MP: How do you help educate consumers about the value of working with a REALTOR®?
Frederick Herot: We think consumers are served best if they choose a REALTOR® to handle the transaction. We offer REALTORS® the means to display their block “R” on their listings and their profile on realtor.com®. We then point out to consumers that this means the agent and broker have subscribed to a code of ethics that holds them to a higher standard. We also have systems that help consumers find, recommend or refer a REALTOR®.
MP: Please discuss Move’s commitment to continually testing new marketing vehicles.
Frederick Herot: One way we ensure we are on the right track with our approach is by including actual agents and brokers in our planning, our product iterations and in our communication. We will interview them publicly on what works and what doesn’t work, and adjust based on what is bringing brokers and their agents success. We then ask brokers and agents to explain how they’ve succeeded with our products and services in their own words. You can see examples of this commentary at www.realtor.com/success. We have some very innovative new marketing initiatives in the works for 2014 that are a direct result of the testing we continually do and of our feedback from our constituencies.
The Brand Master
Vice President of Brand, Editorial, and Creative Services
Maria Patterson: What went into the decision to rebrand realtor.com® earlier this year?
Andrew Strickman: In an era of brand being king, along with some level of confusion among consumers about our brand, it became important for us to tell a fuller story than we previously had. Realtor.com® is the official site of NAR and also something much more—it is the first place many homebuyers and sellers go when considering a new purchase or sale. We have the most comprehensive and accurate data of any listing site and that’s because of our long-term relationship with the more than 800 MLSs across the country. So the rebranding had a lot to do with the level of our accuracy and the desire to set ourselves apart.
MP: How does this branding set you apart on a somewhat congested playing field?
Andrew Strickman: Other listing sites provide information—some accurate, some inaccurate—driven by a machine-oriented interface. The core difference at realtor.com® is the emphasis we place on the professional in any real estate transaction. We believe the REALTOR® has to be part of the process. This is the human element of our brand that needed to come forward both in visual and text. We developed a range of different visual identities for the brand along with the tagline, “Where Home Happens.”