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Prioritising digital solutions in the housing industry

For installers across the housing industry, the past twelve months have not been without their challenges – new ways of working and processes have been adopted, while social distancing and stay-at-home orders have added a new layer of complexity to installations.

For affordable housing in particular, a key driver towards expanding the use of technology and embedding it into operations is undoubtedly the savings that can be made with regard to time, money and resources. The implementation of digital infrastructures and data standards into everyday processes can transform day-to-day tasks and streamline asset management.

Creating value through innovative, user-friendly technology

Technology driven solutions such as online management systems for everyday devices, for example remotely managed intercoms and digital noticeboards, allow housing providers to streamline time-intensive processes and reduce site visits and paperwork, while simultaneously delivering a consistent, high-quality service to tenants. It’s not just housing providers who benefit either: digital systems and technologies can also be applied to processes, such as rent payments, to make them user-friendly and intuitive for residents.

‘Smart home’ technology benefits both parties too. Take smart meters for example; these technologies allow tenants to easily manage energy costs, while Housing Associations can be assured that buildings are more energy efficient. Plus, many smart devices allow for the collection of real-time data and intelligent self-diagnosis, so maintenance issues such as mould and damp can be either prevented, or spotted and tackled quickly.

Making connections

More digital ways of working aren’t just about reducing costs and improving inefficiencies, however – they are also an important way of humanising and strengthening the housing provider-tenant relationship. Dialogue between both parties can often be transactional, confined to rent payments and maintenance requirements, but new technology is opening up and driving better conversations. Enhanced information exchanges and dialogue allow for a diverse range of needs to be identified and met, and for service delivery to be improved as a result.

With the added challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic creating new, physical gaps between tenants and Housing Associations, there is an increased need too for digital systems to bridge the gap. For installers across the affordable housing industry, finding a way of plugging these gaps and providing Housing Associations with a means of opening up communication channels with their tenants, is invaluable.

Building relationships

Intratone’s new Interactive Digital Noticeboard has been created specifically for this purpose: keeping tenants informed and connecting housing managers with residents like never before. With the noticeboard, housing managers can easily display important announcements – such as maintenance schedules and repair notices – to residents via our secure remote online management system. Plus, its unique survey function means that tenants can share their opinions and vote on key issues too. Tenants simply use the arrow keys to select their response and confirm their selection by tapping their key fob on the built-in proximity reader.

As the noticeboard is remotely managed, surveys and polls can be set up and posted by housing managers in minutes, and send to all sites, or just a select few. Anonymised poll results are available to view quickly too, making collecting tenant feedback easy.

With a 10mm thick safety screen and integrated security screws, the Interactive Digital Noticeboard is also a long-lasting, vandal-resistant solution. Plus, as with all Intratone devices, it uses GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), which is the same technology that powers mobile phones. Thanks to GSM, the Interactive Digital Noticeboard is linked to our online remote management system without the need for ethernet cables.

Future-proof solutions

Bringing a wealth of benefits, digital solutions for the affordable housing market are set to become more and more popular across the industry. As well as looking for systems that reduce inefficiencies, the burden of administrative tasks and overall costs, Housing Associations will also be seeking to harness technology that improves their connection with residents too.

By offering customers digital-first solutions that are not only easy to manage and easy to use, but capable of driving productive dialogue, installers everywhere will be ready to face the digital transformation of the affordable housing sector head-on.

Find out more about Intratone’s new Interactive Digital Noticeboard at