

The channels that define our communications approach reflect the modern ways in which buyers, sellers, AND REALTORS® consume media, including Video, through TV and digital access points, Audio, through terrestrial radio and streaming online, Custom Branded Content partnerships with digital-first publishers like Vice, Apartment Therapy, Thrillist, The Atlantic, Washington Post, and on social media and search platforms. The campaign launches Feb 25th and runs through the end of the year.

4. We picked up on the vibe that all of this happens “inside” the R, kind of behind the scenes, tell us more about that.

In order to really create meaning behind the mark, we wanted to elevate it’s meaning. We turned it into a larger than life icon that could become a portal into the world of NAR, which has countless stories to tell. The spot is in fact titled “Inside the R” and it was very intentional to show a peak of the different things that REALTORS® do that some buyers and sellers might not even be aware of. We wanted to tell a more holistic story and going inside the R allowed us to do just that.

5. Any comment on ultimately going back to the classic logo over the rehaul?

Last year, NAR heard from REALTORS® that they love the REALTOR® R membership mark. So it only made sense to lean-into this iconic trademark and leverage it, and the shapes that make the R. This is a national branding campaign for REALTORS® and the membership mark which represents them, so it is featured prominently in the work. We begin and end the spots with the R, and use it to transition between scenes.

6. Politics was also subtly included this time – was part of the goal to be more expressive of NAR’s wide-reaching role? 

Exactly. REALTORS® and NAR have so many amazing stories to tell, yet many don’t know all the results we have achieved, often behind the scenes, on behalf of property owners across the country. This is an important role we play – and we want consumers to know that we have their backs.

7. What was the creative process? Which orgs were included, which committees, how long did this take to pull together?

First and foremost, Havas listened. They were a new agency to the account and wanted to understand where NAR was in this journey and what we were looking to do. That was last fall. As Havas began to do some of their own digging, they became very inspired by the Code of Ethics.

More and more, people are craving purpose driven brands, and NAR has at our core what we stand for, and we have for over a century. Havas brought us four unique ways in, each with their own style and tone, and landed with That’s Who We R. It was a compelling message and theme which fascinated us with its possibilities.

It was important for this new campaign to be and feel authentic. Havas worked with NAR’s CAC project director and CMO, as well as NAR’s Leadership team and the Consumer Communications Committee. Throughout the process they met with additional NAR teams from Legal, Advocacy, Commercial, speech writing, media and social.

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Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The Real Daily and sister news outlet, The American Genius, and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

Real Estate Associations

Here’s the nitty gritty on how to join a NAR committee

Real change begins with social activism, and being on a NAR committee is one impactful way to enact said change. It’s one thing to complain, but another to take action.

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Everyone says we all need to “raise the bar,” but many focus their efforts on just complaining on Facebook (don’t look at me like that, you know it’s true). Getting involved sometimes means dedicating your time to help the industry to change, to evolve. Realtors can join committees ranging from the diversity committee to professional standards to affordable housing.

Next month, committees will meet at Midyear (The REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo) which is where NAR members take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy and the association. REALTORS® go to Washington, DC, every May for special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show.

Committees help shape the direction of NAR and its policies, thus evolving the industry. If you want your voice to be heard and want to contribute to the decision-making process, NAR’s committees are a great forum for debate and discussion.

Further, experience on national committees is beneficial for those interested in seeking a future leadership role.

According to NAR, there are three main stages in the committee selection process. The first stage is the committee application period from March to May the year prior to the appointment year. A member expertise profile is required to show NAR leadership the experience you have beyond what is written in the application form.

The second stage is the selection process. State Association Executives (AEs) have an opportunity to review and rank applications and provide feedback on applications for their state. All appointments are approved by the incoming President.

The final stage is the notification process. Chairs and vice chairs receive an appointment letter between mid-July and late August. All other positions receive an appointment letter via email in early October.

Unfortunately, with only 2,500 positions available, NAR is unable to appoint everyone who submits an application. They encourage members to try again the following year if not selected. Also, potential candidates should consider committee opportunities at the state and local level to gain experience.

Many of those serving on national committees have had years of experience at the local or state level, but that doesn’t mean first timers don’t make the cut, so put your hat in the ring. It’s a much more meaningful step than just commenting on Facebook, no?

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Real Estate Associations

Why NAR’s new Realtor Safety Network is so critical [personal story]

(REAL ESTATE) NAR has launched the meaningful Realtor Safety Network – here is a personal story, and an exclusive interview with NAR CEO, Bob Goldberg.

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It was a Wednesday evening, the sun would soon be setting, and I was exhausted after pulling an all-nighter the previous night. Our study group would continue, but as a safety-conscious person, I knew it was best to head out.

I walked alone, which was normal for a college student that lived on campus. I held my pepper spray at the ready, had my keys in hand before leaving the building, and was alert. Although tired, I knew I had enough energy to go to dinner with my grandparents.

I get to the full parking garage, and halfway to my car, I hear steps behind me. I look back, and no one is there. I didn’t even see someone duck behind a car. “I’m being paranoid,” I think. “Why is no one around? It’s a full lot!”

I take a few more steps, and I am confident that I hear someone coming up behind me. I turn around, and nothing. I’m ready to use my pepper spray because there is definitely someone following me and I needed to make a decision quickly.

