Strategic Vision (Here’s what we wanted to do, and why) A key initiative in NAR’s 2009-11 Strategic Plan calls for NAR to strengthen the relationship between REALTORS® and consumers. Building this relationship through a world-class consumer web site is a centerpiece of NAR’s Second Century Initiative. NAR did this for several reasons: To evolve its role as The Voice for Real Estate to one that speaks for the nation’s 1.3 million real estate professionals AND for the nation’s 75 million+ current and future home owners. The organization also decided that the best, most cost-effective way to reach a large segment of consumers and begin to establish the NAR-consumer relationship was through a world class, best-of-breed web site – with other consumer outreach efforts to potentially follow and build on this site. NAR is the premier real estate organization. We already have the top home listing site. In keeping with our stature and our objectives, we set a goal to be a top 10 home website by the end of 2010.
This strategy translates into member benefits. For example, it creates the opportunity for REALTORS to team with consumers to promote grassroots advocacy on mutually beneficial issues – increasing our effectiveness in Washington. It creates another opportunity beyond the PAC to further improve consumer perceptions of REALTORS. And it extends the REALTOR brand well beyond the transaction to the full life cycle of home ownership, creating an environment where consumers view REALTORS as their trusted advisors for the information and resources they need to maintain and enhance the value of their homes.
No competitor has staked out this territory No other entity can make as credible a claim for this space as NAR This is the sweet spot between what NAR is best at and what consumers value from us How consumers think about NAR: They find credibility and reliability in the fact that for more than 100 years, NAR has been a leader in homeowner advocacy issues, policies and practices. They perceive NAR’s core strengths to be information (statistics, forecasts, housing market trends) and advocacy. No other entity is perceived to have these same strengths in the real estate space – a distinct competitive advantage to our efforts. Consumers perceive NAR and REALTORS differently. While they have generally favorable impressions of NAR, their impressions of REALTORS vary widely based on previous personal experience. This suggests that it’s wise that the entity – NAR – establish this relationship with consumers, on behalf of its members.
One of the key objectives of the research foundation we built for the site was identifying “white space” in the market. We have identified a differentiated positioning that consumers value and that plays to NAR’s strengths.
NAR already has the number 1 real estate transaction website. A website about homeownership allows us to cover the full lifecycle of homeownership in the online channel.
HouseLogic is a comprehensive resource about home ownership that will cover every aspect of owning a home – through a financial values lens. How consumers think about homeownership: They see their home as both a place to live in and enjoy and as an investment. They see responsible homeownership and community involvement as very closely related. Many feel overwhelmed by the process of maintaining their home; they wish it were easier; they would value being told what to do when, in simple terms, so they didn’t have to “think” about it. They want to feel “smart” and “in the know” about their homes and issues related to homeownership. They want to be “inspired” to uncover the true potential of their homes. They want a “trusted, knowledgable advisor” to help them with their home maintenance issues, help them save money on their home, help them make wise investments in their home, and help them engage in their community. The HouseLogic product concept weaves these themes together into a product consumers can use.
At the time NAR set its vision, we had some assumptions about how consumers perceive NAR, how they might react to this kind of initiative, and what kind of homeownership information was most important to them – all untested . A lot of our work over has involved testing these assumptions. Early research told us that getting it *right” meant we needed a site that: clearly differentiated us in the “home” space on the web solved unmet consumer needs around maintaining and enhancing the value of their homes offered a unique, compelling value proposition to consumers that causes them to want to engage in a relationship with us. The next and most important step in our research involved learning what consumers’ homeownership needs are from their point of view. We wanted to know what NAR has to offer that consumers value where they see us as a credible authority what unmet or under-met needs there are in the marketplace that we could fill. We also sought their perceptions of NAR and of REALTORS. Then we validated and expanded on those learnings by doing a study of that represents American homeowners. The research encompassed members of every stripe from every region from urban population centers to rural areas. In addition, we had a REALTOR® panel review the website during the development process. The site has also been vetted through a panel of REALTORS® to “ride along” with us and provide feedback on the product as we developed it. All major constituencies of the Association are represented on the panel– from agents and brokers to association executives and committee members.
