United Welsh is using SMS and web technologies to reduce costs while improving tenant response to its choice-based letting programme.
The popularity of United Welsh’s ‘Selecta Home’ programme has resulted in the waiting list growing from 3500 tenants to more than 7000 over the past two years. This significantly increased the costs and internal resources required to run the programme.
Karen Jones, IT manager, United Welsh, said, “Previously we distributed around 7000 colour leaflets to inform potential tenants about new properties. This was not only costly and time-consuming, it wasn’t environmentally sound and had high administrative overheads.”
To streamline its choice-based letting programme, United Welsh migrated from its existing basic SMS text solution to Deeplake’s CMGR Communications workflow software. This has advanced two-way SMS capability while integrating and sharing data with United Welsh’s existing housing management system.
In conjunction with a new web-based publishing facility, the existing choice-based letting notification process was substantially revised. CMGR’s functionality allows tenants eligible for each new property to be selected precisely, based on information stored in United Welsh’s housing management system. These tenants receive instant SMS notifications of the properties relevant to them, to which they can reply, expressing their interest to bid, and directing them to a web site to view full details.
United Welsh’s first text communication for Selecta Homes was a huge success, resulting in the housing association’s highest response to new properties. The new systems was deployed in a matter of months using Deeplake’s managed service and migrated to an in-house solution as the project progressed.
Karen Jones said “Looking back, we would have liked to have used CMGR in other areas sooner. We are now extending SMS workflow into other areas such as rent arrears and repair appointments.”