Inside Housing – Sponsored – How can social landlords use data to improve the tenant relationship?
How could landlords collect and manage this kind of in-depth tenant data?
In addition to the traditional tenant profiling methods that landlords use such as questionnaires and tenant surveys, landlords could link with other agencies to improve the validity of their tenant data / information. These agencies could include the police or social services, if permission has been granted.
All of this tenant data, along with owner property information – ranging from compliance, repairs, energy efficiency and more – can be captured and managed through a housing management system such as One Housing. Capita solutions.
The added benefit of our system is that it is able to pull all of these datasets together for the type of in-depth analysis I described. It also has the option of having custom fields, so if there is a missing data collection item, you can configure part of the system.
For example, during COVID-19, housing management systems may have been unable to track tenants who had been released or those who were self-isolating. Our system, however, is adaptable, so it allows owners to add / track new external factors without the need to release new software.
How could this improve communication and tenant feedback?
How you contact a tenant and when you contact them is very important to whether they will interact with you. Detailed information about tenants, such as their preferred method of communication or examining their particular surroundings – for example if they have family members with special needs – can ensure that landlords reach out to their tenants in the right way. and when it suits them best. . Again, it’s about providing a much more personalized service.
An example in action is a small project we worked on around rent arrears profiling, where we segmented tenants into certain communication categories based on their age. So if a person was under 25 and was in arrears they would get a text, if they were between 25 and 55 they would get a phone call, and if they were over 55 they would get a letter. Obviously that was pretty simplistic, but it shows how data can be used to drive tenant engagement.
In terms of improving feedback, our system has built-in survey functionality, so repair satisfaction surveys can be sent out automatically when the job is done, for example. These tenant comments are then automatically assigned to the repair, reducing the risk of human error compared to if the information had been entered manually.
How does this tie in with the broader measures set out in the government’s white paper on social housing, such as ensuring residents have safer homes and living environments?
A key element in carrying out this reform is collecting and accounting for data on tenants and properties next to each other, rather than looking at information in silos. If done well, it can bring multiple benefits.
Energy efficiency is one example. Our system has the ability via a third party to provide information on the energy performance of a property. At the same time, we can compare this with the energy consumption of the tenant, which could show that the tenant lives in a house classified as energy efficient, while having high energy bills.
From there, we could look at some of the causes and analyze if the property is being properly heated, whether or not it is causing humidity / poor living conditions, or if it is affecting the infrastructure of the property. Other areas could be tracked, such as the type of insulation or boiler used, down to the bulbs installed.
This would paint a full picture of energy supply and demand, which would preserve the condition of the property and help the tenant budget more accurately, reducing the risk of issues like fuel poverty.