How digital transformation is reshaping the social housing sector


Date: 3 June 2024

A man takes a digital photo of a mouldy wall

Technology is having a huge impact on every sector, and the housing space is no exception. Digital transformation means integrating technology into all aspects of an organisation, changing the way challenges are tackled and value is delivered to customers. It means leveraging new digital tools to improve the homebuying experience and allow better property management, which can benefit housing associations and tenants alike.

So, how exactly is digital transformation reshaping the industry? Let's explore the benefits of embracing digital…

Data-driven decision making

Digital tools allow improved analysis of data to draw crucial insights. Housing associations can automate the collection of customer feedback and use it to make improvements to better meet tenant needs, keeping them at the heart of decision-making. Another way to do this is by hosting tenant workshops, where feedback can be collected to find new ways to improve processes.

Automated processes

By automating processes when it comes to dealing with queries or diagnosing repairs, housing associations can free up capacity and see great productivity gains. Staff can focus on building stronger relationships with tenants and potential customers.

Improved efficiency

Digital technologies, such as using AI to automate manual tasks, can drive new efficiencies within organisations. If tenants need instant answers to queries, chatbots can provide support. Chatbots deal with common queries, acting as a signposting tool around the website to relevant helpful resources. Tenants get answers quickly without having to call up their housing association by phone, which can free up the call centre to focus on vulnerable tenants with more urgent issues.

Implementing tenant portals

Self-serve portals empower tenants to easily pay rent, report a repair and more, online without having to get in touch by phone. This can provide a faster, better experience for tenants and free up a housing association's call centre to deal with critical issues that require support from a colleague.

What challenges will I need to overcome?

Effective digital transformation requires a change in mindset throughout an organisation. Understanding the potential challenges can help with planning and preparations.

Tenant adoption

If housing associations suddenly switched their repair reporting process from being over the phone to digitally via an app, vulnerable tenants might not know how to adopt the new process and may phone up anyway. To make the new digital processes accessible to everyone and increase tenant adoption, training is crucial. This, in turn, supports digital transformation strategies in being successful.

Stakeholder buy-in

Stakeholder engagement is crucial in digital transformation. Encouraging stakeholders to embrace change and experiment with new technologies is key. Providing a clear vision and presenting case studies that show digital transformation benefitting tenants, can go a long way.

Driving a cultural shift

Successful digital transformation requires a shift in mindset throughout all areas of housing associations. If new technologies aren't embraced with open arms, the implementation of new systems may fail.

Should you consult a digital transformation partner?

Consulting a digital transformation partner that specialises in the housing sector can support organisations in overcoming these challenges and seeing successful outcomes in their digital transformation.

Copyright 2024. Article made possible by Prodo .

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