We know that buying a home is not what it looks like on TV. For homebuyers, it’s an equally nerve-wracking and rewarding journey, and for those looking for their next home there’s value in portraying the process in an authentic fashion. That’s why our brand campaign, “Homes, for the real of us,” captures that very sentiment. We sat down with realtor.com Chief Creative Officer Andrew Strickman to understand more about the campaign, which underscores our commitment to being the trusted partner home buyers can turn to throughout their home-buying journey.
What is the “Homes, for the real of us” campaign about?
With this year’s campaign, we chose to go back to the beginning and focus on the “real” in realtor.com’s DNA. There’s so much artifice in real estate advertising and searching for homes has been made to appear as an over-simplified process — like if buying a home is just a few clicks, or a 30-second TV commercial, away. Consumers want more; they’re smarter than that. “Homes, for the real of us” touches upon the truths and realities of the home-buying process. Searching for a home is a thrilling process, that can have ups and downs, but ultimately brings joy to our users. And realtor.com is that trusted partner to help navigate all of the highs and lows along the way, and to connect home buyers to real estate professionals.
How has realtor.com’s advertising evolved over the past several years, and why is this evolution important?
Just as the real estate landscape has evolved, so have our advertising efforts. The needs of consumers are changing and it’s important now, more than ever, to make sure consumers understand who we are, what we do, and what we stand for. We’ve always aimed to maintain a sense of humor and realness in our campaigns and in the past we’ve leveraged comedic talent (such as Elizabeth Banks) to help get the message across: that realtor.com is a place to beat the fear of missing out and find the home that’s right for you before someone else gets to it first.
After conducting research and hearing consumers’ pain points around the home-buying process, we dug deeper and discovered that they’re still looking for more. This led us to the most important insight: consumers are tired of seeing companies make the process look easy and they’re tired of seeing advertising with unrelatable, over-the-top homes. Realtor.com understands that and knows people crave more ‘real’ in the world, and our campaign reflects that. Sure, seeing over-the-top homes on social media and TV can be fun to look at (and even our Instagram feed can satisfy those cravings), but the reality is that when it comes to finding a home, people are looking for a real home that’s right for them and their needs — instead of a “dream home,” it’s a home they can dream in; instead of the “perfect” home, it’s the home that’s perfect for their situation, their family, their life. The first wave of our campaign features commercials that tell the full story, it’s our anthem and battle cry for more real in real estate advertising. The second wave of work — focused on specific product features — pokes fun at the reality shows we love to laugh at, but find it hard to relate to. We juxtapose a fake world and “real” world to show the contrast between the two and highlight the point that real always beats the dream.
What do you believe makes this campaign unique?
Last year’s campaign used the wants-versus-needs construct of a home buyer’s journey. Each commercial highlighted a specific want or need, such as wanting hardwood floors or a guest bedroom with the need being satisfied by realtor.com, “the home of home search.” This year’s campaign focuses less on specific needs and more on the realities of the process and home-buying journey itself. It challenges conventional thinking about real estate, helps set realistic expectations for buyers and sellers, and, hopefully, leaves consumers with a sense of empowerment, motivation, and excitement.
What are you trying to accomplish with this campaign?
We want to break the cycle and elevate the conversation around home buying. It’s time to make it personal and break out of the sea of sameness that represents most real estate advertising and marketing. Impactful and relatable commercials allow us to spread the message that realtor.com understands the ups and downs of finding a home. The campaign won’t end at the end of the year, rather “Homes, for the real of us” will continue to expand its reach via unique entertainment and media partnerships across TV and digital media.
What do you hope consumers take away from the campaign?
Realtor.com has so many tools that can simplify the home-buying process and help you find the home that’s right for you. It’s not as easy as many of our competitors have made it appear. Research shows both home buyers and agents need something more — trust, honesty, and authenticity about the process. Home buying is not a click away. It’s a process: a fun, quirky, thrilling, and exciting process, and realtor.com is the place to get started.