The Housing Hive

The Housing Hive is a place for social housing professionals to share, collaborate and support each other. Hosted by Prodo – we’re here to offer our insight and guidance as a digital agency – but it’s powered by you, the people working day-to-day in the housing sector.

Register now
The Housing Hive
Hive trailer (Longer outro)
Housing Hive

The story behind the Hive

Prodo has been working in the housing sector as a leading digital partner for over 16 of our 21 years and one of the main reasons we love the sector, is different association’s capacity to share best practice with each other.

 

Now more than ever, we’re seeing the community collaborate and rapidly evolve its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, breaking new boundaries across digital transformation and communication. 

 

We wanted to play our part in this collaboration, so decided to bring together as many social housing professionals from across the country together in this very unusual time of change to support each other, share ideas of what’s worked and discuss what the new future may look like. And from that, The Housing Hive was born!

Learn more
Virtual Housing Hive

Next Housing Hive details

📆 When? Thursday 5th November 

⌚️ What time? 11am

🌍 Where? Zoom

💡 Agenda? To be confirmed shortly

🐝 Who should attend? Professionals in the social housing space - feel free to share this page with your colleagues!

 

Register below!

Next Session: 5th November @ 11am

Register for your place...

Hosted by Prodo, The Housing Hive is a regular virtual session for social housing professionals to share, collaborate and support each other. It takes less than 30 seconds to register for 30 minutes of digital goodness!

 

Housing Hive

Next session: Thursday 5th November

Your Housing Hive hosts...

Adam Brown
Adam Brown

Head of Sales

Jacob Howell
Jacob Howell

Digital Strategist

Huw Roberts
Huw Roberts

Digital Strategist

Pippa Adams
Pippa Adams

CEO of Prodo

Adam Brown
Adam Brown

Head of Sales

Jacob Howell
Jacob Howell

Digital Strategist

Huw Roberts
Huw Roberts

Digital Strategist

Pippa Adams
Pippa Adams

CEO of Prodo

Past sessions

  • An insight into Plymouth Community Home's lettings transformation project
  • Driving adoption and advocacy of digital channels with RBH
  • Using Chatbots to Drive Channel Shift
  • Digitalising the customer journey
  • How Digital Transformation can build customer loyalty and improve retention
  • Utilising technology and digital to support staff wellbeing
  • Virtual Events Masterclass
  • Reimagining Digital in Social Housing
  • Planning ahead for a remote-working future
plymouth-logo (1)

Welcoming John Yates & Denise Reeves

💡 The big project: Digitising their lettings process
After the successful launch of PCH’s website & customer portal, next on their hit list of transformations was to digitise their lettings process. The lettings onboarding process is one which is really ingrained into the business, with multiple touch points all being manual and therefore costly. Not only that, it’s a long winded experience for the applicant - with four face-to-face meetings having to happen for each and every one of prior to tenancy commencement.

We spoke about the aspect Prodo is working on (being the actual digital solution itself which applicants will interact with), as only the tip of the iceberg. The preparation of data, internal buy-in, culture shift and planning forms a huge part of this project - going back around two-years to get to this stage of the build!

💭 A shift in mindset; led by the pandemic
The approach to digitising this took a real culture shift internally. With so many people being involved with a process that seemed to just ‘work’ to some extent, John & Denise had the job of gaining internal buy-in for this project. It was essential to get the potential efficiency savings & improvement in customer experience across to push this shift in culture through.

The importance and attitude change towards this project was helped by the pandemic. With those face-to-face meetings no longer happening, a way of assessing & onboarding applicants digitally now carries serious clout.

📢 Our favourite quote...
Our favourite quote from John was the ‘bow wave of innovation brought by Prodo really opened our eyes’ - we’re blushing! 😊 We helped John through this process earlier with consultancy & a wireframe video demonstrating the art of the possible.

⚙️ What will the portal do?
PCH will have the power to invite applicants from their CBL provider Devon Home Choice to complete their application online. Staff can then login, review & progress applications, request further info, schedule viewings etc. Successful applicants are then seamlessly passed through to the tenancy management self-service portal to pay rent, report repairs etc.

✅ Where are we up to?
With the planning & consultancy all done and dusted, we’ve just completed the design phase and are moving into development into the coming weeks. We can’t wait to get this one live!

The Q&As we didn't have time for!

There were loads of great questions coming in and we didn't have time to get to them all - so we've got a quick round-up here, kindly answered by the guys at Plymouth Community Homes.  

RBH logo

Featuring Jan Heath and Liam Mitchell from Rochdale Boroughwide Housing

🛣 Reflecting on how far they’ve come...

