Client Profiles: HomeVestors of America
HomeVestors of America - The We Buy Ugly Houses people
HomeVestors of America is a national real estate franchise company dedicated to selling and buying properties in need of repair. We first started working with HomeVestors towards the end of 2002, at which time their web presence was in its infancy. A company website existed, but consisted of only a handful of static web pages with an internal corporate area secured only by a single shared username and password.
A new website was designed and a database back-end was created in order to, among other things, add individual access credentials to the website's internal corporate pages. New dynamic pages were added to the website shortly thereafter, providing the website with new capabilities helpful to both the corporation and its franchisees. Other projects included the management of the monthly HVA electronic newsletter to its family of franchisees across the country and website search engine optimization (SEO) work.
As the website matured more capabilities continued to be added, and a long-term plan was developed to update and integrate the information systems across the organization. One such project was updating the analysis tools used by the HVA franchisees (BMS software) to evaluate and determine market-value of prospects. The BMS software was an aging and cumbersome VisualBasic application that didn't share information with any other parts of the system, and one that required inordinate amounts of time/effort from the HVA franchisee support personnel.
Phase 1 of our plan involved redeveloping these tools primarily as a web-based application with full interactivity while maintaining a familiar interface for the franchisees, and in so doing reduce re-training costs. In order to provide an in-the-field capability we also built a desktop application version of these tools that synchronized data with the web-based BMS system over an Internet connection. This desktop application was written in RealBasic (providing full cross platform support with both a Macintosh and Windows application) and made use of the highly efficient, and well-understood, XMLRPC for data sharing. This project was highly successful and continues to be utilized today.
During phase 2 of our plan we rebuilt and integrated the franchisee extranet and main HomeVestors.com website onto a unified platform. This effort paid off with our ability to more efficiently deliver new applications, feature requests and data integration with a wide variety of partners and tools.
Phase 3 involved bringing a unified data architecture across all aspects of the Franchisee lead management, property analysis, finance, review, closing and inventory management.
Other projects included:
- Technical oversight for their move into the new company headquarters. During this move certain critical parts of their internal infrastructure and server systems were upgraded.
- Keyword Advertising Campaign Management
- Mail server deployment, migration and ongoing management including integrated spam and anti-virus systems.
- Managed Server Colocation
- Systems Monitoring and alert
- Offsite database replication
- Windows desktop and server support