In luxury residential real estate advertising, the home is always the star, taking top spot on the marketing marquee and enjoying more than its fair share of “screen time.” While compelling property photos and copy will always be of paramount importance in real estate marketing –these firms are in the business of selling homes, after all – one innovative brokerage in Newport Beach, California is giving its valued clients, and agents, their own star-turns in new, breakthrough ad campaigns.

“The homes we buy and sell on behalf of our clients are much more than commodities to us - and our clients and agents are our most valuable assets,” says Steve High, Villa Real Estate co-founder and president. “Our bold new advertising campaign reflects our commitment to achieving our clients’ goals.” To underscore the company’s mission - to deliver best-in-breed client service and results - Villa Real Estate launched an attention-getting advertising campaign in July 2013. Centered on client testimonials, the new ads take the form of two-page spreads featuring the firm’s now signature realistic portraits – in this case, of clients with their agents outside their homes. The campaign is running in various Orange County print outlets, in social media channels, and via direct mail - and already is attracting positive attention in the industry and in the community.

“My clients were thrilled to be recognized for their importance to us as a firm,” says Villa Real Estate agent Todd Bousman. “They loved the opportunity to share their excitement about their first home purchase, and I have enjoyed the benefit of having my success showcased – which has resulted in numerous leads for my practice.”

In addition to the groundbreaking testimonial ad campaign, Villa Real Estate also runs a monthly ad series comprised of consecutive full-page placements in a wide range of Orange County media outlets.  This campaign features agents as the headliners, showcasing them individually and identifying them with a character trait that captures their unique approach to real estate representation.  In addition to focusing on the agents, the eye-catching, full-page ads also are a departure from traditional residential real estate advertising in the sense that they use large, natural photos of the subjects, versus the staged, often outdated portraits typically seen in the business.

“We like to say that we are putting the ‘real’ back into residential real estate advertising,” says Derek May, Director of Marketing for Villa Real Estate, who directed his in-house agency in the design of the campaign. “These ads feature large, realistic portraits of our professionals, making them even more relatable, recognizable, and appealing to our marketplace.”

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