By Peter Ricci
In a new strategy to generate buzz among consumers and Realtors, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has launched a wide-ranging email campaign on homeownership.
According to a description of the campaign on NAR’s website, the campaign began last week when NAR began sending out a series of emails to all U.S. homeowners (that’s roughly 75 million people) and 7 million renters who aspire to become homeowners.
Stephanie Singer, NAR’s managing director of media communications, said it will take six weeks to send out the emails, such is their volume.
The email campaign has two stated goals:
- Educate consumers about the value of home ownership.
- Introduce consumers to NAR and HouseLogic, NAR’s website for homeowners, as their allies in support of home ownership.
The email campaign, then, works in tandem with NAR’s existing public policy outreach efforts on national TV and radio, traditional media coverage, social media and its Real Estate Today radio program, which are all funded by NAR’s $40 million annual advertising budget; Singer said the $35 special assessment from members goes towards that budget.
The ultimate goal, Singer said, of the emails, TV ads and other efforts, is to give housing-related issues greater exposure with consumers, a noted contrast from the original intention of the campaign, which, when it was launched 10 years ago, was focused on branding and establishing what Realtors stood for.
“We just want to put [housing] on consumer’s radars,” she said.
Though NAR is still sending out that first round of emails, it has stated that if Congress takes any action to reduce federal support for homeowners (an increasing possibility, in light of the renewed debt talks), it will sent out a second and third round of emails that could focus on the following topics:
- Government policies that have historically supported the U.S. housing industry.
- How those policies are at risk in amidst the present budget debates.
- And finally, ask homeowners to take action and advocate for homeownership.
NAR’s email campaign would, it seems, completes the circle of its public policy push in the run-up to November’s elections. Its Realtor Party is directed towards Realtors and real estate professionals, and now the email campaign is specifically tailored to consumers. As we previously covered, the Realtor Party has proven controversial with some agents; how do you view its appeal to the more general consumer?