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Client Austin Board of REALTORS®
Disciplines Research, Branding, Design & Content, Marketing, Web Development

Austin’s largest real estate association gets a major renovation

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Wrangling a Boomtown

One-hundred fifty-nine people move to Austin every day. 159. Every. Single. Day. For current residents, living in the “fastest-growing city in the country” is a sore subject: Mention the word “traffic” to an Austinite and settle in to hear an angry rant.

But for REALTORS®, Austin is a Boomtown. The market is, as they say, HOT.

A hot real estate market, however, attracts competition — more sellers, buyers, vendors, and builders. Things get crowded and contentious. Then technology swoops in — in the form of apps and websites — to try to help buyers and sellers skirt the traditional homebuying process altogether.

When the market is booming, buyers and sellers think they can manage a home transaction on their own.

The Austin Board of REALTORS (ABoR) came to us in the midst of the boom, eager to reassert their expertise and demonstrate their value to their members — all 12,000+ of them.

ABoR’s insight into the market is complete and real-time. There’s nothing they don’t see. And what they saw was the competition growing in number and savviness.

Opening the House

Let’s get clear about a few things:

  • REALTOR” is capitalized because it’s a brand, not a job title.
  • REALTORS are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). They are not simply real estate agents or brokers. There’s a difference.
  • The difference is this: REALTORS have to uphold the strict professional standards and ethics outlined by the NAR.

Once we understood this, the strategy train was off and running. We now had a way to sharply differentiate REALTORS from the DIY solutions offered by the apps and startup technologies. Whatever brand, design, or campaign work we’d eventually do for ABoR would be rooted in differentiation.

Our creative campaigns start with a concept and a visual system, showing how we’ll communicate the client’s key messages.

Surveying the Property

We began our partnership with ABoR by digging deep into the world of REALTORS. Why do they sell homes? How do they find their clients? What information are REALTORS providing that technology can’t?

Whatever the question, “research” is usually the answer. So we conducted a focus group of local REALTORS — asking questions focused on value. What value do REALTORS provide? We learned a ton during that focus group, including:

Whatever the question, “research” is usually the answer.
  • Most home-buyers don’t realize how complicated the homebuying process is — nor how, if they’re not savvy, they could get seriously burned by it.
  • Having an expert on your side will save/make you more money than if you don’t.
  • Apps like Zillow or Trulia were dangerous in three ways. First, they were competitors. Second, they are often inaccurate. And third, these apps mislead home-buyers into thinking they can handle everything themselves — which often results in missed opportunities and lost money.

A compelling message was beginning to emerge. If REALTORS are like superheroes in the real estate market — extra savvy, knowledgeable, and trustworthy — and if buying a home is loaded with boobytraps that only a seasoned guide can navigate around, then it was obvious: REALTORS can swoop in to save the day.

Yep, that was a good idea. Now, to bring it to life.

Mighty Citizen produced a memorable campaign—one that truly educated the Austin area about the value REALTORS® provide.” Emily Chenevert, Chief Operating Officer
The “There’s a REALTOR for that” campaign met ABoR’s key goal: Show the value of a REALTOR over DIY technology tools.

Brand Awareness Campaign

The campaign’s tagline emerged quite quickly: “There’s a REALTOR for that.” This ad concept accomplished these key efforts:

Emphasized the Human Element

Robots haven’t taken over yet. There are still things that only people — especially seasoned professionals like REALTORS — can do. Important things. (Plus, it would give us an excuse to use faces in the creative, which we know greatly increases ad awareness.)

Recognized a Growing Sentiment

Years ago, it was popular to say, “There’s an app for that.” It was a catchy slogan from the early days of smartphones. “There’s a REALTOR for that” turns that old joke on its head. And by doing so, ABoR was on the early cusp of a big trend: Consumer distrust in technology (and apps specifically). When trying to do something as momentous as buying a home, consumers increasingly want humans, not machines, to answer their questions.

The Campaign was a Success

6.2M
impressions
23K
clicks to microsite
6%+
average Click-Through-Rate for Facebook posts
Most of the campaign ran via digital media, allowing us to closely measure success and make iterative improvements.

Making an Offer

ABoR is a big association — active, engaged, and believers in the power of great creative advertising. Before we partnered with them, ABoR spent most of their ad budget on outdoor advertising, like billboards. Billboards are great, but they’re not truly measurable.

So we took ABoR’s advertising online, where we’d have more options, control, and measurement. We targeted search and display ads to people searching for homes and people new to the Austin area. 

As the ads rolled out over the summer, we monitored their performance closely — making small adjustments along the way to increase click-through rates. Those clicks led users to a microsite we designed specifically for the campaign, which featured custom icons and infographics and a simple Call To Action that led prospective home-buyers to find a REALTOR of their own.

Infographics

ABoR has data — lots and lots of data. But data is useless if people can’t make sense of it. ABoR understood that, so we were thrilled to tackle the “data visualization” challenge.

We developed a system of infographics that helped ABoR illustrate the ongoing changes in the Austin housing market.

We produced a series of custom infographic templates for their internal design team. These templates were then used to create bright, branded, beautiful images that are optimized for each platform where ABoR lives online (web, social media, advertising, etc.). The story of the Austin market, month after month, is told through these designs — allowing ABoR to strengthen their identity as the most knowledgeable association in town.

The infographics are amazing. But even better was the collaboration that helped create them. At every step, Mighty Citizen is a partner.” Emily Chenevert, Chief Operating Officer

Closing the Deal

REALTORS love helping people buy and sell homes. They really, truly love it. Ask any REALTOR, they’ll tell you: When you hand over the keys to the buyer, it’s a special moment — one of the biggest moments of their adult lives. It feels good to be a part of that.

Our partnership with ABoR feels the same. Working to provide real, measurable value to an organization that provides real, measurable value to their members is a professional delight of ours. ABoR’s future is as bright as Austin’s, and we’re thrilled to help.

Recognized By

The ABoR campaign and accompanying microsite has been recognized for excellence.

  • Graphic Design USA
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