December saw our quarterly Leadership Lounge take place, a space where Senior Housing Leaders from across the UK come together to share experiences, insights and solutions across a diversity of business areas.
This session was facilitated by Amanda Leonard, CEO at Perfect Storm, and was joined by guest leaders and Greenacre leadership lounge members Paul Norman, Director of Strategic Asset Management at Clarion Housing Group, and Jodie Sherwood, Director of Transformation at Rochdale Boroughwide Housing. Amanda kicked off the session by sharing some key insights around current economic headwinds, the current operating landscape and sector trends. She highlighted the significant risk landlords are facing and the complexity of current challenges.
Amanda shared some key finding from the recently released Housemark mid-year Tenant Satisfaction Measurement (TSM) results from across the housing sector, namely:
Tenant Perception Decline – Overall tenant perception has declined to 72.3%, highlighting a 5 year downward trend.
Satisfaction with complaints at an all-time low – with only 34% of tenants being satisfied with their landlords response. The Housemark website includes the full results of their exclusive mid-year look.
Consumer Regulation – We discussed the biggest change to regulation for over a decade and the new imminent Consumer Regulation, and the leadership lounge cohort from across the sector reflected on readiness and implications.
Capacity Squeeze – landlords are facing significant capacity challenges, with the high cost of borrowing and cost inflation, particularly in areas such as supply chain and repairs and maintenance. The sector is also increasing spend in transformation and regulation readiness, and 75% of landlords have recorded operating margin decreases with a quarter reporting reductions of greater than 5 percentage points.
Amanda highlighted the growing expectations of housing leaders, and the increasing demands imposed on them as we head into a more data-driven, consumer-led market.
“Boards are having to make tough trade off calls to balance the scale and complexity of the agenda against reduced capacity in real terms. The leadership challenge has never been more extreme, as leaders grapple with a full plate, the need to make data driven decisions to channel resources and investment and prepare for consumer regulation”
Paul explored the topic customer and asset data quality in the session, emphasising its pivotal role in establishing a seamless service, and shared how Clarion manages the challenging job of overseeing operations across 170 local authorities. They have established a ‘Neighbourhood Intelligence Hub,’ which collaborates with a variety of Neighbourhood Response Officers (NROs). From here, Paul’s team assesses various estates based on a comprehensive set of requirements and budget implications. The resulting scores then enable the creation of a league table, providing a clear hierarchy for prioritising investments and risk management.
Paul and the rest of the delegates had an enriching set of discussions around the important role of data, the adaptability of strategies across varying budget constraints, the importance of inclusivity, and the integration of technology to enhance community engagement and streamline information access. The ongoing dialogue from these discussions aims to contribute to the evolution of efficient and customer-centric practices across the housing industry.
Jodie shared here insights on navigating through times of crisis and significant change, exploring the key components that contribute to successfully managing multiple responsibilities. Within this, she discussed with the group the topics of organisational uniqueness, the long term perspective, and a ‘people powered’ approach to change and transformation.
If you would like to take part in the next Leadership Lounge, please reach out to the Greenacre Executive team.
Alma Sheren, Editor