Interview Luke Liplijn: ‘data enrichment for housing corporations prevents late payment’
Housing corporations traditionally have a lot of information about their tenants, but is that data always current? For both new and existing tenants, corporations can benefit from knowing what the current financial status of the tenant is and whether problems can be expected in the (near) future. Collecting data is an expert activity, which can be very time-consuming without the right tools. For this interview, I speak with Luke Liplijn, founder and director Matrixian Group, about the importance of customer data analysis and how housing corporations can use these effectively.
How does Matrixian Group distinguish itself in the market of information suppliers?
Luke: ‘We distinguish ourselves from other information suppliers through our extensive knowledge of the housing market. You can think of home valuation models, mortgage portfolio analyses, but also our knowledge of communication with tenants. We not only provide data, but also look at how to effectively apply that data in the business process. We first look at the problem with the customer and then determine how to best solve the problem. If we do not have enough data ourselves, we work together with partners to arrive at a tailored solution that is in line with the needs of the customer’.
Can you say a bit more about the type of products you offer for the rent collection market?
Luke: ‘I would like to answer this question from the perspective of the customer journey. Let’s take fraud analysis (housing fraud monitor) as an example. With the first contact of a prospective tenant (private sector or social), we usually carry out a mini check to get a better image of whether something may be going on with a potential tenant. After all, there can be various reasons why prospective tenants may cause payment problems in the future. A prospective tenant can be under guardianship or be known as a ‘VOW’ (Vertrokken, Onbekend, Waarheen – Left, Unknown, Where to). We feed this type of negative data directly to the client. If the first check is positive, we try to map the most complete possible financial CV of the prospective tenant. We not only look at negative registrations of the prospective tenant, but also at positive registrations. These are not just information about the person itself, such as their income, but also about the home they lived in previously. This way, the tenant can set additional terms to the rental agreement, because with our information, you are better aware of what kind of tenant you are dealing with in advance’.
How does the housing fraud monitor work?
Luke: ‘With the housing fraud monitor, we look at the entire file of existing tenants as well as the rental homes themselves. We match that data with our data, which comes from 60 different data sources. This sometimes yields interesting results. Think of homes that are offered for sale on Marktplaats (subletting), but also people who have gone (personally) bankrupt or people who also have a purchased home in addition to a social rental home. This way, a housing corporation can take targeted action in a timely manner and avoid (mutation) damage or rental sums not being paid.’
Customer segmentation is also playing an increasingly important role in customer contact. How do you give substance to this development?
Luke: ‘As soon as a tenant does not pay (in time) once, it is important to segment the contact medium based on the customer type. After all, whether someone is twenty and hasn’t paid once or if a tenant is retired makes a big difference in how you want to approach them. In the latter case, personal contact is often more effective, while with a younger person, digital communication tends to work better. The rental market has diversified in the past decades, also in terms of tenants’ backgrounds. That development requires a targeted communication strategy that is based more on data’.
What products do you currently provide to housing corporations?
Luke: ‘What we mainly provide are credit checks and ID checks for the screening of prospective tenants. One of the parties we are currently providing these services to is the OSRE Woningdossier, which landlords can use to easily screen and validate prospective tenants in order to prevent fraud and financial damage‘.
How can a credit manager of a housing corporation benefit from your services?
Luke: ‘By definition, good credit management starts at the front door. Know your customer: what type of person and/or household are you dealing with? That is your starting point. It is how we create a 360-degree image of the tenant. Added value does not really occur until the data enrichment also ends up in the systems of the housing corporation and is actively used to avoid rent arrears. Data and customer analysis can also be used to identify trends and optimise the reminder and customer contact process. Example: when is it useful to call or send a letter, at the tenant level. Identifying these cases via our system can also be useful for residents who have left. Often, people come up in one of the systems we check and automatically update in our database sooner or later. This way, the collection process of an unpaid bill can be started up again with a positive identification, so that a landlord or housing corporation does not unnecessarily need to write off such items. Ultimately, we strive to support housing corporations in their core task to enable good and affordable living as best we can’.
How do you deal with privacy and data protection?
Luke: ‘Privacy and data protection are very important to us. We are a data provider and also supply custom models and algorithms. Our right to exist is completely dependent on following the Personal Data Protection Act, including the ethical framework that we feel is part of that. In our work, we strive to take the human dimension and zeitgeist of how consumers look at data into account. We have stipulated our method of data processing in multiple data protocols, as well as the Dutch Data Protection Authority. We try to elaborate as accurately as possible in terms of both credit scoring and negative registrations. In my opinion, consumers must also have the right to view all of their data’.
The digitisation of society is ever increasing. How do you translate that into the human dimension?
Luke: ’The Netherlands is currently at a tipping point. The way credit scoring is being handled in the United States and United Kingdom now will soon be the way it is dealt with in the Netherlands as well. In short, this means that data of consumers surrounding transactions and payment behaviour will keep being collected. The upcoming new legislation in this area of 2018 imposes limitations on the one hand, but also creates a lot of opportunities. The information industry is now used to collecting customer data in bulk and in a way that is not always that transparent. However, consumers increasingly want to be in control of their own data. We find the latter to be considerably important because we see the wish of many consumers as an opportunity to restore the contact and build trust. By being transparent and giving consumers full access to the data stored with us as an information provider, the customer can also provide, supplement or correct their own data. This way, the consumer can exert a (positive) influence on their own credit score’.
How can consumers access their data?
Luke: ‘At www.creditcheck.nl, consumers can submit a request for access online. This is currently being done quite traditionally, and data is being sent by mail. In the near future, this process will be fully digital, whereby with the help of IDIN, we can reliably determine the identity of a requester online‘. Do you want to know more about how products and services of Consumatrix can add value for your housing corporation? Then visit the Huurincasso Congress on Tuesday 28 March at the NBC Congrescentrum in Nieuwegein.