Realtor associations are a puzzling bunch.

I put this down largely to a general lack of focus in their overall mission or raison d’etre. Are they supposed to be market cheerleaders, lobby groups, representatives of the industry – what are they? I don’t think they even know sometimes.

Nowhere is this lack of focus more apparent than in their marketing campaigns, which generally range from bad to the downright awful and out of touch (see Buy a House, Or The Dog Gets It for example). They also usually suffer from a startling lack of creativity.

I have only seen a couple of truly creative marketing campaigns in the past – there was one a while back (from somewhere in Florida I think) that was along the lines of “Don’t DIY” or an anti-FSBO message, that struck me as pretty good. But my memory is failing me now and I couldn’t find it in any of my Google searches (Strike One, BTW).

Michael Smith from Nova Scotia Real Estate Agent, tipped me off to an excellent campaign created by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) however.

crea.jpg is a very clever use of Flash and video technology that helps consumers answer some of the questions they might have when facing one of the biggest financial transactions in their lives.

The message was bang on and it was delivered in a very soothing, yet not condescending manner (Kudos to whomever casted the talent). The site was comprehensive, easy to navigate and very personal – I almost got the sense that the Realtor was in the room with me answering my questions.

In fact it was so successful, I would say my only criticism was that there wasn’t enough video. I was enjoying just sitting back and have her tell me what I need to know. When I had to sit forward and actually read the text on the screen I was a bit taken aback.

Much of what makes this site successful in my mind is the attention to detail. I love that the Realtor welcomes you back if you’ve been to the site before and how she sits and plays with her Blackberry while she waits for you to make a choice.

This is the type of marketing a Realtor association should be doing. Putting a positive face on the industry. Demonstrating a Realtor’s
value proposition by positioning them in a positive light and show
them as caring, knowledgeable market experts.

By taking off their Industry hats for a moment and realizing consumers have a lot of questions they need answering, CREA has created a meaningful, impactful campaign that uses technology to provide the answers in a fun and engaging way.

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