CEO'S TAKE: Making a Brand Promise with 'That's Who We R'
March 22, 2019 CEO's Take Ryan Castle
Helping consumers understand why working with a REALTOR® is the best choice for the life-changing transaction of buying or selling a home goes way back to 1913.
REALTORS® are real people helping make a difference everywhere, from our neighborhoods, to our nation’s capital.
That’s Who We R.
That is the consumer marketing campaign the National Association of REALTORS® recently rolled out to promote being a REALTOR®. I happen to think that it’s really good. It lets the public know that a REALTOR® is more than just access to listings, and more than just someone who shows houses. A REALTOR® is someone who is a community advocate and is held to a higher standard with the Code of Ethics, and, most importantly, someone who impacts lives in a positive manner.
Doing an ad campaign for an Association of REALTORS® is difficult. I generally view them in two categories – they can either move the consumer or they can appease the member. It’s hard to do both.
For instance, in the past, NAR has completely focused their ad campaign on the consumer, such as the Phil Dunphy ads that many felt made REALTORS® look goofy. Then there was the forgettable “Homewonership: We Were Made for This” campaign, followed by a newer campaign that some thought was funny and others thought was just plain odd.
The new ‘That’s Who We R®’ ads are effective. They position REALTORS® where they need to be positioned: Above a sales agent who simply lists and shows houses.
Quite honestly, it’s hard to make a brand promise for an organization. With a brand promise, it has to be a promise that you can live by.
Brand promises must be achievable. For example, Wal-Mart would look foolish to make a brand promise that says “Enjoy the experience.” Instead, Wal-mart’s brand promise is “Save Money. Live Better.” They can fulfill that brand promise.
Saying all REALTORS® are the best thing ever is hard. Instead, NAR made it something more promising – every member lives by the Code, every member should be an advocate for their community and clients. Those are brand promises that can raise the expectation of the public and give something for members to live up to.
As much as I like the ads in the new campaign, it will only be successful if REALTORS® deliver on the promises and principles showcased in the ads. If you don’t deliver a top-tier level of service to your clients and don’t abide by the Code of Ethics, be community advocates, and live up to the promise.
Too many times I hear from members remarks like: ‘What is my value if people can find homes online? What is my value if anyone can get into to see a house for sale? What is my value if sellers can put their own property on Zillow? What is my value if ……?’
These are questions I hear on a regular basis. If you can’t define your value to the real estate business beyond ‘showing houses,’ then the ‘That’s Who We R®’ campaign will fall flat.
The National Association of REALTORS® is taking a huge task off your plate by clearly defining your value. You are the one that is held to a higher standard – the Code of Ethics. You have a duty to abide by it and a duty to enforce it. That includes calling out others when they are not living up to this standard. You are an advocate. You are the one who takes an active role in your government and community to advance homeownership and opportunity, and to protect private property rights.
You are the neighborhood expert. The one who knows the resources and groups to connect homeowners to and you can be the most valuable member of that community.
Go out and live it and show the public ‘That’s Who We R®’.