MP: Tell me about your approach to having Leslie Piper as your spokesperson. I understand she is a working REALTOR®?
Alison Schwartz: There are many economists who interpret and publicly speak to housing industry data, but there wasn’t anyone talking about how that data impacted consumers. So in addition to having Errol Samuelson and other of our well-versed executives talk to the press, we hired Leslie Piper to be our Consumer Housing Specialist to take the mystery out of the complicated process of buying or renting a home. We found out right away that there was a huge demand for a credible spokesperson who can walk alongside consumers and arm them with the best information as they make one of the most critical decisions of their life. And it doesn’t hurt that Leslie is also a working REALTOR®.
MP: Please tell me about your close partnership with Investor Relations and Industry Relations.
Alison Schwartz: We have a great Investor Relations lead, Marta Nichols, who has really transformed how we engage and interact with our investors. Marta and I collaborate in most areas of focus, especially around our quarterly earnings efforts. How we speak with investors and what messages resonate is a strong component of our overall company story. Our Industry Relations team adds expertise to everything we do in communications. We are always running things by their team or brainstorming on how to make what we are doing more effective within the real estate industry.
MP: How do you loop in your employees to ensure all members of the team are company advocates?
Alison Schwartz: I believe strongly that employees should be communicated with early and often. Our employees give us some of the best feedback on our marketing initiatives and programs. The more we engage employees the better off we are when we go live with a program.
For more information, please visit www.realtor.com.