From: Paul Lees, Chief Executive, Adactus Housing
Sir – Early in my career I was working in Liverpool as a housing officer. At that time, the only way to communicate with tenants was to physically visit them in their homes. I suggested to my manager that we supply land-line telephones to all tenants to enable a more streamlined service. His response was that the day would never dawn when our tenants could afford telephones. This was 1983.
I now often hear that landlords who depend on the internet to communicate with tenants are excluding large proportions that do not have access. I think this is a repeat of my manager’s mistake in 1983. Research by my organisation proves that over 50 per cent of tenants use the internet every day. The use of the internet by tenants will grow and grow and organisations who do not grasp this will be left behind.
For me, the next leap forward facing housing providers is the un-tethered customer. Picking the right platform will be the challenge – to app or not to app, that is the question.