Author: lauramatthews7926

What Lies Ahead for the Sector

What lies ahead for the sector?

Actively working to help organisations prepare for the challenges ahead.

This live webinar roundtable on Wednesday 6th May 2020 with Andrew Markham and 4 key housing consultants John StevensGreg Warner-HarrisVicki Appleton and Annie Wilson – actively working to help organisations prepare for the challenges ahead.

They discussed the effects of falling sales values on the industry as a whole and thoughts on the subsequent impact in their own regions.

More From SDS

Reassessing financial viability and investment modelling

Reassessing financial viability and investment modelling.

This webinar on Wednesday 29th April 2020 focussed on the fundamentals of scheme viability in these difficult times during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covering how you need to approach your current and future housing development schemes.

More From SDS

residual land value

ProVal LS update v20.03.02

ProVal LS update v20.03.02

SDS trainer Katherine Chapman talks you through some of the new features in the latest ProVal update, including the exciting new Appraisal Wizard for creating quick appraisals.

We have taken the opportunity to include two major new features in this version:

  • There are now shortcuts to create a new appraisal from a template and for recently opened appraisals, which are accessible from the ProVal Home Screen.
  • There is a new Appraisal Wizard for creating quick appraisals. To make best use of this Wizard your Unit Defaults should contain an entry for each type of unit you develop, e.g. 1-bed flat, 2-bed house, etc. and for each tenure that you build.

If you don’t yet have ProVal and would like to see more please call us or book a demo now.

If you are a customer and would like to do the latest update click here.

shared ownership

13 points you MUST cover in your Shared Ownership sales policy

Shared Ownership Sales Policy is very different from social or affordable rent. It’s not just about who gets a home. There’s a cascade of consequential policy decisions that influence procedures and development contracts. You also need to address regulatory requirements and have clear procedures that lead to excellent customer experience. 

Here are the SDS top tips on what should be covered in a robust sales policy:

1. Customer Group
Funding streams, the Capital Funding Guide and Regulator. Policy around the target customer group is as fundamental to shared ownership as it is to social or affordable rent. However, depending on your funding stream, this policy decision will be strongly influenced by the capital funding guide and regulator.

2. Registers & Application Forms
Your own register, other registers and purchaser application forms. Whether or not you keep your own register of potential shared owners, there are other registers available which in some cases regulation will insist you use. Policy on how and when you access registers needs to be established.

3. Eligibility & Affordability
Regulation and the Homes England sustainability calculator. If the shared ownership development forms part of a registered programme then the CFG  advises on how you look at affordability. However, there are other factors that need to be looked at when you develop your policy which will be discussed at the workshop. Furthermore, if you are a local authority and developing through your own resources such as the HRA, then you may wish to develop policy independent of that advised in the CFG.

4. Allocation
With shared ownership, it is not usual for purchasers to be ‘allocated’ homes and so policy around choice needs to be developed

5. Drop Out, Re-assign and Reservation Fees
What happens when a purchaser drops out? You need to have a clear policy so your staff understand how they are expected to deal with this. (Will you re-assign if a purchaser drops out and how will you handle reservation fees?)

6. Off-Plan and Show Homes
How do you intend to show people the beautiful homes you are developing? Will you build a view-home or sell off-plan with final pre-viewings? Whichever route you choose, communicate this clearly and make these easy to see.

7. Floor Coverings 
Purchasers will want to measure up if you’re not supplying floor coverings. This can cause time delays and is an extra step which is often overlooked. Your Policy around this may influence your development contract.

8. Timeline
During the sales process, there will be some time-sensitive activities, for example, how long will you give your purchaser to get a mortgage before withdrawing the offer of a home? Your policy needs to outline what these are and think about how they affect the financial appraisal. Is there anything you can do in advance or are there contingencies you could implement?

9. Warranty Handling
Be aware that there could be a mismatch between standard JCT contracts and NHBC warranty.  Policy needs to be developed to deal with this mismatch so the customers can access the warranty should the need arise.

10. Mitigation
How will you handle ‘difficult to sell’ homes? Having a plan in advance is key to avoiding delays and having long term voids. Not only is your policy on this crucial for your business but governance bodies and credit rating agencies are keen to see such policies.

11. Data Protection
Your policy must ensure that data protection requirements are secure and compliant with the GDPR regulations.

