Sovereign Housing has used Mobysoft’s RentSense software for eight years and, more recently, Intelligent Automation for RentSense. Sovereign Housing’s head of income, Lizzie Aston-Long, discusses the current environment for housing providers and tenants and how RentSense and Intelligent Automation have helped Sovereign Housing’s income team and tenants.
How do your income officers like RentSense
RentSense helps them to prioritise their caseloads and make earlier interventions. It also helps them identify tenants who are in credit yet at risk of falling into arrears. Overall, Mobysoft’s tools help us to reduce the number of tenants in debt and arrears and offer the right help much earlier.
How has it helped your financial performance?
RentSense has helped us to improve our collection rates and target our interventions better. For example, in our last financial year our arrears target was 4.5 per cent but we actually achieved 2.6 per cent, within which our target for Universal Credit tenants was 7 per cent but we achieved 4.5 per cent.
Why did you add the Intelligent Automation module?
We wanted to maximise our productivity, especially around repetitive functions which should be automated. We knew we needed more capacity within the team so our income officers could focus on more in-depth conversations. RentSense and Intelligent Automation has increased capacity and removed 20-30 per cent of each income officer’s caseload.
How has automation helped your income team?
Automation has really made us appreciate the importance of data quality and the need to have the correct contact information. Having now been through that exercise, our data quality has hugely improved.
It is important to keep in mind that automation doesn’t replace our income officers, it complements them. It relieves them of repetitive, low-risk arrears cases and gives them more time. We can see that since automation has been rolled out, the quality of their interventions has improved because they can treat the causes rather than the symptoms.
What has automation done to help Sovereign Housing and its tenants?
It’s given officers more time. It has helped us take a supportive approach and really focus on tenants’ wellbeing and being able to sustain longer tenancies. Furthermore, the insights we get from the Power BI dashboard in RentSense are helping us to look at where we can improve.
Lizzie Aston-Long is the head of income at Sovereign Housing.