How Housing Association Software is Revolutionising Affordable Home Ownership￼
The digital transformation has changed how customers look for homes. Tech-savvy homeowners and tenants now expect personalised digital experiences and streamlined buying journeys. Housing association software now offers this. By helping housing providers better understand and meet their customer’s needs, they can drive sales, revenue and reinvestment. In short, they revolutionise affordable home ownership for themselves and for tenants.
The affordable housing market is complex, particularly when compared to the commercial market. But customers don’t expect complexity. They expect what the commercial market offers: simple processes and personalisation. Technology has provided this. Portals like Rightmove and Zoopla have adopted this technology and, as a result, attract around six million unique visitors every month.1 2
Customers don’t want irrelevant offers or updates. 64% of Millennials and Gen Z’ers are even willing to exchange more personal data to benefit from personalised experiences when searching for a home.3 And they expect affordable housing providers to provide this personalisation.
To do this, providers need to change. Their tools are often outdated and old, slowing processes down and putting customers off. This can even end up damaging the reputation of affordable housing. Housing providers need to update their affordable housing tools and software to understand what their customers want and meet their expectations. By doing this, they can revolutionise home ownership.
Suggested reading: If you want to learn more about how technology is changing the future of affordable housing, check out our new eBook — Can Affordable Home Ownership Have a Good Reputation?
Understanding your customers
Purchasing an affordable home is often time-consuming. Many affordable housing providers rely on the same steps and processes they’ve been using for decades. In some cases, this even means using print out instead of digital files. For customers, this can mean a long, drawn out and confusing experience.
Using software that allows for data collection is crucial to understanding your customers. It allows housing providers to create a clear picture of their customer’s needs and wants. As a result, not only can they provide more relevant offers, they can anticipate and tackle potential questions or obstacles.
And understanding your customers is the first step to creating a successful marketing strategy for all the properties in your portfolio. New affordable housing software enables this through:
- Targeted marketing and remarketing: Once you understand your customers, it’s easy to hone your marketing efforts and target the right people. Providers can optimise their marketing budget, minimise waste, reduce the costs of their marketing efforts and improve conversion rates.
- Follow up and personalisation: Understanding your customers also enables you to personalise your offers. You can follow up on the right leads and offer incentives that match their needs.
Strategies to help
Keeping track of leads through old, clunky processes means customers will fall through the cracks. But new software helps you capture and understand your customers so you present them with personalised offers throughout their journey.
- Lead centralisation: This enables you to create a centralised location for all leads you attract across all listing websites. The database allows you to see at a glance what your leads are looking for, so you can understand their needs and put your best foot forward when reaching out.
- Reports and analytics: By centralising your leads in one source of truth, you can gain insights into who your prospective customers are and what they want. You can customise how you view the data to learn about specific leads and tailor your offers to their needs.
Meeting customer expectation
Personalised shopping experiences have become the norm. Everywhere, customers receive recommendations based on their search and purchasing history. They expect to benefit from similar experiences when looking for a home as well.
- Sharing data: The majority of UK consumers (59%) say that they’re comfortable sharing data about themselves in order to receive better service.4
- A personal shopping experience: 58% of consumers say that they’re frustrated with brands that don’t recognise their needs and wants through their personalisation initiatives.5
Customers don’t just want simple purchasing journeys; they want journeys that exceed their expectations.6 What does this mean for housing providers? It means they should go where your customers are instead of expecting them to come to you.
This means targeting leads with personalised marketing. And it means providing a superior shopping experience by making it easy to book appointments, sign documents and complete payments online.
The digital transformation is already happening in the commercial market. Unfortunately, standard estate agency software isn’t designed to handle the complexities of affordable housing schemes. However, there are dedicated tools that can help affordable housing providers align their services with the commercial market.
Strategies to help
To offer shopping experiences that exceed customer expectations, you need software which offers specific features, including:
- Lead automation: Lead centralisation allows lead automation. And lead automation opens the possibility of remarketing. This enables providers to target marketing efforts at specific customers so you can meet them where they are.
- Process automation: Through customised internal workflows and e-signing of documents, process automation streamlines the purchasing journey and improves customer experience. It also untangles the complexities of affordable home ownership schemes.
- One-click listings: One-click listings enables you to list your properties on multiple platforms from a central location — with one click. You can update all your listings at once, maximising your market reach and making it easier to handle your portfolio.
- Home User Guide: Customers should be able to take control of their journey too. The Home User Guide improves the purchasing journey and allows tenants to stay in contact with their providers. It creates a database for property viewings, stores documents and enables them to report repairs and maintenance needs with ease.
A revolution in waiting
For too long housing associations haven’t had the right software to offer customers what they expect. Millennials and Gen Z now represent the majority of renters in Great Britain — and they rely on technology in their home searching journey. Affordable housing providers have to update their outdated sales and letting software if they want to remain competitive.
To meet customer expectations, they first have to understand their customers and what they want. If they can do this, they can attract more customers, start generating more revenue and reinvest. At the same time, they bring the affordable market in line with the commercial.
In short, housing associations can offer customers what they expect. For a market that has so often lagged behind, this amounts to a revolution in affordable home ownership. By transforming customer service and experience, you get more people in properties — changing home ownership for providers, and for tenants.
KPro is a software toolkit designed to help affordable home ownership providers improve their sales and marketing capabilities. A modular system that can fit within your existing tech stack, or an end-to-end process, KPro’s software is built for affordable housing schemes.
With KPro, you can gather relevant data about your prospective customers, centralise your leads, automate your processes and make the customer journey more streamlined and efficient. You can understand your customers and personalise your approach. In addition, the software’s automation features help you provide a superior shopping experience through lead tracking, the e-signing of documents and homeowner support.
Get in touch today and discover how KPro can help you join the affordable home ownership revolution.
About The Author
Freddie joined Keaze as Business Development Manager in 2021. Freddie has over 8 years of experience in the property industry having carried out roles for BTR developer, PLATFORM_ and more recently Built-ID, a social impact ESG PropTech business.