Keeping your Housing Association Safe and Connected Through COVID-19

Housing associations (along with the rest of the country) have had a crazy past three weeks. They’ve had to quickly adapt to new ways of working, are under increasing pressure to offer rent holidays and need to assist the vulnerable people in isolation within the community during this challenging period.

Times like this is when technology really shows us what it’s made of. Here’s how technology can (and already is) helping housing associations like yours through COVID-19.

Managing Massive Increases in Tenant Interactions

Even before the COVID-19 lockdown started, housing associations were getting hundreds of thousands of communications from concerned tenants. Issues such as rent arrears, which services would still be running what would be done to help the vulnerable were a hot topic.

This huge influx in digital communications continues to be an issue, now that lockdown is the harsh reality. This problem is worsened further by the fact that the workforce is distributed and potentially reduced due to illness and self-isolation.

But housing associations need not drown under their incoming digital enquiries. Cloud technologies like our INBOX helps to manage digital interactions in both large and small numbers. Acting as a triage that sits outside the contact centre, INBOX automatically reads (content, context and sentiment), responds, prioritises, categorises, creates queues and tickets for fulfilment. This means that all enquiries about rent arrears for example are instantly sent to the right team for response and prioritised in their workload.

“I am genuinely surprised and impressed and I’m not easily impressed, but this product looks amazing.” Katie Coultas, Head of Service & Support at Peabody Trust after a recent INBOX demo.

No matter the interaction, whether email, chat, social media or WhatsApp, INBOX is there for your housing association, tenants and suppliers to help deal with the huge increase in communications during this period. Britannic Technologies are offering licences and support for FREE to help support the housing sector through this challenging time.

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Helping Vulnerable People

Vulnerable tenants such as those with underlying health conditions or over the age of 70 are already in isolation. Some have no or little means to access the outside world, leaving this responsibility to their housing association to bridge that gap. It’s a key priority and challenge for housing associations during this time to keep them safe.

Many have initiatives to ensure that these residents have access to everything they need, are implementing rent holidays and are actively donating to their local food bank.

A lot of vulnerable people (particularly the elderly) are likely to be struggling with the fact they need to utilise technology to order their shopping and medical supplies through online portals. In addition to this, many more will struggle with feelings of loneliness, boredom and health anxiety. Housing associations can help with this by implementing initiatives that empower tenants to socialise with each other and services that enable the vulnerable to learn how to utilise online portals. Webcall is a helpful tool that enables self-serve through chat, video chat and co-browsing. It’s perfect for assisting the vulnerable with ordering their food and medical supplies and will help tenants to navigate your site to find the right piece of information they are looking for on your website.

Homeworking Solutions  

Over the past few weeks many housing associations have had to rapidly implement homeworking solutions to ensure the continuity of their services. We’ve seen however, many have concerns over the solutions they originally implemented to enable this.

Most recently a Britannic Technologies’ customer decided to revert their decision to implement Zoom, in favour of MiTeam Meetings. They concluded that MiTeam Meetings is much simpler to use, with less bells and whistles. Plus, with the current climate, Britannic Technologies are offering 6 months free trial to housing associations that want try a virtual meeting solution that is much more secure and safe than many other options on the market.

Stay Safe. Stay Connected. (for a Reduced Cost)

With many housing associations already under the cosh pre-coronavirus with budget and rent cuts, we know that cashflow has always been problematic. Add to this that new projects are most definitely static, housing associations are really going to be struggling to make up for lost time when we return to normality. That’s why Britannic Technologies’ solutions for housing associations not only help keep their employees and tenants safe and connected, they do it for a reduced cost.

Britannic really values the work done by housing associations and is working with their partners to make sure that everyone can benefit from the latest helpful technologies either free or at a very low cost during this challenging time. Get in touch with us directly at hello@btlnet.co.uk or visit our housing page to find out more.

Daisy Shevlin

Marketing Content Executive, Britannic Technologies

Daisy has worked for technology companies since graduating university in 2017. Currently the Content Marketing Executive at Britannic, she helps businesses cut through the digital noise to understand concepts around Workplace Modernisation, Digital Transformation and key tech trends with content that is concise and to the point.

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