Everyone’s got their game face on as the NFL and NHL seasons get underway, and while sports fans are rooting for the home team, real estate companies are making plays to the home buyers in the crowds. Next up to score: realtor.com®.
NAR’s official listing Web site, which is operated by Move, Inc., announced that it has inked a deal to become the “category exclusive” sponsor of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. That grants realtor.com® big ad displays at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., the Sharks’ home stadium, as well as exposure in regional and national television and radio broadcasts of Sharks games. Realtor.com® will also develop giveaways to Sharks fans, co-branded items with the team, and new campaigns that spotlight its mobile apps.
“We continue to look for ways to connect with on-the-go, busy consumers to provide a personalized and powerful real estate experience on their mobile devices,” says Barbara O’Connor, chief marketing officer of Move. “Our agreement with the San Jose Sharks aligns perfectly with the audience we want to reach.” The deal also holds an element of neighbors helping neighbors: The Sharks’ stadium, after all, is only two blocks away from the realtor.com® headquarters, O’Connor notes. Continue reading »
An investment analyst has approached the National Association of REALTORS® and several NAR directors seeking insights on a special meeting of the NAR directors that will take place in July. At the meeting, the directors will be discussing proposed changes to the relationship between NAR/REALTOR® Information Network and Move Inc./RealSelect, which operates REALTOR.com.
The analyst, who signs his e-mails “Jem,” is offering an incentive for information and is seeking to learn the likelihood of changes that would restrict the ability of third parties to aggregate MLS data. NAR General Counsel Laurie Janik says directors should avoid speculating on any future actions of the board. “We don’t know what the board will decide,” Janik says, “so I would strongly caution against speculation.”
Seeking to make a better connection with consumers online, Web site realtor.com® (yes, with a lowercase “r”) unveiled new branding this week. The rebranding effort covers — for now, anyway — the corporate logo and the overall design and structure of the Web site.
“We wanted to focus in the near term on the new look and feel,” says Andrew Strickman, realtor.com®’s vice president of brand and creative. “One of our desires was to clean up the design — make it more open, warmer, and brighter.”
The rebranding is the product of an “exhaustive” research and information-gathering project started by realtor.com® and its parent company, Move Inc. in the first quarter of 2012. That initiative involved input from internal stakeholders, REALTORS®, and consumers, Strickman explains.
Based on the feedback received, the overall strategy is to engage both the hearts and minds of visitors.
“People care deeply about the place they live in,” Strickman says. “It’s an emotional decision, but also a logical one. We really wanted to understand the role that a site like realtor.com® plays in the consumer’s mind as they think about and dream about buying a home.” Continue reading »
By Todd Carpenter, Director of Digital Engagement, National Association of REALTORS®
REALTOR.com’s iOS apps received a significant upgrade this week. Chief among the changes is the ability to identify foreclosed listings and price reductions. In addition, the app features a new “Nearby Recently Sold” search on the home page. After testing a beta of the app over the last week, I see this as a great new feature. Consumers want to know what homes in an area might be worth, and this is a great alternative to providing a “guestimate” of value. Sold data is available on the app as soon as 24 hours after a final sale.
REALTOR.com also made two significant user experience improvements to the new app. The Area Scout feature is more prominent in the navigation. This function updates a map with new listings as you travel — perfect for a client to view as you drive them around a neighborhood. The Area Highlighter has also been promoted to the home screen. This function allows the user to draw a border around a specific area on the map to isolate listings within that specific boundary. This is an incredibly useful feature that many of REALTOR.com’s competitors are now trying to replicate.
Mobile traffic to sites like REALTOR.com is suggesting that apps are becoming many consumers’ preferred method of searching for real estate. Even regional MLSs like Metrolist are adopting these technologies. It’s more important than ever for real estate professionals to consider how their listings are being viewed on these apps. Do you have a mobile marketing strategy for your listings? Maybe it’s time to consider one.
By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
There was a lot of ground covered during the Board of Directors meeting Monday at the 2009 REALTORS® Conference & Expo. Here are some of the highlights:
• The REALTOR® Property Resource (RPR): Attendees got a guided tour of this impressive new site, which ultimately aims to cover pretty much every property in the United States. RPR will be a massive database that will allow NAR members (and only NAR members) to search properties across numerous criteria, from school districts to tax info. Users will also be able to gauge the value of a property based on home improvement projects, site conditions, and comparables. Call it contemporary. Call it cutting edge. Just don’t call it an MLS. Continue reading »