Recent commentary in the media around housing affordability, banks hiking up interest rates, the state government’s “mixed” response and the word “bubble,” continues to highlight the need for a strategy that will actually — dare I say it — work.
Most of the responses by the government and regulators, have really only provided band-aid solutions at best, and they fail to address the real issue — housing supply.
This is where place making and branding comes into its own. How? Why?
If both state and federal governments are serious about solving the housing affordability crisis, they need to work with property developers to increase the supply of housing.
With the Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas recently confirming a 15 year pipeline of residential land across 17 suburbs in Melbourne’s key growth corridors, things are at least moving in the right direction. Along with a $16.4 million investment to accelerate and streamline the planning and approvals process, it appears that the state government is listening and trying to address this issue of housing supply.
But increasing housing supply is not just as simple as pumping out land for sale; it’s about creating places where people: 1) can afford and 2) actually want to live. Point 1 is a given and needs to be addressed by all levels of government — especially state and federal — but point 2 can sometimes be overlooked. Creating places where people — first-home buyers or anyone else — actually want to live, involves some navel-gazing and strategy. Gone are the days of developers simply whacking in some roads, street lights, a park and a wall with a logo at the front their estate. These days, people expect (and need) more.
Government — at every level — and developers, need to better understand what is really driving people when it comes to housing. This includes their emotional, social and other considerations, in addition to the obvious financial implications.
Thriving new communities need to provide services, amenities and infrastructure up-front; not just as an artist’s impression on a glossy brochure. Developers also need to be conscious of creating a community that is engaged and that really provides a sense of place that people are proud to call home.
So what does this have to do with place branding? Place branding provides the opportunity to communicate why a particular development meets not only the financial needs of buyers, but also — and more importantly — their emotional, social and other needs. Developments that have a solid place making and branding strategy, provide the crucial “x factor” and aspirational anchor that buyers need to make the life changing decision of buying their first home. Beyond the logo and the brochure, true place branding factors in authentic buyer insights to create meaningful brand experiences across all touch points and real connections that support the purchase decision.
Place making and branding builds brand equity and loyalty for the developer. At the same time, it will help to address the bigger issue of housing affordability, by creating places where people actually want to live.
- Opinion: Our politicians have no idea when it comes to property prices (news.com.au)
- Geelong property boom has just begun as projects, lifestyle inflate market (realestate.com.au)