Here’s a look at how HomeKeeper uses FormAssembly to create smart and efficient online application forms!

HomeKeeper is a Salesforce app managed by Cornerstone Partnership, a national nonprofit community of programs such as Habitat for Humanity that subsidize home ownership for low-income families. FormAssembly powers Cornerstone’s network through webinar registrations, membership forms, email newsletters, and more.

FormAssembly is an essential part of HomeKeeper, which is designed for affordable homeownership programs within the U.S. “HomeKeeper relies so much on FormAssembly,” said Tiffany Eng, Program Manager.

The Paper Problem

The HomeKeeper team discovered that many homeownership groups were trying to manage a paper process with their homeownership program application forms. Each application contained a great quantity of information that needed to be transferred to the CRM database. To place the data into Salesforce, program staff had to transcribe completed applications, a time-consuming process and a significant drain on resources. In addition, it was difficult for the managers to connect related Salesforce fields by hand.

Once all costs were factored in, one program was spending about $2,000 per application, but 75 percent of the applications received were declined.

It became clear to the HomeKeeper team that homeownership programs needed a better, smarter solution: they needed to move the program forms online.

The Online Application

The team partnered with Consultant and CRM Architect Franklin Joyce to build an online form for the application. FormAssembly’s robust Salesforce integration and customizability made it the ideal tool for the project. Franklin designed an innovative FormAssembly template that can be customized for each homeownership program.

The result? A powerful form that can speak to Salesforce, cuts costs, and makes it easier for both the managers and the constituents. “The form populates a crazy number of Salesforce objects: 34 records and over 300 fields,” said Tiffany. “Plus, it’s very easy to use, even for non-technical people.”

And because of the ability to share the form template between FormAssembly accounts with the connector settings intact, homeownership programs don’t have to build their application forms from scratch. “It’s available to our members for a fraction of the cost,” Tiffany said. HomeKeeper can tailor-fit the template and add each program’s unique Salesforce assets, references, and branding.

Franklin said he’s continually impressed by how FormAssembly handles the additional data when he adds extra assets for each client. “I wondered ‘Will this break FormAssembly?’ just because the base template has so many fields. But I continue to load even more and it continues to deliver.”

Enhanced User Experience

FomAssembly’s customizability allowed Franklin to set up a beneficial user experience for applicants.

First, Franklin developed a screening tier for the application process with FormAssembly. Previously, applicants would spend many hours completing a paper form, only to find out later that they were ineligible. With the new online process, applicants first fill out a form to determine their eligibility. Those ineligible won’t invest their time unwisely, and those eligible can move forward to the full application form.

Franklin also implemented auto-population in the form through custom JavaScript. For example, if an applicant enters her occupation once, all other Occupation fields are automatically filled in with her answer. The applicant doesn’t have to waste extra time re-entering data that she’s already provided.

Easier Management

On the back end, custom functionality also improves the manager’s experience.

Form managers can run a test in seconds instead of hours. “With forms of this size, it’s necessary to be able to populate all the fields, so you can test a form,” said Franklin. “It’s a nightmare to re-enter all the data manually.” He created a JavaScript function to populate every single field with test data, which the form manager can toggle on and off during production.

Additional input validation was built into the form for cleaner, more accurate data. Auto-masking and proper formatting prepare the data so it’s ready to go into Salesforce without a hitch.

Setting the National Standard

HomeKeeper member data is aggregated in the HomeKeeper National Data Hub, which calculates social impact metrics for homeownership programs. Members can track performance and measure impact to communicate more effectively with decision makers.

Through FormAssembly, HomeKeeper has achieved systemization through a common application form. “Thanks to FormAssembly, we can benchmark homebuyer data and standardize inputs on a national level,” said Tiffany.

Effective and Efficient

With freed-up resources, program staff can verify applications and check information more effectively. “The case for efficiency is quite awesome,” said Tiffany. “The prospect of never typing in another phone number is really exciting for our sector.”

Providing an online application not only gives homebuyers another choice, but it also allows programs to serve more people. “Giving constituents the ability to manage their own data entry in a considerate UI, while improving data integrity and freeing up organizational staff resources — win + win + win,” said Franklin.

A huge thank you to Tiffany, Franklin, and HomeKeeper for sharing your case study with us! We’re proud to help your mission.

About HomeKeeper

HomeKeeper is a powerful web-based app created by and for affordable home ownership programs with long-term affordability restrictions. It is designed around the day-to-day workflow of a housing program administrator, but also collects performance data that is forwarded to the HomeKeeper National Data Hub, which aggregates the data and generates performance reports. HomeKeeper is managed by Cornerstone Partnership, an initiative of Capital Impact Partners.

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