Jan highlighted what it's like to work with Prodo as a digital partner - feels like we're married! There’s been a honeymoon period through to coming to terms with what's possible and setting realistic goals, to a really solid working relationship now.

📊 RBH's ambitious targets and plan to achieve them

RBH have very high channel shift targets - ultimately aiming to achieve 90% channel shift by end of year 5, as well as high efficiency targets to shift contacts from CRM to portal.

💪 Delivering digital solutions in a crisis

Their new portal was due to go live in April, in the midst of the pandemic, but was only delayed by couple of weeks with an MVP and a chatbot specifically tailored to handle customer queries on COVID 19. 

💬 Liam showcased just what their portal can do 
The RBH portal doesn't just look good, it's got tons of user-intuitive features that have been carefully executed with the customer in mind. Things like account management features, responsive resizing (75% traffic customers come via a mobile phones!), repairs booking and live information feeds.  

🔮 Looking forward...
RBH are ready and raring to start driving digital adoption and advocacy to reach their targets. They've got big plans to maximise efficiencies - we're working with them to make the most of analytical tools to shape intelligent improvements and remove friction points to make their digital channels as simple, easy and appealing as possible. 

Housing Solutions Logo

Featuring special guest Richard Harvey from Housing Solutions 

We talked all about chatbots in this session and how they can drive forward channel shift initiatives! Richard Harvey joined the panel, Head of Digital & Information Services at Housing Solutions, to deliver a full overview of the digital transformation project they've been working on for the past couple of years at Housing Solutions. He shared loads about some of the amazing results they've seen with their portal and their new chatbot, which handles over 80% of online enquiries.

Caesarstone

Digitalising end-to-end processes and how this can be transitioned in the social housing space

In this session, we welcomed Jon Stanley (VP of Marketing) at Caesarstone UK & EMEA - a global designer and manufacturer of premium quartz surfaces. Jon talked us through their digital transformation over the past 18 months when they became a Prodo client. 


:chart_with_upwards_trend:Jon evaluated the web traffic the business was getting when he first came in and found the traffic to be artificially high - they were receiving 50,000 hits a month on the site but there was no CTA’s or lead capture from a marketing perspective to convert these numbers. 

:thinking_face:Caesarstone then embarked on a new marketing strategy - an Inbound Marketing strategy, using Prodo as their client to deliver the strategies and HubSpot as their platform to drive their prospects into leads, their leads into customers and their customers into their biggest promoters

:white_check_mark:The results have been phenomenal for the business. They are a truly recognised brand within a competitive market space. They sell B2B but consumers are now asking for Caesarstone by name to tradesmen building their market share month to month.

:speaking_head_in_silhouette:Jon made a very strong point that Digital Transformation does not need to be complex; his advice to any business is to be clear in the expectations from the get-go. 


:man-man-boy-boy:Building out your personas is essential in understanding your customer's digital journey. You need to understand who you are talking to and how they think. Another key piece of advice from Jon is to benchmark against the age we live in, not the sector you work in or the competition. Everything has moved to digital and you should aspire to keep moving along with the times. 

GJW

Insights from Christina Hamilton, Marketing Manager at GJW Direct

GJW as a business were marketing themselves and interacting with their customers in a very traditional and offline way, making their cost-per-acquisition high, their support only available during office hours, and generally a little behind the times. The customer base & target customers were reluctant and cautious about online methods. Chrissy & GJW were facing very similar challenges to many in the Social Housing sector - shifting their customers online in order to enhance their experience and operate more efficiently.

Using their Umbraco-based website & portal, in combination with HubSpot’s suite of tools & Prodo’s strategic partnership, 2 years on, GJW has made huge strides towards their target. Over 10,000 of their contacts are now registered to the MyBoat portal, they’re converting their leads to customers and supporting their current customer base 24/7 through the use of digital!

Insights from outside the housing sector

We were joined by Russell Carter, Senior Product Owner at Health Shield, who spoke to us about utilising digital to support staff wellbeing - and Health Shield's product Breeze which is soon to be fully launched.

Russell talked us through the fact they've found mental health, financial situation, physical health etc. all correlate generally when it comes to wellbeing. Breeze aims to cover these areas. The platform brings in expert content from other sources as well as from Health Shield themselves.

How to adapt to virtual

We were joined by Sian Bennett, Head of Music & Events Marketing at Mustard Media, who talked us through how the events industry has inevitably had to quickly adapt to the current situation, which has resulted in the launch of their Virtual Event Lab product!

