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As part of ongoing online research by BMG Research, we asked social housing tenants whether in the future they would be interested in providing feedback to, or becoming involved with, their landlord using different online methods of engagement. The findings show that six in ten (61%) social housing tenants (with internet access) are interested in becoming involved with their landlord using one or more of the online methods listed. Furthermore, nearly half (48%) of those not currently involved with their landlord stated they would be interested in becoming involved through an online method of engagement. Completing online surveys (54%) is the most prevalent method of feedback tenants are interested in, although a sizable minority are also interested in becoming involved by: providing social media comments (14%); using online discussion forums (17%); or, downloading an app enabling discussions and feedback via text / photos / videos (13%).

Readers can interrogate the data for themselves using the menu in the chart below.

The poll, conducted between August 2016 and February 2017 on a monthly basis and featuring 1,143 social housing tenants, also explored the ways in which tenants have been involved in providing feedback to their landlord in the last 12 months. Currently, around one in three (35%) provide feedback to their landlord using one or more of the methods listed (predominately through completing surveys). Interestingly, Housing Associations have a higher proportion of tenants providing feedback to them than Local Authorities; 39% of those who rent from a Housing Association state they currently provide feedback via one of the methods listed compared to 31% of those who rent from a Council.

Jack Harper, Research Manager at BMG Research, comments: “The business improvements social housing providers make should be driven by the feedback they gain from their customers as ultimately these will be the ones most affected. In an era where digital inclusion sits high on the agenda, the ways in which housing providers involve their tenants need to be attuned likewise. Are the current methods many Social Housing Providers use to involve their tenants really the most appropriate methods of customer engagement? Having attended a resident engagement conference late last year, it was clear, for some, reviews have happened and engagement strategies changed accordingly – the ‘Changing focus’ research by Family Mosaic being a prime example. Obviously, not every tenant wants to have their say, and many are happy to take a back seat. However, these findings clearly show a thirst for online engagement. Crucially, with half of those tenants who do not currently provide feedback to their landlord expressing an interest in online involvement, it presents a real opportunity for many providers to engage with a cohort of residents whose voice they may not have heard previously.”

BMG offers a range of online engagement tools that can be used by Social Housing Providers. To discuss these please contact jack.harper@bmgresearch.co.uk