15% increase in sales, along with customer satisfaction improvement

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Executive Summary

Customer C is one of the leading wholesalers of foreclosed houses in the United States. It purchases bank-owned properties in bulk and then resells to individuals throughout the country. The company needed a solution to enhance revenue and simplify the buying process, which used to be very complex for individual buyers. The web-based solution developed by LARION for Customer C helped the company not only achieve a 15% increase in sales but also improve customer satisfaction.

About Customer C

As one of the largest purchasers of distressed foreclosed homes in the United States, Customer C has purchased in excess of 5,000 homes since its inception in 2009. Its ability to purchase foreclosed homes in bulk, thanks to strong capital backing, and impeccable reputation in the industry, has allowed Customer C to be the “go to guy” for banks and financial institutions looking to quickly divest of their bank-owned houses on a nationwide scale. Being able to purchase homes at substantial discounts allows the company to pass these savings onto the general public.

Challenges

Buyers’ challenges:

For individual buyers, purchasing REO (Real Estate Owned) properties, which are foreclosed real estates that fail to sell at a foreclosure auction, has never been simple.

  • They may have to contact several lenders, i.e. banks or financial institutions, to get the list of REO properties in their area.
  • They will have to be a savvy negotiators and prepare an offer for a REO property and an escape clause that lets them out of the deal if a subsequent inspection reveals extensive property damages.
Customer C’s challenges:

Customer C lacked a strong internal system to manage information of all its properties, buyers, vendors, and transactions. It must be able to reduce the staff’s workload and improve management’s decision making capability.

  • The company had to manage a huge inventory of properties purchased in bulk from banks all over the US. Each property came with different conditions and financial information. Its existing system failed to operate desirably.
  • Each property may also involve a lot of different communications and transactions between Customer C’s asset manager and buyers. The existing system failed to facilitate these communications and transactions.
  • Customer C had to work with thousands of vendors nationwide, including renovation and legal services. Data on such vendors and transactions needed centralized effective management.
  • For such a real estate company as Customer C, email marketing is an indispensable tool. The conpany has been using external email marketing services, but was not able to synchronize its internal buyer database with those services.

The Solution

LARION built this web-based application to help Customer C increase sales by providing home buyers with a simplified, one-stop solution for purchasing REO properties. New features were developed on time to guarantee the business plan. LARION suggested and developed new back-end functions using Ruby on Rails technology to optimize system and data management. The website’s user interface was also refreshed using PHP. This new web-based application is a one-stop platform where buyers can search for REO properties based on various criteria and then make an online offer.

  • It includes an extensive inventory of REO properties throughout the United States. Buyers can look for suitable properties using criteria like location, type, number of bedrooms, price range, etc.
  • Each property comes with detailed information such as photos, maps, location, size, type, and other features. Buyers then can place an online offer or request for more information.
  • Properties in one particular area are also assigned to one asset manager who is in charge of different areas. Hence, buyers can easily get assistance when needed.

Information of all properties, vendors, buyers and transactions is managed through a centralized database to enhance efficiency and speed up the business processes. Customer C’s staff are now able to perform their daily tasks much faster thanks to different powerful modules. Vendors can be searched using personal information, location, or vendor type, such as handyman, attorney, lawn care vendors, etc. The search results can be exported in the Excel format.

Email Marketing and Data Statistics functions are also included to facilitate management. The company management’s decision-making capability is strengthened thanks to numerous informative, accurate, and timely reports produced by the Data Statistics function.

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Technologies used: RoR, HTML/CSS, jQuery, MongoDB, Heroku, Google Maps API, integrated with MailChimp/Hubspot services.

Results

  • Our solution allows Customer C to provide home buyers with convenient and effortless transactions. Almost all steps can be done online using Customer C’s web app with minimal work other than a few exceptions like lien search and wiring the payment. Those crucial factors helped Customer C achieve a 15% increase in sales after implementing our solution.
  • Our solution has also contributed to highly positive reviews by its customers. The company service was rated 4.5 / 5 stars from more than 110 reviews in Zillow.com, one of largest real estate online marketplaces in the United States. The company received an All-Star badge from Zillow for being among the top contributors.
  • The ability to smoothly and painlessly sell properties to the public can be seen through numerous glaring customer testimonials from past buyers.
  • A major part of its business now is relying heavily on our application on every single day.

Quotes

“Great work at a reasonable rate. Excellent team of developers.”

Director of Technology of Customer C