At the 2015 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo currently under way in Washington, D.C., Realtor.com has unveiled their new logo, new tv and web ads with strong star power (and a dash of humor), and their new design for their mobile and desktop sites.
We’re paying particularly close attention to this move as the real estate search race is as hot as ever with Zillow acquiring Trulia last year (effectively turning it into a two horse race), and News Corp acquiring Move, Inc. (which owns Realtor.com). One point of contention remains data accuracy. Realtor.com has long been touted as the most accurate source, and they’re now taking advantage of their position by emphasizing the “real” in their name (real data, real accuracy, real listings… you get the idea).
In a statement, the company said, “It is intended to communicate that while competitors may feature conflicting or inaccurate information, realtor.com® stands for what is real in real estate by delivering fresh and accurate listings and connecting people with the data, tools and professional expertise they need to discover their perfect home.”
Real estate search sites have traditionally restricted their logo colors to blue and green to appeal to buyers, but this tweak to red and black is a bold, in-your-face move. Move, Inc. CEO, Ryan O’Hara tells us that they chose the colors because “red and black stands for winners.” It’s a color typically associated with love, passion, and determination (and in Chinese culture it represents luck), and the choice indicates to us that the focus of the new brand is just that – determined.
Launching the new look
With the logo setting the tone, the new site (and mobile apps) are also red, black, and white, using red as the boldest of accents throughout. The makeover is modern and minimalistic, nixing any clutter. Noting that it appears to be a dauntless new approach, adhering to modern standards, we’ll let you take a look and judge the design for yourself:
New tagline: “real estate in real time”
Elizabeth Banks. You know her from Pitch Perfect, The Hunger Games movies, 40-Year-Old Virgin, The Spider-Man movies, W., 30 Rock, Role Models, Modern Family, and so forth. She’s kind of a big deal. She stars in the new realtor.com ads, which historically do not feature movie stars or such direct humor. They’ll begin airing next week, but here’s a sneak peek:
“Serving buyers, sellers and renters of properties with the best information and tools anytime, anywhere and communicating the value brokers and agents provide as trusted guides through the process is our utmost priority,” O’Hara said in a statement. “This is what we mean by what’s real in real estate – and what sets us apart.”
Regarding her interest in participating in the campaign, Banks said, “I’m a little house obsessed and looking for a new home right now, which made the opportunity to work on the new realtor.com® ad campaign a great fit. I love the accessibility of realtor.com®. My husband and I email each other photos of houses to look at and the other person can pull them right up – no matter where they are. The realtor.com® app literally allows you to take the home buying experience with you everywhere in your daily life.”
Of note, the web and tv spots were directed by Fred Savage whose directorial credits include episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Modern Family, and commercials for Fitbit and Farmer’s Insurance.
Why any of this matters beyond aesthetic
There will be news soon regarding how the aforementioned redesign impacts the marketing partnership with the National Association of Realtors, but O’Hara tells us that the partnership remains in tact (and we’re betting will be augmented by the new look and tone). The goal of both groups is to assert the value of the Realtor brand and get consumers better connected with practitioners nationwide, so taking a strong position, whether subtly through color choices or assertively through a direct tone change (through star-studded ads and a gallant CEO), consumers will notice.
The new realtor.com embodies the integration of the News Corp culture, which O’Hara tells us is “quality product, action, and teamwork,” all requirements of getting a project done of this magnitude. “The transition has gone exceedingly well,” he notes, and that the entire team is excited to be under the News Corp umbrella. NAR members’ reactions to the acquisition last year were mixed, but of those we interviewed for this story, the bold new identity is going over well. Do you think consumers will share that sentiment? Move is betting big that they will.