In times of crisis, housing counselors and other housing professionals typically experience an increase in workload, as they broaden their role as affordable housing first responders. Even without an emergency to respond to, day to day application and intake management can be time consuming and tedious for busy staff. Online program forms can help.
Why setup an online form?
There are multiple benefits to taking your intake and applications online:
- Staff can work more efficiently and help more individuals and families when the data entry steps are reduced or eliminated by online forms that create and update records directly in HomeKeeper.
- Programs can reduce or eliminate the need for paper forms and in-person interactions, while providing a way for individuals to connect with the organization.
- Gather more information, faster. For example, HomeKeeper recommends tracking COVID-19 related services provided now, and online forms can facilitate this for your program.
- Gather more information on who is applying for your programs and services so you can have a fuller picture of the need in your community
“Online forms like FormAssembly can do so much. They can largely be a “set it and forget it” type of affair, without having to constantly maintain it. I’ve used FormAssembly to create online forms for everything from large, multi-page client applications, to short surveys that can be sent to existing clients, with their responses being fed right back onto their existing Service File.”
~Zach Wittrock, Data Management Associate, One Roof Community Housing (Duluth, MN)
The HomeKeeper team has seen successful online forms setup by organizations of all sizes, with and without technical staff. Here’s some great examples:
- OPAL Community Land Trust quickly pivoted to create a form in response to COVID-19 needs
- Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity recently shared how they use forms across departments in a HomeKeeper webinar
- Chhaya CDC has been able to provide more efficient counseling, in multiple languages, with the help on an online form
- Setting up online intake forms in 2015 has saved time for Mountainlands Community Housing Trust
- A solution built by Grounded Solutions Network’s administrator was featured in this Form Assembly blog
How can I create an online form?
In an April 2020 webinar, Salesforce.org demonstrated how you can building web forms in a day (for simple forms), or add complexity with a little more time.
- Watch the Building Web Forms training (Source: Salesforce.org)
- Access Building Web Forms slides (Source: Salesforce.org)
HomeKeeper also owns FormAssembly templates, which we can share with participating HomeKeeper organizations on request. Using a template can save hours of prep, for internal staff, or with a Salesforce consultant or volunteer.
Some HomeKeeper users have built custom or more advanced solutions to increase the amount of homebuyer and client interactions that happen online, either through a form, or a custom portal for individuals to log into to submit information.
Lastly, participating HomeKeeper organizations can find more recommendations about how to set up online forms in our Support Forum.
Need Help Setting Up Forms?
Some savvy HomeKeeper users have implemented FormAssembly or other online form tools on their own. However, you can also hire a consultant who is already familiar with HomeKeeper – see our blog on what to expect and consultants already familiar with HomeKeeper.