As part of its digital transformation, Stonewater has launched a new virtual ‘property shop’ with Active Housing. Stonewater originally chose Active Housing to help with the full digital transformation of its services, included a new tenant portal, followed by a tenant onboarding application.
Stonewater’s property shop showcases its properties available to buy or let, allowing prospective customers to apply for a property online. The project’s intention was to provide one centralised place for all of Stonewater’s rental and sale properties; Stonewater had previously listed these on separate websites with a paper application form.
As well as implementing a virtual storefront, the property shop enables customers to complete their tenancy applications online. The digital applications were delivered using Active Housing’s Active Onboarding solution, with some degree of customisation based on Stonewater’s own processes and business rules.
The applications process is prompted when a prospective customer registers their interest for a property on the storefront. When this happens, the Stonewater admins are notified, sending the customer to a digital application portal. The application process is split into six manageable sections which the customer can complete at their leisure.
The project was managed via an Agile style of project management. Bi-weekly meetings were held via Microsoft Teams, and the Stonewater and Active Housing teams used project management tools Asana and Jira to log and track problems.
Integration with Stonewater’s MIS ActiveH housing management system was completed using standard APIs from MIS Group. When an application form is completed by a prospective customer, the application details are written back into ActiveH for Stonewater’s staff to access.
One of the biggest challenges to the project was the testing process which was complex due to the different tenure types relating to the tenancy applications. This was dealt with by the two teams having regular calls to discuss their findings from the testing and ensure that nothing was missed.
Although the project is still awaiting a full rollout, both organisations are pleased with the results so far, making Stonewater one of the few social housing providers to have launched their own property storefront.