IT Solutions Blog

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: Micrsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Dynamics, housing associations, 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: Micrsoft Dynamics 365, housing associations, housing, complaints

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: Micrsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Power Platform, housing associations, 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 associations, 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 CRM, Micrsoft Dynamics 365, PowerApps, Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft, Homebuilder, housing associations, virtual agent, enquiry portals, housing

Enquiry portal integration with Dynamics 365

by Emily Schilling 7 October 2020

 

Topics: microsoft dynamics 365, microsoft dynamics 365 for marketing, Homebuilder, housing associations, enquiry portals

Chatting sells: Microsoft's Virtual Agent closes deals with AI technology

by Emily Schilling 6 October 2020

Live chat is now a digital tool found on a wide variety of websites, from e-commerce to Government-owned sites. While live chat is becoming more and more popular, it is very easy to get them wrong - whether customers are waiting hours for an answer, or the bots running the chat  function aren't dealing with the problem. However, when done effectively, live chat can be the key to converting more appointments and booking reservations. With Covid-19 impacting every industry, live chat can be a step in the right direction for housing associations or homebuilders who are missing face-to-face interaction with customers.  

Topics: Homebuilder, housing associations, chatbot, live chat, virtual agent

How can Local Governments shield their most vulnerable residents?

by Mark Britton 12 May 2020

"Never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that: it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." 
Rahm Emanuel

Topics: Digital Transformation, Customer Engagement, Covid-19, housing associations, local authorities, Microsoft Virtual Agent, Crimson Shield, Microsoft Customer Service

Preparing housing associations and local authorities for a brave new world

by Emily Schilling 3 April 2020

Throughout the UK and indeed across Europe, offices stand empty. Meetings have been put on hold, coffee machines sit unused and the water cooler is deserted. But business continues. Meetings have become Skype calls and Teams hangouts, brainstorms are being done over the Internet and even the water cooler may be deserted in the office, those water cooler moments and chats during the tea round are continuing online. For years the world has had access to technology with the potential to change the way we live and work forever, but it has taken a global pandemic for us to realise how truly useful this technology is.

Topics: Remote Working, Covid-19, housing associations, local authorities