I know… This type of post is usually reserved for Inna, but this time I’ve got to speak up.
Century21 ran four spots during the Super Bowl (here is one) this year and they’ve been the topic of conversation in Facebook’s various Real Estate marketing groups. If I had to sum up the reaction from most Realtors® I’d say it was luke warm with a few liking their “tech forward” representation of Real Estate Professionals while most others either didn’t notice the spots or simply did not like them. Some cite them as a vast improvement over last year’s Real Estate Super Bowl ad that I hear featured unicorns or some gimmicky equivalent.
I hated the ads. Yep, I said “hated”. It’s not because most seemed unfriendly to one group or another or because my 12 year old could have probably shot them better. It’s because these ads committed the same wrongs we’ve watched play out in industry advertising for decades — choosing cheap jokes, pretty pictures and soothing voices to illustrate its self importance. So I’m going to take a step back for a moment and acknowledge a great ad to explain what I mean.
You already know what I’m going to say…
Dodge’s “So God Made a Farmer” ad was brilliant! (If you haven’t see it, watch it right now!)
Dodge managed to hit stop in the middle of the super bowl and take us on a passionate trip. It wasn’t a trip to learn why they’re so great or a journey to discover why they have a superior product. They showed us WHY they do what they do. They connected us to why they believe their product to be so important and gave an abundantly respectful, 3.8 million dollar nod of acknowledgement to those they serve, and in so doing pledged to do more, and do it better, for longer and for less because they know who their customer is, and they know that that customer truly needs what they’re selling.
Dodge paid their respects to this important part of America. They thanked them. But they didn’t dishonor them by doing it badly, no. They chose their words and imagery carefully, saying nothing about themselves. It was pure, liquid good will and as far from a Farmer as I am, even I could appreciate the gesture.
Now back to reality. The average farmer has many trucks, and while they surely want a good one, the choice of which one they buy will rarely make or break what they do.
Here’s what infuriates me about these Real Estate Ads
Let’s talk about the realities of a Real Estate transaction. I know, I know… As licensees most of you know more about it that I ever could, right? I call BULLSHIT!
Real Estate transactions don’t start when a couple drive up to the Real Estate office in their two year old Camery, five months pregnant. Here’s where they start:
- They start the moment two people look into each other’s eyes and realize they want to spend the rest of their lives together.
- They start the moment that just-granduated-college kid starts thinking about his future and realizes what a financial mess he’d left in his past.
- They start when we finally get that promotion we’ve been working toward for a decade.
- They start with the cursed blessing of the loss of a loved one that gives us that little financial bump we need to even be able to think about it.
- They start with the birth of a child, the needs of an aging parent, the desire for a garden and so many other things.
Sure, that transaction starts for you when they click that “I want more information about this house” button on your website, but most of us have been working toward this moment for our entire lives. Fixing things, then breaking them and fixing them again… Loving and losing and laughing and crying and working and pushing and not sleeping (…breath…) not for the god damned home, but to build a life for ourselves that demands and deserves one!
So, when you look at it from your client’s perspective, you are sorta the last part of it, aren’t you? Most people know how important a Real Estate Professional should be. They know they’re better protected for having one. They know it should make the process go more smoothly. They know all these things.
The only people that don’t seem to know how important a Real Estate Professional is are, well, Real Estate Professionals.
So next time your brokerage wants to make a joke about what you do… Next time the NAR wants to reduce the catalyst for the purchase of a home to “your kids will be smarter”… The next time anyone makes light of the seriousness of the role you play in people’s lives…
PLEASE TELL THEM TO STFU!
You just don’t need this kind of help.
Sincerely, and respectfully,
Jon C. Hardison-
ha media group | Hardison & Associates, LLC.
Marketers of Real Estate Professionals who get it…