Arrears reduction (first 8 months of use)


Arrears Reduction in Lockdown

A short conversation with VIVID’s Director of Customer Service, Alex Nagle and Income Recovery Manager, Tammy Roux about how they have used and benefited from RentSense.

After the merger between Sentinel and First Wessex you wanted to rationalise systems so you started to use your HMS instead of RentSense, what was the outcome?

Tammy Roux:

When we implemented the HMS following our merger, extensive work was undertaken to set up the arrears module to support our income recovery process, but it unfortunately didn’t fulfil our requirements as we’d expected.


What happened when you switched back to using RentSense?


It had an immediate impact on volume of work. Our HMS was prompting more than double the cases that RentSense was. In addition, we realised the HMS was not recognising about 2,000 accounts that needed action.

Preventing tenants from falling into arrears
Alex Nagle:

Confidence in knowing that prompting cases were the ones that needed our attention was the main benefit for the team and RentSense has also allowed us to manage the workload for our income staff effectively.


What was the impact on the staff of using RentSense again?

Tammy Roux:

We rolled out the new RentSense platform and it was a lot easier to use, and the reporting and dashboard were fantastic. Our officers have access to all areas of RentSense so they can see in the dashboard how they’re performing compared to colleagues and that has created some friendly competition, they absolutely love it.


In the last year or so how has it helped with income team manage through the pandemic?

Tammy Roux:

From March 2020 to November 2020 our number of Universal Credit claimants rose from 3,000 to 7,500. With RentSense, we can see throughout the week where we are going to need to put in extra resource to help support our customer’s needs. We have three mini teams within the income team, and they are focused on making sure everyone hits 100% completion, even if people are on leave or off sick and it’s really easy for team leaders and managers to monitor that.

Alex Nagle:

As RentSense is so visible, team members can support each other as it’s very apparent if officers are struggling to complete their prompts or are on leave. This has really helped create more of a team spirit


What has using RentSense again meant for your customers?

Tammy Roux:

RentSense is proactive so it also prompts you to look at cases in credit where payments have not been made which helps prevent tenants from falling into debt. There are so many situations where it alerts us at the earliest stages of debt, whether it’s a bounced Direct Debit, a change in Housing Benefit, or the support it prompts for Universal Credit claimants. It means we are able to help more families out of debt, but also help prevent them from falling into arrears in the first instance.

Alex Nagle:

We also use RentSense to make sure we engage with our new customers over the first few months of their tenancy. This helps to ensure that they know how to pay their rent, claim benefits and understand their obligations. In terms of customer satisfaction, it really helps.


Has RentSense helped reduce arrears?

Tammy Roux:

Yes, it has and the effects of having RentSense were immediate, arrears dropped by around £1m in the first three months. This showed we were supporting the right tenants at the right time and intervening early to help families and individuals out of debt and also prevent debt.

What Vivid say about RentSense

Early Intervention – Vivid – Alex Nagle

Helps support new customers – Vivid – Alex Nagle

Helps support colleagues – Vivid – Alex Nagle

Helping customer satisfaction with early intervention Vivid – Tammy Roux

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