If you want to get buyers to notice to your new home-resale startup, there’s always the option of pretending to run for Senate.
At the start of the week, teal lawn signs bearing the name “Vote for Homie” sprang up all over Phoenix. They promised Arizonans change and prosperity in exchange for their vote in the upcoming state Senate elections on Nov. 6.
Despite their standard appearance, locals soon noticed a very unusual catch: Homie is not a real or even human candidate but rather a Utah-based real estate company that buys homes and then resells them for a fee.
It is not easy to tell the signs Homie put up from an actual political campaign — they use the same wording as politicians and redirect users to a website called HomieForSenate.com. Only at the bottom of the page does one see Homie’s real platform, which has points like “providing low rate home loans” and reducing “real estate ‘taxes’ by providing a simple flat fee to sell your home.”
“Uncle Sam has taken his fair share and it’s time we implement some fiscal change to help offset the rising taxes, fees, penalties and costs homeowners and taxpayers shell out every day,” the website reads.
I was torn as to who I should vote for in the #Arizona Senate race, I really want to vote for #Homie but I can’t find Homie on the #ballot. Apparently my other homie @Max_Gorden is looking into this Homie #candidate. Find out more on @azfamily #HomieDontPlayThat pic.twitter.com/iJ60nc0tZy
— Stanley Roberts (@StanleyRoberts) October 16, 2018
Founded in 2015, Homie LLC offers a number of iBuyer and mortgage services through chains like Homie LLC, Homie Loans, Homie Technology and Homie We’ve Got Your Back.
The signs, then, were actually part of Homie’s marketing campaign, the company’s Vice President of Marketing Joe Grover told Inman.
“With a message this big and disruptive we needed an unconventional way to share it,” Grover told Inman in an email. “We believe consumers appreciate companies that are serving their best interests and find unique ways to share their vision.”
Ultimately, Homie achieved its goal of getting people to notice the company — dozens of people took to Twitter to both laud the company’s humor and accuse it of sowing confusion around a real election.
“This is a whole new level of campaign crazy,” Dana Kennedy, a state director for Arizona’s American Association of Retired Persons, wrote on Twitter.
“This isn’t really a candidate its a marketing gimmick,” local resident Matt Roberts, wrote on Twitter. “The only Homie anyone should support is Homie D. Clown from In Living Color.”
This is a whole new campaign crazy. I was wondering about this candidate since Homie isn’t on my ballot and signs are all over my https://t.co/HRJxPzvrqb, Homie isn’t running for the Senate https://t.co/e5yew50E5T via @arizonamirror
— kennedydana (@kennedydana) October 16, 2018
The AZSOS has been getting emails about Homie for Senate. This isn't really a candidate its a marketing gimmick. The only Homie anyone should support is Homie D. Clown from In Living Color. For those of you of a certain age, you might remember it was quite the funny show. pic.twitter.com/f5TG5AwVpr
— matt roberts (@MattFlackAZ) October 12, 2018
Grover further told Inman that they felt local residents could benefit from their real estate services and advertised them while abiding with local laws about street placement of signs.
“We’ve made it clear in all of our follow-up marketing and interviews that we hope people will get out and vote for the Senate candidate that best represents their interests, and if they are looking for a new way to buy or sell a home we’d like them to ‘vote’ for Homie,” Grover said.