Case Study: Cartrefi Conwy
Cartrefi Conwy Housing Association, based in North Wales, has over 3,500 properties. They were a stock transfer from the local council, Conwy County, in 2008.
The social landlord had concerns about the introduction of full-service Universal Credit and the impact this would have on tenants and rent arrears.
Customer Visits increased by: 33%
Caseload Reduction: 76%
“We envisaged that arrears would increase with the introduction of Universal Credit. Alongside that the cost of living has been continuously increasing, and we saw that RentSense was a useful tool to support the Income Team, as we know it ensures you are looking at the right cases each time.’ Explains Dan Hall, Income Recovery Manager, Cartrefi Conwy.
The approach that Cartrefi Conwy wanted to take to mitigate UC was to support their tenants with the transition and part of their focus was to increase the number of visits to customers. However, at that time income officers were simply filtering a long list of tenants in their patch and as a result were unable to work through their caseload each week, so tenants were not always being contacted promptly about arrears. What’s more, as with many of their peers, Cartrefi Conwy, found the cases involving their tenants on Universal Credit take more time to resolve. All this drove their decision to invest in RentSense in April 2018, as they wanted to embed efficiencies and ensure tenants had the support they required when it was needed.
“It’s a big driver for the officers to be out and about, to talk to the tenants and to provide better support. RentSense has enabled this by giving them more time and as a result they are making more visits. The increase in face to face contact with tenants has meant the amount of money support referrals has doubled. This benefits the tenants as they are claiming what they are entitled to the and additional money helps to prevent arrears in the long run.” Explains Dan.
RentSense has enabled Cartrefi Conwy to increase visits by 33% as officers carried out 20 more visits within the first year of implementation.
Officers have also embraced using RentSense, with a smaller workload, but importantly a highly accurate one, as it had freed up time and enabled them to complete their caseload each week.
“I think it’s a brilliant system, it gives you a clear caseload so there is no trawling through a spreadsheet for work. It really simplifies what you need to do in each day, and there is very little stress involved,” explains Phil Davis, Assistant Payment Co-ordinator at Cartrefi Conwy.
It’s not just the officers who have embraced using the system, the management too have used the insight from the reporting to analyse performance.
‘The reporting side of it has been a game changer, beforehand the HMS was quite clunky and not as reliable. The live information each Monday has really helped with the team management and it helps to structure our team meetings as you can fully trust the data.’ Comments Dan
Not only does the system help with team management but the officers have found the reporting side of it useful too.
“The dashboard of user stats is quick and easy to download, it helps provide motivation, as it gives us feedback and we can see how we’re performing compared to the rest of the team.” Highlights Phil.
“It certainly helps with the day to day management, you can easily jump on a patch that may need more attention, that kind of extra information helps the team with their case completion,” explains Dan.
The impact of RentSense has seen a 76% caseload reduction and enabled Cartrefi Conwy to maintain performance despite Universal Credit. With more customer visits and more support in place for tenants they have managed the sharp increase in UC claimants amongst their tenants. What’s more the implementation was straightforward.
“It was a smooth transition from simply using the HMS system to RentSense being implemented. And the training was very good as Mobysoft were really accommodating and went the extra mile to check everything was right before Go Live,” explains Dan.
Dan goes on to say ‘We have a really good rapport with our Customer Success Manager, and the regular meetings we have really help, as Tracy is able to suggest how best to tweak the rules and to get the best out of the system for us.’
As with any company, Cartrefi Conwy’s priorities have changed over time and the ability that RentSense has to accommodate these changes helps the income team ensure performance is maintained.
“The flexibility of the software has been really helpful, it has meant we have been able to shift patches and do a few tweaks along the way, as we have changed our requirements as a company’ stated Dan
“Even with the introduction of Universal Credit and the cost of living increasing we have managed to maintain performance from the previous year, which is really positive.”
When asked if he would recommend RentSense, Dan replied.
‘For organisations that want to maximise their resources and work more efficiently then I would definitely recommend RentSense to them, which is something I have done in the past.’