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CRM technology is vital to managing rising rent arrears, according to Advanced

9 February 2016 – Housing associations should turn to technology to tackle rising rent arrears following welfare reform, according to a new white paper by Advanced ConsultCRM. A recent study found that 90% of social tenants receiving Universal Credit are in arrears – three times the sector average.*

Government changes to the welfare system mean housing benefit is now paid directly to tenants in the form of one single payment, known as Universal Credit. Previously housing benefit was paid directly to the landlord to help with rent, but under the new system, the housing element of Universal Credit goes to the customer who has to arrange their own rent payments to their landlord.

Access to quality data about residents is now more important than ever for landlords to manage rent collection effectively. Without this data, landlords will find it difficult to spot trends and identify tenants that may need additional support to ensure punctual payment. However, research has shown that more than a third of tenant data held by social landlords is inaccurate or missing – with 0.5% of named tenants actually deceased.**

A key reason social landlords may be facing gaps in their tenants’ data is that many organisations use disparate systems that may have different parameters about what constitutes being in arrears, e.g. one day late or 10 days late. In addition, housing management systems typically focus on the property’s inventory and rent, rather than the resident, meaning valuable data is not being recorded.

Robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems enable landlords to capture information about tenants and their circumstances in one place, allowing them to easily identify trends in payment activity and spot early signs of late or non-payment. This enables them to intervene earlier with advice services.

A quality CRM solution will display data from every aspect of a tenant’s profile in one screen, with specific workflows to manage customer queries, automatically recognising the customer’s phone number or email and storing all interactions in their record.

Simon Fowler, Managing Director, Advanced Business Solutions (Commercial) says, “Social housing is arguably facing the biggest shake up in its history with the introduction of welfare reform. To keep pace with the changes in the sector, landlords must ensure they have a modern, connected infrastructure to gather comprehensive and timely data about their residents, not just their properties.

“CRM solutions support housing organisations to take this data-driven approach, enabling them to have a more unified view of tenants and predict who is at risk of rent arrears. Not only does this allow landlords to deliver a more engaging service to customers, but they will also be able to manage arrears situations more cost-efficiently.”

Advanced ConsultCRM provides Goldcrest housing solution, a system designed specifically for the housing sector and built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

To download the white paper ‘Who’s living in your house?’ click here.



Notes to Editors

About Advanced ConsultCRM

Advanced ConsultCRM, part of Advanced Business Solutions, is positioned in the top 5% of all Microsoft partners globally and specialises in helping organisations implement, integrate and optimise Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

As a Tier One, Gold Certified, Strategic Microsoft Partner, Advanced’s pedigree in Microsoft Dynamics CRM spans a decade working with Microsoft since the first version came to market in 2004. The business is professionally managed, and has shown consistent growth every year since its inception, reinforcing the trust placed in Advanced by both Microsoft and its clients.

Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) provides leading integrated business applications and services that enable public, private and third sector organisations to retain control, improve visibility and gain efficiencies whilst continually improving corporate performance. Advanced prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their evolving needs.

Advanced Business Solutions is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group Limited, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors. In 2014, the Group won Tech Company of the Year in PwC’s UK Tech Awards. Advanced was also ranked in the Deloitte UK Fast 50, which recognises the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the UK and ranked in the top 300 technology companies in Deloitte’s EMEA rankings.

Press contacts:
Angela Mycock & Kathryn Howard, Advanced Computer Software Group