Online forms can make a world of difference for program staff, as well as the families that purchase homes in the program. If you are tired of handing out, organizing and processing paper applications, it’s time for a better way of doing business.
The Paper Problem
Many homeownership groups are spending a lot of time trying to manage a paper process with their homeownership program applications. Each application contains a great quantity of information that needs to be entered into HomeKeeper, a spreadsheet or custom database. To get the data into a reportable format, program staff have to hand enter applicant paperwork, a time-consuming process and a significant drain on resources.
Once all costs were factored in, one program was spending about $2,000 per application, even though 75 percent of the applications received were declined. Some programs cope by only tracking information on those who end up purchasing through the program. Unfortunately, when you only track data on those in your program, you may not fully understand who you aren’t serving. For programs looking to run efficient and effective programs, these challenges are real.
The Online Application
Since so many programs are still using paper applications, we’ve partnered with solutions architect Franklin Joyce to build a suite of online program application forms powered by FormAssembly. FormAssembly is a web-based service that allows you to build any type of web form–from simple contact forms to complex surveys–in just a few minutes. FormAssembly’s robust Salesforce integration and flexibility makes it an ideal tool for programs.
Together with a tenacious group of current HomeKeeper members, we designed, tested and built a universal online application template anyone can use and created a streamlined setup process that can be customized for each homeownership program. As part of the process, we also created a very short online screening form, so program applicants don’t have to waste their time applying if they aren’t eligible in the first place.
The result? A powerful form that can connect to HomeKeeper, cuts costs, and makes life easier for you and the buyers you work with. The data from the online form feeds directly into HomeKeeper, eliminating the need for manual entry by program staff. It’s easy to use, even for non-technical people, and can be embedded into your website. Overall, it’s a better way of doing business for everyone involved.
And because we’ve already invested in building out the base forms and setup process, it’s available to you for a fraction of the cost of building it yourself from scratch. Contact us to schedule a demo and find out how you can get start collecting your program applications online.
What Programs are Saying:
“One Roof Community Housing has been using an on-line application for the last two years and the results have been fantastic! What used to be a labor intensive and ineffective system of tracking and updating paper applications has been replaced by an interactive workflow management system where we can track hundreds of applicants and homebuyers at once. . . It has been a tremendous time saver, but more importantly we have been able to serve our clients in a much more timely and effective manner. The FormAssembly-Homekeeper partnership has been a critical component and cost-effective tool for our Community Land Trust homeownership program.”
– Jim Philbin, Community Land Trust Director, 1 Roof Community Housing
“Instead of having everyone submit what is essentially an inch thick folder of documents we broke it into steps. The end result was that we saved at least 200 hours of staff time, provided more information to the most eligible, and saved many applicants from the effort of the full application when they would have been disqualified.”