There is a significant shift taking place between social landlords and their tenants.
The welfare reforms that began in 2013 and the introduction of zero hours contracts are just two events that have placed many tenants at greater risk of rent arrears and excess debt. The ageing population places further pressure on housing associations to change. Energy efficiency and digital inclusion requirements also take their toll.
For a housing association to successfully serve its tenant population, it not only needs knowledge to manage the day-to-day admin of rent payments and tenant enquiries, it also needs to have data insight for future planning and resource allocation. Some Housing Associations will see all of this as data.
The most successful ones will be those that see the tenant as a customer and to have a really proactive, central 360-degree view of each one enabling quicker call handling, first time resolution of issues, on-time payments and work scheduling.
Let’s also take into consideration the need for housing associations to improve productivity, facilitate a flexible workforce and to make cost savings wherever possible.
ICT has supported housing associations for decades but most of the housing management systems were designed to focus on the property, not the tenants. CRM lets you do both.
Here’s a run through of the top housing association outcomes of our preferred platform, Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
- Central Database
- One central 360-degree view of properties, tenants and suppliers meaning that information is always current and not left behind by other systems that may be operating as a departmental silo. Every department has the information they need on any property or tenant when they need it.
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a highly secure system. Despite offering users a central system, security can be configured on a record or field level to ensure tenant confidentiality. If your organization uses Cloud hosting rather than on-premise, you can be assured of UK held and protected data with Microsoft Cloud, one of the first clouds to base data centres in the UK. (Cloud-hosting usually results in ICT cost savings).
- With centrally held and accurate information about a tenant, property or supplier, teams can share more easily leading to quicker call handling and faster resolution to queries.
- Cost savings
- CRM will deliver efficiency savings by speeding up processes, removing the overhead of multiple information systems and enabling housing associations to identify tenants who are more likely to fall into rent arrears.
- Satisfied Tenants
- From set up, a tenant interaction history will build. The benefits are three fold. Firstly, information on their particular status and recent interactions relevant to the call will be visible to the employee that they are interacting with meaning that they don’t need to continually repeat themselves. Secondly, their enquiry will be dealt with more quickly. Thirdly, they will feel that the housing association knows who they are and are on their side, which helps to build willingness to interact positively. Employees can also be prompted to ask the right questions with on screen prompts.
- Communication Options
- More and more people are turning to social media to communicate or to vent their frustrations. With MS Dynamics CRM, an association can interact with its customers proactively via social media, email or phone and the interaction will automatically be logged against the tenant’s record.
- Flexible working
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM can also let your field team access and update records from mobile devices, improving productivity.
- Teams can share information more easily regardless of location within an office, town or city. Improved collaboration will mean less bureaucracy and more positive action.
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM is not just an out of the box solution. The success of any CRM is the ability to be customized to the needs of the organization. A good CRM partner will not only provide the CRM to you, but will work with you from the outset to ensure its success including platform suitability, tool assessment, user adoption, evaluations and ongoing support.
- Data can be segmented by any field for more targeted communications.
- Future Planning
- With bigger and better data that can be surfaced quickly and easily to provide valuable insights on easily understood reports, housing associations can identify trends and predict future behaviour for service planning and troubleshooting.