Habitat Charlotte came to Apparo for help addressing a significant data transition in their organization.
Habitat Charlotte leadership reached out to Apparo for support in transitioning Habitat Our Towns Mortgage Servicing from a private loan servicer to their own portfolio. Apparo matched Habitat Charlotte to a corporate volunteer team from Charlotte Pipe and Foundry to help ensure a seamless transition.
This project required a data migration from Our Towns’ database to Charlotte Habitat and the establishment of a new database for this portfolio, to mirror existing databases. It also included duplicating the database for the purpose of importing approximately 250 new loan files from the current, private loan servicer and customizing reporting.
The data transfer occurred successfully in the Fall of 2019 and Habitat Charlotte and the constituents of Our Towns Habitat began reaping the benefit almost immediately.
Our Towns homeowners’ financial success is bolstered by an added level of care and support that was not provided previously.
“This project with Apparo/Charlotte Pipe was instrumental in allowing us to take on Mortgage Servicing for Our Towns Habitat. Our Towns homeowners are expressing more satisfaction knowing that when they call about their mortgage they will actually get to speak with someone, rather than leaving a message and hoping for a call back. And that person actually knows and cares about their situation and is able to make a decision. We attribute a lot of homeowner success to those factors,” explains Gerald Wright, VP of Family Services.
Sara Davison, Real Estate Project Manager, shares a story of helping an Our Towns homeowner: “When he explained that he lost his job and had not been able to make his last payment, I was able to connect him with a Habitat Charlotte staff member who would provide a level of care and concern that the private loan servicer likely would not. It felt great knowing that he would be taken care of.”
Improved reporting functionality creates convenience and improves efficiency for staff.
“The loan servicing team no longer has to run the monthly report on a precise date; this breathing room is a game changer for staff and their schedules,” explains Sara. “The new upload program will allow user friendly mass updates to the database, eliminating tedious data entry for staff especially with annual tax payments.”
Enhanced skill set decreases costs, saves time and increases employee confidence.
Sara worked closely with Charlotte Pipe and Foundry volunteer Dave Tompkins to build her skill set with the new database. “I have some SQL training but being able to work in person with Dave provided new clarity. There is nothing like having someone become familiar with your database and reporting to help problem solve with you one-on-one. That attention was invaluable and will now allow me to address certain issues and edit some reports saving time and money on external support.”
“There is now a greater sense of confidence amongst our staff in the database,” explains Gerald. “Before, there wasn’t a sense that if changes were needed, we could easily and confidently get them done. We were operating with a lot of workarounds. Now we feel more empowered to think about what else we can do with this data that could be beneficial to our organization and our homeowners.”
Working with Apparo and their corporate volunteer team saved Habitat Charlotte upwards of $6,000.
“The software engineers quoted an estimate of $5,000-$6,000 to facilitate this project so to be connected with professional assistance through Apparo for just the Community Impact Project Contribution was a great value.”
Successfully completing this migration proves that Habitat Charlotte is well positioned for growth.
“We’ve proven that we have the capability to expand the functionality of our servicing software,” adds Sara in closing.
Nine months after the completion of this project, we checked back in and learned that the solutions and positive impact are being sustained.
Sara shares, “We’re using the database almost every day and it’s working just as it should. The data is accurate and there are no issues. The project reinforced the knowledge and skilled I learned in the classroom and I’m able to avoid going to an external vendor for support some of the time. I’ve been able to upload new files successfully and we worked with a vendor to create a new portal for our homeowners, expanding the functionality of the database. Our work together has definitely left a positive impact. I wish another need would come up so we could work together again.”