The 2015 Realtors Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo kicked off this week and one of the biggest announcements so far has been the rebranding on Realtor.com. In front of over 2,000 REALTORS, Move CEO Ryan O’Hara released the first of several changes which he described as attempt to “turbocharge the results” and take on Zillow Group head to head. Is this rebranding just a smoke and mirrors game or is there real change coming to Realtor.com?
New Realtor.com Logo
One of the highlights of the announcement was a new logo. The “real” in realtor is in red lettering, highlighting what News Corp’s CEO Robert Thomson says, “We’re the real deal in real estate in real time” in a recent Bloomberg article.
The format is curious given that the National Association of REALTORS has put in place requirements for the use of the registered trademark REALTOR. In part, it states “Proper FORM is necessary for the public to recognize the MARKS for their registered status and significance as more than simply words of ordinary use.” It goes on to say, “To remain effective in performing their identifying function, the MARKS must be used consistently and correctly.” NAR has obviously given Move permission to use this new form of the trademark, despite wanting to preserve consistency and significance.
New Television Spots
Noticeably missing from these newest videos is any mention of using an actual REALTOR, which is something that Zillow had been chastised for over time and time again by the agent community. Instead, it puts accuracy and convenience at the forefront of the commercials. While agents may not be a fan of being left out, this is a much needed change in order to appeal to and attract their target audience.
News Corp’s acquisition of Move Inc and Realtor.com has already started to show signs of a much needed change to revitalize a stagnant brand. While these are small steps, it appears that much more is in the works. As the Bloomberg article quipped, “Can Rupert Murdoch take an online fixer-upper and turn it into a digital real estate profit spinner? We’re about to find out.”