Case Study: Liverpool Mutual Homes
Liverpool Mutual Homes was a stock transfer from Liverpool City Council in 2008, consisting of 15,000 homes.
Caseload Reduction: 66%
Arrears Reduction: 15.9% (in 9 months)
Arrears Reduction: £588,336
Prior to investing in RentSense Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH) were aware of the rising impact of welfare reform changes, particularly Universal Credit (UC), on the organisation. For the income team this meant a rising workload and greater case complexity. According to Elaine Ball, Income Manager at LMH:
“We wanted a product which would enable LMH to be able to respond to the increase in workload and improve performance without having to increase the staffing resource.”
This need was compounded by the fact their Housing Management System was unable to provide a report that contained only those cases that required recovery action. This resulted in un-productive work discounting cases and having to generate additional monthly reports to try and ensure the right cases were being actioned.
LMH did explore systematic options to address the problem, including an in-house solution but subsequently made the decision to speak to Mobysoft about investing in RentSense, as there was a pressing need to mitigate the impact of welfare reforms, whilst being able to enhance the prioritisation of workloads, reduce waste by ensuring staff are only presented with cases that required action. This would, in turn, enable them to improve their rent collection performance, and reduce current tenant arrears.
Flagging Missed Cases
Once deployed RentSense helped reduce the income team’s weekly caseload from over 7,000 records that the HMS was recommending, to just over 3,000 cases. Not only was this reduction significant, 66% in total, but it also consistently flagged cases the HMS missed. On average this is around 650 cases a week, with a weekly value of around £280,000. However, most importantly it was flagging the right cases for action at the right time.
“It (RentSense) is really important, as it is improving rent collection and we are picking up cases at a much earlier stage, so we get them before the debt is unmanageable for the tenant and are in a position to resolve the issue, at the earliest possible stage,” explains Elaine.
“And if we do that it does not tie up additional resources as the case does not become more complex and this is helping us sustain tenancies as well as freeing up capacity with the team.”
After just nine months of using RentSense LMH have achieved some stellar results, as Elaine testifies:
“There has been a reduction in current tenant arrears and an increase in rent collection.”
Indeed, LMH have achieved their lowest ever rent arrears and increased their collection rates by over 2%, rising from 98.25% to 100.56%, and in that time their arrears have fallen by 15.9% and they have reduced their arrears by £588,336.
In addition, the performance of the software has been matched by the service that has been delivered, according to Elaine.
Excellent Customer Service
“Mobysoft has been very supportive, with excellent customer service. Our Relationship Manager has assisted us to maximise the use of the system and utilise performance monitoring reports to enhance work load capacity within the team.”
As with all RentSense customers, LMH’s Client Success Consultant (relationship manager) visits and reviews their performance every 12 weeks, complemented by their Mobysoft Account Director. All of which is aimed at ensuring the client is achieving their business case targets and maximising their investment. For LMH these account visits are hugely important in helping them get the most out of the system.
“Tracy, our relationship manager, goes through the reports and supports us and gives us guidance. It helps me manage the system as well and ensuring the staff are using it appropriately.”
For Elaine a key element of the reporting is that it is live so the team’s performance can be monitored and the appropriate action taken.
“I have used reports from other applications that tell me ‘this week what staff did last week,’ but with RentSense I can log in today and see what staff are doing now. It’s live performance information that can help me manage the team’s workload on a daily basis. Some officers have more UC cases and we can reallocate those very easily and quickly with the system.”
Introducing any new IT system into a workplace can be at risk of meeting user resistance, but with RentSense it has been a smooth process:
“RentSense is incredibly easy to use and recommends the cases that officers need to action. In turn, the staff have really embraced the system as it enables them to get through their work commitments, and as a result they are hitting their individual and corporate performance targets. We also know we are on schedule to hit our year-end target.”
So, after nine months of using and benefitting from using RentSense would LMH recommend other landlords invest in the system?
“Yes, I would, it has improved our rent collection performance by reducing waste and inefficiencies. The implementation process was straightforward, the product is easy to use. In addition, there is continued support with use of the product to maximise performance,” explained Elaine.