An interview with Aeron Corrigan after her talk at the Affordable Home Ownership ConferenceBy Victoria Price
Aeron, you recently spoke at an event called affordable homes ownership conference; can you tell us a little bit about the event?
The event was run by the National Housing Federation (or Natfed) to bring together those involved in affordable home ownership. The event was at the Barbican, such an amazing venue and it brought together professionals from all over the country to talk about the challenges currently facing the industry. It was such a prevalent event to attend considering our current climate and all the uncertainties of Brexit and so it was good to get the industry’s perspective.
How did it come about that you were one of the speakers of the event?
Natfed are one of our clients that we recently won. They asked us to speak at the event about our upcoming campaign to be able to share our thoughts with some of the leading professionals in the industry. It was a fantastic opportunity to be in front of so many AHO professionals talking about marketing and how important it can be, especially when targeting such a complex audience.
Your talk was titled 'Promoting shared ownership to a savvy audience' can you give us an outline of what you recommended
They gave me the title which they created from elements of our pitch, which was encouraging. But essentially, I was talking about the challenges surrounding marketing shared ownership to such a complex audience. We have a real issue in the property market now that it is near impossible for First Time Buyers to get on the ladder, and therefore whilst promoting SO as an option we really need to empower them through marketing without patronising our audience. We wouldn’t want to give too many of our secrets away, but I will say this: we will be communicating with simplicity and consistency to truly communicate the benefits of Shared Ownership. Our audience are multi-faceted, complex and so it will not be a simple task but we have a clear understanding of them and what we need to do to reach them.
What were the other stand out talks for you?
For me, there were two that stood out for me. The first one was a panel discussion on ‘How prepared is the housing marketing to withstand ongoing political and economic volatility?’ The panel consisted of four people, three worked in affordable home ownership and the fourth, in development. Although there was general agreement it was interesting to see the different perspectives and view points between AHO and development. This is arguably one of THE most difficult times for property not including the war because of all the political and economic uncertainty we are experiencing on so many levels it’s difficult to predict what’s going to happen.
The other talk was on ‘Whether shared ownership is well placed to fill the Help-To-Buy void’. I learnt that the Help-to-Buy scheme will end at the end of 2023, which is a really scary prospect for those wanting to get on the property ladder by then. The general agreement was that YES, Shared Ownership will certainly be able to fill the void. The market does recognise both the positives and negatives of SO and, as long as those are addressed early on, SO can be really effective. It’s very clear that the people involved in it are really passionate and truly believe in its success and this ultimately makes the prospect more convincing.
If not mentioned above discuss the new SO brand launch
I wouldn't want to give anything away, but watch this space!
What do you think the future looks like for SO
For the right person, SO is definitely the best option. There needs to be a better understanding of it all round but it is a positive step for the property market. Now we just need to get people within the government such as housing ministers on board with it. Here at AMI we are certainly excited about it!
A huge thank you to Natfed for giving us the great honour to present at such an informative and important event, we can’t wait to get started on this campaign!