IT Solutions Blog

Green Housing: Achieving Net Zero with Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability

by Emily Schilling 22 April 2022

The UK housing sector faces a sustainability challenge – achieving net zero for all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This task has now been set in law, making it a legal requirement for housing providers to work in unison with the government to decarbonise homes with improved insulation and the replacement of heating systems with ‘clean heat’ technologies.

Topics: Microsoft, housing, Sustainability

Predicting rent arrears in social housing using AI

by Emily Schilling 15 February 2022

Social housing tenants are set to face a rent increase in April 2022, which will cost an average of £200 a year per household. This price increase is accompanied by a soar in energy and food bills as the cost of living rises.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics 365, housing, Pivigo

Take the hybrid road: Integrate your existing housing management system with Dynamics 365

by Emily Schilling 17 December 2021

Within the social housing sector, information management systems play a huge part in the overall satisfaction of both employees and customers (tenants). From property repairs and maintenance to rent accounts, the systems that manage this data are integral to the overall running of the association. This is what makes housing management systems so important. But the housing management system chosen across the company doesn’t have to manage every single part of the housing association, and more often than not, it doesn’t. While having multiple platforms or systems isn’t out of the ordinary in the social housing industry, having an integrated, joined-up view of tenants across all systems is.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics 365, housing

Going beyond repairs and ASB: Escalating the complaints process to the housing ombudsman

by Emily Schilling 13 October 2021

In August, we discussed how mobile apps, portals, virtual agent (AI enabled Chatbots), and more can help housing associations manage issues such as repairs and anti-social behaviour. The next stage of this process is managing formal complaints, including escalation to the ombudsman complaints process.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics 365, housing, complaints

Bringing Complaints Handling into the 21st Century

by Emily Schilling 12 August 2021

“We heard from some residents that making a complaint can be difficult and take too long – and that it can sometimes take months for the complaint to be resolved, or for the resident to be able to access the Housing Ombudsman.” 

Topics: housing, complaints, ASB

Creating meaningful omni-channel experiences for tenants

by Emily Schilling 15 June 2021

96% of people across the UK have access to the internet, and 50.9 million people in the UK use social media platforms. Because digital channels are so widespread, almost every company uses them to engage with current or prospective customers, whether it’s through Facebook, virtual assistants, or WhatsApp.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power Platform, housing, Orlo

5 ways housing associations can improve their sales and marketing

by Jordan Wheat 1 June 2021

Sales and marketing for new home sellers has certainly had to adapt over the last 18 months. Whilst some have thrived by seizing the opportunity, others have retreated on development programmes.

Topics: Sales, Marketing, housing

Improve tenant and staff visibility with contact data integration.

by Emily Schilling 20 April 2021

As of 2018, there were 1.6 million council provided homes in the UK, and approximately 60% of those homes are owned by housing associations. There is a government-led drive for housing associations to build more homes, both as a way to provide housing for those in need and for those making the step on the ladder towards home ownership. But with private rentals having a better reputation for customer service, housing associations must improve the quality and safety of homes, and handle complaints and issues more effectively.

Topics: Microsoft PowerApps, Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft Power Platform, housing

Managing demand during the housing crisis: increasing sales productivity with Dynamics 365

by Emily Schilling 5 March 2021

In December 2020, Homes England reported that between 1st April and 30th September that year, the number of housing starts was the lowest since 2012-2013, at 11,313 homes. Housing completions had also decreased to 11,358 houses - the lowest since 2015-2016. The reduction of both starts and completions is partly due to the coronavirus pandemic, which caused significant complications for housebuilding activity. Affordable housing made up 79% of housing starts in this period, which has decreased by 32% from the previous year – putting the number of affordable homes at its lowest since 2017-2018. Housing associations are under pressure to provide affordable housing for those in need, and the pressure is greater during the current period of economic uncertainty, furlough, and redundancy.  

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft PowerApps, Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft, Homebuilder, virtual agent, enquiry portals, housing

Enquiry portal integration with Dynamics 365

by Emily Schilling 7 October 2020

 

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics 365, Homebuilder, enquiry portals, housing