Having used Orchard software for over a decade, Watford Community Housing is now also using Orchard Income Analytics to manage its tenants’ rent arrears.
WCH’s previous BI platform for managing arrears didn’t integrate with Orchard Housing so that income officers had to constantly switch between different applications to get the data they needed to manage their caseloads. They also struggled because their existing software didn’t update frequently enough, causing them to unnecessarily follow up with tenants who had already made payments.
WCH also wanted to streamline its approach to contacting tenants, particularly those who were transitioning to universal credit, so that any new platform should make it easier for WCH’s income officers to contact tenants via a range of different contact methods, particularly text messaging, which at that point was only possible via a cumbersome manual process.
WCH chose Income Analytics due to its ability to integrate seamlessly with its existing Orchard HMS, removing the need to switch between applications all the time. Daily data updates within Income Analytics also means that the income officers are now working with the latest revenue data, saving them from inadvertently chasing payments which have already been made.
Mike McDonald, income and tenancy support manager, Watford Community Housing, said, “Income Analytics gives us a current list of tenants we need to look at, and ranks them with a risk rating so we know which are the highest value case. In our previous solution, we didn’t have daily processing so the cases our income officers were looking at were often out of date.”
WCH can now communicate more easily with ITS tenants, reducing the time it takes to get in contact with the high-risk cases. By allowing income officers to easily communicate with tenants via text messages, the team has noticed significant improvements in engagement.
McDonald said, “We’ve found tenants are quick to respond to a text message, and this seems to be their preferred method of receiving communications. This saves us money compared with the cost of sending a letter and reduces the time to engage with tenant and resolve any issues they may be facing.”
Income Analytics’ predictive analytics makes it easy to prioritise WCH’s highest impact cases, while the customisable case management options have enabled the income team to quickly adapt the software to fit their working processes.
Romana Lawson, senior income officer, Watford Community Housing, said, “It was very quick for us to start using Income Analytics. Training only took half a day, so as a busy team we were amazed at how quickly we could start using the programme.”