Client Spotlight

Social Housing Provider Helps Tenants Get Moving with MRI SwapTracker

One of the largest providers of affordable housing in England, managing a portfolio of over 65,000 homes in 125 local authority areas, already works with MRI Software for their repairs management using MRI Repairs and financial strategic modelling using MRI HousingBrixx. The housing provider now aims to drive greater efficiencies and improvements in their mutual exchange processes.

The Challenge

Having effectively implemented MRI HomeSwapper, the leading mutual exchange platform in the UK, the housing provider sought to enhance their back-office management of mutual exchange processes, moving away from reliance on a manual spreadsheet system.

“Each officer had their own spreadsheet,” explained the Lettings Team Manager. “We had some long-term sickness and couldn’t keep track of property statuses. We were overwhelmed with call volumes and inquiries, and we just said this has got to stop!”

With an increase in demand for mutual exchanges, the team recognized the need to fully streamline and digitize the mutual exchange process to ensure they could stay on top of requests and meet the 42-day deadline that residents have come to expect. After discussing their needs with the MRI team, they decided to enhance their MRI HomeSwapper solution by adding MRI SwapTracker to their technology stack.

Time-Saving Solutions

The housing provider calculated that MRI SwapTracker will save them significant time compared to their existing manual processes, both across the management of mutual exchanges and the associated admin and inefficiencies of their previous Excel-based system. The team expects to see immediate time and cost savings from the introduction of the tool.

“I’m very passionate about MRI SwapTracker. We have just had a member of staff leave the business and we have not backfilled her position because we feel the benefits from the system will outweigh needing another member of staff. We feel once the training is done and we’re fully up to speed we’ll be way ahead of the game,” said the Lettings Team Manager.

Delivering Improved Tenant Experience

As well as streamlining internal processes, the housing provider is excited to deliver an improved customer experience with MRI SwapTracker. By allowing customers to access details of the progress of their mutual exchange request via an online portal, they expect to reduce customer service requests and support tenants in feeling more in control of the process.

“A customer would email or post a mutual exchange request, and they’d get an auto-response saying it will be picked up within seven working days. In the meantime, they’d end up calling because we’ve not responded and from their perspective, that’s not customer service. Now, the customer is going to be able to see progress by logging into their portal. That’s the missing link for us, I think,” said the Lettings Team Manager.

Supporting a Smooth Transition

To ensure a smooth adoption process, the housing provider is developing a marketing and communications plan to introduce tenants to MRI SwapTracker, with a particular focus on providing support to older tenants who may struggle with new technologies.

The team also opted to invest in MRI’s training workshops. Impressed by MRI SwapTracker’s intuitiveness, staff are excited to be using the new system.

“I’m not a tenancy management officer, but I felt after the presentation that I could go away and physically complete a mutual exchange with no assistance. But we have booked additional training just to make sure we’re adopting best practice. I can already see the excitement in the team. There’s that buzz that, oh, my God, spreadsheets are the bane of their life,” said the Lettings Team Manager.

Keeping Up with Increased Demand

As the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, the housing provider has noticed a dramatic uptick in mutual exchange requests. Demand has remained high even in light of the cost-of-living crisis, something the Lettings Team Manager attributes to residents no longer being willing to put their lives on hold.

“We’re busier than ever. Obviously, there’s a financial crisis, but people are still wanting to move because they need bigger properties or want to move to different areas,” said the Lettings Team Manager.

Transforming Mutual Exchange Systems

With the implementation process for MRI SwapTracker well underway, the Lettings Team Manager and her team are excited to see the impact the new system will have on their day-to-day operations and enthusiastically recommend the product to other housing providers too.

“Do it! Honestly. I was really surprised at the cost. I was expecting it to be a lot, lot more, and I really think it’s worth it. There’s excitement among staff too; spreadsheets are the bane of their life, and I just think if every housing provider could use MRI SwapTracker, the time and cost-saving potential would be huge. It’s a no-brainer,” said the Lettings Team Manager.

About MRI Software Mutual Exchange Solutions

MRI HomeSwapper is a leading mutual exchange platform in the UK, facilitating housing swaps between tenants of social housing providers. It streamlines the process by matching tenants who wish to exchange homes, with key statistics including:

  • Over 20,000 successful exchanges facilitated annually.
  • Trusted by over 400 social housing providers nationwide.
  • Over £200m+ saved on potential void costs.

Additionally, MRI SwapTracker complements MRI HomeSwapper by offering enhanced management tools for housing providers to track and oversee the mutual exchange process, ensuring compliance and efficiency throughout.

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