Five actions that will make a real impact on your voids performance
Performance improvement in Housing
Let’s kick off 2023 with five actions you can do now to improve your Voids process performance. These practical actions have made a substantial impact in the vast majority of the 20+ housing organisations we’ve worked with, and we’ve seen clients achieve improvements such as >50% reduction in voids turnaround time and similar reductions in void rent loss.
Try these five actions today 👇 For help or more information, get in touch.
1. Have a daily meeting
Review your upcoming and current voids daily, with representatives from your voids and lettings teams. If you work with contractors instead of an in-house delivery team, then involve them too. Watch our video 👇 It’s a guide showing you how to create your own FREE digital voids tracker in MS Teams.
Your meeting will be around 15 minutes long, but it needs to be long enough to discuss any upcoming voids and the priority order for having void works completed, plus any updates to existing void properties with a focus on any changes that will impact the expected turnaround time.
2. Introduce demand led prioritisation
Stop working on your properties on a first in, first out basis. Unless you have equal demand for all your properties.
Instead, work on the properties based on demand from your customers. Your lettings team will know which properties are in demand and should instruct Property Services / contractors on which properties are needed and in which order.
3. Change what you measure
Are you targeting the voids team performance from the point where keys are received until works are completed? We want you to stop using this target. This doesn’t work when we move to demand led prioritisation as we have described above.
Instead, measure the end-to-end time it takes to complete the voids process, and if you need to, you can break that down by individual stages.
Additionally, get rid of any measures linked to the length of time it takes to complete works based on the arbitrary classification of minor or major.
Instead, get your operatives / contractors to tell you how long it will take to turn around the void property. Monitor them against this projection, with the aim of getting more accurate estimates in the future.
4. Support residents to help
Wouldn’t it be great if residents left the property in the condition you want, and gave you access for as much surveying, checking, planning, etc before they moved out. Try supporting and perhaps even incentivising your residents to make this happen.
Not everyone will go for it, but the financial impact of offering a reward or paying for a little support will be far cheaper than the clearance work and delays that come from not having it. Some of our clients have looked at a rent free week, some have looked at shop vouchers, while others have looked at partnerships with removal companies to reduce the cost of moving, or even using their in-house ‘handy van’ service to get things done.
For the long-term, you’ll want to think about how you work with your Housing or Tenancy Management Teams to understand how your residents behaviours and actions can lead to you getting properties back in the state you want them.
5. Use a key safe
A simple one to finish, managing keys can be a nightmare! Using a key safe makes the process easier; the keys never need to leave the property! It might not work everywhere, but most of the clients that have started using them have seen an immediate improvement.
If you want more information about any of these tips or want to discuss a Voids and Lettings improvement project in your organisation, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: The outcome and actions you should take will depend on your individual circumstances and starting position.