CLT Workflow Management System
Community Land Trust Template for Salesforce.com
(We apologize about the quality of the images but they are just to give you an idea of what the database looks like.)
Over the next two years, NPower consultants worked with the NW CLT Coalition, OPAL, Homestead and Kulshan CLTs to define the requirements for a management system to support their work. In 2009, the Northwest CLT Coalition received funding and contracted with NPower to create a template for Salesforce that would be flexible enough to work for any CLT. The template will be completed mid 2010, and has already been installed into the Salesforce accounts of OPAL CLT, KulshanCLT and Homestead CLT.
What does the template consist of?
At the foundation of this database tool is Salesforce.com Enterprise Edition. Salesforce.com offers excellent web-based tools for contact management, email communication, outreach campaigns, and reporting. In addition to tools available in Salesforce itself, there is a large community of third-party vendors who offer applications that work with Salesforce. (One such tool is Vertical Response, a mass-email tool which we have pre-installed into the CLT accounts.)
The CLT template builds further on this base, adding many more custom objects and program code. These customizations include:
• Properties object
This custom tab stores information about homes, rentals, and CLT-owned land. Custom fields store valuation, tax, and characteristics of the property, with picklists to help ensure consistent data entry.
The following sub-objects are shown as lists related to properties:
• CLT Service File object
The CLT Services tab stores information about services provided by the CLT to its clients. For a homeownership file, for example, all the financial data about the applicant, their purchase, and their eventual resale of the home are stored in the same record.
There are three separate “record types” – Homeownership, Rental, and Assistance (“assistance” includes homeowner education and counseling). For CLTs that offer only homeownership services, the other two record types can be made unavailable.
The following sub-objects are shown as lists related to CLT Service Files:
The service file layout includes special fields that "roll up" values from those lists, displaying the sum of all child objects – for example, the total income reported by each client.
• Application website
Each CLT has a publicly available website, hosted by Salesforce.com, that emulates the CLT’s own website in appearance (i.e. has the same top banner, fonts, and colors). The website can display available properties, and allows new clients to submit a complete multipage application for homeownership or other services.
• Workflow and custom code
The template includes custom code, written in the Apex programming language, that supports CLT workflow and connects objects in various ways. For example, when you change a homeowner’s service file status from application to current owner, a trigger automatically updates the associated property, setting the Owner, last purchase price, property status, and so on.
Because measuring client income levels is important, the template includes custom code that automatically records the percentage of Adjusted Median Income (AMI) for each client’s family size at the time of purchase and resale. CLT staff simply needs to enter the annual AMI number for the counties they serve as a custom setting, and then this data is entered automatically whenever service files are created or updated.
• Custom Reports
The CLT template includes over 40 reports, organized in the following folders:
The following dashboards provide charts for data analysis:
Dashboards can be customized to include tables and charts for many types of data analysis.
• Email and mail merge templates
The template includes sample email templates for communicating with clients and supporters.
• Connection to coalition account
NPower has configured each of the CLT accounts to connect automatically to the Salesforce account of the Northwest CLT Coalition. The connection copies selected data about service files, properties, and loans from each CLT account to the coalition account – without providing access to any confidential information about clients.
How do new CLT organizations get the template?
Because the CLT template is made up of various parts, there are several steps involved in getting it. The cost and timeline of installation, rollout, migration, and training may vary greatly depending on your existing data and other factors.
Where can I learn more?
For information about CLTs and this project, contact Erika Malone at the Northwest CLT Coalition.