By Maria Patterson
Personal. Engaging. Informative. Accurate.
The defining characteristics of any upstanding REALTOR®. However, these attributes are also cornerstones of the new and improved realtor.com® brand—and that’s no coincidence. Designed to emphasize its positioning as the only listing site that serves as a true partner to the real estate community, realtor.com®’ s rebranding was born of the company’s newly integrated marketing efforts, spearheaded by Move CMO Barbara O’Connor.
By building a centralized marketing team, O’Connor has created a platform for realtor.com® to disseminate a powerful, unified message that sets it apart from competitors in the portal space, and expands its role as supporter of all things REALTOR®. Here, O’Connor and her key team members discuss how this integrative marketing approach—along with a liberating new operating agreement with the National Association of REALTORS®—has truly given realtor.com® new legs.
The Marketing Maven
Chief Marketing Officer
Maria Patterson: For starters, how would you characterize your first year at Move?
Barbara O’Connor: I do not think I’ve ever worked harder! Although I’ve been entrenched in marketing for many, many years while at Apple, Yahoo! and many Silicon Valley start-ups, to do a really good job, I believe you must understand the motivations of your audience as well as understand the industry landscape itself. Coming to Move, I needed to understand not only the consumer’s view toward real estate, but also understand the REALTOR®’ s view, the broker’s view, the MLS’s view, etc. Since it is essential that our company remain a strong partner with the industry, I had to understand the industry dynamics. Having completed my first year, I now have a sense of the consumer and industry dynamics; I am thrilled and energized with the opportunity ahead.
MP: Please talk about the organizational changes in the marketing department, specifically the centralized marketing team.
Barbara O’Connor: In the past, various groups had their own marketing person or function, which made it very hard to communicate a consistent, cohesive message for our various constituencies: consumers, REALTORS®, brokers, influencers and partners, such as the MLSs and National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). For example, in the past, when I had asked folks what realtor.com® stood for, or why someone should choose us over a competitor, I got five different answers. Centralizing our marketing has allowed us to develop and communicate a cohesive and consistent message and maintain a stronger focus on our consumers, customers and industry partners.