This real estate listings site is all about location, location, location.
And bed bugs, broken elevators, noisy construction projects and other issues that could deter folks from renting or buying houses and apartments.
Localize.city, a startup covering the good and bad features of New York City properties, launches its first major campaign today from ad agency Interesting Development. The out-of-home work on trains, subway platforms, buses and taxi tops features the tagline "Find the Truth. Find a Home," and shows gorgeous-looking interiors "defaced" with graffiti-style headlines that tell it like it is:
Whoa, it almost makes you want to look for a place in New Jersey. Almost.
"Most people don't know that real estate sites often don't have their best interests in mind," says Interesting Development co-founder and creative chief Paul Caiozzo. "They hide data that might make selling or renting harder. Localize doesn't. They work for the buyer, giving them all the information available about every single listing. The good, bad and ugly. Every single data point robots can find. In a place like New York, this level of transparency is a revolution."
As for the look and feel of the ads, "we thought about where people express themselves in brutally honest ways, and graffiti came to mind," he adds. "Not so much tagging, but the visually simple kind that speaks truth to power."
Caiozzo believes the work can break through because New York's outdoor ad scene is getting cluttered. "Much of it is starting to look similar: pastel backgrounds, vector illustrations and emoji tone that doesn't offer the viewer much when they are done reading," he says. "We wanted something that delivered Localize's unique brand voice and point of difference in a visually startling way so people look at it, and then remember it. If the approach gets press, that's great."
You know what else might stand out on a billboard? A realtor with laser beams shooting out of her eyeballs!
In recent years, ads in the category have have taken various tacks. They range from that ultra-viral aforementioned Canadian entry to these recent rabbit-ruled films for luxury condos and Realtor.com's media-savvy potshots at the too-good-to-be-true homes seen on TV.
Localize president Steve Kalifowitz fielded some additional queries from Muse:
Muse: Is Localize just for NYC?
Steve Kalifowitz: Today it is, but we will be live in four more cities by the end of the year.
Where do you get the listings and negative details?
The analysis of every home in NYC is the output of our proprietary A.I.-based algorithms that extract insights and bottom lines from thousands of data sets—a combination of public and commercially available data sets. Listings come directly from two different sources: property owners or the real estate agents who represent them.
If I had an apartment to rent, why list it with Localize if you highlight the bad stuff?
Localize presents the complete picture about every property—the pros and cons. The transparency we offer creates a trustworthy environment that allows buyers and renters to close a deal quickly, without fears of the unknown. This is why all the biggest brokerages in NYC have their properties available on our platform. Regardless of whether a home is listed at Localize, home buyers and renters can still check any property in NYC at Localize.city.
Do you charge for listings?
We do not charge for listings.
How do you plan to make money, exactly?
Right now, our singular focus is on creating a disruptive product that gives unparalleled value to homeowners and home hunters alike.
Are there any other ultra-truthy sites served as a model or inspiration?
No. The real estate market is the most complicated market around. This is why no other site in the world makes such deep information about homes accessible to the general public. Localize is the first company to make this information available at scale, for every home, and for everybody.
Steve Kalifowitz, President
Marc Karasu, Creative Consultant
Paul Caiozzo, Chief Creative Officer
Nathan Frank, Head of Brand Development
Tamera Geddes, CEO/Managing Director
Shannon Coletti, Group Account Director
Tom Haslow, Head of Strategy
Dave Collins, Strategist
Suz Keen, Group Creative Director
Micheal Hagos, Creative Director
Johan Leandersson, Creative Director
Nate Mayer, Copywriter
Drew Biggapples, Art Director
Phillip Nessen, Head of Design
Jonno Durant, Sr. Creative Producer
Raquel Duarte, Producer
North Made Studios, CGI Artist
The Craft Shop, CGI & Graffiti Artists