Let’s tackle shared ownership’s misconceptions once and for all

Our shared ownership campaign has the potential to reinvent how we all market shared ownership and tackle its misconceptions head on – so long as we all get involved.

Chris Jones is Executive Director, Development at emh group, and Vice Chair of the shared ownership steering group

Chris Jones is Executive Director, Development at emh group, and Vice Chair of the shared ownership steering group

21 November 2018

I started selling properties as an estate agent many years ago, and always enjoyed the experience of handing over the keys to families moving into their new home. But, as has been well documented, for many people buying a home is out of reach.

This is why shared ownership is so important. It is a fantastic product that helps thousands of people each year get their foot on the property ladder. But there’s more we can do to maximise its potential and create access for even more people to benefit from it.

The challenge for shared ownership is a lack of understanding. If you ask your friends about it on the pub, you may get five different answers – sharing with a mate is a common misconception.

Housing associations all have their own way of marketing shared ownership, with slightly different ways of explaining what it is. Over time, this has led to confusion. That’s why there is a huge opportunity for us to join up our thinking, and combat this confusion.

And that’s why the Federation’s campaign on rebranding shared ownership, by pulling together expertise across the industry to find a new way of informing customers and marketing shared ownership, was a really exciting prospect to me. I’m now really delighted to be the Vice Chair of the steering group driving this great new programme of work. We are still at the early stages of the journey, and have been working with a great branding company DesignStudio to create a fun and energising concept that we’re really proud of.

My interest in this campaign isn’t just because I feel passionate about shared ownership personally, it is also because emh group has been selected as one of the first eight strategic partners for Homes England. As such, we’re increasing the number of shared ownership homes we build and sell from 70 a year to 230 a year. This will have a significant impact on our business, so we need to ensure we have a marketing plan that matches this ambition.

I believe this campaign will equip our organisation, and every other organisation that gets involved, with the marketing tools that match our ambitions. It has the potential to reinvent how we all market shared ownership and – most importantly – how we talk with one voice and tackle the growing misconceptions about this product.

The timing is right, the potential is there, but we need as many organisations as possible to get involved to make it a success. As well as creating a campaign pack for members to help you market and talk about shared ownership, and improving the existing offer through robust policy recommendations, we’re also looking to raise the profile of shared ownership with the general public through a national advertising campaign. So if you’re on board and would like to become an early adopter of this new narrative and brand for shared ownership, email Ella Cheney, Campaigns Officer at the National Housing Federation.

If we make this a success, if we campaign for shared ownership and make it bigger and better than ever before, we get to give thousands more people a key to their own home.

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