Highlights

4.5K

Properties

21.3%

Arrears reduction (2.43% down to 1.91%)

£66K

Arrears Reduction in Lockdown

A short conversation with Becky Hayward, Income Collection and Tenancy Sustainment Manager at Gloucester City Homes, about how they have used and benefited from RentSense.
Mobysoft:

Before RentSense you mentioned you struggled to get an accurate caseload from your HMS, how did that impact officers?

Becky Hayward:

Staff were having to go through rafts of reports to try and identify their cases and we were also concerned that the HMS was missing cases

Mobysoft:

Was this what drove your investment in RentSense?

Becky Hayward:

Yes, We wanted RentSense to provide a more efficient way of managing our arrears caseloads and ensure we were looking at the right cases.

Rural housing
Managing arrears caseloads more efficiently at Gloucester City Homes
Mobysoft:

How did staff react to using a new system?

Becky Hayward:

Staff love it (RentSense). They just wanted an accurate caseload so they could be more efficient and essentially get on with their work without having to find the right cases.

Mobysoft:

What other benefits did the team enjoy from using RentSense?

Becky Hayward:

They are more proactive. At the beginning of the week the team know their workload for the week, so they then begin planning their diaries. They also now complete their workload, which before was unheard of. This enables them to do preventative work. So, they look at and work on accounts at risk of falling into arrears, or those that may transfer from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit. This has really helped the organisation and you can see the improvement in performance. Arrears were 2.43% in March 2019, then at the end of March 2020 arrears had fallen to 1.91%.

Coping with Covid
Mobysoft:

What did you as an organisation do when the pandemic and lockdown hit?

Becky Hayward:

We stopped all enforcement at lockdown. We wanted to speak to every customer to understand what they needed and what they wanted, and what we could do to help with their situation.

Mobysoft:

I believe you stopped sending standard escalation letters and personalised all commmunications, how effective was this?

Becky Hayward:

The personal approach has been critical. Our customers have responded really well. Whereas before they might have avoided us or their situation. Many have spoken with us.

Becky Hayward:

And for the harder to reach tenants we have taken different approaches. We have kept tyring even when there was no response and by being reasonable and clearly demonstrating we want to help they have engaged with us.

Mobysoft:

Did RentSense also help with those people having to claim Universal Credit?

Becky Hayward:

RentSense makes it easy to monitor UC cases and prompts actions at the right times

Mobysoft:

So, what has been the impact of this approach coupled with RentSense throughout lockdown?

We have reduced arrears by £66,000 since lockdown. Every month arrears have fallen, except for September where they increased by £145. Abandoning all processes and talking and listening to the right tenants at the right time has enabled this.”

Becky Hayward, Gloucester City Homes
Mobysoft:

Has RentSense help you manage the team as well in lockdown?

Becky Hayward:

As RentSense is web-based it made the switch to home working really easy for the team. The dashboard also makes it really easy to monitor the team’s performance. The workload is transparent as well, so we can ensure we put the right resource into the right places.

Mobysoft:

And, would you recommend RentSense to other landlords?

Becky Hayward:

Yes, I would recommend RentSense. It focuses attention to the right cases. And it is so flexible you can tailor it to your needs. You can change the priorities so you can switch your focus if you need to, whether that’s UC cases, lower levels of debt, Direct Debits and so on. It ensures the officers are working on the right cases in the right order

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