Staff Spotlight: Liza Crowther

November has come and gone at what seems like break-neck speed, and that means two things; it’s nearly Christmas (yay!), and it’s time for our penultimate Staff Spotlight feature of the year!. This month sees us catching up with Mobysoft Automation Pre-Sales Consultant, Liza Crowther- a lady with a wealth of experience across multiple roles within social housing but who is currently responsible for bringing to life our extensive range of automation products for our customers…

How did you come to work in social housing?

As with most people who work in this sector, I ‘fell’ into the world of social housing. I previously worked in a bank – so I knew I liked working with customers – but I was offered a role in a neighbourhood office and since then, I’ve never looked back!

Describe yourself in 3 words:

Positive, focussed, personable.

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your past experience within the social housing sector?

I’ve worked in the housing sector for 19 years – I don’t feel old enough as in my head I am still 21! I started as a housing assistant working in a local estate office, dealing with most housing management enquiries, and from there I progressed to become a neighbourhood officer looking after a mixture of property types (which was certainly a learning curve!).

Alongside this role I was lucky enough to attend university, graduating with a degree in Housing and Environmental Studies, something that gave me a much broader understanding of the housing sector. I then made my first move into income collection where I saw not only the implementation of a new HMS but also the introduction of Rentsense!

My next move was into a group allocations position role and it was here where I realised the importance of getting tenancies off to the right start. A return to income collection followed, this time leading a remote regional team, before moving into asset management with a particular focus on ensuring that properties meet the needs of customers for years to come.

What does your role at Mobysoft entail?

As a pre-sales automation consultant here at Mobysoft, I am responsible for bringing to life Mobysoft’s products for our customers. I explore and provide guidance on how we can integrate and complement a customer’s existing architecture to fast-track their journey to value. I also lead customer-focused webinars on best practice across the sector and work with our internal teams to ensure that we continue to innovate and develop products that meet our customer’s needs.

What is the most interesting part of your job?

Without a doubt it is and travelling to different parts of the UK and meeting different customers, understanding their needs and challenges, and exploring how we can support them. A considerable (and one of the most rewarding) part of my role is helping customers to improve income collection performance and improving tenant satisfaction.

What are your biggest challenges at the moment?

I think the biggest challenge that I am seeing at the moment is our customers having to do more with less whilst simultaneously coming under intense scrutiny from the regulator, the media, and also (quite rightly) their customers. I think it really shows the resilience of the people working in social housing that they are able to bend and flex to meet the constant challenges that the sector faces.

What’s most meaningful part of your job?

The most meaningful part for me is seeing a product being implemented and the difference it can make to organisations and their customers. The feedback we receive really hits home how important a service income collection is.

How do you measure the success of the outcomes directly influenced via your role?

I’m extremely lucky to be able to engage with many of our customers on a regular basis, something that means I often receive feedback on how the products I have worked with them on are making a difference. I am also a bit of a data insight geek, so I love seeing how performance is measured across the board and how our customers are still doing well despite all the challenges they are facing.

What would you say are the biggest challenges faced by social landlords in the current climate?

As previously mentioned, the level of scrutiny the sector is under, coupled with a focus on damp and mould, building safety, customer satisfaction, and the continued cost of living crisis. It is a challenging time indeed but I think social landlords are doing their best to rise to it and are looking at innovative solutions such as automation and insight models to focus resources.

Working on anything interesting at the moment?

I’m currently working on our latest automation offering –  Automated Arrears Prevention. It’s an extremely exciting new product specifically focussing on those customers currently in credit that are potentially at risk of falling into debt. This is a real game changer in terms of engaging with customers in a preventative way, encouraging them to seek advice or make payments to prevent them falling into debt (which can often take them quite some time to get out of).

How would you describe Mobysoft and what it does to the uninitiated?

Mobysoft is a software company that really does have its customers and its customers’ tenants at the heart of what it does. We commit to providing software that enables social landlords to provide excellent services to customers, constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of the sector.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one aspect of the social housing sector overnight, what would it be?

I would love for everyone to be able to see just how dedicated and hard-working the staff working in social housing are, despite all the challenges. If I could wave a magic wand I would remove – or at least lessen – the impact of those challenges to both organisations but more importantly their customers.

What has been your proudest achievement in housing?

My proudest achievement so far has got to be when I was working in asset management on an estate regeneration project. Making sure that the properties continue to meet the needs of the customers for many years to come – my small footprint in that community.

What has been your proudest achievement at Mobysoft?

My proudest achievement here at Mobysoft has got to be the continued growth of our automation products and seeing the different it is making to our customers.

What are your other passions outside housing?

Outside of housing I love to be out in nature, going to gigs, and socialising with my family and friends.

How do you unwind after work?

Usually a nice bath and a good book!

What is your ideal holiday?

I love a city break. I like to explore new places and cultures, including looking at buildings (obvs!). As much as I do love a nice, relaxed beach holiday I also need to feel like I am still learning.

That’s another Staff Spotlight chalked off. If you enjoyed it, then please do head back to these very pages at the same time next month when we’ll be getting to know another Mobysoft staffer a little better for the final time this year.

Dean Quinn