What can we learn from the Make Every Contact Count approach?

Annie Owens, 13 June 2024

Social landlords make regular contact with their residents, through routine safety checks, day-to-day repairs, and broader community engagement. Many landlords are increasingly contacting their residents using digital methods, including online self-serve portals. Most social residents should not go more than a year without some form of contact with their landlord, or at least their contractors.

This provides a range of natural opportunities for landlords to check in with their residents. This does not need to be in-depth or intrusive, it can be as simple as asking “And is everything else ok in your home?”. By making the most of these existing touchpoints, landlords can develop an effective, efficient way of gathering information about the condition of their properties, and the needs of their residents.

Make Every Contact Count

This is the idea behind ‘Make Every Contact Count’, an approach already used within the social housing sector and elsewhere. In the NHS, this approach empowers staff to use their day-to-day conversations to support people in making positive changes to their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Social landlords are adopting this idea in different ways. For example, Abri’s See Something Say Something campaign supports staff to identify situations where a resident may be vulnerable due to their personal welfare or living conditions. Abri developed a reporting tool, accessible to all colleagues, which makes it easier to report any concerns.

What’s next?

We have commissioned Campbell Tickell to research the ‘Make Every Contact Count’ approach and collate a series of case studies and guiding principles. This will support organisations to consider how they could adopt this approach. The research will provide practical insights, drawing from the successes and challenges landlords have faced. It will make clear links to existing and forthcoming regulatory requirements and will show how the approach is applicable for different types and sizes of landlords.

This research will take place over the summer and will include interviews with a range of different landlords. We are excited to be launching the final report at our Quality Homes Conference in October.

Get involved

It is vital that we draw from your expertise and experience through this research. We know that landlords are already using the ‘Make Every Contact Count’ approach effectively. But we also know that developing this approach comes with challenges, including establishing the necessary IT and data systems, building trusted relationships with residents who may have valid concerns about sharing personal information, and complying with data protection regulations. We will explore all of these challenges and the opportunities that can emerge through making every contact with residents count.

Please get in touch if your organisation is already taking steps to make every contact with residents count as an opportunity to check on the condition of homes and on the information you hold about residents.