Our main challenge at the beginning of the project was to improve the rental process in case of switching tenants for all relevant stakeholders. That turned out to be quite a few: new and departing tenants, district contractors, rental agents, maintenance inspectors, back-office employees and expert contractors (asbestos, central heating, roof). Before our project, Havensteder decided to move the budget responsibility of this particular maintenance budget to a different department to be able to control this budget better. However, the execution had not been implemented, so the application and implications of this decision still needed to be clarified, which resulted in internal unrest among employees.
As a result, there were several objectives. Besides improving the rental process for all relevant stakeholders in case of switching tenants, we also had to advise on reorganizing roles and responsibilities between employees of different departments. This combination of challenges lies in the dividing line between organizational change and the optimization of services.
To solve these different challenges, we went through a two-track implementation approach. Choosing how to fill roles and responsibilities within the process is a different issue from redesigning and optimising the processes surrounding lease termination, maintenance and new leasing.
Ideal rental process
Within the company, a clear vision had to be formed because of contrasting objectives regarding the maintenance moment. For instance, reducing vacancy duration may conflict with increasing the satisfaction of new tenants. Having a clear vision is important regarding redesigning a journey and its implementation. Based on the ideation session, we redesigned the ideal journey for the rental process with the help of 14 innovative concepts to improve the processes surrounding lease termination, maintenance, and new leasing.
One of these concepts was about getting an ‘Integral insight into the condition of the rental properties’ within a database or dashboard. For each property, there is available information such as technical data (e.g. floor plan), condition score and repair history. Based on this information, Havensteder can (immediately after rent termination) make a good estimate of the complexity, make a prognosis of the size of the mutation maintenance and estimate which roles are required, which makes it possible to look holistically and integrally at maintenance work.
Roles and responsibilities
We presented different ‘scenarios’ with pros and cons on how to divide roles and responsibilities internally. For each scenario, it became clear what the implications of a particular setup would be. For instance, one particular scenario would have significant organisational implications based on role shuffling and responsibilities and potential dissatisfaction among rental agents. In another scenario, the budget manager would not have the directing role over mutation maintenance, which could cause problems.
The team advised the board to make choices based on a clear vision regarding which challenges (reducing vacancy, budget control or tenant satisfaction) are most important. Without a clear vision, it is easier to decide how the desired to-be rental process should look like. Once there is a clear vision, this can be translated to the different layers of the organization, and employees know what is expected of them. From here, Havensteder can make a clear choice about the setup and distribution of roles and responsibilities.