A brand-new approach to digital for the award-winning housing association.

An ROI of 581%, a saving of 12,000+ people hours, and a 30% decrease in time to re-let properties are just a small handful of the benefits delivered.

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The Challenge

Livin is an award-winning, not for profit housing association managing more than 8,400 homes across County Durham. They improve the lives of their tenants, offering high quality, efficient and adaptable homes that meet people’s current needs and future aspirations.

But the online experience they provided their existing and potential tenants didn’t match these high standards. So Livin approached TQ with the goal of transforming their services from end-to-end.

The Livin team knew their website was just a standalone channel that didn’t do what tenants needed it to. When customers couldn’t find what they wanted online they would ring Livin’s call centre for help or worse, get frustrated and give up.

Livin needed to make it much easier for customers to find and complete the most common actions onsite themselves. By enabling customers to use self-service systems online Livin would ensure people found the right homes more easily.

This would vastly improve customer experience, whilst reducing calls to the call centre, and as a result would save tenants and Livin time and effort, and reduce costs for Livin.

The Solution

We worked with Livin in a close-knit partnership to map out exactly what would help achieve their goals.

Delighting Livin’s tenants was the clear priority at every stage of the project, and we worked as an extension of their team with this in mind.

Our discovery process, which involved in-depth user research and customer journey mapping established exactly what Livin’s users really wanted from their website. Following an extensive analysis of performance of the existing website, we were then able to combine everything we’d discovered to design a new approach.

We created a completely revamped digital approach for Livin combining User Experience (UX) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) expertise with re-designed wireframes and an easy-to-use content management system. 

We also established a content process, workflow, and audit trail, training the Livin team in the process so they knew exactly what and how to do things. And finally we managed the migration from their old site to the new, handling over 300 redirects.

So, did we manage to delight Livin’s tenants with this new digital approach?


The Results

The work done alongside the Livin team has delivered some exceptional time and cost savings, unlocked new revenue streams, and vastly improved the digital experience they provide their tenants. 

The simplified Content Approval process we developed has saved more than 12,000 people hours for Livin.

The old content approval process took 3 hours (or more) total. Now it takes just 15 minutes, as different leaders across the Livin business can sign off content with just the click of a link in an email. And with this new process being used over 4,500 times since launch, that’s a total 12,375-hour saving.

Website performance improvements, as well as some superb tactical online activity now generate £100,000 additional revenue for Livin every year.

Through some clever and elegant Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) work we ensured that Livin’s vacant properties could be found much more easily by people searching online. In fact we improved search rankings for Livin’s properties by an average of 20 places.

When that’s combined with other online performance improvements, such as a 35% increase in online tenant registrations and a 30% boost in property applications via the website, this has reduced total time to re-let by 30%, meaning more homes are occupied sooner, generating that additional £100k of rental revenue per year.

This increased ability for people to self-serve online has also meant a significant drop in calls to the call centre, supporting Livin’s desired channel shift away from call centres and driving further cost reductions and time savings.  

When all the performance improvements are considered over the lifetime of the project, Livin will deliver well over £1,100,000 of total benefit, equating to an ROI of 581%.

But most importantly they will be better serving existing and potential tenants through a continually improving, more valuable, and inclusive digital experience.

It was clear from the outset that Thought Quarter’s approach to partnership working was very much aligned to Livin’s and would enable a true ‘one team’ approach.

Of equal importance was to have a partner on board with the technical ability and the willingness and appetite to push the boundaries to deliver some brilliant digital experiences not typical of the housing sector. That’s exactly what we got with Thought Quarter.

TQ provided a full digital service, not just a website. The level of expertise was second to none and the work done has provided us with the foundations to continually develop the site to meet the needs of our users.

The relentless focus on the user needs, and the need to deliver against business objectives has been great. TQ are an approachable, friendly, and professional bunch of people who have brought ideas to the table and then made them happen.

Anna Bainbridge

Digital Transformation Manager


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