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By Michael Simpson, Health, Safety & Compliance Officer, Clarion Housing Group

En Route to Smart HousingMichael Simpson, Health, Safety & Compliance Officer, Clarion Housing Group

How the adoption of recent technological advancements are impacting the construction world? The cost of interaction between resident and housing landlord is reducing year on year as is the use of typical resources such as paper usage on mass due to major advancements driven by the acceptance of social media and the precedence it has set for communication. Four main areas that have had a huge impact on shaping the attribution of resources within the housing sector are:

IoT–In the housing sector, IoT is enabling the mesh platform approach for multi-system interactions, which is drastically improving efficiencies and is shaping a better service for all. Smoke detectors are self-monitoring. They book themselves into the maintenance scheduling system once dust build-up is detected. Smart utilities meter monitoring software is feeding into AI that looks to reduce energy costs at multiple levels from linking to uSwitch and promoting repair teams to inspect properties for potential savings such as property illumination wattage totals. From this recommendations are made for cost-effective solutions with signposting to green grants to procure energy-efficient lights.

"Smart utilities meter monitoring software is feeding into AI that looks to reduce energy costs at multiple levels"

AI–Is continuously learing from our call centers on how to best assist residents by looking at a vast volume of data searching for trends that resulted in high customer satisfaction and enabling us to view them, which in turn is boosting our service superiority. Resident call times have reduced because we are asking the right questions as a direct result of visual data and a process based on the Bellman equation that in it’s simplest form is allowing the AI to calculate its own way to the goal of attaining the residents’ issue and offering the correct solution in the quickest time. AI can score each section of the process that will lead to the correct answer or action and is equipt to make the choice autonomously. The same principles are starting to gather speed in the risk and resilience areas of health, safety, governance and compliance by scoring each section of a process and choosing the highest scoring path to the end goal. This will continue until IoT and big data are at the full disposal of AI that will assess risks better than humans within the next 5-10 years.

Cloud–Is a word we all know within our business and it means different things to different people. Cloud, in housing, is shaping the future of digital interaction between residents and associations, social media is the expected norm for communication from millennials and generation X, all forms of correspondence from booking repairs to making complaints, the way in which we communicate has changed the entire landscape of resident interaction, leaving two choices of sink or swim the digital age fully.

Cloud-based solutions have enabled huge cost reductions by enabling data technological storage and entire systems off-site negating the antiquated need to hoast everything in-house. Another trend is the hiring of data centers for adhoc processing projects reducing costs and increasing outputs dramatically. One step that has been taken to ensure we can meet resident needs has been in the creation of user profiles much like your typical social media profile with real-time heads up display of property status, repairs calendar, appointments and simple feedback capturing all navigated by the user in a familiar way.

Big Data–The more embedded and advanced the above get the greater the quality of big data and the accuracy and application of the tools have become. The winners here are the residents as they are physically experiencing first hand benefits of a better service and less time spent reporting issues and communicating with the association freeing up precious time for themselves. Every digital interaction can be monitored and reviewed for continual improvements which all of the above have made real and will continue to do so. It is a very exciting time to be a part of and the next 10 years will see huge advancements in all the above areas that can only strengthen each other as they become digitally symbiotic and adopted mainstream in the housing sector.

My advice— invest and embrace innovation in these key areas now to stay relevant and be able to be understood by new and future generations of resident. Smart systems can increase productivity and help you see patterns and trends within the data you might have never identified. We are in the age of every interaction being viewed as quantifiable improvement sources so having harmonized systems and tools is key to building the required future proof foundations on which your business will come to rely on soon.

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