Next-generation Real Estate Company Relies on Salesforce.com’s Cloud 2 Technologies to Deliver its Innovative Solution to the Housing Crisis
Salesforce CRM, Chatter and custom applications built on the Force.com platform and delivered on iPads enable Wiel Brien to run its business in the cloud
SAN FRANCISCO, February 28, 2011 – Salesforce.com [NYSE: CRM], the enterprise cloud computing (http://www.salesforce.com/cloudcomputing/) company, today announced the success of Wiel Brien in using its Cloud 2 technologies as the foundation for its innovative solution to the housing crisis. Founded with the vision to blend value-add real estate and the creative use of technology, Wiel Brien is using the Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Salesforce Chatter and multiple custom applications built on the Force.com platform with mobile functionality delivered on the iPad for its mission to make its Home Affordable AgainTM program successful.
Wiel Brien was founded in 2008 to invest in homes in communities hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. It buys foreclosed single family homes and renovates and leases them through its lease purchase option program, Home Affordable AgainTM,, which creates a path to homeownership for those that cannot get financing in today’s difficult lending environment. Wiel Brien’s entire IT infrastructure is built on salesforce.com, with custom applications built on the Force.com platform managing every step of its property lifecycle.
Cloud 2 Technologies Fulfill Wiel Brien’s Vision for the Creative Use of Technology to Efficiently Run its Business
Wiel Brien uses Salesforce CRM, Chatter and the Force.com platform comprehensively. The property lifecycle starts with the appraisal where a custom Force.com application is used to score properties and neighborhoods and then to compute the maximum amount the company is willing to pay for each property. Once a property is closed, another Force.com application is used to manage landscaping and construction, and then Salesforce CRM is used to manage the marketing, property listings and the rental of the properties.
• Salesforce is accessed via iPads in multiple use cases. For example:
o Inspectors use iPads in the field that are outfitted with a custom inspection checklist to get inspection information and renovation estimates from the 20-30 houses they visit a day back to headquarters as soon as possible.
o Buyers carry iPads to the courthouse to bid on properties in foreclosure auctions using maximum bid calculations generated by a custom application.
o Leasing agents use iPads to access real time info to lease properties.
• Chatter is used by Wiel Brien’s underwriting analysts who “follow” properties to track their performance, such as how much they are leased for to make sure their underwriting criteria remains intact.
• The Force.com platform has enabled Wiel Brien to build multiple custom applications quickly and at minimal cost. For example, it built a property evaluation application for its appraisers and inspectors in just three weeks. A similar application built on .Net at a previous company by Ali Nazar, Wiel Brien’s vice president of IT, took six months and cost $250,000.
o Property evaluation application: This custom application evaluates hundreds of properties in Wiel Brien’s target zones daily. Multiple people in the field input their data into the application until a workflow rule verifies all the information is there. It is then automatically sent to an evaluator who gives approval and then auto-generates a maximum bid price for a property via a single click that preserves its minimum required profit margin.
o Property asset application: This custom application is used post-purchase to manage the linear process of renovation and construction until a property is leased and income producing. Wiel Brien relies on the metrics from this application to constantly evaluate the success of its business.
Comments on the News
• “Without Salesforce, we would not be able to close on our current rate of 30 to 40 homes a month,” said Colin Wiel, managing partner, Wiel Brien. “Salesforce.com’s Cloud 2 technologies are the cornerstone of our technology strategy and enable us to be a twenty-first century real estate company and help those affected by the housing crisis.”
• For more on Wiel Brien’s story, please visit http://www.salesforce.com/showcase/stories/wielbrien.jsp
• To see a video about Salesforce CRM, visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/salesforce#p/c/C93C2947B87CD0F1/0/_r1H7OK8lzY
• For more information about the Force.com platform, visit: http://www.salesforce.com/platform/
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