Case Study: Queens Cross Housing Association

Queens Cross (QCHA) is a Glasgow based Housing Association with around 4,300 properties located primarily in the North of the city.

Before investing in RentSense their housing officers were using their Housing Management System (HMS) to generate a monthly report which they worked through updating with additional reports. However, they were finding this was inefficient as it was flagging a lot of cases that required no action.

 

Queens Cross (QCHA) is a Glasgow based Housing Association with around 4,300 properties located primarily in the North of the city.

Before investing in RentSense their housing officers were using their Housing Management System (HMS) to generate a monthly report which they worked through updating with additional reports. However, they were finding this was inefficient as it was flagging a lot of cases that required no action.

“We wanted to give officers the time to focus on their role, so they can support tenants and carry out all aspects of their job,” explains Elizabeth Hood, Deputy Director at Queens Cross.

“On the old system I was getting over 100 cases a week, now I get around 50,” comments Cat Baker, a Housing Officer at QCHA.

Like many landlords in Scotland Queens Cross’s housing officers take a generic approach so they look after all aspects of the properties they manage, not just collecting rent.

“I have smaller and accurate list now so I can block time out in my diary to work through these. It means I have more time for other tasks, but also I have more time for the tenants that need additional support.”

With the old system, there were a lot of work arounds and this resulted in officers taking different approaches, whilst management were keen for more uniformity across the team.

“Consistency in approach is especially important, we want customers to get the right support no matter who they speak with,” comments Pauline Miller, Neighbourhood Manager at QCHA.

“With RentSense we know exactly why tenants are being flagged for contact, and this helps with the consistent approach.”

Universal Credit was a major factor why QCHA invested in RentSense, they wanted to be able to identity and support the tenants that need additional support and minimise the effects on the organisation.

“RentSense really helps with Universal Credit. RentSense separates those tenants on UC, and it understands the complexity of the payments, and identifies who needs support and prioritise them too,” highlights Cat.

Queens Cross has adopted a rent first approach and encourage tenants to pay rent in advance, this is helping residents as they switch to Universal Credit, but again RentSense helps highlight those tenants in credit who are predicted to go into arrears.

“It flags accounts in credit but where the balance is reducing. Often customers aren’t aware, for example their DD has failed, so they are grateful for the contact. The credit is their cushion and RentSense helps us catch them before their cushion has vanished,” comments Cat.

As the environment evolves QCHA ensure that RentSense changes with it, and they work with the Mobysoft team to update the rules and configuration.

“Tracy (QCHA’s Client Success Manager) flags up potential updates and changes to us and we test them, it works well. Whether that’s changing priorities or rules. Having this flexibility with the system is really beneficial as priorities change over time and it helps keep you focused,” comments Pauline.

RentSense has also helped housing officers share their workload and give managers visibility across the team so officers can be asked to work on one another’s caseload when required.

“It’s a great advantage being able to work on other people’s patches, so you know together you can complete your workload each week. Also, when you cover one another’s patch you may not know those tenants but in RentSense you can see all the background so it helps you have the right conversation,” explains Cat.

RentSense has helped reduce QCHA’s caseload and stabilise arrears and it has had a positive impact on tenants too, giving officers more time to support residents that may need additional help and direction. With an accurate caseload that is correctly prioritised the housing team also have more focus on their role and responsibilities.

“Time to focus is important, and that is what RentSense has helped us do. It has given staff the time to concentrate on their caseload and help with Universal Credit. It has also given them more time to deal with other elements of their role, so they are not constantly rushing about, which has taken some pressure off, so they can achieve what they need to do each week,” concludes Elizabeth.