Who will pay attention to this kind of web site, and why? I want to share with you today a “persona” (as it’s called in web development terms) that illustrates the primary user for this web site. Personas are a way to bring to life and make real the data points I’m about to share with you. In a nutshell: As we develop this site, this is the primary person we’ll be building it for. This person is predisposed to pay attention to a web site from NAR that helps them manage their home because: they are particularly interested in home ownership issues and want to become more knowledgable about how to maintain, protect and increase their home’s value they are highly interested in what NAR has to offer they are predisposed to homeownership advocacy they represent 57% of all spending on home maintenance and upgrades and are very attractive to sponsors and advertisers. they think there are few responsibilities more serious than that of owning a home. they are willing to sign a petition from a non-profit organization protecting homeowner rights. they want to become more knowledgeable about how to maintain, protect and increase their home’s value.
What kind of information will they pay attention to? (percentages provided for all homeowners and primary audience target) : In general, they want to be: informed through news, information, policies, perspectives… with a responsible financial values lens inspired through information that is fresh, provocative and insightful empowered to take action on issues and topics that matter to them they want information that makes it easier for them to be responsible homeowners but the information must be pure, objective and in their interest
HouseLogic is a comprehensive resource about home ownership, with information about every aspect of homeownership including adding value, maintenance, taxes, finances such as home budgeting and mortgages as well as news about housing. NAR’s role in the site is represented across the top of every page – Brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS – and in the About Us section of the site, as well as in the House Logic Story section of the site. There are more than 130 pieces of high-quality original content developed by the HouseLogic editorial team. The site’s editorial staff include alums from This Old House, Money Magazine, DIY, HGTV, WSJ, NYT This is just the starting point. We will be continually be developing new content for the site and special section of the site exclusively for NAR members, called the REALTORS Content Resource, which I’ll be showing you in a moment.
Note the REALTOR R is at the base of every page. And the links to smart home buying and selling section are next to REALTOR® “looking to buy or sell a home”
There is also information about smart home buying and selling that provides consumers with comprehensive information about the home buying and selling process. In February, we transitioned the Housing Market Facts web site that the Public Awareness Campaign commercials point to into this smart buying and selling section of Houselogic. This section of the site also links to realtor.com.
We’re working closely with Government Affairs group and leveraging the existing processes and systems already in place that support our grassroots advocacy efforts. For example we are leveraging Convio. Right now the content in this section is about helping empower homeowners to shape life in their community and advocate for responsible home ownership. For example we have content on promoting responsible homeownership and how to stop speeders in your neighborhood, start a neighborhood watch, get a playground built. When NAR has a call for action that it wants to leverage consumers on – a few times a year when there is a major issue – it will be featured prominently throughout the site. The Lteam, Government and Community Affairs will decide when to take a campaign to the HouseLogic audience. Information about campaigns on the HouseLogic site will be communicated to the state and local organizations through established communications channels including the GAD, Communications Directors and Convio list serves. These will be managed through personnel who perform this function in DC.
This is an article in the “maintain” section of the site. On the top right, you get a read on how much money and time is involved in this, and below that, you have a place to make a note to yourself about the article. Homeowners can also comment on the article – tell each other how useful it was and add their own tips – and site users can also see how many others have used this guide. These social media features will help us build a sense of community at the site among the homeowners who use it.
The website is personalized for the user based on information they provide in the registration process. How handy / ambitious they are regarding home projects; what their information priorities are: increasing the value of their home, tax credit information, improving their neighborhood, home finances. Where they live geographically. And when they’re done with registration, we map their house using Google, and they can pick an icon to present their home or upload an actual photo of it to the site that will attach to their profile.
The binder is populated with related content from the site based on their registration preferences.
Users can set goals related to improving their homes value and / or saving money. They can track their progress against these goals by completing projects.
Users also earn badges for various activity on the site, referring friends, achieving the goals they set for themselves. Users can post their badges and site activity to Facebook. There is a HL fan page. Go to Facebook and become a fan!
There are multiple interactive ways for users to find projects and information.
RCR is a tool that we developed exclusively for members that makes it easy for members to leverage HouseLogic content in their consumer marketing efforts. It’s completely FREE.
