Surround Sound: Put the Market in Perspective

March 1, 2008

Every March, as publisher of the magazine, I report to you on how the publication is doing. But this year, I want to wear my other hat — that of senior vice president of communications for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® — to let you know what NAR is doing to tell a more balanced and accurate story of what’s happening in real estate markets.

Your association leaders are reminding reporters every day that all real estate is local, that real estate is a good long-term investment, and that home ownership continues to be an important part of building strong communities. I know that many of you are out there doing the exact same thing. To help, NAR has rolled out a comprehensive program we’re calling “Surround Sound.”

In movie theaters, surround-sound systems make you feel a part of the action. Likewise, our Surround Sound initiative is a 360-degree effort. Our audience: “fence sitters” who are qualified to buy but are reluctant to jump into the market. The campaign includes more than 10,000 radio and television spots, customizable print ads for local associations, a public relations media tour by NAR leadership, and statistical news releases that demonstrate the favorable conditions for buyers.

Visit the Surround Sound Web page at to learn more and find tools — such as a speech, sample letters to the editor, and market data — that you can use to send positive messages to your community.

REALTOR® magazine’s role, meanwhile, is to help you stay profitable through shifting market conditions. To that end, in January, the editors launched a back-to-basics “Work Smart Series.” This month’s article covers that all-important income-producing activity, prospecting. Also this month: how to get a foothold in foreclosure sales.

By concentrating single-mindedly on your success, we experienced some success of our own in 2007: 33 editorial and design awards. But we’re not a group that rests on its laurels. So, with the new year, we launched some major enhancements to the magazine and Web site — our new look and multi­media, interactive features online.

I hope you’ll look to REALTOR® magazine for information that’ll help you meet your 2008 goals and to NAR’s Surround Sound initiative for help in bringing the public around to our way of thinking.

Frank J. Sibley

Frank J. Sibley is the senior vice president of consumer relations for the National Association of REALTORS®.