12. Related Policies
You will need to consider other internal policies that may have an influence eg. Appeals and Complaints, EDI policy.

13. Review
Some aspects of your sales policy may need to change as your capability develops.

Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Greg Warner-Harris

Greg Warner-Harris

Greg Warner-Harris has worked in the low cost and assisted home ownership sector since 1997. Greg and his teams have been responsible for bringing over 2,000 New-Build Shared Ownership and other intermediate purchase products to market. Before creating Domus IMH, Greg was the Sales and Marketing Director for a major developing housing association and its commercial subsidiary which sold homes on the ‘open market’ to generate cross subsidy for the social parent. As Senior Partner for Domus IMH, Greg brings his experience & expertise to provide cost effective specialist services to the wider sector.

More From SDS

YouTube

Introducing our SDS YouTube page

Find out the benefits of our updated YouTube page!

SDS YouTube page

Understanding the ins and outs of Social Housing can be hard. So here at SDS we are trying to make this easier with our SDS YouTube page! 

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our updated SDS YouTube page. This will help you understand who SDS are, what we do and how we can support local authorities and Housing Associations in solving the social housing crisis.   

We will be covering all areas of development from Land valuation (SDS LandVal) right through to asset management (SDS StockProfiler). You can see our software in action and how this maximises the development, sale and management of affordable housing in a cost-effective, user-friendly way.  Along with insights from current users discussing how our software has benefitted their firms. 

By subscribing to our YouTube page, we will be uploading highlights of a busy November and December such as what you can expect from our Best Practice Roadshows and a sneak peek at the StockProfiler User Group.

We will also be adding case study videos, featuring our customers. Such as Simon Theobald from Hackney Borough Council covering the benefits of using ProVal and Sequel. In this particular case study, Simon highlights how using this software has taken them to the next level and supporting their 2017-22 housing strategy. These will help you understand why our software is so highly rated in the sector and why ProVal is the leading financial viability tool used by around 250 social housing providers. 

To find out more follow the link to our YouTube page @https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzdWwayrWSYKGQaIiRAE7OA/featured

Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Jack Benniman

Jack Benniman

Jack Benniman is our Social Media Apprentice here at SDS and has been since the 1st of October, undertaking a range of responsibilities from designing e-shots to maintaining social media platforms. With the passion Jack has for digital marketing, he hopes to provide an eagerness and willingness to learn in an ever growing company in a digitally changing environment. Connect with him on LinkedIn or get in touch on his twitter @JBenniman.

More From SDS

Aareon QL integration with SDS Sequel

Aareon QL integration with SDS Sequel

Shelton Development Services and Aareon are pleased to announce the release of the integration between SDS Sequel and Aareon QL.

Shelton Development Services and Aareon are pleased to announce the release of the integration between SDS Sequel and Aareon QL.
 
SDS and Aareon are working together to support social housing organisations by automatically transferring property and component information from their SDS Sequel project management software into Aareon QL housing management software. This integration will solve the issue faced by many organisations of how to efficiently migrate new build data to their Housing Management System. Similarly, changes to property components can be pushed from Aereon QL back into Sequel. This means the QL / Sequel data can always be aligned without the need for manual intervention.

Aareon suggest QL customers who have the SDS product and with to avail themselves of the integration contact their Aareon Account Manager to obtain details of this integration, costs and prerequisites, prior to SDS attending their site for integration training.

SDS Sequel users can refer to the Aareon QL Integration Installation Guidelines (links to document below) to correctly configure Sequel’s Global Properties section. This document guides the users through the setup and how to manage the data flow.

“We are pleased to continue to support and reduce our customers’ workload by collaborating with the Aareon QL team to integrate Sequel and QL.” SDS CEO Phil Shelton.

Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Laura Matthews

Laura Matthews

Laura is SDS Marketing Manager specialising in digital, social and content marketing. Her passion for helping people in all aspects of marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage she provides. Her work involves overseeing all aspects of SDS marketing including online, offline and events. Promoting; development appraisal, land valuation, development viability amongst many other areas.

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/laura-matthews-sds/ or follow on Twitter @LauraSDS.

More From SDS

Digital Marketplace

Digital Marketplace on the G-Cloud 11 framework agreement

Digital Market Place

SDS ProVal, Sequel and HomeMatch software is now also available via GOV.UK Digital Marketplace on the GCloud 11 framework agreement.

