Your Move Achieves 7-Month ROI by Modernising Core Systems with Progress
Your Move is a subsidiary of LSL Property Services PLC, a leading provider of residential property services, including estate agency, rentals, valuation, surveys and advice on mortgages and non-investment insurance products. To serve its wide range of customers, the company was looking to replace its existing GUI rental management solution with a modern portal that provided online access to live property listings and key system integrations to external service providers.
"We wanted to offer our customers and clients a unique level of service by providing an innovative web-based portal,” said Tony McCann, Head of IT, Your Move. “Leveraging the latest digital technologies would help us to maximise the user experience for both our internal and external users.”
However, achieving those goals presented several challenges. The solution needed to be user-friendly and integrate easily with external services tied to Your Move’s sales process, including legal, insurance and survey providers.
It also had to deliver acceptable levels of availability, transparency and control to customers and users. Maintaining operational control over customers throughout the rental process was crucial for complying with strict and ever-changing regulatory requirements, as was the ability to produce granular, consolidated business reports for management and auditing purposes.
“Our previous GUI-based rental management system made the installation and rollout of upgrades complicated and time-consuming, because you’d have to complete them on every PC running the software,” said McCann. “Property managers had to manually enter data about the properties they were renting out, and ramping up new users was difficult because they had to learn the GUI-based system.”
McCann said that although the legacy system was able to perform about 90 percent of the functionality the company needed, modernising the application would bring numerous benefits. “Not only would modernising the project provide a much improved UI for customers and for internal users, it would enable centralised management and reduced associated costs, and training new property managers to use the system would be faster and easier.”
Working with Progress® OpenEdge® Elite Service Delivery Partner Pace IT, Your Move set out to update its existing GUI-based rental management system, which was based on an older version of OpenEdge. “The goal was to keep as much of the existing code as possible, so staying with OpenEdge made sense,” said McCann. “We didn’t have to rip-and-replace, which reduced risk. And, we were able to build in incremental enhancements for easier management.”
In addition to a modernised look and feel, the system now has roughly 15 new management screens that eliminate the need for property managers to keep paper-based lists or spreadsheets. The new portal provides insight into various property information such as the status of rent payments or open maintenance jobs on the properties. “With access to this information, tenants don’t need to call the landlords as much, so it streamlines management and makes life easier for both parties,” said McCann.
The team also leveraged OpenEdge to build a customer portal, a new custom system serving thousands of landlords and tenants.
Tight integration between the rental management system and the customer portal was critical. “The landlord and tenant portal runs on a separate server and database, and pulls information from the core system, as needed,” said Andy Brown, Managing Director at Pace IT. “Delivering this information in real time to the user requires a seamless integration, and with OpenEdge, we were able to accomplish this.” Other integrations included an OpenEdge based CRM system and third-party property marketing websites used in the UK, such as RightMove and Zoopla.
The modernisation project took Pace IT roughly 18 months to complete with just four full-time developers.
“Modernising the rental management system with OpenEdge has led to significant savings by automating manual tasks,” said McCann. He added that customers, staff and external service provider users are now informed and in control of developments and case progression, and enjoy an enhanced customer experience with more self-serve capabilities.
“Because it’s web-based, we can create external interfaces to enable operational efficiencies through self-service, reducing resource needs,” he said.
Additionally, because everything’s centralised onto a single system, branches don’t have to maintain separate systems for property rentals and sales. “Because the solution is centrally deployed, we don’t have to worry about updating individual deployments on thousands of PCs throughout the organisation,” McCann said. “Support calls have associated with deployments and upgrades have been virtually eliminated, freeing up our help desk to address more pressing support issues faster.”
Thanks to OpenEdge, integrations between these systems and related service providers were easy, resulting in additional cost savings. Together, these improvements have enabled significant ROI in just seven months.