Realtors Boost Media Budget

RM&D Sees Extra $15 Mil. for Network TV, Cable, Radio Buys
ATLANTA–Reacting to Internet-driven assaults on members’ business, the National Association of Realtors has added $15 million to its $33 million campaign to educate consumers about the value brokers bring to real estate transactions.
“We’re not so concerned about [bypassing the realtor],” said NAR vice president Stephen Cook. “Our concern is the misperceptions these sites create by suggesting that a complex financial transaction like buying or selling a home can be handled by a non-professional.”
Townsend & O’Leary in Irvine, Calif., created the new television commercials, including one for, the Washington, D.C.-based trade association’s Web site. The online venue lists 1.3 million properties as “the place to start when you start looking for a home.”
One spot depicts the hassle-free benefits of dealing with a broker. The other ad shows a huge computer cursor flying over a small town. It eventually clicks on “to provide a picture that makes people more confident about keeping a realtor in the center of the transaction,” said John Most, T&O executive vice president.
Baltimore-based Richardson, Myers & Donofrio is buying media for the national spots, which will air on The Today Show, CBS Evening News, CNN and other high-profile network, cable and radio venues beginning this month.
According to the NAR, the additional media spending is also a result of the success the 1998 campaign had in raising awareness–a double-digit in-crease in the percentage of consumers who believe realtors simplify sales, save time and maximize a house’s selling price.
“We’re very pleased with the value of our [media] buys,” said Cook.
Historically, about 15 percent of all homeowners buy or sell their properties without a real estate agent. The NAR has 750,000 members nationwide. K