Midland Heart and Rostrvm Solutions have developed a bespoke call-dialling system in order to mitigate the effects of the introduction of universal credit by improving rent collection rates and reducing arrears. Midland Heart is using the system to get in touch with tenants via voice alerts and text messages as soon as their agreed payments become overdue.
Gary Hardy, head of income, allocations, property sales and tenancy standards, Midland Heart, said, “The Ofcom-certified system makes it very clear that Midland Heart is trying to get in touch and simply asks them to stay on the line to speak to a member of our income team. Alternatively, if they are unable to talk, we provide a specific number the tenant can use to call us back when it’s more convenient.
“Following the introduction of the automated dialling system in November 2015, we’ve seen a 300 per cent increase in tenant contacts and reduced the amount of time the team are spending chasing tenants with calls and letters. We have also achieved an increase of almost £350,000 in cash payments during the last six months.”
Midland Heart reported that it had increased direct debit payments to 25 per cent of all rent payments, having been fixed at 15 per cent for over seven years, and turn-around times for voids had been reduced by 25 per cent, down to 19 days per property.