The future of Shared Ownership development branding

5 minute read

To keep ahead of the competition, you need to attract and engage the right customers – before the foundations of your new development are even laid.

There are a lot of balls to juggle when marketing a new development, and because budgets are tight and turnarounds fast, branding can easily get sidelined. But setting aside what it takes to give developments brands of distinction goes a seriously long way. And with Shared Ownership looking as though it’s about to enter the property market mainstream, SO developments will increasingly come into direct competition with their rental and open-market counterparts.

So get ready, because the market is shifting. The HAs that up their development branding game now will be the ones that navigate the challenges and reap the rewards of the opportunities heading our way.

Connecting with local communities

Storytelling is a powerful tool for building audience connection. Here’s an example of it done well – when setting up The Deptford Foundry development in London, consultancy Greenspace created a showroom set with railway arches that included a library of books and artefacts that told the story of the area. That, combined with series of short films celebrating the area’s heritage, did wonders to connect the development with local communities as well as potential customers. After all, who doesn’t want to hear that their corner of the world is a great place to live?

And connecting with local communities as well as potential customers is definitely a good idea. They can be tight-knit and resistant to change, but getting them on-side can do wonders for your lead generation. Another great way to win over local hearts and minds is to give your new development a brand that harmonises with the surrounding neighbourhood’s look and feel; one that’s well-researched and fits the character of its locality.

Speak to the heart

A new development’s brand should communicate a set of values that prospective customers can relate to; it should evoke aspiration and spark intrigue. The best time to start crafting what you want it to say is day one, as a key part of your planning.

All new housing developments launch into a busy and competitive marketplace, and that means Housing Associations need to work harder than ever to make them stand out from the crowd. A creative brand that builds emotional connections with prospects will always have the edge. In the eyes of customers, it can make the difference between buying a house and a home.

Shared Ownership developments, especially

All housing developments benefit from considered branding, but for SO ones, its crucial. As long as a provider still owns shares, owners need encouragement to buy more. And that’s exactly what a strong development brand will provide.

To communicate the unique benefits of SO, a development’s brand needs to reference them. Affordability and accessibility, to name just two, are powerful points of appeal. And it’s best not to assume your customers are aware of them – unfortunately, there’s so much confusion about SO that some mortgage brokers are calling for the scheme to be renamed. But address that lack of understanding in your new development’s branding, and you’ll make it stand out in all the right ways.

How a well-crafted brand can support Shared Ownership property developments

Sales support

An innovative brand will stand out from the crowd, making it more visible to the audiences that will be interested in Shared Ownership. And in the ever-increasingly competitive property industry of today, that’s becoming more and more crucial. Gone are the times when Housing Associations could sit back and wait for customers to come knocking.

Building a branding strategy is all about the audience. So first, get to know yours. What are their main challenges and how will the new development help solve them? What kind of lifestyle do they aspire to and how will your development help provide it? Base your band on the answers to questions like these and you’ll be well on your way to engaging the right prospects.

Building bonds of trust

SO property buyers need to trust you. After all, you might become their new landlord. That means before they’re willing to be won over, they’ll want to be sure you’re dedicated support them long-term. A well-crafted brand can build that trust.

When it comes to Shared Ownership and other kinds of affordable housing, the need for trust is even greater. Shared Ownership is a lifeline for buyers who are looking for the security and stability of their own home but are unable to afford conventional homeownership. They want reassurance they’ll be well looked after for as long as they live on your development. It’s a great idea then, to create development branding that communicates responsibility and commitment.

Cutting-edge brand promotion

And don’t forget, your development’s brand can be applied and extended in a myriad of more creative and effective ways. QR codes are a great, easy and convenient for steering prospects to find out more. CGI mock-ups are rapidly becoming an industry standard tool to get potential buyers inspired before bricks are even set in place. And wayfinding signage can help get customers excited before they even step through the door of a property.

Key takeaway

When it comes to Shared Ownership property developments, prospective customers need to buy into you as much as the property or the location. Building this trust starts with the creation of a well-crafted brand. And that happens to be our speciality.