Rent First: Positive conversations to maximise income, help people and prevent homelessness

Landlords and customers are having to adjust to the many changes arising from Covid-19 and the “new normal”

Rent First: Positive conversations to maximise income, help people and prevent homelessness

This virtual workshop – delivered over Zoom on two consecutive mornings (10.00am to 13.00pm) – explores the new challenges for housing providers working hard to maximise income and support customers. Some customers will be new to claiming benefits, others will be facing greater financial pressures as a result of lockdown and social distancing, many will be vulnerable and need extra support.

The practical workshop will examine the skills that are needed for any negotiating situation bringing together proven techniques and strategies for effective negotiation, motivational interviewing and debt management.

Although focused on housing income management, the tips and techniques are fully transferable to other areas of work as well as participants’ personal lives.

Why “Rent First?”

When our financial circumstances change, one of the most pressing concerns is how to meet our housing costs. This is true for most social housing tenants.

“Rent first” is not about landlords taking an unduly hard line with tenants but simply reflects that this is a high priority for both parties and the starting point for positive conversations.

What will delegates learn?

These workshops will boost participants’ knowledge and confidence in:

  • Initiating and managing positive conversations
  • Instilling a payment culture with empathy
  • Handling objections assertively and engaging customers in finding solutions
  • Negotiating payment plans and motivating changes in payment behaviours
  • Helping customers to pay on time and to manage their accounts successfully.

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Apply a motivational, solution-based negotiation framework
  • Know their preferred negotiating style and how each style influences outcomes.
  • Prepare effectively for discussing debt with customers
  • Gain confidence in initiating a discussion regarding debt
  • Apply practical frameworks and core skills to handle calls effectively and efficiently
  • Handle payment objections empathetically but assertively
  • Guide customers through sensitive and challenging discussions
  • Manage situations where customers present mental health issues, based on the latest expert guidance.

Put simply, applying these skills in practice will help your customers, boost your income and prevent homelessness.

Timing and numbers        

This online workshop is delivered via Zoom, over two days.

The timings for each day are as follows:
10:00am to 13:00pm (break 11:20am to 11:40am)

Note: If the client prefers, we can use alternatives to Zoom.

To optimise the learning experience and ensure full participation, we recommend a maximum of sixteen participants.

What support do we get?

This training is delivered in a relaxed and engaging style.

A resource pack, including further learning materials will be provided after the training to aid continuous learning.

Each training group is invited to a free, online follow-up session to discuss the course and support implementation of the tips and techniques.

Afterwards, Tony will welcome any questions to support the implementation of the learning.

Who should attend?

Both new and experienced officers would benefit from this course. Although focused on income collection and debt recovery, the skills are highly transferable to other areas of work.

Tony Newman - training

Income management Tony Newman

An independent project manager, consultant and trainer, Tony has over 40 years’ experience across a range of industries, in the private and public sectors, including extensive experience in social housing.

Tony’s work centres on helping clients to maximise income and improve services to customers, especially supporting the financial wellbeing and independence of vulnerable people.

Tony studied psychology and philosophy at the University of Stirling and maintains an interest in communication and behavioural science, which he incorporates into his work.

Tony designed Housing Quality Network’s income management and financial inclusion toolkits and leads on HQN’s unique accreditation service for income management. He has conducted many improvement projects and inspections and has a track record of supporting clients to improve performance in challenging environments.

Tony is a member of numerous professional and representative organisations. These include the Chartered Institute of Housing, Chartered Institute of Credit Management, the British Institute of Learning Disabilities, the Project Management Institute, the Housing Studies Association and the Financial Health Exchange.

Since 2011, Tony has been a visiting lecturer and tutor at the University of Salford and is an associate of the University’s Sustainable Housing and Urban Studies Unit.