Dissolve housing sector headaches with automation

17th April 2023

Mark Gannon

by Mark Gannon

Helping tenants find homes, pay rent and report repairs sounds straightforward, right?

Well yes, with the right tenant management solution. But that’s where things get tricky for housing associations. Squeezed on budgets and under pressure to comply with stricter social housing regulations, providers need to tick all the boxes for efficiency, tenant experience and regulatory compliance.

With no wiggle room on budgets, that means doing more with less — putting efficiency firmly in the spotlight. Enter intelligent automation.

Game, set, automation

Automating manual and repetitive tasks frees up housing staff to focus on their core clients — tenants. By automating processes that support routine tenant interactions, the team can channel its energy on dealing with exceptions and tricky calls (that automation can’t handle). Rather than them all getting stuck in the same queue.

Another plus is meeting tenant demand for more digital self-service. So, rather than relying on manual workarounds and spreadsheets as tenants wait for answers, they receive rapid responses or are routed to the right people from the get-go.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) does this…and more. As a form of intelligent automation, it focuses on automating repetitive and rules-based, on-screen processes. All this, while staff are freed up to handle complex queries — and ensuring reports are easy to access and more accurate.

Practical housing use cases for automation

Here are some great examples of how housing providers can embrace automation with RPA and save time:

Universal Credit claim verification

Housing associations have a responsibility to ensure records are maintained internally and validated with external agencies such as the Department of Work and Pensions. Getting that right is a hugely manual process which is labour intensive e.g. validation of claims in the DWP Universal Credit Portal. RPA speeds up the process, delivers a consistent service and reduces the costs in time and manpower.

Streamlined contact management

Rather than manually keying in changes of address, a bot logs into the CRM from your contact centre, updating the customer record automatically or escalating when needed. It will automatically update customers of the change and can update multiple systems at the same time.

When tenants send emails to the customer care team, they’re often sent on manually to relevant departments to handle the query. With RPA, a bot can read the email, identify its purpose and send it to the correct CRM queue. It can also even perform back-office tasks to complete requests and reply to emails that don’t need human intervention, attaching the correct information.

Finance process automation

Rather than manually reading and handling emails regarding accounts documents and invoices, a bot can open, scan and submit them to the finance system directly. For accounts reconciliation, this can be cross referenced with purchase order numbers then processed for payment (also useful in asset management, finance, HR and contact centres).

Supporting bank reconciliation, bots can identify inconsistencies. RPA automates the matching of bank balances and accounting records, leaving staff to focus on complicated cases.

Low risk, high reward

Housing sector automation is a low-risk approach to a digital-first future. With intelligent automation for housing, you can start small and roll out successes, and scale up as you go. It’s designed to easily integrate with investments in systems already made and be easy to change and adapt to meet future requirements.

Our AI-powered robotic process automation, Liberty RPA, frees-up people from mundane and cumbersome repetitive tasks and enables them to be more productive.

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