Housing

Mustard is passionate about housing, a sector that faces a fair share of challenges, and one we regularly fundraise for. We have many years of conducting research within this sector. We work with several housing associations such as Home Group, Curo, Peabody, Valleys 2 Coast, CCG and Trafford Housing Trust – conducting regular surveys and qualitative consultations around various service areas and touchpoints. More broadly, we have explored housing needs with all life stages, from student accommodation through to care homes and retirement living. Our client list also includes housing charities and some of the UK’s leading house builders and property developers.

Housing research expertise

Customer satisfaction

We conduct more than 10,000 surveys annually for different housing associations with tenants across a number of touchpoints, including vulnerable customers. We can offer real-time 24/7 feedback via secure online portals / dashboards so staff can analyse results by segment, and drill down to view individual transcripts from interviews. We also deliver action planning workshops and reports that identify priority areas for improvement based on statistical drivers analysis.

Customer journey mapping

Our clients supply much more than housing. A safe and secure home is one of the most fundamentally important things that a person can ever procure (either to buy or rent) and the support services can make an indelible difference to people’s lives. We have undertaken qualitative research to better understand the specific needs, motivations and “real-life” experiences and emotions of customers at key stages in the customer journey. We have helped clients identify moments-of-truth and map what “does” happen versus what “should” happen across repairs, planned maintenance, arrears, moving-in, and more.

Segmentation

Knowing no market is homogenous, we have conducted segmentation to help clients tailor product, services and communications to different audiences with varying needs and motivations. For example, we delivered a full market segmentation of the private rental market in London, ensuring that the segments identified were aligned to the business ambition and had relevance across the business and through different stages of the customer journey.

Brand research

We have conducted research to inform branding (values and identity). We also deliver brand tracking programmes for Home Group and MHA to measure progress against the brand vision, and to understand which brand territories are being owned. The surveys have canvassed views from multiple audiences – customers, family members, prospects, staff, contractors and service commissioners.  We have also delivered insight to develop retirement living brand propositions.

Innovation & NPD

We used qualitative and quantitative research as our client developed and launched digital self-service solutions. Digital inclusion and omnichannel service delivery are high on the agendas of several of our clients, and many are investing heavily in technology infrastructure for delivering a joined-up service. Our research has been used to understand digital behaviour and explore expectations of digital self-service for a range of transactions / experiences based on best in class service providers.

Communications development / testing

We have delivered research studies to inform website development. Also, qualitative and quantitative research with consumers considering purchasing new build. This study included an evaluation of brand messaging and communications against key competitors – including brochures, signage, press ads, etc. We used behavioural economics to understand consumer needs based on emotional (system 1) and rational (system 2) thinking.

Online communities

Mustard has been working with a local consortium of organisations and institutions to undertake regular consultation with tenants (within the private rented sector) across Greater Manchester. The focus has been on tenants with children, with disabilities and other vulnerabilities to ensure that changes and plans being planned and implemented by Local Authorities are grounded in the needs and real-life experiences of tenants.

Stakeholder engagement

We have undertaken stakeholder consultation with many audiences – Customers (including supported customers and key workers), Prospects, Colleagues (customer facing and “back office”), Contractors, Local authority commissioners, Councillors, National policy makers / officials, MPs, Journalists, Bloggers / influencers, Charities, LEPs, Etc. Consultations have been used to inform brand visions and medium-long term strategies.

Honeycomb [Data analytics]

Our sister company Honeycomb works with housing clients to make existing data work harder, and to be more predictive and less reactive. Advanced data analytics has been used to understand which repairs are most important to get right first time and which impact most on satisfaction. We can evidence whether specific repairs (e.g. boilers) can trigger a chain reaction of other issues. We can understand arrears triggers and behaviour, allowing you to identify at-risk customers.

Our people


Our people are our business. The Mustard team is an eclectic mix of skilled, passionate researchers and strategists. We’re all in the job to make a difference, and love nothing more than seeing our clients win.

Housing insight


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