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The Next Wave of ‘That’s Who We R’

In February, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) launched five new, visually dynamic TV spots telling stories of how REALTORS® open doors to opportunity for their clients and serve as trusted allies within and beyond the transaction. A novel “frozen moment” technique tricks time and allows the viewer to peek into the future to visualize and internalize the emotional journey people experience when opening the door to a new chapter and living their dreams of homeownership or opening a business.

NAR launched the foundational “That’s Who We R” campaign in 2019 and built on that groundwork in 2020, leveraging the power of our iconic REALTOR® trademark and increasing its recognizability with consumers. The world took notice, as 2.93 billion media impressions reinforced the REALTOR® brand last year, and the campaign earned a slew of prestigious national awards and accolades. In 2021, the campaign focuses on “opening doors to opportunity,” kicked-off by five heartwarming spots.

We get a glimpse of buyers’ dreams turned into reality as we watch a young woman running the food bank she envisioned, an expectant mom who sees her growing family thriving in a larger home, a condo owner enjoying time with friends, and a business owner finding the perfect spot for a new hair salon. In each case, a REALTOR® helped make it happen.

NAR’s Consumer Communications Committee is tasked with oversight of NAR’s consumer ad campaign. According to 2021 Chair CJ DelVecchio, “REALTORS® make dreams possible by opening doors to new opportunities every day. Whether helping find a new home or commercial property, REALTORS® are caring and trusted advisors, competent navigators throughout the real estate process.” The ads capture the relationship between REALTORS® and consumers and illustrate why prospective clients should seek a REALTOR®’ s expertise and integrity to help realize their goals and aspirations.

Building a Comprehensive Strategy
These television ads are part of a fully integrated media strategy, primarily aimed at first-time homebuyers across multiple outlets. This includes traditional and streaming audio and video across highly rated cable networks and local broadcast affiliate stations, a diverse array of social platforms, and digital publishers like Vox, Attn:, and The Daily Beast, where we can tell deeper stories through our branded content partnerships. Grounded in a data-driven strategic plan, every media placement is carefully considered, tracked, measured and analyzed to inform next steps in the campaign. Resulting metrics show that we are moving the needle in brand comprehension and increasing the likelihood that consumers will use a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, when they need an agent.

Invaluable Assets – All for You
Mass messaging keeps the brand top of mind and educates the public on the REALTOR® difference, and you and your agents can tap into and extend the power of NAR’s national campaign. Leverage it locally by utilizing the many marketing assets, including logos, print and banner ads, and social assets. In 2020, NAR introduced the Photofy app, which holds a library of campaign images and animated gifs, to make sharing on social platforms easy. Images can be selected, personalized and shared in only a few taps.

Ensuring Authenticity
Creating authentic content was critical, and we were fortunate to have a Consumer Communications Committee that offered key input about wardrobe and other important details. DelVecchio and Vice Chair Justin Knoll provided indispensable insight on scripts, casting and even music, ensuring the new spots feel authentic, so members can “see” themselves in the spots.

Filming in a Pandemic
Filming took place in Los Angeles in December, and safety was our first priority. We took every measure to protect the cast and crew, including hiring an on-set COVID officer and requiring and providing ample PPE, sanitizing stations, and repeated testing. We were also able to do some good. The “Food Bank” spots were shot at an actual food bank, and the 2,000-plus pounds of food used for the shoot were donated to the food bank. We also donated the wardrobe and props to a local charity.

Engaging in the Campaign
This is your campaign, so don’t miss a chance to share in its success. Encourage your agents to open doors to opportunity for themselves and use the print, web and social assets for 2021 by accessing them at or downloading the Photofy app at

Karen Bebart is the director of Consumer Brand Advertising for the National Association of REALTORS®.