Driving Digital Transformation in Housing: A New Era for Tenant Engagement

In the fast-evolving landscape of housing in the UK, digital transformation is not just a buzzword but a strategic necessity. Housing associations, traditionally seen as conservative entities in adopting digital technologies, are now at the forefront of this revolution, providing more accessible, efficient, and customer-centric services. A prime example of this shift is the pioneering efforts of Johnnie Johnson Housing, a leading housing association in the North of England, which has embarked on a remarkable journey to redefine tenant experience through digital innovation.

Partnership for Innovation

At the beginning of the pandemic, Johnnie Johnson Housing recognised the urgent need to streamline processes and improve the way tenants managed their accounts online.  They partnered with Mediaworks, for their expertise and data-driven approach to design a new suite of tenant-facing digital platforms. This wasn’t just about technological progress but about putting tenants at the heart of the digital framework, enhancing online experiences, and accelerating a shift from manual to digital self-service.

A Comprehensive Digital Strategy

The strategy involved developing a mobile-first website, a user-friendly digital portal, and a convenient app, all designed to provide seamless experiences across multiple devices. Research and integration were the two key pillars of Mediaworks’ approach. By conducting focus-group research with residents and prospective tenants, the team gathered valuable insights that helped shape a customer-first digital estate. This involved building user-based personas to understand varied user needs and integrating with existing housing management systems through bespoke APIs, ensuring a frictionless cross-platform experience.

Impressive Outcomes

The impact of these digital platforms has been profound. Within just three months of its launch, Johnnie Johnson Housing saw an 82% increase in new housing applications and a surge in portal users, with a 732% increase in new users engaging with digital services for the first time. These figures not only underscore the success of the digital transformation project but also highlight the growing demand for digital self-service options among tenants.

Expanding the Digital Frontier

Home Group, another notable player in the housing sector, has also embraced digital transformation with Mediaworks’ assistance. By improving online search capabilities and transaction processes, Home Group has significantly reduced Recurring inquiry tasks, freeing up resource for those in greatest need. Their new digital experience, informed by customer focus groups and featuring personalised content, has led to a remarkable 486% increase in online interactions with the repairs section of their website.

Looking Ahead

These transformations by Johnnie Johnson Housing and Home Group are not isolated successes but part of a broader movement towards digitalisation in the housing sector. Mediaworks have partnered with several housing associations, through the Northern Housing Consortium, including Bernicia Homes, Ongo Homes and Salix Homes, helping them transform their digital experiences.

By putting customer experience first and leveraging digital technologies, housing associations can enhance service delivery, improve operational efficiencies, and meet the evolving needs of their tenants.

The journey of digital transformation in the housing sector is a testament to the power of innovation and collaboration. As housing associations continue to navigate the digital landscape, their efforts will undoubtedly shape a more connected, efficient, and tenant-centric future.

This article provides a concise overview of the digital transformation initiatives undertaken by Johnnie Johnson Housing and Home Group, illustrating the significant benefits of embracing digital technologies in the housing sector.

For more information visit https://www.mediaworks.co.uk