In the RCR, the content from HouseLogic is available for REALTORS® to use in their websites, blogs and newsletters. They can use this information to: Keep in touch with clients and customers Build their reputation as a housing expert Drive their business forward Value of the FREE resource to Members – Research tells us that about 86% of NAR members use some kind of print or digital newsletter to stay in touch with clients and customers. And that the value of the content in the RCR to members is about $400 a year. Said another way, using the content in the RCR saves every member who uses it about $400 a year.
The RCR provides content REALTORS® can use in their existing newsletters, blogs, websites, handouts, etc. The content is designed to fit into members existing communications and to be incorporated with members chosen branding. This is very high quality content written by writers from the NYT, WSJ, HGTV, TOH, as well as seasoned writers and authors in the home space. 1 – select articles 2 – choose how you want to use them – email, paper hand out, website, blog 3 – download HouseLogic/members NRDS ID Info Central will help members – customer support
We have created editorial content “packages” that members can use or they can self select individual articles from the repository. The “packages” are content groupings on popular and / or seasonal topics. For example, there are packages about tax credits and maintenance. New “packages” are added regularly. Members also have the option of selecting content themselves to meet their client’s specific needs.
The content is designed to fit into REALTORS® existing marketing materials and highlight the member’s branding. HouseLogic just gets a “byline.”
Now available at houselogic.com/members Fliers members can customize with their branding and use to tell consumers about the website.
REALTORS® play an important role in creating consumer awareness of the HouseLogic website. The RCR also includes resources to Help Spread the Word about HouseLogic to consumers.
Benefits Easy for members, state / locals to implement – make a few choices, then copy and paste code Customizable to user needs, easier integration with existing website or blog designs – user chooses orientation, size and number of thumbnails Co-exists with REALTOR® or association website or blog branding Links to HouseLogic open in a new window so member, state / local association maintains ownership of user relationship User doesn’t leave the member / association site Enables NAR to maintain content quality and brand identity All of HouseLogic , always up to date, through an easy-to-use widget available to any member, state / local association Ideal user More engaged members, state / local associations who want more choice in layout, more of HouseLogic and more control
Now available at houselogic.com/members Tools for member to member communications, including videos and communications materials such as an overview presentation similar to this one and marketing slicks with FAQs.
Member Communication Overview Ingetration into RM/O and Realtor.org Participation in RTRN Member emails AEs ambassadors spread the news to members. Presence at Mid-year and Annual Conventions External Communications Overview PAC Value Ad All media drive traffic to HL Real Estate Today Radio Weekly segment started in February 2010 Search Organic around winnables Branded terms REALTORS® Links to HL from websites and emails Mentions to consumers S/L links to HL Inbound links will help us win at search. Public relations Twitter – follow us at twitter.com/house_logic; Facebook – become a fan.
Note: member value number is the number of visitors times $400.
House Logic (Pamela Kabati, NAR, April 2010)
HouseLogic & the REALTOR® Content Resource Missouri Association of REALTORS® April 9, 2010
Today’s Agenda <ul><li>Why did NAR create a consumer web site? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s HouseLogic.com all about? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A guided tour </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What’s in it for me? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>REALTOR® Content Resource </li></ul></ul>
Strategic vision, member value, & homeowner need
Strategic Vision <ul><li>Create a relationship between NAR and homeowners on behalf of NAR’s members. </li></ul><ul><li>Extend the value of the REALTOR ® brand well beyond the transaction to the full lifecycle of homeownership. </li></ul><ul><li>Become the comprehensive “Voice for Real Estate” --- representing the industry and homeowners. </li></ul>
Value to Members <ul><li>Increase NAR’s effectiveness in Washington. </li></ul><ul><li>Help REALTORS® stay in touch with buyers and sellers beyond the short-term transaction phase. </li></ul><ul><li>Support members marketing efforts with consumers. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a platform for NAR to further improve consumer perceptions of REALTORS®. </li></ul>
HouseLogic’s Unique Value Proposition NAR can own the Personalized Home Value Planning space. Homeowners want this kind of tool, and trust NAR to provide it. Other entities address different aspects of the homeowner experience: Beautification: HGTV How-to: Diy.com Transaction: Realtor.com
Competitive Landscape Informative Entertaining Personal Mass NAR Consumer Brand Home Depot HGTV Architectural Digest MTV’s Cribs Apartment Therapy Cnn.money.com Oprah.com This Old House Trulia.com Facebook.com
Homeownership Life-cycle A website about homeownership allows us to cover the full life-cycle of homeownership online.