The GOV Digital marketplace is a government website that organisations can use to find cloud software and services.

Buying through this framework means you can save time and the associated costs of entry into individual procurement contracts. Many organisations can use the Digital Marketplace as an alternative to the tender process since there is a standardised set of information from each supplier provided on the portal. This information is what is typically requested in a tender for cloud-based software.

Digital Marketplace

One of the other benefits of using this service is that SDS will be able to work more closely with customers in the pre-sale process than would be possible using a traditional tender arrangement.

The G Cloud 11 framework is an agreement between the government and SDS where both agree to follow the terms of a formal procurement process as described in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). 

Three SDS products are available on the GOV.UK Digital Marketplace: SDS ProVal to appraise the feasibility of schemes; SDS Sequel to project manage the delivery of those schemes; and SDS HomeMatch to manage the conveyancing of the homes in those schemes. This means our customers have a simpler route to procure our brilliant software to develop more affordable homes.

“We are pleased to offer our software on the Gov.UK Digital Marketplace to enable more customers to manage their risk while helping to solve the housing crisis.” CEO Phil Shelton.

Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Laura Matthews

Laura Matthews

Laura is SDS Marketing Manager specialising in digital, social and content marketing. Her passion for helping people in all aspects of marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage she provides. Her work involves overseeing all aspects of SDS marketing including online, offline and events. Promoting; development appraisal, land valuation, development viability amongst many other areas.

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/laura-matthews-sds/ or follow on Twitter @LauraSDS.

More From SDS

Asset Management

Active Asset Management

Active Asset Management

Asset Management

Active Asset Management includes using good business intelligence to understand your current stock performance that helps plan for future investment and asset disposal, to make better use of capital as part of an integrated asset and business planning solution. Overall, Active Asset Management drives value from your stock.

We help our customers achieve this using an iterative KNOW, INVESTIGATE, ACT method to achieve both incremental marginal gains and strategic shifts in implementing an active asset management approach.

For example, we have worked with a customer in the south-west to establish if they really know their stock. We used SDS StockProfiler to profile their asset portfolio at the unit level. A simple review showed the NPV of large tranches of units being exactly the same. SDS investigated further and found significant amounts of cloned 30 year planned major repairs data. We presented the issues back to the customer for the customer to act. The customer reviewed the properties and updated their source data records with recent survey data.  Stock Profiler updated its cache with new information and generated an updated asset profile report of their portfolio to show the change in value of the portfolio.

The customer is able to evidence they know their stock and each unit’s value.  They can highlight the circa £20 million value the know, investigate and act process has released back to their business plan for potential use in capital investment or social programmes. The customer will continue to profile and get to know their portfolio, investigate and act as required. Overall, they will continue the process to drive value from their stock.

The SDS team is able to assist Boards, Executive and Asset Teams with developing their approach to Active Asset Management by identifying the next steps and opportunities available to the organisation.  Our consultants can work with you to jointly develop the strategy, policy and performance based action plans, can augment the Asset team to deliver the outputs directly or supplement your team on an interim basis. We can help solve your Value for Money reporting, Stock Profiling and Operational approaches to strategic asset management and regulatory requirements.

Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Laura Matthews

Laura Matthews

Laura is SDS Marketing Manager specialising in digital, social and content marketing. Her passion for helping people in all aspects of marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage she provides. Her work involves overseeing all aspects of SDS marketing including online, offline and events. Promoting; development appraisal, land valuation, development viability amongst many other areas.

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/laura-matthews-sds/ or follow on Twitter @LauraSDS.

More From SDS

SDS celebrates 25 years

Celebrating our 25th year

25th anniversary

Since we started we have moved to new offices and grown to 30 employees, and now have clients all over the UK, as well as Guernsey and Australia.

SDS specialises in providing the social housing sector with tools to help them deliver more affordable housing. This is achieved via the latest development software, created by our in-house team, and consultancy services with an emphasis on financial control and monitoring. SDS is best known in the UK for SDS ProVal, SDS Sequel and SDS Landval; the leading financial appraisal and project management packages used by over 300 housing associations, local authorities, private developers, and consultants. 

