Quickly communicating about topics that matter
Montélimar Agglomération Habitat manages 2,300 social housing units, totaling 5,000 occupants. As soon as the lockdown was announced, the organization closed its offices, and 20% of its 40 employees started to work from home. Those who continued to work included members of the Executive Committee, the staff responsible for rental management, technical support and the financial department. For Yann Charvet, Head of Finance at Montélimar Agglomération Habitat, “we had to use new means of communicating with tenants instead of letters and the quarterly newsletter.”
There were several issues that remained open: some tenants did not use direct debit and paid their rent directly to the Trésor Public (Treasury Department), which was closed due to the pandemic. It became essential to provide instructions to ensure that rent could be paid. Beyond the financial aspect, it was also important to discuss cleaning in the common areas and work scheduled in the buildings.
Sending text messages seemed to be the most flexible and fastest way to share information on a massive scale.
Yann Charvet, Head of Finance at Montélimar Agglomération Habitat
Text message discussions with tenants to maintain contact
While Montélimar Agglomération Habitat regularly uses an automatically generated text message communication system, it was only used for technical claims. The exceptional circumstances encouraged the organization to go further.
“Sending text messages seemed to be the most flexible and fastest way to share information on a massive scale,” explains Yann Charvet, who already has a database of tenants’ mobile numbers. The partnership between Montélimar Agglomération Habitat and Orange Business Services over the past 15 years made it possible to quickly put the theory into practice. The introduction of the Contact Everyone solution means a 160-character text message can be sent to all occupants in just a few clicks.
A long-term solution and targeted messages
Throughout the lockdown period, regular pre-emptive communications delivered key messages from the organization, limiting tenants’ calls to the two emergency numbers reserved for technical and rental emergencies.
“This low-cost, rapid and simple system will be developed in the future,” concludes Yann Charvet. “It could be very useful to rapidly inform the occupants in a specific building about occasional technical problems such as when water, gas or heating are to be cut off.” Targeted messages can be delivered at any time, which strengthens the proximity and relationship between the OPH and their tenants.