Site Concept Personalized Home Value Planning: All of your home value issues in one place - ideas, trends, savings, activities and actions, all centered around maximizing your home value. Plus, information to help you be a smart home buyer or seller, when the time comes for you to be in the market.
Positioning The promise the brand makes to the user and delivers in every interaction; point of differentiation Ethical and unbiased, HouseLogic puts the homeowner’s best interest first. It empowers homeowners to take responsible actions on their homes and communities by providing superior, credible information & tools to maintain, protect and increase the value of their homes.
How did we come to this concept? <ul><li>Research, research, research. </li></ul><ul><li>13 studies </li></ul><ul><li>2,200 REALTORS® </li></ul><ul><li>4,000 Consumers </li></ul>
Target Audience <ul><li>“ Responsible Proactive” Homeowners </li></ul><ul><li>Proactively searches for information on how to maintain, protect & increase home value. </li></ul><ul><li>Practical, well informed, confident and likes to be organized. </li></ul><ul><li>Looking for new ideas and </li></ul><ul><li>are open to exploring new things. </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible Proactives </li></ul><ul><li>look for information that provides fresh perspectives. </li></ul>
Home related website interests Specific interests of homeowners in general, and our primary audience target in particular: All Target Home energy efficiency ideas 54% 69% Ideas/tips to increase my home's value 44% 65% 10 things you need to know that impact your home's value 44% 63% Home improvement projects that recoup their value 43% 63% Local property tax issues 44% 59% Home repair, care and maintenance 47% 58% Lowering the cost of homeownership 45% 57% Home property values 42% 57% Tax benefits of home ownership 40% 55% Smart home budgeting tips 39% 51%
Fliers to use with your customers & prospects Ready-to-send or print PDF. Customizable Word document – just add your brand. Your brand here
HouseLogic.com on your website or blog Widgets Choose the design you prefer. Then just copy and paste into your website or blog .
Coming in May… <ul><li>HouseLogic Main Navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Recently added </li></ul><ul><li>Improve </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain </li></ul><ul><li>Engage </li></ul><ul><li>Taxes & Incentives </li></ul><ul><li>Finances & Insurance </li></ul><ul><li>News & Activity </li></ul><ul><li>Users can search HouseLogic from the member, state / local site </li></ul><ul><li>Results appear in the widget </li></ul>More options for incorporating HouseLogic All of HouseLogic, always up-to-date.
Help spread the word to colleagues! <ul><li>RCR has a variety of tools you can use to spread the word within your organization about RCR and HouseLogic: </li></ul><ul><li>Fliers for members with FAQs </li></ul><ul><li>Video - presents the program’s strategic vision and member value </li></ul><ul><li>Podcast – NAR President Vicki Cox Golder discusses HouseLogic </li></ul><ul><li>PowerPoint presentation – Why NAR created HouseLogic and what’s in it for members </li></ul>
Marketing Objectives <ul><li>Establish and engage a consumer audience </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a platform for advocacy efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Establish RCR as a vital tool for REALTORS® marketing efforts </li></ul>
Increasing awareness of HouseLogic <ul><li>NAR’s Annual Conference </li></ul><ul><li>NAR vehicles &communications channels: REALTOR® Magazine, REALTOR.org, internal email, AEs </li></ul><ul><li>Real Estate Today Radio </li></ul><ul><li>Public Awareness campaign value ad </li></ul><ul><li>Search engine marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Outreach to real estate digital influentials and consumer media </li></ul><ul><li>REALTORS® </li></ul>
Program performance: launch – 2/2010 <ul><li>HouseLogic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visits: 291k </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Page views: 560 k </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Registered users: 6,837 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email addresses: 4,498 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>REALTOR® Content Resource </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visits: 15 k </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Page views: 87 k </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content downloads: 91 k </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Member value: $5.4 mm </li></ul></ul>