Zoe Banks

Zoe Banks, Implementation Manager

Meet the Customer Operations Team: Zoe Banks and HomeSwapper

Meet the Customer Operations Team: Zoe Banks and HomeSwapper

Zoe Banks

Zoe Banks, Implementation Manager

HomeSwapper is our flagship product here at Housing Partners. The award-winning software is the largest mutual exchange platform in the UK, used by over 700 Registered Providers (RPs) and Local Authorities (LAs). When a customer chooses to join HomeSwapper, they are opening up access to the whole of the UK, giving their tenants the opportunity to find a suitable swap from over 500,000 homes. In this article Implementation Manager, Zoe Banks speaks to us about the support herself and the rest of the team offer to our customers.

First, a brief run-through of what the role encompasses: “I’m an Implementation Manager and deal with a lot of different products and customers across Housing Partners. These include PRAH, EHR/ATLAS, HomeSwapper and SwapTracker. With regards to HomeSwapper, it’s my job to train the customers in using the product. For every customer, we have regular project calls so we can really get to know how a customer can get the best out of HomeSwapper. We listen to any challenges and questions a client might have and support the customer post going live.”

When a customer decides to start using HomeSwapper, what’s the process from there to go-live?

“When a Registered Provider or Local Authority decides to join HomeSwapper, the Customer Operations Team are notified, then it’s mine and [Implementation Manager] Jennie’s job to arrange for their service to be set up. We’ll start the process of their site being created and whilst this is happening, Jennie and myself will be making contact with the new customer to arrange training.”

As it’s a browser-based Dashboard, can the implementation of HomeSwapper be completed remotely?

“Yes, it’s really quite simple; we just activate it here and then officers and tenants will have access to the software on any computer, tablet or phone.”

How do you prepare customers to use HomeSwapper?

“It can be a mixture of face-to-face visits, conference calls, online webinars and phone calls. We start training with an introduction about Housing Partners as a whole and introducing myself and the rest of the Customer Operations Team they’ll be working with.

“Next, for training sessions to warm up we introduce some impressive statistics about HomeSwapper usage. Customers are then taken through how the product looks from their side; the landlord’s view of HomeSwapper, including the admin and reporting functions. From there, we then show the tenant-facing interface. This is so they can get a good idea of the usability of the product for their own customers.

“Initial feedback from our customers tends to be positive; that HomeSwapper’s design is intuitive to use for them and for their tenants. The design is fun and simple.”

What’s the most positive impact you’ve seen that HomeSwapper has had for both housing providers and for tenants?

“There is a particular feature on HomeSwapper called ‘RightSize’. This enables the Local Authority or RP to search through their entire tenant base and see which families and households are overcrowded or under occupied and cleverly suggests matches. In the main, it’s overcrowding that they are looking for.

“For example, you might have a two-bed house with a family of six in there. It’s really nice to see when customers search and find these tenants that are not in a very good situation. From there, the customer can actually suggest homes for them and help facilitate swaps. If tenants take up these suggestions, then it can greatly improve their wellbeing and quality of life.” 

These examples show how access to the right set of data, in real-time can facilitate decision-making quickly, positively impacting residents lives.

“Yes, a lot of customers don’t fully appreciate this tool exists until I do training with their staff!”

Training for our software with the Customer Operations Team and with the HomeSwapper Customer Support Team can help ‘unlock’ features in our software.

“It’s really good to see that once our customers are set up, they can then learn more about the product and get those features up and running to help people.”

Are there any other features within HomeSwapper that customers start using once they’re up and running?

“There is also the ‘Advertise a Void’ function; basically this is used when a housing provider has an empty property in their stock (which obviously a tenant wouldn’t have set up their own account for).

“These homes might be little run down, or not in a highly desirable area. But there may be someone willing to take on the challenge, or very keen to move to the area for whatever reason. Those empty properties can be advertised on HomeSwapper for free as part of a landlord’s package.

“This means that tenants will be able to view that property on HomeSwapper and see that it is available immediately. The benefit this has for the tenants is entirely cutting out the process of mutual exchange and the worry of the other party pulling out or something in the process getting declined. A tenant could be in a new, more appropriate home straightaway.

“Obviously this is positive for tenants, but for our customers, it reduces the need to additionally advertise on platforms like Rightmove for example, saving resources and money.”

Where do you find the most value within your role, Zoe?

“The best thing is working closely with our customers, getting to understand what they need and then thinking about how HomeSwapper can assist with those goals. That not only has a direct impact on them as a company, but also their customers and their customers’ lives. Although I’m only one person, I’m having quite a big impact on lots of other people’s lives.

“It’s also great to be able to serve our customers by getting feedback and then taking it back to the office to build our service and make improvements.”

For more information about HomeSwapper, go to www.homeswapper.uk or email us at team@homeswapper.co.uk.

 

At Housing Partners, we understand the extremely challenging time we all find ourselves in. We have a number of features within our existing services which we believe can be of help in supporting our customers and their tenants; we want to help our customers to use their current systems to their fullest potential.

If you are using any one of our systems, please take a look at the helpful document we have created here.

If you need anything else, or if you can think of how we, as a software partner, could help in any other way then please do let us know. You can get in touch at customerservice@housingpartners.co.uk or by phone on 0845 618 7162.