Realtor.com® Premieres Exclusive Digital Video Series with Actress Elizabeth Banks Targeting First-Time Home Buyers
Fred Savage directs series that helps first-timers through the home-buying process
Realtor.com. a leading provider of online real estate services operated by News Corp [Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA] subsidiary Move, Inc., today announced the launch of a five- episode digital video series created to provide first-time home buyers with practical and entertainingly delivered advice on the start-to-finish stages of the purchase cycle. The original series is part of a broad marketing campaign realtor.com® launched in May and comes at a time when millennial sentiment about buying a home has seen a significant increase.
The webisodes, which feature Emmy-nominated actress, producer and director Elizabeth Banks, and are directed by Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor, producer and director Fred Savage, will be promoted across a range of digital platforms and publishers including AOL, Curbed, Facebook, Google, HGTV, Hulu, Reddit and Yahoo, among others. All of the media will drive consumers back to realtor.com® to consume the entire series.
“We want everyone to think of realtor.com® as the best real-time resource to help them make the most informed real estate decisions,” said Andrew Strickman, Move’s head of brand and chief creative. “Our knowledge that many buyers turn to the Web first for help navigating one of life’s most important decisions, and the fact that many first-time buyers prefer to consume entertainment digitally, drove the development of the content. With a partner like Elizabeth to help us, there was no question this humorous, episodic approach to the home-buying process was the way to go.”
The digital video series, “The Home Buying Process in Plain English with Elizabeth Banks,” is the latest component of the biggest and boldest marketing initiative in realtor.com®’s nearly 20-year history.
Results of a recent realtor.com® survey1 released in June found that millennials are now more inclined to take the plunge into home ownership and this demographic is primed to gain market share in the second half of the year. Sixty five percent of millennials responding to the survey intend to buy a home within three months, up from 54 percent in January.
By mixing humor with solid advice for any buyer, particularly first-time buyers, Banks walks viewers through the key components of the process in each of the five episodes. In the first episode, called “Knowing When You’re Ready,” she recommends that potential buyers have a heart-to-heart with themselves about what they can actually afford: “Plan for the house you can afford now, not later. The most important thing for a first-time buyer is to live within your budget. Also, don’t be an idiot ... But those are really the same thing.”
Episodes two through five – “Mortgage Lending 101”; “The Search”; “The Offer” and “Closing the Sale” – provide insight on the benefits of mortgage pre-approval, the do’s and don’ts of searching for a home, open house etiquette, what to expect when making an offer and the closing process.
Regarding why she thinks it is important to infuse humor into the home-buying process, Banks said: “For nearly everyone, buying a home is the biggest purchase they will ever make so there is that mixture of joy and anxiety. It’s important to use humor to get people through the process.”
Banks’ directorial debut, the musical comedy “Pitch Perfect 2,” premiered in May, with the best opening by a first-time director in history. She currently appears opposite John Cusack and Paul Dano in the Brian Wilson biopic “Love & Mercy.” Later this month, she will be seen in the Netflix Original Series reboot “Wet, Hot American Summer,” co-starring Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd.
The digital series was created by Pereira & O’Dell New York, the company’s advertising agency, and directed by Savage, who is best known for his iconic role as Kevin Arnold in the 80’s hit TV series “The Wonder Years.” His directorial credits include the hit series “Modern Family,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and the critically acclaimed kids’ shows “Phil of the Future,” “Wizards of Waverly Place” and “Zeke and Luther.”