Unlocking the Recipe: The Key Ingredients for Your Social Housing Annual Report

annual report
annual report

It’s time to get that annual report cooking – so grab your apron and preheat those ovens! Just like baking a cake, creating your annual report requires the perfect blend of ingredients and a dash of creativity – but we highly recommend adding a sprinkle of Be Smart for extra flavour and guaranteed great results.

Mission and Vision

Think of your mission and vision as the key ingredients that give your report its solid foundation. Think of them as the flour that binds everything together, giving your report its structure and shape.

Financial Overview

Let’s not forget about the financials—they’re the butter and eggs that give your report its richness. Lay it all out, from revenue and expenses to investments in community development. Transparency is key, so make sure your financials are as smooth as butter!

Performance Highlights

Now it’s time to add some sugar to your report—those sweet, irresistible highlights from the past year. Whether it’s reaching housing targets, boosting tenant satisfaction, or championing community projects, these sweet successes will make your report sparkle.

Tenant Engagement and Feedback

Now, let’s add the secret ingredient—the voices of your tenants that give your report depth and flavour. Share their feedback, testimonials, and insights to show how you’re listening and responding to their needs

Community Impact

Time to add some sprinkles to your report—those little bursts of colour and joy that make it truly special. Share stories and victories that showcase the impact you’re making in people’s lives and communities.

Sustainability Initiatives

Let’s go green! Think of your sustainability initiatives as the organic ingredients that make your report eco-friendly and sustainable. Share your projects and initiatives, showing how you’re reducing your carbon footprint and making your community greener and cleaner.

Future Plans and Challenges

And now, let’s preheat the oven for what’s to come! Outline your future plans and challenges—the recipe for success in the years ahead. Share your strategic priorities, upcoming projects, and potential hurdles, demonstrating your forward-thinking approach. Just like adjusting the oven temperature for the perfect bake, these plans will ensure your community continues to rise and shine!

Engaging Design

And now that your cake is baked and cooled down, this is where the exciting part comes in – decorating the cake! Good design is the frosting that makes that cake too tempting to resist, keeping your readers engaged. From captivating graphics to intuitive layouts, a well-designed report enhances readability and ensures your message shines through.

With this fool-proof recipe and our creative flair, we’ll transform your annual report from a bland flan with a soggy bottom to a dazzling three tier masterpiece that will have your stakeholders asking for an extra slice. 

Get in touch today to discuss how we can help make this your best annual report season yet!

How To Lead The Way and Gain Trust On Social Media

Housing Associations, you’ve got a mixed bag of folk to reach out to, which means your marketing communications, especially social media, need a touch of TLC. Your social media managers will be juggling a whole circus of news, from shiny new builds to the latest buzz from the local community. The question is, how do you shine out from the crowd and really connect with your audience?

Well, we’re here to give you a leg up. Stay tuned for our savvy tips on how to master the social media game and win over your audience’s trust. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Be different by being authentic

Authenticity isn’t just a buzzword; it’s the star player in the game of trust, particularly in the digital playground of social media. Let’s wave goodbye to faux smiles and posts that paint an incessantly rosy picture. It’s time to bring some raw honesty into the frame.

Social media is the stage for authenticity and transparency, so don’t tuck away your mistakes in a corner. Be brave enough to admit when things have gone pear-shaped and address your followers’ concerns head-on.

But remember, it’s not just about holding your hands up; it’s also about how you right the wrongs. Discuss how you’ve tackled the problem, and elaborate on the new measures you’ve introduced to prevent a replay. That, my friends, is how you build trust with your followers and keep them coming back for more!

Bromford – Cyber Incident: How would you talk about it?

Choosing the right social media channels

Social media is a brilliant tool to connect with your residents and stakeholders. But remember, not all channels are created equal. So, it’s about creating content that fits like a glove for each audience.

Think TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook for customer and resident engagement, and keep LinkedIn and Twitter in your arsenal for business and corporate communications. There might be some overlap, particularly for companies who’ve got their ears to the ground to understand how residents feel.

However, it’s always a smarter move to create bespoke social content for different platforms than to churn out the same message across all channels. Trust me, your followers will thank you for giving them a tailored experience!

Respond quickly, and honestly

To show your followers you genuinely value their two pennies’ worth, it’s crucial to respond promptly and honestly to their comments and messages. This shows you’re all ears and ready for a chat.

Setting up alerts can be a handy trick to ensure you don’t let any interactions slip through the net. But, let’s not forget the personal touch. Avoid sounding like a robot, and mix up your responses so they don’t all kick off with the same old line. Remember, it’s not just about what you say, but how you say it.

