Shepherds Bush Housing Group has revamped its internet and intranet sites and introduced proactive outbound email marketing using web development, design and content management tools from WiseTiger.
SBHG comprises Domus, Shepherds Bush Housing Association, SBH Developments, Staying Put Services and Westside Support Services, and has around 5000 properties across London. In the past, SBHG staff therefore needed to find and access a huge volume of information distributed across departmental ‘silos’ from across the group, making it a difficult and time-consuming task to get the right information to the right people at the right time.
At the start of 2009, SBHG implemented a strategy to simplify its group-wide communications, increase property enquiries from prospective tenants and customers, and reduce its recruitment costs. Web developer WiseTiger initially just redesigned SBHG’s group website and, following the site’s successful launch in May 2009, expanded its remit to include micro-sites for each of SBHG’s property developments, an intranet used as an ‘expert’s database’ for queries about property, finance and the elderly, and the ability to track prospective tenants and customers online and then contact them using WiseTiger’s email marketing tools.
David Blackburn, director of human resources & business support, Shepherds Bush Housing Group, said, “We had a clear vision for the organisation, but needed a look and feel that would allow both employees and customers to buy into that vision.”
With the website and intranet now the backbone of SBHG’s sales and marketing operations, the housing provider has also tracked their impact on recruitment to demonstrate dramatic improvements; recruitment costs have fallen by 86 per cent, from an average of £5200 per hired head in 2006/7 to just £720 by 2009/10. Visits to the online job pages has risen by over 500 per cent and the number of online applications grown from 80 to 900 per year.
Blackburn added, “Our previous content management system was a nightmare to use because it needed too much technical knowledge. With the new WiseTiger system, it only took a two-hour training session to get us up and running and we now have 25-30 web champions in the team regularly updating the website. This is a really huge benefit to us because at last our website is a living, breathing tool at the heart of our operations.”