Owners’ Open House

Real Estate Listings Web Site Breaks Ads
SAN FRANCISCO–Pickett Advertising is challenging the role of real estate agents in its launch ads for Owners.com.
Outdoor and print ads from the San Francisco shop take direct aim at the standard 6 percent commission charged by real estate agents when they help sell a home. The idea is to set Owners.com apart from other real estate Web sites that only include homes listed with brokers.
The campaign is due to expand into TV in early February. Billings are approximately $15 million.
One ad shows a close-up of a door knocker with the headline, “Paying 6% commission? Hello, is anybody home?”
Billboards are appearing in the Bay Area and some locations in the Midwest, where it is more common for owners to sell their own homes. The site includes a listing of homes for sale around the country, including those not listed by brokers.
“Places that tend to be more neighborly and less litigious” are open to this do-it-yourself approach, said executive creative director Bob Dorfman.
Agency and client executives said they believe real estate will follow the trend in the travel and investment markets toward using the Web to bypass the traditional channels of transaction.
“We are demystifying the process and putting control in the hands of the consumer,” said Hans Koch, client chief executive officer.
The tagline used in the work, “Real control over real estate,” is under review and may be modified before the TV work breaks.