Buying a house is a financial decision, but buying a home? That one’s a bit more emotional.
Realtor.com looks to appeal to the emotional side of consumers’ real estate purchases in a new digital campaign. Using the tagline, “Find it first,” the site touts its ability to help people find the perfect home with the most up-to-date inventory and connections to Realtors to help them complete the purchase.
“Buying a home is a real serious business. It’s probably the most important decision in people’s lives,” Andrew Strickman, vice president of brand and creative for Move, Inc. (which owns Realtor.com), tells Marketing Daily. “But looking for a home and searching for that dream home is a lot of fun. And we needed to put some of that warmth into our brand to set ourselves apart.”
The campaign comes amid increased competition in the online real-estate market. Having been primarily focused on reaching Realtors for the past few years, the new effort marks a renewed focus on reaching the consumer market.
“One area we haven’t focused on in a really long time was the consumer,” he says. “We were focused on rich engaging experience, we hadn’t really engaged with consumers in a marketing setting.”
The campaign from San Francisco agency Pereira & O’Dell uses simple wit to engage the consumers, as well as a redesigned logo (putting the word “Realtor” in all lower-case lettering) to differentiate the site from other more “clinical, data-driven” sites, Strickman says, while touting the accuracy of its connection to more than 800 MLS (multiple listing services) sites around the country. “You’re not the only one dreaming about your perfect home,” reads one. “If your perfect home just hit the market, it just hit our site,” reads another.
“Everybody wants to feel special about their dream home. At the same time, it would be irrational to assume you’re the only one who’s interested in your dream home,” he says. “It’s taking what could be considered a boring topic – data accuracy – and turns it into something that not only unleashes a competitive spirit, but also connects emotionally.”
The campaign is also meant not just to connect consumers with their dream homes, but also with the Realtors who will help them achieve that dream. “We’re in the business of relationships and we’re in the business of making connections, not only connecting the consumers to the home that they want, but also with connecting them to the realtor who can make that a reality,” Strickman says.
The online campaign will run in places such as the New York Times’ and Wall Street Journal’s real estate sections, as well as other sites frequented by prospective home buyers, he says. Later in the year, the rich-media banner ads (some of which allow people to search for property directly within them) will be followed by some live action spots that will run online.