What is widely recognised now – and about time, we say – is the key to successfully harnessing a thriving community is to recognise your residents as a true and valuable asset.

 

This one simple thought changes the way customers are valued, and will completely change the dynamic of housing service provision and customer relationships. While this might all sound a bit too simple, it is not a practice that is commonplace across estate management.

 

Housing management staff are in a unique position to truly engage with people ‘on the ground’. By being the ‘eyes and ears’ for clients, they are able to reach those who are traditionally hard to reach and sometimes excluded from mainstream society. Listening to those who need listening to and, more importantly, taking the right action driven from customer engagement makes a tangible and real difference to communities.

 

In Hammersmith and Fulham, for example, we have recently rolled out our Community Connects initiative across our contract area. This includes everything from community and health and well-being events, feedback workshops and youth employment programmes. In all, it is simply about providing as many opportunities as possible to reach further into communities and connect with residents to engage with them, improving and increasing communication interactions.

 

By instilling this collaborative culture into every single one of our communities over the past 25 years, we have ensured a near 90% customer satisfaction level. By working with tenants on a local level through meaningful engagement and community initiatives we are effectively – slowly but surely – shaping communities and transforming lives.

 

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John Gibson is Director of Housing Services at Pinnacle PSG