Placing partnership at the heart of asset management success

(Posted: 13/08/2018)

Liberty Group’s partnership with ForViva has been born out of a unique set of circumstances.

However, it is already offering a valuable insight into how genuine collaboration and a renewed focus on social purpose can push contractors to deliver improved performance for both tenants and landlords.

Since Liberty joined forces with ForViva in July 2016, which owns and manages 24,000 homes in the North West, it has partnered with the group’s construction division, ForWorks, to grow into a national property services business with the ability to deliver whole house solutions for landlords, developing its experience and expertise beyond gas contracting.

Today we are fast becoming the go to people for property services, specialising in repairs and maintenance, gas services and construction projects. We have a passionate, professional and committed team that works with landlords, local authorities and private sector companies, servicing over a quarter of a million homes across the UK.

Since becoming part of ForViva, Liberty has undergone a transition.

It has been an opportunity to review the way we work and ensure that the social heart that comes with being part of the ForViva organisation is reflected in how we engage with our partners.

We have been able to strike a new balance between margins and customer satisfaction and make renewed commitments to ensure that adding social value is more than just a procurement exercise. We are fully committed to working with partners on projects that will improve lives and deliver a lasting impact to communities.

Our work with ForViva is giving us a much clearer insight into the synergies between contractor and landlord.

It has brought fresh thinking to how we can support the wider sector on challenges such as property access and safeguarding – ensuing that information gained through visits from Liberty staff can have a ripple effect across an organisation.

We have developed tools in our new IT system wearing the hat of both client and contractor.

The system has driven up efficiencies, allowing us to allocate resources in more effective ways, improve scheduling and provide analysis on any jobs not completed first time.

It means on each visit we can flag up damage or issues for our housing management colleagues.

Our work with ForViva has given us chance to refine and enhance the technology. The results speak for themselves and we are already tailoring this to suit the needs of various other landlords – interfacing directly with their stock condition databases.

First time fix levels are up, customer satisfaction levels are up, and we have 100% LGSR Compliance across all contracts. Earlier this year we won a ROSPA Gold award.

Our breadth of experience is also giving us chance to mitigate tenant disruption. For example, we are combining Legionella, EICR and LGSR checks into one visit. This saves on access costs and creates happy tenants.

Through co-location of some staff on contracts we've been able to eradicate duplication in roles such as call handling and therefore reduce costs.

Working with HQN, we are also partnering with ForViva to deliver a series of events to raise awareness of best practice across the sectors in which we work, with HQN’s successful gas masterclass workshop a great example of how we can add value through working together to join up our resources and expertise.

Becoming part of ForViva has been a landmark moment for Liberty. It means that performance will always come before profit for all of our clients and has put partnership at the heart of our approach, with services and innovations that save money and improve lives.

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