Realtor.com operator Move Inc. is launching an aggressive marketing campaign today that portrays the timeliness, accuracy and completeness of listings on the portal as giving its users a competitive advantage over buyers searching for homes on less reliable third-party websites.
The "Find It First" marketing campaign makes the case that with inventories tight in many markets, accurate and timely listings data could make the difference between finding your dream home or losing out to another buyer.
"You’re not the only one dreaming about your perfect home," warns one of the ads.
As the official website of the National Association of Realtors, realtor.com can claim to have the most up-to-date and accurate inventory of U.S. homes listed for sale. The site receives listings data from more than 800 multiple listing services that, in most cases, is updated every 15 minutes.
Because they gather data from a variety of sources, third-party websites like Zillow and Trulia can have gaps in their listings coverage, or show homes that have already been sold or withdrawn from the market as still being for sale. Zillow and Trulia don’t have data on about a quarter of MLS listings, according to recent studies by brokerages ZipRealty and Redfin.
"We are highlighting our competitive advantage in the new campaign," said Andrew Strickman, vice president of brand and creative at Move.
One "Find it First" ad takes a swipe at the quality of listing data on third-party portals, boasting that "The only dead ends you’ll find on our site are homes on cul-de-sacs."
One of the advertisements realtor.com is employing in its new marketing campaign.
In essence, the campaign is portraying realtor.com as the best place to find a home.
"We are different. We are better. Here’s why," Strickman said,
Move, which has not played this hand so aggresively to consumers before, is planning a broader marketing push to bring the company out of the industry shadows and into the consumer light, Strickman said. Realtor.com, the firm’s most consumer-centric property, is the first target.
Move vice president of brand and creative Andrew Strickman explains realtor.com’s new marketing campaign.
Why is Move highlighting this advantage now?
Record low inventory is part of it, Strickman said. Data accuracy and timeliness means a lot more now, he said.
The move’s also about vision, Strickman said.
Move management, after years of focusing on developing its technologies, saw the opporunity to make the play months ago. Last July the company brought in Barbara O’Connor as executive vice president of marketing to implement it.
The first phase of the realtor.com campaign, focused at homebuyers who are looking to purchase a home in the next six months, will be digital-only.
The digital-only phase will feature ads on 50 to 60 websites, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
The second phase will include live-action video, although TV spots are not currently part of that plan.
"We want to gain back some of the ground we’ve lost in the online real estate realm," Strickman said.
Last week, to help consumers "connect emotionally" to the site, Move launched a redesigned realtor.com website with a new logo and color scheme that also de-emphasizes the site’s affiliation with NAR.