Realtor.com picks Crossmedia as digital media AOR

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Realtor.com's
Realtor.com's "The Home of Home Search" campaign Credit: Realtor.com

Realtor.com has selected independent Crossmedia as its digital media agency of record as it ramps up its digital media investment and tries to drill down on audience identification.

Realtor.com still works with creative agency Pereira & O'Dell, which created its new TV and digital campaign called "The Home of Home Search." The campaign, which will debut during the Season 2 premiere of "The Handmaid's Tale," suggest buyers need the site to find features like a backyard "where your dog can act like a dog" or a chef's kitchen where you can learn how to cook. Andrew Strickman, Realtor.com's head of brand and chief creative, said it's the biggest campaign the brand has run to date.

Strickman, who said the brand hadn't previously worked with a digital-focused media agency, noted that the brand is increasing its digital media investment by almost 80 percent and wanted to start approaching digital media with an eye toward "stronger and better audience identification." He said Realtor.com has a strong performance media team within the company, but wanted Crossmedia's background in audience identification, targeting, analytics and experience building brands online.

"We definitely have reach, but we weren't always sure we were reaching the right audience," he said. One important audience: First-time homebuyers.

"The first-time home buying audience is very, very important to us," he said. "For people who are in the very early stages of considering their first home purchase, they really don't know where to turn." He said the brand wanted to make sure it had content that spoke to that segment but was also reaching it.

Kamran Asghar, Crossmedia CEO, said the agency intends to focus heavily on audience segments and being fluid in knowing how they reach them. "This market moves fast, and you really have to capture people early on in the process," he says. "If they fix in on one destination or service or person — i.e. a broker — early, you could have lost that moment."

News Corp. in 2014 said it would be acquiring Realtor.com's operator Move Inc. for about $950 million. In a February earnings call, CEO Robert Thomson said Move's revenues for the quarter rose by 18 percent.

"Realtors' connections for buyers' products continues to thrive, with accelerated traffic growth as well as a continued boost in customer and lead volume in the second quarter," he said. "There is an ongoing drive to increase the profile of Realtor.com as we have the highest consumer engagement and highest ROI for agents and brokers based on our latest records."

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