We are proud of our friendly, creative, problem-solving ethos that uses our housing expertise and in-depth market knowledge to provide high-quality software tools, excellent customer support, accredited training and professional services.

 The company has been part of the evolution of technology in our industry and pride ourselves on innovation, creativity and longevity. For example, the grant funding initiative for shared ownership in the early 2000’s allowed the profits made on the sales to fund more development of social rent units. This drove a significant change to ProVal; new models were required that not only assessed both tenures independently but that could also combine both tenures, so that the value of the cross-subsidy could be measured appropriately.

During this time, it became clear that there was a heavy reliance on Excel spreadsheets to manage development programmes, so SDS started working on a solution to this, which became SDS Sequel. We spent two years visiting clients to gather requirements and distil common best practice and feedback to include in the user interface, and Sequel was launched in 2005.

By 2008, when successive security patches from Microsoft were causing increasing compatibility issues with Excel, we began to discuss creating a stand-alone version of ProVal that would store the appraisals in a central database rather than as documents in a file system. Out of these challenges, ProVal LS was born.

Along the way, SDS Catalyst was modernised and changed from an Excel spreadsheet solution to an entirely online benchmarking club with real-time results.

As part of our R&D effort, we make time to build prototype apps in new technologies. This investment enables us to determine appropriate coding usage and how efficiently they work, and especially how fast they are to use. This has allowed us to ensure we keep up with the latest technology developments, and continue creating innovative software for the social housing sector.

A few words from CEO Phil Shelton

Phil Shelton

I find it hard to believe I have been part of SDS for over 16 years, the time has flown by! The sector is constantly faced with new challenges, regulations, tenures and government policies (not to mention housing ministers!), and it is a pleasure to work with people in the sector who continually rise to these challenges and exceed them. I love what we do and I know my Dad would be proud to see the business continuing to grow.

A few words from CFO Rob Shelton

Rob Shelton

As a relatively recent addition to the SDS team I have been continually impressed by the dedication of the team we have here, and their ability to adapt our product and service offerings as our customers’ needs change. The landscape in this market is continually evolving, but the core values of customer service, innovation, and integrity instilled by our father are more relevant than ever.

Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Laura Matthews

Laura Matthews

Laura is SDS Marketing Manager specialising in digital, social and content marketing. Her passion for helping people in all aspects of marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage she provides. Her work involves overseeing all aspects of SDS marketing including online, offline and events. Promoting; development appraisal, land valuation, development viability amongst many other areas.

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/laura-matthews-sds/ or follow on Twitter @LauraSDS.

More From SDS

SDS elearning

eLearning

SDS eLearning for ProVal and Sequel

SDS is thrilled to announce we have launched e-learning for ProVal LS and Sequel, to train our clients on the administration and end-user areas of our software packages.

This means we can provide the full training curriculum delivered through a live online GoToTraining package.

Just like face to face classroom training, you can still raise your hand when you need to ask a question.

The training is very interactive with a chance to participate in discussions, completing exercises and hands-on experience using the software. Users will experience the software in a virtual classroom where they will quickly learn how to navigate the systems and best practice methods to complete projects and appraisals.

There are numerous benefits to e-learning:

  • Learners find online courses are easier to concentrate in because they are not distracted by other delegates and classroom activity.
  • Training sessions are broken down into “bite-size” sessions which means training is more focused and learner can absorb and retain more information.
  • The flexibility of e-learning courses allows you to learn when it’s optimal. People are busy, especially working in development and our eLearning courses allow you to spread the training over a few session rather than taking whole days out of your schedule.
  • Organisations can save travel time and costs, make it easier for colleagues in different locations to attend the same training sessions.
  • Each session is recorded and learners have the opportunity to revisit the session after the training to review anything they might want to see again.  
  • Rather than completing activities in a classroom, learners will have the opportunity to break out into their own “virtual classroom” to participate in activities.  

We are taking bookings now for:

Book training now

Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Laura Matthews

Laura Matthews

Laura is SDS Marketing Manager specialising in digital, social and content marketing. Her passion for helping people in all aspects of marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage she provides. Her work involves overseeing all aspects of SDS marketing including online, offline and events. Promoting; development appraisal, land valuation, development viability amongst many other areas.

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/laura-matthews-sds/ or follow on Twitter @LauraSDS.

More From SDS