A Virtual Meeting, Viewing and Sign Up!
Our allocation process usually involves a home visit with the potential applicant. Last year one of our successful applicants, Fern, was from the West Coast, so the usual visits weren’t possible, and travelling across the country for a viewing and sign up before moving wasn’t an option. So James, one of our Housing Officers, arranged for the allocation interview, property viewing, and sign-up appointment to take place on Teams, a video conferencing platform.
Because of this, Fern could view the property over Teams as James carried out a walk-through of the property, letting her see all the features. She was really pleased with the personal tour and accepted the offer of a new home. We made arrangements to send the paperwork to her securely and arranged another Teams meeting to meet online and carry out the sign up so the signing of the tenancy agreement could be properly witnessed.
This was a really successful experience both for us and for Fern, who was able to do the entire process from her location and then collect the keys safely from our office to start the next challenge of moving into her new home and getting settled in on time for Christmas.
Here is what Fern had to say about her experience:
Applying for a new home and the process of moving house in a pandemic is definitely a different experience to during more normal times! I moved into an East Lothian Housing Association property last October and went through the application, interview and viewing process virtually. Despite being my first time using Microsoft Teams (which was used for the viewing and signing tenancy agreements) the whole experience was stress free and easy to navigate. Through doing the paperwork online and remotely it made the process a lot safer and simpler than working out tiers, restrictions and travelling.
While I was a bit nervous about viewing the property, not in person but by video link, James was brilliant at showing me round the property and answering questions so when I moved in it did feel like I had already seen it.
Everyone in the office was brilliant at communicating with what was happening, the process and finding ways to make the application and moving process possible through different methods and really went out their way to help. While moving in a pandemic is never ideal it was a lot more straightforward and simpler than I had anticipated.
We are waiting for restrictions to ease before meeting face to face for a settling in visit. Meanwhile we continue to stay in touch by phone and email.