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Twin Cities company Renters Warehouse gets Super Bowl ad 'bargain'

  • Article by: JOHN EWOLDT
  • Star Tribune
  • January 10, 2013 - 10:39 AM

National advertisers can pay more than $4 million for a Super Bowl ad, but a local company, Renters Warehouse, has landed a 30-second spot for about $60,000.

It's part of a media blitz from the Golden Valley company that acts as a landlord and property manager for people wanting to rent out their single-family home or duplex property.

Renters Warehouse CEO Brenton Hayden expects the regional ad, which will be seen in Minnesota and parts of Iowa, Wisconsin and the Dakotas, to be seen by nearly 2 million people.

The Super Bowl ad titled "Hats" pokes fun at people who think they can be a landlord on their own, said Hayden. "We're having fun showing people how many hats they have to wear as a landlord ,from a lawyer to a handyman," he said.

Renters Warehouse hired Minneapolis-based Media Bridge Advertising to negotiate the TV campaign, which was conceptualized, written, shot and edited in two weeks.

The company nabbed the $60,000 bargain price from WCCO-TV not because of a soft advertising market but because the company is spending $500,000 in other advertising with the station with a campaign that starts Monday. Hayden was told by WCCO that such an ad would normally cost 20 percent to 70 percent more, based on the popularity of the teams. The company spent $1.2 million in radio advertising in 2012 and is now expanding to TV.

Unlike a lot of Super Bowl advertisers, Hayden expects more from the ad than mere buzz. "I think it will give us a positive return that will be measurable," Hayden said. "We're using a different phone number and domain specific to the Super Bowl so we can track leads and sales."

Inc. magazine called real estate services one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States last year. Most property managers don't work with someone who only wants them to manage one property, Hayden said. His company helps the person who can't sell their house, is under water with their mortgage, unemployed and can't afford their home, or has inherited Grandma's house.

Renters Warehouse, which will move to Minnetonka later this month, started in 2007 and currently has offices in Denver; Littleton, Colo.,; Phoenix; Columbia, Md., and Atlanta. It's the largest residential property manager in the Midwest, Hayden said.

John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633 or jewoldt@startribune.com.

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