This month’s National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Power Broker Roundtable discusses “That’s Who We R”, the 2019 campaign for REALTORS®.
Jim Imhoff, Chairman, First Weber Real Estate, Madison, Wis., Liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations
Matt Deuitch, Designated Broker, DPR Realty, Phoenix, Ariz.
Rei Mesa, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty, Miami, Fla.
Chris Trapani, Founder/CEO, Sereno Group, Los Altos, Calif.
Jeff Barnett, EVP for Compass, Alain Pinel REALTORS®, Los Gatos, Calif.
Jim Imhoff: Like MD or PhD, the all-caps REALTOR® symbol after one’s name has long signified professionalism. It’s an indication that the person attached to that REALTOR® designation adheres to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, is knowledgeable and worthy of trust—and more than that, is a caring individual at the ethical heart of our communities.
But how well do consumers understand that? It is important for all REALTORS® that they do. That’s the impetus behind NAR’s new campaign, aptly titled, “That’s Who We R.” It’s a multi-faceted branding campaign to showcase the REALTOR® in ways that resonate with consumers via audio and TV commercials, online media, and a dedicated website where members can use campaign ads, logos, and materials to align their brand with the campaign that launched February 25. REALTORS® can also share their story, as well as read and share other members’ stories from across the country.
Since the campaign is still in its early stages, we thought we’d check in with a few industry leaders to see what they think of the campaign and how they can implement it on the local level. Matt, what’s your impression?
Matt Deuitch: “That’s Who We R” has deep meaning for me because I teach a Code of Ethics class for REALTORS®, and I truly believe that code is what keeps us to such high standards, as an industry and as ethical professionals. In some areas, in fact, such as non-discrimination, the REALTOR® Code of Ethics holds us to higher standards than federal or state law. So I see this campaign as a focus on the value we bring, both to consumers and the community at large. “That’s Who We R” is a golden opportunity to bring that home to consumers.
Rei Mesa: Without question, the campaign is purposeful and well thought-out—an excellent example of NAR’s effort to put us front and center with consumers. It’s a way to help us help consumers understand the difference between an agent, anyone licensed by the state, and a REALTOR® who is committed by our Code of Ethics to uphold the highest level of professionalism.
Chris Trapani: This is a hyperlocal issue for our company, because our people are so focused on giving back to the community. We were founded on the principle of being socially responsible, even committing 1 percent of our firm’s gross revenue to environmental and charitable causes. That is something consumers can’t Google when they search the internet for a house. The internet doesn’t tell them that a REALTOR® is someone who says, ‘I do a lot more than sell houses.’ A REALTOR® is someone who says, ‘This is my life, my school, my neighborhood, my community, and I’m working right alongside you to make it the best it can be.’ That’s the kind of validation we think will come out of this campaign.
Jeff Barnett: I think so, yes, and every REALTOR® who hasn’t yet seen it needs to go to ThatsWhoWeR.realtor and have a look at both the “That’s Who We R” video and the materials they can download and share their own story online.
RM: Any campaign is only as effective as the number of consumers it reaches. While the new campaign is already reaching consumers nationwide, we want to build on that by leveraging it via social media on the local level.
JI: By all means. NAR has partnered with an innovative ad agency that specializes in both strategy and media distribution nationwide. They also worked with NAR to make it easy for firms and individual members to connect to the campaign theme and leverage the materials. It’s the strength of that combined drive that will amplify the message.
JB: I think the campaign is more than a way to elevate our stature in the public eye. It offers a great vote of confidence and a source of pride for any REALTOR®.
MD: You might say it’s a two-pronged campaign. The first is for REALTORS®: ‘Hey, this is who we are.’ And the second for consumers: ‘This is what it means for you.’
CT: That’s key in my view. Our goal is to build long-lasting business and personal relationships with our customers based on mutual goals. Goodwill is an awesome motivator, and that’s what this campaign is all about.
RM: There’s not a lot of trust in today’s world, and actions speak louder than words. “That’s Who We R” shows the REALTOR® in action, and I don’t think there’s a better way to inspire consumer trust.
For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.