A large proportion of housing association costs is on repairs and maintenance (R&M) with the social housing sector spending a combined total of just over £7.1 billion on R&M in 2018 - to maintain the nation's stock of 4 million affordable homes.

The majority of repair and maintenance providers measure costs of labour and materials, time and jobs completed which helps to build a picture of financial outlay as well as efficiency.

But how does your provider measure satisfaction, and is this an area that more housing teams should focus on in general reporting?

What currently happens. 

Traditionally there is a relatively small percentage of repair and maintenance providers who do at least some outreach in the form of feedback phone calls, online forms or written surveys.

The trouble with these for housing teams is that the information can often be scattered in different formats, is rarely focused and takes time and effort to collect and corroborate.  

A recent report from the Housing Ombudsman found that dissatisfaction with day-to-day repairs accounts for over a third of complaints every year, highlighting the importance of measuring satisfaction.

From a housing team perspective the cost and time savings of having R&M work completed efficiently and professionally are vitally important to ensuring organisational efficiency.

Why satisfaction shouldn’t be undervalued in the housing sector.

Satisfaction is rarely a key metric for housing associations in gauging the efficiency of their R&M provider, however it really should be. With such significant sums being spent on repair and maintenance each year, finding contractors who fulfil jobs cost effectively to a high standard is imperative.

Many housing teams spend considerable time searching for contractors with specific skill sets to address unique R&M jobs across a diverse range of properties. However, not all jobs are the same and if the wrong type of tradesperson is hired for the job, this then entails repeat visits, more wasted time, higher costs and increased dissatisfaction amongst tenants.

All of this is wasted time that could be better spent on core support functions supporting tenants.

Clearly satisfaction feedback on contractors and repair/maintenance providers can help decision makers streamline processes, ensuring repairs are carried out promptly and to cost.

So, what should happen in an ideal world and how can housing teams use satisfaction measurement to improve efficiency and lower costs?

We need centralised feedback, that empowers decision making.

At Plentific we understand the value of satisfaction measurement in enhancing tenant approval ratings.

The housing associations and landlords who partner with us see a number of benefits in overall time, cost and efficiency savings and our powerful platform allows both leaders and management to make informed decisions.

We approach satisfaction measurement with the same dedication as other metrics as we believe that this helps identify the most reliable contractors that can be used on repeat business.

How we’ve achieved this at Plentific.

Our local marketplace of over 13,000 professional tradespeople makes it easy for housing teams to find and hire the right people for the job, quickly and easily. 

95% of the repair jobs carried out via our platform are completed within 72 hours and all of our contractors are reviewed independently to gauge tenant satisfaction.   

Because our platform centralises all of your operational data, you and your team have instant access to progress reports, details of jobs carried out, timings of inspections, photographs of repair work and reliable, in-depth feedback on job satisfaction.

We make it easy to give authentic, real-time insights into satisfaction and tenants can respond directly to housing teams, letting them know how well R&M work has been carried out.

Because all the data points for the job, from initial booking to progress reports, inspection details and tenant feedback is all in one place, using the Plentific platform makes gauging provider satisfaction straightforward and considerably cuts down on admin time.

Why this is invaluable.

The information available in our platform is invaluable for housing associations, especially those who manage multiple properties, as it allows leaders to make informed decisions about the best tradespeople in the local area for specific types of jobs.

What’s more, if a particular contractor is consistently outstanding, it is quick and easy for housing teams to rebook them for repeat jobs.

Knowing a contractor is right for the job takes the uncertainty out of booking decisions and helps lower the number of work orders placed (by up to 45%) by cutting down on erroneous bookings.

To find out more about how measuring repair and maintenance job satisfaction could help enhance your operational efficiency, download our case study below or request a free platform demo.