Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has appointed Voicescape in the hope of boosting its rent collections among current and former housing tenants.
The software business, which provides customer engagement and tenant sustainability solutions for UK social landlords, will aim to maximise the effectiveness of the council’s housing team and maximise operational efficiencies in the management of former tenant arrears (FTA) and current tenant arrears (CTA).
Currently, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council manages more than 20,000 homes across the South Yorkshire town, with annual rental income totalling £83m for 2020-21.
Focusing initially on FTA collections, with CTA collections being rolled out later this summer, the council intends to provide tenants with further access to its housing service.
Paul Elliott – Business and Commercial programme manager, Adult Care, Housing, and Public Health at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council – said: “Since rolling out Voicescape’s solution to our FTA team, we have seen an increase in collection rates and reduced the down time of staff chasing former tenant’s arrears.
“Not only does Voicescape reduce the time officers spend on less productive tasks, it helps us update our systems by telling us which telephone numbers are no longer in use.
“We are so pleased with the results we will be rolling out the system to the wider income collection team later this summer.”
Through the partnership, the council says it will be able to analyse and measure customer data, profile the financial risk that Universal Credit poses to the organisation, and better understand tenant behaviours and make evidence-based recommendations on how to build and maintain engagement – all with the ultimate aim of improving rent collection.
Peter Hudson, sales director at Voicescape, commented: “Communicating and staying connected with tenants has never been more important or challenging as it is at the present time.
“It’s essential for social housing providers to find innovative ways of reaching as many people as possible, in order to maintain high levels of rental collections.
“Even within the first few weeks, we are already seeing impressive results from our work with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, and we’re confident, as the service continues to roll out amongst all areas of rental collection, that the housing team and tenants alike will benefit from the operational efficiencies that our technology and software provides them.”