BY PAUL CUSSON, MANAGER DELPHIC ASSOCIATES
Meeting a developers expectations for affordable home buyers in developments permitted in accordance with MGL 40B or a towns Inclusionary Zoning By-Law, is not an easy task. The marketing/sales task should be left to professionals such as Delphic Associates who specialize in “Affordable Housing”. Finding Qualified First Time Home Buyers to purchase Affordable Homes is DIFFICULT. Delphic and its principal has over 40 years of experience in Affordable Housing and is considered a pioneer in the Affordable Housing Industry.
Typically your local real estate broker does not have the experience and knowledge of 40B rules and regulations to best serve you. Their expertise usually lies in the marketing/sales of the Market Rate Homes.
Affordable Buyers must be First Time Home Buyers as defined in the regulations with the exception of:
- Displaced homemakers
- Households where at least on household member is 55 or over
Prior to the marketing of the affordable homes the Affordable Housing Consultant aka the “Lottery Agent” must be approved by the Subsiding Agency. The agents Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan (AFHMP) and the Lottery Packet must also be approved prior to the commencement of the marketing effort.
In addition to being a “First Time Home Buyer” the buyer must meet the income and asset limits. That is, the buyers total household income cannot be too high, yet they must earn enough to meet the lenders underwriting standards. In addition, they usually require a credit score of not less than 660 as well as not exceeding the asset limit. We call this the 10% window which makes the task of finding Qualified First Time Home Buyers most difficult.
The regulations require the marketing effort include PRINT MEDIA. Despite an aggressive PRINT MEDIA advertising campaign which included minority papers we have been disappointed by some of our prior results.
Recently, we did a BUYER PROFILE ANALYSIS of the last 50 Affordable Homes that we have sold. As a result of the analysis I decided to try something different for the last development. My analysis revealed the following:
Today’s “Affordable Buyers” are generally between the ages of 24 to 39 and print media may not be the most effective way of reaching this demographic group. Typically they use social media for news, sports, retail and other information. In the analysis what I found interesting is that in our developments 52% of our buyers are SINGLE FEMALES.
In the case of our last development at a substantial cost we did a “Programmatic Media Buy. With the help of big data and the use of IP addresses, we can target laser specific audiences across a network of thousands of popular websites. We can target ads towards online users based on their location demographics and online behavior.
Using BIG DATA and an IP address our core strategy was to target household and individuals as determined by the following:
- Demographic Profile
- Geographic Location
- Exhibited Behavior
- Search retargeting
These target prospects are currently “looking to buy” or “ready to buy” and are actively searching for homes.
In addition we contracted with Southcoast Media Group to run an online Facebook campaign. We ran specific ads towards people between the ages of 25 and 49 with incomes between 45K and 65K. Our ad will appear to them if they fit Delphic’s target audience as they are scrolling through Facebook.
In addition we did a limited amount of print media advertising.
The results of our DIGITAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN:
- Total number of applications received was more than double the number of affordable homes available in the development.
This is something new for us and we will repeat our DIGITAL AFHMP MARKETING EFFORTS for upcoming housing developments.
If Delphic can help you in finding Qualified First Time Home Buyers, please call our office.