The ABC's of digital transformation

This week's guest speaker, Steve Dungworth, from Golden Marzipan took us through his ABC of topics relating to working in social housing:
 
💥  Agile - We discussed how friction in work has altered since the outbreak and how specific it is for each of us.
🌎  Big Data - Housing Associations have enormous amounts of data, it's often not arranged and presented in a way which it can be utilised to enhance service delivery. 
📱  Channel Shift - Targets in this area for Housing Associations are often unrealistic. 

How to embrace digital solutions

Our panellist Gary Haldane from Kingdom Housing explained they’re planning to introduce remote working as a preferred long term strategy, moving away from the traditional workplace and embracing digital solutions to enable them to achieve this

Past sessions

plymouth-logo (1)

Welcoming John Yates & Denise Reeves

💡 The big project: Digitising their lettings process
After the successful launch of PCH’s website & customer portal, next on their hit list of transformations was to digitise their lettings process. The lettings onboarding process is one which is really ingrained into the business, with multiple touch points all being manual and therefore costly. Not only that, it’s a long winded experience for the applicant - with four face-to-face meetings having to happen for each and every one of prior to tenancy commencement.

We spoke about the aspect Prodo is working on (being the actual digital solution itself which applicants will interact with), as only the tip of the iceberg. The preparation of data, internal buy-in, culture shift and planning forms a huge part of this project - going back around two-years to get to this stage of the build!

💭 A shift in mindset; led by the pandemic
The approach to digitising this took a real culture shift internally. With so many people being involved with a process that seemed to just ‘work’ to some extent, John & Denise had the job of gaining internal buy-in for this project. It was essential to get the potential efficiency savings & improvement in customer experience across to push this shift in culture through.

The importance and attitude change towards this project was helped by the pandemic. With those face-to-face meetings no longer happening, a way of assessing & onboarding applicants digitally now carries serious clout.

📢 Our favourite quote...
Our favourite quote from John was the ‘bow wave of innovation brought by Prodo really opened our eyes’ - we’re blushing! 😊 We helped John through this process earlier with consultancy & a wireframe video demonstrating the art of the possible.

⚙️ What will the portal do?
PCH will have the power to invite applicants from their CBL provider Devon Home Choice to complete their application online. Staff can then login, review & progress applications, request further info, schedule viewings etc. Successful applicants are then seamlessly passed through to the tenancy management self-service portal to pay rent, report repairs etc.

✅ Where are we up to?
With the planning & consultancy all done and dusted, we’ve just completed the design phase and are moving into development into the coming weeks. We can’t wait to get this one live!

The Q&As we didn't have time for!

There were loads of great questions coming in and we didn't have time to get to them all - so we've got a quick round-up here, kindly answered by the guys at Plymouth Community Homes.  

RBH logo

Featuring Jan Heath and Liam Mitchell from Rochdale Boroughwide Housing

🛣 Reflecting on how far they’ve come...

Jan highlighted what it's like to work with Prodo as a digital partner - feels like we're married! There’s been a honeymoon period through to coming to terms with what's possible and setting realistic goals, to a really solid working relationship now.

📊 RBH's ambitious targets and plan to achieve them

RBH have very high channel shift targets - ultimately aiming to achieve 90% channel shift by end of year 5, as well as high efficiency targets to shift contacts from CRM to portal.

💪 Delivering digital solutions in a crisis

Their new portal was due to go live in April, in the midst of the pandemic, but was only delayed by couple of weeks with an MVP and a chatbot specifically tailored to handle customer queries on COVID 19. 

💬 Liam showcased just what their portal can do 
The RBH portal doesn't just look good, it's got tons of user-intuitive features that have been carefully executed with the customer in mind. Things like account management features, responsive resizing (75% traffic customers come via a mobile phones!), repairs booking and live information feeds.  

🔮 Looking forward...
RBH are ready and raring to start driving digital adoption and advocacy to reach their targets. They've got big plans to maximise efficiencies - we're working with them to make the most of analytical tools to shape intelligent improvements and remove friction points to make their digital channels as simple, easy and appealing as possible. 

Housing Solutions Logo

Featuring special guest Richard Harvey from Housing Solutions 

We talked all about chatbots in this session and how they can drive forward channel shift initiatives! Richard Harvey joined the panel, Head of Digital & Information Services at Housing Solutions, to deliver a full overview of the digital transformation project they've been working on for the past couple of years at Housing Solutions. He shared loads about some of the amazing results they've seen with their portal and their new chatbot, which handles over 80% of online enquiries.

Caesarstone

Digitalising end-to-end processes and how this can be transitioned in the social housing space

In this session, we welcomed Jon Stanley (VP of Marketing) at Caesarstone UK & EMEA - a global designer and manufacturer of premium quartz surfaces. Jon talked us through their digital transformation over the past 18 months when they became a Prodo client. 


