In the UK Social Housing sector there is a breed of software that has traditionally formed the lynchpin of housing management. These Housing
Management Systems are good at what they have been designed to do – manage properties and tenancies.
These days Registered Providers of Social Housing, RPs, are managing complex relationships with their customers and their assets and the traditional systems are struggling to cope. In response the main providers of housing management systems are changing course to try and focus more on people and relationships and less on management of assets.
However, these older systems are difficult to turn around and so we find RPs are increasingly looking for a different approach. There have been some recent successes in adopting Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage customer facing activities. Sentinel Housing went down this route in 2012 and have seen significant improvements and efficiencies in their housing management processes and we’ll discuss some of those in future articles.
You may be asking why Dynamics CRM is a good fit for the social housing sector. And the answer to that lies in the ‘R’ of CRM. Social housing is all about relationships, and some of them are quite complex. One single customer may well have a number of different relationships with their housing provider – they could be a joint tenant for their home, a licensee for a rented garage, have recently reported a problem in their neighbourhood and have a child who has attended a community event their landlord sponsored. When this customer makes contact will all these relationships be known and visible? With a traditional system probably not. With a well designed and implemented Dynamics CRM system they definitely will be.
Of course these relationships and the business processes that successfully manage them will change over time. And that is where Dynamics CRM scores another plus over both traditional housing management systems and other CRM systems. Dynamics CRM can be very easily and quickly customised whether that is fine tuning an existing business process or implementing a brand new one.
Working with Sentinel Housing Association we’ve developed a complete and customizable CRM solution specifically designed to meet the needs of social housing providers. Powered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM it builds on the powerful out-of-the-box features and provides a comprehensive platform to manage people, properties, tenancies and the wide range of housing related services that RPs need to deliver. To find out more, take a look at our CRM for Housing page.