Our SwapTracker solution launched in April 2019 in direct response to HomeSwapper customer feedback around the need for a system to support the mutual exchange process once a swap had been found by residents.
Over the course of the past year, where face-to-face contact became limited, we’ve seen increasing demand from landlords for our SwapTracker solution. The platform facilitates a purely online process, completing the HomeSwapper mutual exchange circle, from search to swap. One landlord, who had recently implemented the SwapTracker solution took us through why they’d selected the system and their experience of using it to support their residents.
Why implement SwapTracker?
This Housing Association (HA) began using our HomeSwapper module in 2013, mobilising those of their tenants looking for a mutual exchange to source their preferred swap. Further empowering their tenants, they then began using SwapTracker as an end-to-end mutual exchange management system.
Prior to implementing SwapTracker, the processes involved in checking and approving a mutual exchange had been admin heavy and time-consuming for officers at this HA, with manual letters, forms and emails sent separately to all parties involved in the mutual exchange, including to acknowledge receipt of applications. A Mutual Exchange Administration Officer at the HA explains the decision to implement SwapTracker:
“We changed from full time (5 days) to part time (3 days) and were looking for ways to streamline the role and reduce manual processes and to also minimise contact to the Customer Service Team as they have historically had a high number of calls for updates to Mutual Exchange Applications.”
With SwapTracker, inspections, meetings and visits can be scheduled, documents and certificates can be uploaded, and tenants can submit their mutual exchange applications all through one system. Crucially, tenants and landlords are both able to keep track of progress through the platform, which greatly reduces the volume of calls and queries received by staff.
Working with residents
Following implementation, this HA took a relatively cautious approach to rolling SwapTracker out:
“We didn’t push the use of SwapTracker for the first few months as we wanted to ease into it. We trialled it on a couple of internal tenants who wanted to swap with each other. We asked for feedback along the way to ask how they found it and it seemed positive.
“We then switched off our typeform and updated our website advising of the new process to apply for Mutual Exchange, involving ‘how to’ videos and links directly to HomeSwapper.”
Even in the early days of using SwapTracker, the benefits were already becoming clear:
“The feedback I’ve had from the Customer Service Team has been very positive so far and they have received less calls asking for updates on the exchange process. I have noticed that there’s fewer manual processes and less typing, printing and posting letters, as templates can be uploaded onto the applications within SwapTracker for applicants to respond to.”
Using SwapTracker, tenants can now be updated immediately about any changes that occur within their mutual exchange application, as well as being able to see a 42-day mutual exchange deadline countdown on their Dashboard, enabling them to track the status of their exchange from start to finish. The benefits can also not be underestimated when it comes to the ability for tenants to upload their documents directly to SwapTracker, rather than post them.
There have already been notable successes from using SwapTracker for the team. In one such case:
“We had an exchange which we’d been approached by our Community Safety Team to try and work through quickly due to the nature of the reason for exchange. We were able to request the documents promptly and then the applicant could upload them immediately. The exchange was processed and passed for safety checks within 5 days of it being received.”
“A very user-friendly tool”
As with other MRI solutions, SwapTracker has been developed with an agile approach, meaning that customer feedback and suggestion is key to the successful ongoing development of the product. With an agreed roadmap and regular focus groups in place for feedback and idea sharing opportunities with other landlords, it’s this way of working that for this landlord, makes SwapTracker “a very user-friendly tool for both landlords and tenants.”