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First Home Loan logo designed to be strong, appealing and non-governmental-looking
New, more user-friendly and attractive landing page, with a clear hierarchy of information and actions
Social media campaign and posts promoting key programs such as Green Key Lenders and ReStart
Other social media messaging promoting hoMEworks and the First Home Finder
Social media profiles were kept up-to-date with fresh profile and banner imagery
Digital ads targeting the key reasons why young Mainers would switch from renting to buying
Digital ads playing off seasonal attractions of home ownership
MaineHousing
Digital ads were developed in a variety of sizes to reach audiences on any device inlcuding desktop, tablet, and mobile
Special promotional ads showcasing special rate offers
New e-newsletter template to be used for email communications
New icons developed for use in the e-newsletter
MaineHousing
Logos created for the First Home Finder
Logo created for the ReStart program
MaineHousing

SITUATION 

After the 2008 housing market retrenchment, demand remained weak for MaineHousing’s First Home Loans (FHLs), which are available to first-time homebuyers who meet income and purchase-price criteria. (“Returnees” who haven’t owned in the past three years are also eligible, and there are special rates for active military and veterans, regardless of prior ownership.)

Starting in 2015, MaineHousing was able to offer rates more consistently below market, and a $3,500 “Advantage” stipend towards down payment and closing costs.


MARKETING CHALLENGE

To grow its portfolio of First Home Loans, MaineHousing faced three key challenges:

  1. Apprehension about home ownership among its key audience, Milllennials.
  2. Lack of strong interest among many lenders in making First Home Loans.
  3. The lack of differentiation between FHLs and market-rate loans in prior years.


STRATEGY 

In spring of 2015, we overhauled the program’s look and feel, from the logo and tag line to the website, to be more appealing visually and emotionally. We used more colors and images, and consciously strove to make it look less like a government program.

We then created several digital banner ad campaigns that appealed strongly to first-time homebuyers, as well as the returnees and military audiences.

Visuals and text hooked readers with the key problems of renting, the attractions of owning, and the financial benefits of First Home Loans: $3,500 to help with downpayment and closing costs, and a very competitive 3.5% interest rate.

To build support among lenders, we created the “Green Key Lender” designation, and identified on the website and through social media the banks, credit unions and mortgage companies that have earned the label.

We also used Google AdWords to drive prospects to the website.

In the second year, we created a brand for real estate brokers participating in the program, First Home Finders.


RESULTS 

Our AdWords ads are performing 5 times above the national average, and the Digital ads have performed 6 times the national average.

Mortgage closings in 2015 met MaineHousing’s very aggressive goal of 750 loans, a 50% increase vs. 2014. In 2016, the campaign helped generate 980 loans, an increase of nearly one-third. Dollar volumes increased proportionately.


CHANNELS

  • Branding/Logo Design
  • Website Design
  • Digital Ads
  • SEM
  • Social Media
  • Public Relations


DOWNLOAD THE FULL CASE STUDY

 

First Home Loan logo designed to be strong, appealing and non-governmental-looking
First Home Loan logo designed to be strong, appealing and non-governmental-looking
New, more user-friendly and attractive landing page, with a clear hierarchy of information and actions
New, more user-friendly and attractive landing page, with a clear hierarchy of information and actions
Social media campaign and posts promoting key programs such as Green Key Lenders and ReStart
Social media campaign and posts promoting key programs such as Green Key Lenders and ReStart
Other social media messaging promoting hoMEworks and the First Home Finder
Other social media messaging promoting hoMEworks and the First Home Finder
Social media profiles were kept up-to-date with fresh profile and banner imagery
Social media profiles were kept up-to-date with fresh profile and banner imagery
Digital ads targeting the key reasons why young Mainers would switch from renting to buying
Digital ads targeting the key reasons why young Mainers would switch from renting to buying
Digital ads playing off seasonal attractions of home ownership
Digital ads playing off seasonal attractions of home ownership
MaineHousing
Digital ads were developed in a variety of sizes to reach audiences on any device inlcuding desktop, tablet, and mobile
Digital ads were developed in a variety of sizes to reach audiences on any device inlcuding desktop, tablet, and mobile
Special promotional ads showcasing special rate offers
Special promotional ads showcasing special rate offers
New e-newsletter template to be used for email communications
New e-newsletter template to be used for email communications
New icons developed for use in the e-newsletter
New icons developed for use in the e-newsletter
MaineHousing
Logos created for the First Home Finder
Logos created for the First Home Finder
Logo created for the ReStart program
Logo created for the ReStart program