Property Services

The housing sector is on a trajectory of rapid change along with a growing requirement for Housing organisations to streamline, automate and digitalise the delivery of services. Furthermore, with central funding frozen, and benefit payments to clients similarly capped, housing departments must create operational efficiencies to cover any financial shortfalls.

The crisis we are now fronting means new attitudes are required to combat this business change for the better. Housing organisations looking to bring services in-house are perfectly placed to drive and accelerate this change. Change however won’t be limited to newly created services, technology has jumped forward and the rules have changed – we all have an opportunity to re-think the fundamentals of service delivery.

Using this technology customers have transformed:

Voids Management

For many Housing organisations there are an average of five properties a week that become vacant and are handed to the Repairs Team to inspect for any maintenance works required before they are re-let. The time taken to get a property back to minimum lettable standard can vary, however the average time taken last year was 36 days.

With the use of technology, housing departments can better manage and reduce end-to-end voids times. This can be achieved in a variety of ways such as carrying out the capture of voids specifications via a mobile workforce management solution, allocate the work of operatives and subcontractors through a dynamic scheduling tool, and managing costs, invoices and re-charges with a fully integrated, modern job management platform. Organisations can also build transparent relationships between customers, contractors and sub-contractors, resulting in better efficiencies and greater productivity

Disrepair & Compliance

Housing organisations are under pressure to provide an efficient repairs service to their tenants, while trying to tackle the increase of compensation based legal claims.

This has resulted in many housing associations and social landlords starting to look at new technologies to monitor disrepair remotely, reduce paper-based processes and use data from sensors to detect issues in advance. Not only will this save time and capacity from a workforce perspective, but it also ensures all evidence is recorded and enhances the volume and quality of data should a case be brought to court.
Technology such as mobile workforce management, dynamic scheduling, IoT and job management solutions can accurately help repairs’ teams capture information from each visit and prove that the repairs were carried out. It could be a case that repairs staff have turned up but haven’t been able to gain access to a property. These failed attempts are logged which show the worker tried to gain access, and proof of attendance is recorded.

Responsive Repairs

With often thousands of properties to manage within each area, housing workers can be left feeling the pressure to do more with less time. This means it can become increasingly difficult to provide a high standard of service, that meets expectations in terms of quality and timeliness.

Housing organisation are reviewing processes in terms of how technology is used and learning the value that can be provided. The market has realised that having access to the correct tools to capture data and information, gaining visibility of large field-based teams, and delivering a responsive customer service is a must.
Today Housing organisations are making the shift towards equipping their field staff with the right tools to record information whilst out in the field. Through the use of mobile workforce management technology and dynamic scheduling solutions, field staff can record job information such as photographs, necessary forms and tenant signatures all while accessing their real time schedules.
Field service management software ensures all job information is recorded at the point of service and field staff can access relevant housing repairs forms and their schedule via their device, anytime, anywhere. Housing field staff can therefore benefit from a reduction in completing paper processes, ensure compliance with quality and health and safety standards, and also reduce travel time and costs back and forth to the office.

First-time fix rates

First-time fix rate is a really useful metric. Not only does it help reduce operational costs and maximise workforce capacity, but there is a strong link between firsttime fix rates and customer satisfaction.

There are many causes of poor firsttime fix rates, but the main cause can be attributed to limited access to the right information at the right time, that enables operatives to complete their work effectively.

Implementing a digital workforce management system can help to reduce these problems. Jobs/Visits can be logged onto the job management system, providing a holistic view of requirements, these jobs can then to be scheduled and allocated to operatives in the field with the correct skills. With all the details of the job known before the visit operative can prepare in advance and ensure they have all the materials and equipment necessary to complete the job first time.

Customer Services

Customers are now expecting that services are not only provided to the highest quality and in a timely manner, but also expect additional flexibility to suit their requirements and are less likely to be forgiving of miscommunications and low quality or missed work.

The use of technology is key when it comes to enabling your Housing organisation to deliver a superior level of customer service. Implementing a mobile workforce software can minimise the amount of time staff need to spend logging and planning maintenance requests from residents. The technology cannot only provide customers with the ability to book repairs appointments easier and faster, and at a time that is convenient for them but also allows the Housing organisation to stay in touch with tenants and update them on the status of their work.

Business Outcomes:

  • Compliance with standards – enhanced control and increased visibility of the job management process means that risks can be identified and dealt with early, ensuring that the right services are delivered at the right time, while meeting all required standards
  • Workforce productivity – streamlining processes and automating admin means field workers have more time to spend delivering quality services every day
  • Service Efficiency – through improved visibility and control of operational costs, organisations can closely track expenditure to ensure an efficient service is being delivered, while identifying areas of inefficient spend and increasing profits
  • Customer Satisfaction – by delivering services when they are required, enhancing first time fixes and improving communication with customers, satisfaction of service delivery is increased.
  • Digital transformation is not a one-time fix, it is a journey and housing providers should look at the deployment of technology as something that will enable continuous improvements. In order to do this Housing organisations must look to work with technology providers that can provide the ability to continue to support them as they scale.