And when it comes to complaints, honesty is always the best policy. Avoid biting off more than you can chew by promising something you can’t deliver. Always aim to take the complaints off the public stage as professionally as you can.

With this approach, you’re all set to build a loyal following and bolster your relationship with your audience. After all, every good conversation starts with good listening.

Use social media to showcase your work

Social media is a great way to share stories and highlight the good work that your organisation is doing. Share photos and videos of your work, and share testimonials from satisfied residents. People will trust reviews over the Housing Association’s word, so get lots of reviews and case studies that external parties can research into themselves.

Consider hiring a social media manager

If you don’t have the time or resources to manage your social media accounts effectively, consider hiring a social media manager to help you. This person can handle day-to-day tasks like responding to comments and posting updates, freeing you up to focus on other important tasks.

Ready to lead the way? Contact us today.

Unifying Your Brand As A Quality Social Housing Provider

Unifying social housing brand

The social housing provider: the unsung hero of society, the champion of affordable housing, and the master of community-building. But with so many providers out there, how on Earth do you make your brand stand out? Even with multiple companies under one umbrella, it’s crucial to create cohesive brand identity that resonates with your audience. Are you ready to unify your brand? Good! We’re going to help you achieve it.

Why should you give a hoot about standing out?

Well, let’s face it: social housing providers are a bit of a fairy godmother of the modern world, transforming lives by providing people with a place they can call home. But with all the competition out there, it’s essential to make your brand as eye-catching as a peacock in a flock of pigeons.

A distinctive and memorable brand is like a magnet for new customers, a comforting hug for existing ones, and a sure-fire way to build an enviable reputation. Plus, it’ll boost trust and loyalty, making it easier for you to smash those goals of yours.

Enter Be Smart, your branding saviours

At Be Smart we’re  all about crafting a brand identity that’ll make your social housing provider shine like the brightest star in the sky.  will work with you to whip up a brand strategy that’s in tune with your values and aspirations, creating a brand that’ll resonate with both your customers and employees.

The secret sauce: engaging copy

While a stunning design is the cherry on top of a unified brand, engaging copy is the delicious cake beneath it. It’s well-written, easy to digest, and hooks the reader like a literary angler. It should be informative, persuasive, and crystal clear.

When curating copy for your social housing brand, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What do they want to know? What are their problems? How can you solve them and provide value? By tackling these questions head-on, you’ll create copy that’s as human as it gets and will help you nail your objectives. If you’re struggling for inspiration, talk to the people that use your services! They’ll be the experts as they’re your audience.


Picture perfect: photography and visual branding

Visual branding is like the air guitar of the branding world – it’s all about nailing the right look. And photography is a crucial part of that. By using consistent styles, tones, and filters across all your communication channels, you’ll create a cohesive vibe that’ll have people recognising your brand from a mile away.

Colour us impressed

Don’t forget about colour – it’s like the secret handshake of the branding world. Your organisation might have multiple logos or brands, but that doesn’t mean you can’t streamline your colour palette. Use colour to bridge the gap between brands and create a sense of unity. Stick to the same colours for borders and text for a subtle touch of cohesion without ditching individual branding.

The grand plan

To introduce your fabulous new brand elements, you’ll need a strategy. Internally, get your ducks in a row and decide when everything will fall into place. For external customers and stakeholders, ease them into the changes gently. Be transparent about what you’re doing and why. Show them the value of branding and why it’s worth investing in.

Real-life rebranding

Still sceptical? Feast your eyes on some successful social housing rebrands. Take Abri, for example, born from the union of Yarlington and Radian in 2021. They unveiled new branding, a swanky website, and a sales site that effortlessly united the two organisations.

Then there’s Harbour, created after the merger of Port of Leith Housing Association and its subsidiaries. They completed a rebrand in November 2022 that perfectly encapsulated their combined heritage.

And who could forget Citizen, the rebranded WM Housing Group from 2019? They splashed out a cool £870m on a swish new look that oozed modernity and showcased their commitment to providing top-notch social housing for those in need.

The bottom line: Unify or die (okay, maybe not die, but you get the point)

To build recognition and trust with your clients, stakeholders, and audience, you need to unify your brand as a quality social housing provider. Sure, it might be tough to justify shelling out for a complete rebrand, but there are plenty of ways to work with what you’ve got and create a harmonious look across all your communication channels.

Focus on engaging copy, powerful internal messaging, photography, colour, and a plan for rolling out your brand elements, and you’ll end up with a solid and recognisable brand that embodies your organisation’s values and ambitions.

Ready to rock and roll?
Give us a shout today, and let’s start unifying your like the branding wizards we are!