:chart_with_upwards_trend:Jon evaluated the web traffic the business was getting when he first came in and found the traffic to be artificially high - they were receiving 50,000 hits a month on the site but there was no CTA’s or lead capture from a marketing perspective to convert these numbers. 

:thinking_face:Caesarstone then embarked on a new marketing strategy - an Inbound Marketing strategy, using Prodo as their client to deliver the strategies and HubSpot as their platform to drive their prospects into leads, their leads into customers and their customers into their biggest promoters

:white_check_mark:The results have been phenomenal for the business. They are a truly recognised brand within a competitive market space. They sell B2B but consumers are now asking for Caesarstone by name to tradesmen building their market share month to month.

:speaking_head_in_silhouette:Jon made a very strong point that Digital Transformation does not need to be complex; his advice to any business is to be clear in the expectations from the get-go. 


:man-man-boy-boy:Building out your personas is essential in understanding your customer's digital journey. You need to understand who you are talking to and how they think. Another key piece of advice from Jon is to benchmark against the age we live in, not the sector you work in or the competition. Everything has moved to digital and you should aspire to keep moving along with the times. 

GJW

Insights from Christina Hamilton, Marketing Manager at GJW Direct

GJW as a business were marketing themselves and interacting with their customers in a very traditional and offline way, making their cost-per-acquisition high, their support only available during office hours, and generally a little behind the times. The customer base & target customers were reluctant and cautious about online methods. Chrissy & GJW were facing very similar challenges to many in the Social Housing sector - shifting their customers online in order to enhance their experience and operate more efficiently.

Using their Umbraco-based website & portal, in combination with HubSpot’s suite of tools & Prodo’s strategic partnership, 2 years on, GJW has made huge strides towards their target. Over 10,000 of their contacts are now registered to the MyBoat portal, they’re converting their leads to customers and supporting their current customer base 24/7 through the use of digital!

Insights from outside the housing sector

We were joined by Russell Carter, Senior Product Owner at Health Shield, who spoke to us about utilising digital to support staff wellbeing - and Health Shield's product Breeze which is soon to be fully launched.

Russell talked us through the fact they've found mental health, financial situation, physical health etc. all correlate generally when it comes to wellbeing. Breeze aims to cover these areas. The platform brings in expert content from other sources as well as from Health Shield themselves.

How to adapt to virtual

We were joined by Sian Bennett, Head of Music & Events Marketing at Mustard Media, who talked us through how the events industry has inevitably had to quickly adapt to the current situation, which has resulted in the launch of their Virtual Event Lab product!

The ABC's of digital transformation

This week's guest speaker, Steve Dungworth, from Golden Marzipan took us through his ABC of topics relating to working in social housing:
 
💥  Agile - We discussed how friction in work has altered since the outbreak and how specific it is for each of us.
🌎  Big Data - Housing Associations have enormous amounts of data, it's often not arranged and presented in a way which it can be utilised to enhance service delivery. 
📱  Channel Shift - Targets in this area for Housing Associations are often unrealistic. 

How to embrace digital solutions

Our panellist Gary Haldane from Kingdom Housing explained they’re planning to introduce remote working as a preferred long term strategy, moving away from the traditional workplace and embracing digital solutions to enable them to achieve this

“I love that the Housing Hive gives me a chance to engage with other housing professionals, who I wouldn’t usually get to speak with. The success stories have been great, as have the ideas from across the sector!”

Justine Thompson, Lead Transformation Partner at Silva Homes

Join the Housing Hive!

Additional resources

Report: The Future of Work in Social Housing

A report on how the recent impacts of COVID-19 have impacted work in social housing. How have employees handled the transition to remote? What are their biggest challenges? Are they more productive?

Find Out More

Free copy: Shift!

Shift! is the paperback book from Prodo written for UK housing professionals. To give you a sneak preview of Shift!, we'll send you Chapter 3 straight to your inbox...

Find Out More

Report: Housing Hindsight 2020

Check out our new report on the current state of channel shift in the housing sector, covering statistics from last year and what the..

Find Out More

Report: The Future of Work in Social Housing

A report on how the recent impacts of COVID-19 have impacted work in social housing. How have employees handled the transition to remote? What are their biggest challenges? Are they more productive?

Find Out More

Free copy: Shift!

Shift! is the paperback book from Prodo written for UK housing professionals. To give you a sneak preview of Shift!, we'll send you Chapter 3 straight to your inbox...

Find Out More

Report: Housing Hindsight 2020

Check out our new report on the current state of channel shift in the housing sector, covering statistics from last year and what the..

Find Out More
View all