Millennials may prefer to shop for a new home online, but photos on a website don’t always tell the full story. To encourage consumers to enlist the services of a Realtor, the National Association of Realtors released a new ad campaign.
To encourage millennials and hyperconnected consumers to step away from their laptops and tablets when buying or selling a home and instead enlist the help of a Realtor , the National Association of Realtors launched a new $35 million multiyear advertising campaign this week.
Dubbed “Get Realtor,” the digital-first campaign was directed by NAR’s Consumer Communication Committee, made up of staff and members, who wanted to contemporize the value of a Realtor, NAR’s Senior Vice President of Communications Stephanie Singer told Associations Now.
According to a phone survey of 1,000 millennials and 1,000 nonmillennials conducted by ad agency Arnold Worldwide on behalf of NAR, contacting a Realtor was a point of high anxiety for a lot of people during their home-buying journey. Arnold coined the term “FORO”–fear of reaching out—to describe the trend.
“People can get so much information online,” Singer said, which creates this feeling of self-sufficiency. But people don’t know what they don’t know. For example, Singer said online sites may have nice pictures, but interested buyers are unable to hear the constant noise from airplanes flying over or cars and trains passing by. Photos can also be misleading. What looks to be an in-ground pool may actually be an above-ground pool, according to Singer.
As part of NAR’s new campaign, ads with sound and deceptive photos will be used on social media platforms to highlight how a Realtor can help a customer see the full picture. Singer said common “realtorisms” like escrow, which some may confuse with the French cuisine escargot, will be highlighted in ads as well to show that working with a Realtor gives buyers and sellers a competitive advantage.
In addition to the digital pieces, NAR also developed customizable print ads for its local and state associations that they can place in regional real estate publications. Both the digital and print components guide consumers to Realtor.com where they can search for an agent in their area.
While the first ads launched on February 8 target younger consumers, Singer said the campaign is long-term, multiyear effort. Additional components, like media partnerships, will be rolled out throughout the first half of the year, and different demographics and audiences (e.g., residential and commercial real-estate customers) will be incorporated. It “can cross over various years of leadership in the association and help deliver a consistent message across target audiences,” she said.
Preliminary research on the campaign has found that, among millennials, 55 percent said they very likely to share the ad materials. And Singer said a higher number reported they would consider contacting a Realtor.
In addition to research, NAR will also measure click-through rates, ad shares, ad engagement, and website visitors to determine the campaign’s effectiveness. “We’re all excited,” she said. “We look forward to seeing the results.”