Highlights

6.2K

Properties

£78K

Arrears reduction

11.8%

Arrears reduction

A short conversation with Alliance Homes Tenancy Sustainability Manager, Cathryn Vallender, about their changing focus and how RentSense has helped them,
Mobysoft:

Alliance’s vision, in your strategic plan, is to improve lives and benefit communities, and part of achieving your strategic plan is innovation, embracing change and technology to constantly improve. How do you see RentSense’s role in helping the organisation and the rent team deliver on the vision?

Cathryn Vallender:

There has a definite shift away from escalation process in income collection to tailoring our services to all customers, RentSense has really helped us with over the years. It has helped us understand different cohorts of customers, who they are, what problems they are dealing with and then how we can provide that support framework to enable them to sustain their tenancy, which is helping us work towards our strategic objectives

Mobysoft:

Why did Alliance choose to invest in RentSense? Did you speak to other users?

Cathryn Vallender:

At the time we were facing welfare reform and were looking for more effective ways of debt recovery and wanting to use technology to drive this forward. So we visited other landlords and how could see how they used and benefitted from the system, and this really sparked excitement in the team.

Focusing on tenancy sustainment
Mobysoft:

What’s your longer term view for arrears performance and targets, in what is a challenging environment?

Cathryn Vallender:

We want to maintain a level of performance, but in the longer term about making sure customers have access to the right services to enable them to sustain their tenancies. We need to focus on the services we deliver to customers and their experience and satisfaction of that. In terms of metrics in the future the focus is on tenancy sustainment.

Mobysoft:

Prior to RentSense how did the team derive their caseload and were there any issues with it?

Cathryn Vallender:

Prior to RentSense it was a manual process, generating a list out of the system and then follow an escalation process and determine what stage that person was at and then take the appropriate action. There was a lot of manual intervention, including working out your own priorities, all this meant there was an inconsistent approach.

RentSense has helped deliver a consistent service, the rules we use in the system and the recommendations it generates, the officers clearly understand the priority of these cases and what action is needed, so it has made a significant difference.

Mobysoft:

How do Mobysoft and RentSense help when switching HMS systems?

Cathryn Vallender:

Mobysoft have been amazing in terms of support and implementation with the transition from our old housing management system to our new system. You were able to give us support and assistance the whole way through for the implementation.

Mobysoft:

What was the team’s expectations of RentSense?

Cathryn Vallender:

Initially, a little a bit cautious they thought it might reduce headcount and effect their role. Those fears were allayed, as they could see what RentSense could do and the investment was not about reducing headcount but helping them use their time and skills in the most effective way. The team would not be without it, they know it is the one tool that helps them do their job more effectively than any other.

Mobysoft:

How has RentSense helped since officers and performance since deployment?

Cathryn Vallender:

It has helped us lower our arrears and keep them stable.The team have always performed well, but as we have gone through the changes of welfare reform, the pandemic and what’s coming now, RentSense has made sure we have had that consistency to our customers. It also gives us clarity on workloads and who may need additional help, so that we share the workload.

Mobysoft:

From a management perspective how beneficial are the reports?

Cathryn Vallender:

The reporting in RentSense is really good, you can bring up the dashboard and with a click of a button you can see how everyone is performing, individual and collectively and set those targets for everyone. It also helps the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) as well as it is easy to get the required information out.

Mobysoft:

Has RentSense impacted job satisfaction of officers?

Cathryn Vallender:

Absolutely, it has kept our income officers sane! Everything we have been through welfare reform, mass migration of UC, it has given them the confidence to see what they are doing and to ensure they are getting the outcomes with customers that they are looking for. When things have been really difficult and things mount up we have not experienced any long term sicknesses. And we genuinely believe because we have RentSense and officers have that clarity, they can see where they are every day with their workload, if they need support they ask, if they are getting overwhelmed they can see how many people they need to contact and what those priorities are. It’s one of the reasons that has kept them here and delivering services to customers.

Mobysoft:

How has the service been from Mobysoft since go live?

We get a brilliant service form Mobysoft. Whether it’s updates on any changes in the pipeline or the roadmap for development we are kept up to speed. If we want benchmarking insight you help us with that, we have a really good relationship with everyone at Mobysoft. You’re always there are if anything is needed.”

Cathryn Vallender, Alliance Homes
Mobysoft:

Would you recommend RentSense to other users? Any other comments?

Cathryn Vallender:

Absolutely we would recommend RentSense to other users. It is embedded in the way we work now, we have removed escalation in our debt recovery procedure and it is built around milestones and customer interactions so we can tailor our services to the customer. We can only do that because we use RentSense, it tells us who are the customers we need to speak, when and ensuring we provide the most effective level of service to customers and for the organisation, but without RentSense we would not be able to work in that way.

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