Why Salesforce and Homekeeper?

Prospective clients often ask why we didn’t build a stand-alone product and why they need three products – Salesforce, Homekeeper and Public House – to manage affordable housing programs. Here’s some background.

Techmares

Let’s start off by acknowledging that tech is challenging and expensive. You have scars from unfulfilled tech promises. We get it and we will always work hard to not be the source of your thinning grey hair. Our founder Franklin is the head of thinning grey hair so you don’t have to be.

We are not evangelists for any tech products. Not overlooking its faults, Salesforce has many strong points that convinced us over many years as consultants/developers to choose it as the platform to integrate with Public House.

Why do we need a CRM?

Customer Relationship Management software is a centralized database with a lot of business functionality built on top. This makes your data usable across all the different parts of your organization. Functionality including reports and dashboards, email, text messaging, forms, documents, invoices, etc. can be built and managed from a CRM. The CRM is command central for any modern business. Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sugar and Oracle are among the top CRMs in the world.

If you aren’t using a CRM, your data is locked in a proprietary database with limited options for analyzing and using it in your daily business operations or integrating it with other parts of your business.

Salesforce Pros

Third Pary Ecosystem

Instead of having to use proprietary Salesforce modules for fundraising or volunteering or applications, there is a rich ecosystem of third-party tools competing to provide the best solution. Best of all, if a solution isn’t cutting it for you, you switch the tool and keep the data. You don’t have to migrate to a new platform!

All Your Data in One Place

You should own your applicant data, no exceptions. You are asking applicants to upload sensitive documents for their whole family. With Salesforce, that data can be shared throughout your organization instead of siloed in a bunch of separate apps and tools.

Security

Salesforce is one of the biggest tech firms in the world serving the largest businesses. Our small projects get to take advantage of the massive resources they dedicate to security. This is how you sleep at night when you spend your days collecting volumes of personal and financial data.

Customization

Salesforce has been very smart about opening up its platform for integration and development as well as supporting endless declarative features – programming with clicks instead of code. Fair warning, without focus, your configurations can become an overcomplicated burden.

10 Free Licenses!

Commercial clients pay $1,600/year for each license. Additionally, most commercial tools on the Salesforce platform also offer a nonprofit discount.

To be fair – Salesforce Cons

Free licenses don’t get much support

That said, nothing about Salesforce functionality is proprietary knowledge. Searching even the most obscure technical question will return plenty of online references. Salesforce Trailheads are a fantastic free learning resource.

Consultants

Consultants are required the more complex your system gets. This isn’t unique but worth pointing out that the more complex your system grows you will likely need additional consultants.

Take Away

No tech is perfect. You can find plenty of counterpoints with a quick search. We were convinced by the percentage of Habitats, CLTs and government housing orgs are already using it. This is an opportunity for the development and standardization of best practices!

Homekeeper

Public House is focused on your application processes. Homekeeper tracks and manages your homeowners and properties. During the application process, Public House creates/uses Homekeeper records so that applicants transition seamlessly into homeownership. When you place a family, you change their status and they are already in your homeowner management system (Homekeeper).

We worked with Homekeeper for a long time before we started Public House. We’ve seen the positive impact they’ve made with those organizations and the impact those organizations have made in the industry. It was an easy decision to build our tools to be compatible with Homekeeper.