On Monday 30th October, the representatives from seventeen different Housing Associations joined us online for the second Housing Online webinar. The subject: 'From Tenant Connection to Engagement: Harnessing My Home’s Potential'.

Our guest speakers come from Housing Associations at different points in their My Home journey, and it was fascinating to hear their perspectives and experiences on how to drive tenant engagement.

David Barrowcliffe, Communications Manager at English Rural

English Rural currently has a 70% tenant registration rate, and My Home is carefully integrated into all resident touchpoints to push engagement at every opportunity. These include:

  • Love-2-shop voucher incentive
  • Letters to residents without email listing the benefits of registration
  • 'The Digital Nudge' of targeted emails cross-matched with resident records
  • SMS reminders to all non-registrants
  • Customer service auto-registrations.

All of these help to drive tenants to a really user-friendly registration page giving tenants every encouragement to register an account on My Home. A key theme is a consistency of messaging across channels. This 'Full-Circle approach' means reminders in all resident communications, links in all email auto-responses and a footer in all Mailchimp emails.

Linda McLaren, Director of Housing Services at Ochil View HA

Ochil View initially launched My Home to tenants in July 2020, during Covid lockdown when the digital engagement of tenants was crucial and My Home provided a lifeline to connect both staff and tenants. Staff were at home and had the time to really promote My Home. Initially, all tenants were invited to register by letter with a step-by-step guide. Staff then phoned unregistered tenants and offered the incentive of a prize draw for shopping vouchers. Additionally, they proactively made contact with those tenants who registered, but were not active on the portal. Early 2022 saw the creation of a staff working group, and more features were added to the dashboard (forms, feedback, additional information). The incentive of a monthly prize draw for a tablet every month was also offered to all tenants that registered that month. This was all backed up by a publicity campaign in newsletters, social media, banners. A QR code footer was added to all emails with links to information on My Home. Digital champions offer 1-2-1 help. There is also a new leaflet on My Home included in the Tenants’ Handbook.

Approximately 61% of tenants are currently registered, but the 39% that remain are probably some of the most vulnerable. To tackle this, Ochil View are planning a face-to-face visit with every unregistered tenant over the course of 2024/25 and are working with Vodafone to supply free SIM cards to drive digital connection. Dynamic forms now drive even better remote working for staff to help them take My Home to the tenants. My New Home was launched in October / early November 2022. A welcome leaflet is issued to all tenants with all the information they need to start their tenancy. Once an offer of tenancy is accepted, an account is automatically created on My New Home and the applicant is sent a link to register, with this automatically becoming their My Home account. Since this launch, 78% of new tenants have an active account. Great progress has been made, but this is an ongoing process with lots more to do.

Carolina Padovezi de Oliveira, Corporate Project Manager at Manningham HA

My Home launched in March 2022, with customers involved in the design and testing from the very earliest stages. Promotion of My Home took place over as many different channels as possible: face-to-face, QR codes, flyers, social media, website etc. As a result, we’re now at 72.5% uptake. 53% of non-registered customers do not have an email account, so we are focusing on digital inclusion and working face-to-face with these customers to help them to open email accounts. We are also now encouraging customers to use the portal more actively with drop-in sessions, vouchers to incentivise customers to register.

Customer feedback:

“I think MyMRHA [My Home] portal is a great fast and effective way to manage rent account and report repairs furthermore get information”

“Having an online portal is fabulous. I log on every week to pay my rent and check my rent statements. As repairs can be logged on there too, it saves you from having to call up and wait.”

“Brilliant service, I really like the portal, everything in one place and easily accessible”

My Contractor portal will be next to really empower our team out in the field.

Peter Fitzpatrick, Director of Housing & Resident Services at The Iveagh Trust

'My Iveagh' launched in June ’23 and had a really strong take up. The Iveagh Trust has always received lots of rent received in cash and so My Home and the ability to pay rent online is a big pull to draw tenants into My Home. We provide information on My Home at every point of customer contact and there is a regular monthly prize draw and tenants are entered simply by logging into their My Home account. Our customer demographic is older, so making the My Home registration process as simple to understand as possible is critical. The initial launch targeted those that pay rent by card. We have around 40% of tenants signed up so far and aiming at 70% as the rollout continues. We’re looking to add the ability to manage repairs next.

Claire Macmillan, Housing Manager at East Lothian HA

"My Home really helps tenants to engage with us and with their tenancy” Claire Macmillan, Housing Manager at East Lothian HA."

The initial launch of My Home took place in Autumn 2015, with a full launch early in 2016. Now 88.6% of tenants have a My Home account and 85.4% are paper free. 39% of logins take place out of office hours, showing how My Home really helps tenants to engage with us and with their tenancy. We aim to transition incoming tenants from our These Homes choice based letting system directly into My Home before their tenancy officially begins. These new tenants are incentivised to register on My Home with an introductory rent discount and this means that, since launch, 95.6% of new tenants are paper free and 88.2% received a discount equivalent to the first month’s rent free.

Engagement with tenants is excellent: 45.5% of all tenants are involved in the Tenant Engagement Group (TIG) and 33.4% took part in the Rent Increase Consultation. Our My Home Equalities monitoring form was completed by 60.2% of all tenants with very little engagement and with no incentivisation. Even so, we are proactively gathering information on the barriers for those still not taking part to ensure digital engagement amongst our tenants, and My Home is a key part of this ongoing journey.

Thanks to all our speakers and attendees at this webinar. We hope that you found the session informative and will be able to take something forward from these insights to use on your own journey with My Home.

Housing Online are planning to host regular My Home webinars on topics like these. If you would like to attend a future session or to suggest a topic you would like to see covered, or if you missed this webinar and would like to watch a recording of the whole session, please drop us a line at info@housing-online.com

More About My Home

My Home is Housing Online’s feature-rich, affordable portal that enables landlords to provide their tenants, staff and contractors with easy access to the information and services that they need. With multiple options for customisation and personalisation, My Home is well equipped to grow as you grow. Learn more about My Home with our feature sheets:

About Housing Online

Housing Online design and build digital solutions for Housing Associations across the UK and beyond. Our My Home Tenant Portal is live in 25 organisations across Scotland, Northern Ireland and England, many with fully integrated websites designed and developed by our team. In April 2021, in collaboration with seven Scottish Housing Associations, we successfully launched These Homes, a Choice Based Lettings web solution.