I had three choices – run quickly to my car where I may or may not be able to close the door fast enough, turn back and walk with authority the way I came (risking confrontation), or just straight up confrontation.

I quicken my pace, they quicken theirs, and I know what is about to happen. I turn around so I’m not blindly ambushed by someone I cannot later identify, and it is someone I recognize. Someone I had a class with. But not someone I had ever spoken with before. I hadn’t calculated how I would react in that situation and it slowed me down.

My hesitation meant he was able to shove me, and I fell backwards.

I re-calculate my choices, but this time there was no hesitation because I already knew I was in danger. As I tried to get up, he poised himself to pounce, and I used the pepper spray, knowing I’d probably get a dose, too. I missed his forehead (which is the ideal target as it drips into their eyes, extending the impact), and mostly got his mouth, but enough got into his face that it stalled him.

I rolled over before he could fall on me, and I ran. I was only yards away from a large, densely populated building.

This was nearly 20 years ago, before cell phones were mainstream, and I quickly found help from the school who called police. I won’t go into how they brushed me off and nearly refused to write a report, didn’t want to look for the guy, and so forth.

But I notified my professor as to why I couldn’t possibly go to class the next day. She was the one who insisted the University get involved, and the city police take action. She knew his name and gave it to all entities. And she was the one who never made me step foot in that classroom again, just in case. I got a restraining order, and it apparently scared him enough to stay away, but I knew he could violate it at any moment, so I remained on alert. I’m still on alert today. For him or others that think I might be an easy target.

I later learned he had stalked dozens of students, and attacked several before and after he tried to get to me. He has been in and out of jail since then.

But I always had a nagging thought… what of the other potential victims? Back then, the schools didn’t have any sort of alert system (for school closings or mass shootings). An alert system of systemic attackers could have saved others from being harmed.

It is for this very personal reason that I was moved to hear of the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) new Realtor Safety Network, which was inspired by a Realtor’s child going missing (who is now safe).

NAR CEO, Bob Goldberg took the time to talk me through what the network does – it’s not a pointless group where people whine about missing pets, no, it is activated when there is a potential safety issue, be it physical or online.

NAR is now able to gather information about potential safety issues and either issue a national alert, or share the information through local and state associations via social media, email, and text where applicable.

At this time, it is not set up like an Amber Alert where you can opt in for texts (although I do hope this is ultimately an option), so we encourage members to read any email that is sent to them as an alert, and follow the social media hashtag, #realtorsafetynetwork.

They do have criteria that must be followed prior to a Realtor Safety Network alert being sent out by NAR. It must be a widespread threat impacting Realtors. Qualifying incidents include a pattern of assaults on Realtors, a Realtor or immediate family member going missing (and there is an open police investigation, and the family asks for NAR’s aide), or an association name is being used fraudulently to scam members out of money or identifying information.

Members and Association Executives can fill out a simple incident form, and Goldberg notes there is dedicated staff ready to respond.

While they are going to “continue to perfect” the program, it can be invoked immediately. Goldberg says that members are “our family,” and that the goal is to coordinate with local authorities to keep members safe physically, and keep their identities secured.

Goldberg notes that they intend on using the network sparingly, which makes perfect sense – remember when car alarms came out and you’d jump when one went off, but now you ignore all car alarms as a nuisance? The association has long offered Realtor Safety reports and statistics, as well as safety guidance and classes, but to see this meaningful step taken is one worthy of applause.

My inner 18 year old that still remembers the heart-in-my-throat fear of an impending attack thanks NAR. Truly.

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Real Estate Associations

NAR adds sharp new execs to expanding team

(ASSOCIATION NEWS) NAR is in the middle of a massive restructuring, and any rebuilding means attracting new executive talent. Here’s what you need to know about the two newest executive additions.

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Starting today, two new hires will join the National Association of Realtors with the goal of enhancing the association’s relationship with consumers and members.

This move is part of NAR CEO, Bob Goldberg‘s vision for restructuring the association, and comes on the heels of NAR’s major ad campaign announcement.

Susan Welter is NAR’s new VP of Creative and Content Strategy and brings 25 years of experience and publishing in marketing, and over a decade of working with over 50 associations on their communications and non-dues revenue growth. Welter most recently consulted with associations on content strategies and programming designed to increase member acquisition, engagement, and retention.

“Having served the association market for most of my career, I’m excited to put that collective experience to use at NAR to better engage with our members and deepen our relationships with our industry partners, providing an exceptional experience for all,” said Welter.

Mantill Williams is NAR’s new VP of PR and Communication Strategy, and has over two decades of media relations, speechwriting, and advocacy communications experience. For the last 12 years, Williams served as director of advocacy communications for the American Public Transportation Association, and previously led the communications team for AAA. His role will be to develop strategic communications campaigns at NAR.

“I am thrilled to begin this new role at NAR using my previous association experience to enhance the ways in which we reach and connect with our current and prospective members,” said Williams. “I look forward to promoting the value and services offered to our members and advancing NAR’s position as the leading voice in the real estate industry.”

Both will report to NAR Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Victoria Gillespie.

“Mantill and Susan bring more than 40 years’ combined experience developing and executing major marketing and communications campaigns both within the real estate industry and for other professional associations,” said Goldberg. “They will elevate member communications and help us tell more creative and compelling stories about Realtors® and property owners.”

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