In a new consumer-facing advertising campaign going live today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) enters a new era, shedding the rosy glasses of the past and addressing consumer issues head-on. This is a major shift for the nearly 108 year old trade group.
NAR tells us, “The campaign slogan, ‘Get Realtor®,’ targets home buyers and sellers with social, digital, print, and radio creative that illustrates the knowledge gap between what consumers think they might know and how a Realtor® can help them succeed, whatever their real estate goals may be.”
The fruits of teaming up with a new ad agency
After two decades with the same ad agency, NAR changed horses last year, bringing on Arnold Worldwide, and together, their first task was to actually ask consumers what they want, what their fears are, what their anxieties are. And guess what? It turns out that the aspirational, “now’s the perfect time” feel-good ads were unrealistic. So, with the new ad agency, NAR is launching a “more realistic” look into Realtors’ role in the transaction.
Stephanie Singer, SVP of Communications at NAR says that shedding the dreamy aspirational campaigns of the past is ushering in the new era, that these more realistic ads offer honesty, acknowledging the anxieties along with the excitement of the process while increasing the relevance and value of Realtors® in the evolving digital landscape.
A quantitative survey by Arnold reveals that contacting a Realtor comes with nearly as much anxiety as the inspection period or negotiating the deal. Many might be surprised that it’s not as easy for millennials and non-millenials alike to connect with Realtors.
Consider that most digital natives refuse to use the phone, yet most Realtors require it for a first point of contact. This is a point of anxiety for an entire generation.
Showing value, redefining perspectives
Singer noted that going digital-first with the “Get Realtor®” campaign is another notable shift, “contemporizing through how [NAR] is reaching out.” Through smarter targeting, the association will be able to tweak the volume of each creative based on live metrics – a far cry from television’s play and stay method. Metrics will allow NAR to push the Realtor’s value to consumers more accurately.
Some of the ads will be paid, and others will be organically sent out through the @Realtors handle on Twitter (which has now transitioned from member-facing to consumer-facing).
“It is subtle, but we ultimately want them to get to a Realtor®,” Singer says, noting that clicking through on these ads take consumers directly to the “Find A Realtor” page on realtor.com.
Consumers don’t know what they don’t know
The new campaign helps consumers to understand that they don’t know what they don’t know. As Singer points out, “there’s only so much you can learn online,” which is what these interactive ads highlight so boldly.
Rather than showing a sweet couple dreaming of decorating a home, the traditionally traditional association is honest about the process and owns it. Offering interactive ads (like a house that is quiet until you tap it for sound and hear a train in the backyard or an airfield overhead, indicating a Realtor would know all that before you ever contact them) and “Realtorisms” to take on a snarky tone about a serious issue, NAR appears serious about boldly planting their flag in the digital landscape.
Video will roll out on February 22nd, and are already available for local and state associations to use (in print), and ads targeting sellers will be released in the future. The association plans to add to and tweak the campaign quarterly.
The first ads in the “Get Realtor®” campaign: