Futures Housing Group and Southern Housing Group have both announced the successful introduction of self-service tenant portals from Orchard Information Systems.
Amber Valley Housing and Daventry and District Housing, subsidiaries of Futures Housing Group, have launched a tenant self- service portal. The portal is based on the Self Service Portal product from Orchard, AVH’s existing housing management system provider, and allows tenants to view information about housing repairs and rent accounts and make payments online.
A panel of tenant volunteers was directly involved in the planning and implementation of the self-service portal, including functional requirements, the portal’s overall ‘look and feel’ and naming the portal ‘LinX’.
The LinX portal provides a two-way communication channel between AVH and its tenants, including rent and repair enquiries, updating of tenants’ own personal information and contact details, and repair requests via integration with M3 Housing’s Housecall online graphical diagnostic system.
LinX was first demonstrated at AVH’s annual tenant conference and then started live operation in November 2010. The portal is expected to be rolled out by Daventry and District Housing in early 2011 with the same functionality as AVH but with a different look and feel.
Maureen Thompson, customer services manager, Amber Valley Housing, said, “Working with our tenants and Orchard to develop the LinX portal has been a great experience with very positive results. LinX exceeds the tenants’ original expectations and gives them additional choices in how and when they access our core services.”
Once the portal has been established across the group, AVH said that it is expecting to work with Orchard to add new tools to LinX, including customer profile updates and online surveys.
Orchard said that following the success of the LinX project, its Self Service Portal has now been enhanced with additional features and functionalities.
Orchard self-service for Southern Housing Southern Housing Group has gone live with Orchard’s self-service portal as an extension of its Orchard housing management system. The new portal allows SHG’s 66,000 residents to log repair requests, view their rent accounts, review their previous enquiries and see a history of past cases logged by themselves.
Orchard and SHG described the project to implement the self-service portal as ‘challenging’. This was partly due to the short timescale for the project as the Orchard SSP needed to be operational before the expiration of the licence for SHG’s previous portal and the introduction of new features to ensure the SSP replicated all of the previous portal’s features.