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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.

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

NAR urges HUD to withdraw misguided proposal on equal housing

(REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATIONS) NAR calls on HUD to reconsider their position concerning who can submit claims, there may be too many faulty claims and slow the help to those in need.

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The NAR requests that The HUD withdraw its amended proposal of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard as deeply rooted systemic discrimination has the potential to result in tons of unintentional inequity claims.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) received a request yesterday from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) asking them to withdraw its recent proposal amending the “Disparate Impact” rule.

NAR believes that while the proposal is a needed and welcomed change, written in August 2019 to amend the HUD’s interpretation of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standards meant to close a segregational gap, (highly-segregated neighborhoods, unfair treatment for people of color, credit inequality, etc.), the proposal creates separation instead of unity between U.S citizens and the NAR, it’s businesses and Realtors, by implementing rules that allow for an overwhelming amount of disparate impact claims.

In support of the August proposal, HUD’s secretary Ben Carson stated, “There is a lack of affordable housing in America today. This proposed rule is intended to increase legal clarity and promote the production and availability of housing in all areas while making sure every person is treated fairly under the law.”

The change to the Disparate Act opens the door for more claims reporting unequal treatment and/or discrimination intentionally. The theory here is not that deeply rooted systemic oppression can be stopped, but that maybe the easier accessibility to submit a claim will force Realtors to make lawfully supported decisions based on industry standards instead of opinions, ultimately holding Realtors who ignore ethical guidelines accountable.

Without the organization receiving the necessary tools and education required to make an impactful change, it will likely result in an overwhelming amount of unintentional discrimination claims. It is also important that the NAR holds the ability to protect its Realtors, their liberty, and rights to a free real estate market.

While it might seem ridiculous of them to ask the HUD to work collaboratively on the Disparate Act in order to provide equal housing, and fair treatment and support of both the NAR and U.S citizens, it’s a necessary business move on behalf of the NAR.

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Real Estate Associations

NAR supports economic inclusion for equal housing opportunities

(REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATIONS) The NAR is pushing to insure anyone who wants a home can get one through a combination of economic inclusion, and eliminating implicit bias.

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economic inclusion

The National Association of Realtors® is working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Equality of Opportunity that addresses accessibility to housing based on economic inclusion. NAR CEO Bob Goldberg said,

“We believe that building a better future in America begins with equal access to housing and opportunity. With ongoing residential segregation contributing to many problems in our society, NAR recognizes that this nation cannot achieve true economic equality without first achieving true equality in housing. Our commitment to this cause and to Fair Housing has only strengthened in response to recent tragedies in America.”

What is economic inclusion?

According to the FDIC, economic inclusion describes the efforts to bring underserved communities into the financial mainstream. This could include things like making sure consumers have access to bank accounts and financial services; protections against discriminatory lending practices; and other types of consumer protections. Although the FDIC’s efforts seem to focus on unbanked and underbanked consumers, economic inclusion reaches around to all financial transactions, including housing.

Research from the Brookings Institution cites barriers to economic inclusion as slowing economic growth in local communities. Giving underserved communities access to financial products and opportunities actually spurs the local economy. The government bears the weight of services for the underserved. For example, childhood poverty costs the U.S. economy about 4% of the GDP annually. Nationwide, that is about $500 billion a year. Economic inclusion gives people a way out. It’s not a hand-out, but education and opportunities to change the future.

The NAR is making real change for the underserved

Last week, it was announced that the NAR introduced tools that would reduce implicit bias. Goldberg said, “NAR has spent recent years reexamining how our 1.4 million members can best lead the fight against discrimination, bigotry, and injustice.” The NAR isn’t just talking about it. They’re putting their money behind inclusion, and preventing unfair housing practices. These kind of changes matter for everyone.

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Real Estate Associations

NAR introduces meaningful tools and training to stop implicit bias

(REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATIONS) The NAR has been taking steps forward to erase implicit bias, and recent events have made this that much more important. You should also take steps.

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implicit bias not found

The National Association of Realtors® is demonstrating its commitment to addressing housing discrimination and racial injustice through an Implicit Bias Training video that is being distributed to members. The online video proposes to “give (real estate agents) the tools to help override the effects of implicit bias. This means that the next time (they) work with clients from other cultures and backgrounds, (they) will be in a position to provide equal professional service, because (they) have embraced the work we all need to do to treat everyone fairly.” This 50-minute video is just one part of NAR’s work to reduce discrimination in housing.

The NAR is committed to fair housing

This video isn’t just a kneejerk reaction to the recent protests. In January, the NAR leadership announced a plan that emphasized Accountability, Culture Change, and Training (ACT) to protect housing rights, and uphold fair housing standards in the NAR’s code of ethics and in United States law.

Housing discrimination and implicit bias

In 1968, Congress passed the Fair Housing Act, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, or national origin pertaining to housing. The Act has been strengthened over the past 52 years, but enforcement is still inconsistent. The problem isn’t that people are explicitly biased, but that there are many barriers and practices that are leading to continued housing segregation.

One practice that the NAR is responding to is implicit bias, which is an unconscious bias that affects how you interact with others. Consciously, you might never discriminate against another race, but you may unintentionally react differently with another race than you would with someone of the same race. This might manifest itself in many ways as a real estate agent. The Kirwan Institute or the Study of Race and Ethnicity research suggests that implicit bias can be showing black buyers fewer homes than a white homebuyer, even if they are pre-qualified.

Check your biases

The NAR is doing more than simply changing its social media status in light of #BlackLivesMatter. The NAR is working for real change for fair housing. I’d encourage you to watch the entire video to really understand implicit bias in real estate, and how it affects everyone. You can examine your own implicit biases through Project Implicit, a research collaboration project. We aren’t going to end housing discrimination through legislation without real reform by the people who act as guides into the real estate industry.

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