Realtors' TV Ad Pitch: You Still Need Us

You've got your online real estate listing sites, with services that can tell you what similar homes have sold for. You've got your Internet sites for people who want to sell homes themselves. And you've got those Nolo Press books on buying a home on your own.

Who needs an agent these days?

With help from the Laguna Hills ad firm Townsend & O'Leary, the National Assn. of Realtors is launching a $32.4-million television awareness advertising campaign to convince buyers and sellers that they do.

A year ago, Townsend & O'Leary produced a similar campaign for the California Assn. of Realtors that impressed the national group, agency partner John Most said. Teaming with Richardson, Myers & Donofrio of Baltimore on a proposal, the agency beat out several competitors for the three-year national campaign.

The ads will depict real estate agents simplifying the home sales process with advice on mortgages, marketing and other topics beyond merely listing the house. Print and broadcast advertising materials will be made available to state and local trade groups looking to increase awareness in their markets.

Townsend & O'Leary specializes in franchise, retail, and high-tech advertising. Its clients include Fantastic Sam's, Uniglobe Travel, Century 21/Canada and Wyle Electronics.

The ads, scheduled to appear in July, will mention the national association's own site on the Net:


E. Scott Reckard covers real estate for The Times.

He can be reached at (714) 966-7407 and at

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