Communication channels between UK housing providers and their residents need to be remodelled to enhance repairs and maintenance performance, according to new research launched by real-time property solutions pioneer Plentific.
The Experience is Everything report from Plentific explores the maintenance issues impacting social housing residents in the UK, US and Germany, revealed that 73% of British social housing residents faced household maintenance issues over the past 12 months, with those in their 30s and under suffering the most frequent complaints.
Of the social housing residents polled by Plentific, 80% said they would not be very likely to recommend their housing provider. Much of this negative sentiment relates to the effectiveness of housing providers’ communication with residents. Just 23% of UK social housing residents reported receiving real-time updates on their maintenance complaints, and 18% of residents said they have never received an update on the resolution of issues they have experienced in their homes.
Residents have high expectations of communication levels from housing providers, with 96% of residents surveyed considering responsiveness to reported maintenance issues important.
A clear solution is open to social landlords in the form of centralised property management functions. More than six in 10 (61%) of UK social housing residents surveyed said they would prefer to have a dedicated app to report home issues to landlords and property managers.
When asked to rate how valuable various features would be as part of a dedicated communications app, 90% of social housing residents surveyed indicated a preference for functions which enable them to self-serve the logging of maintenance issues and schedule maintenance visits, with 91% welcoming real-time updates for unresolved concerns.
Cem Savas, CEO of Plentific, said: “Our latest research underscores the urgent need to remodel UK housing providers’ communications channels with their residents.
“By embracing digitalised and centralised property management functions, landlords can enhance relationships with their residents. What’s more, given the clear preference of residents of all ages and especially younger generations for tech-driven property management platforms, forward-thinking housing providers digitalising their resident engagement processes are sure to reap additional rewards in the years ahead.”
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