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On Heels of IPO Filing, Re/Max Hires Two Ad Agencies

Leo Burnett, Lapiz to Launch National Campaign

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As real estate brokerage Re/Max prepares to go public, it has tapped Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett and Lapiz to launch a national ad blitz.

Denver-based Re/Max Holdings this week filed for an initial public offering, after operating as a private company for the 40-plus years it has been in business. It's a move that comes as the housing marketing continues to improve.

Leo Burnett and Lapiz -- which is Leo Burnett's multicultural agency -- will handle TV, radio, digital, social media, out-of-home and print advertising. Both Leo Burnett and Lapiz split advertising duties, including general market advertising; Re/Max is one of Lapiz's first general market assignments.

Before this, Re/Max handled much of its marketing duties in-house, though it has worked with indie agency R&R Partners in Las Vegas.

"Re/Max wants to highlight the value that a Re/Max agent brings to a transaction," said Abby Lee, VP-brand marketing and advertising in a statement. "We are hoping to accomplish that through creative executions that show how RE/MAX agents' experience, productivity, and guidance help the consumer through what can be a difficult and emotional transaction."

"The face of the American consumer continues to evolve, especially in the housing market," said Gustavo Razzetti, executive VP-managing director of Lapiz, in a statement. "As baby boomers become empty nesters and downsize, and emerging groups such as millennials and Latinos aspire to be homeowners, there will be considerable growth potential for Re/Max."

Homes sales in July jumped to their highest level in three years. Existing home sales increased 5.6% to an annual rate of 5.39 million in July, and are 17.2% above the 4.60 million-unit pace in July 2012; sales have remained above year-ago levels for 25 months, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Despite the favorable sales trends, though, Re/Max is finding consumers are still skittish. "The real estate market is rebounding, but after the last few years, consumers are still fearful of the real estate buying and selling process, so it is an important time for Re/Max to help guide and assure them," Ms. Lee added. "The consumer needs to understand the importance and value of having a knowledgeable partner in the process." As of June 30, it employed 91,809 agents, according to the company.

Re/Max spent about $42.3 million on measured media in 2012, according to Kantar Media. The company spent about $42.5 million in 2011. The new campaign is slated to break sometime next year.

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