Housing counselors can help people make wise decisions about finances and housing — but many people don’t even know they exist!
In January 2014, VHDA sent a survey to all 32 HUD-approved Housing Counselor agencies in Virginia that receive funding through the HUD grant administered by VHDA. As a result of this survey, we found that Housing Counseling agencies hoped to increase their client base by improving public awareness of their organizations and the programs offered.
Although a full range of marketing is being used by HUD and various other agencies, the individual agencies can’t sustain a long-term marketing effort or expend enough capital to be successful in their communities. Since every counseling agency shares common goals, VHDA was able to aggregate the needs expressed in the survey to facilitate an efficient and more effective result.
As part of a statewide campaign to raise awareness of Housing Counselors, advertising was developed to encourage Virginians to visit vhda.com/HousingCounselors. This new page on our website provides details about the benefits of housing counseling and an easy way for consumers to find a housing counselor in their area using HUD’s search tool. Professional media buying firms prepared the campaign’s media plan. It included newspaper, radio, ads on Realtor.com, Facebook ads and boosted posts, and Google’s PPC and Display network.
With the new Web page receiving over 11,000 unique page views from June 1 to August 31, 2015, it looks like awareness is definitely on the rise.