Automating Data Entry: How We Helped Fairway Reduce Listing Entry Time to 55 Seconds, From 25 Minutes
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, founded in 1996 by Steve Jacobson, rapidly achieved significant milestones. It reached the $1 billion funded mark within five years of its inception. The company’s primary focus is on providing mortgages, and it has continued to grow consistently, funding over $65 billion in 2022.
Customer service is at the core of Fairway’s philosophy. Their commitment goes beyond finding the best rates, as they also prioritize fast turnaround times and personalized guidance through the loan process.
Their ultimate goal is to exceed customer expectations, ensuring satisfaction and building trust.
Fairway needed help with managing property listings effectively and creating emails that show different listings to different clients.
Managing the high volume of data was difficult since it meant that each new listing would require a manual process that took close to 25 minutes to complete. It was also error-prone (human errors, while not common, could impact trust), and updates to any listings were slow (updating a property took time, impacting customer experience).
They needed a solution that could be as automated as possible and at the same time easy to use and understand by their team. They had a partnership with HomeScout, a service that indexes properties and values them automatically, that could help with this development, but there was no way to access the data automatically from HubSpot.
They also needed a way to add those listings easily in an email so that creating a new “catalog” message is faster and they wouldn’t have to go back to their system to pull the information.
Trying to do this project themselves was a titanic task, as asking their internal development team to work on such a project would take a lot of time, internal resources, and availability for other projects.
We met with their team to discuss how to best approach the challenge. From the get-go, we knew that we needed to implement a custom script, but there were a couple of options, and we needed to find a solution that would be as quick as effective.
After drafting a couple of different solutions, we decided to first create an MVP code that would take information from HomeScout and add it directly into a Listing Custom Object page (a table-like structure tailored to the need in HubSpot).
We asked if it was possible to use an API (a simple, secure, and common way of getting data from a third-party service) but that was not possible at the time. So, thinking outside the box, we found the possibility of creating a web scraping tool that will organize the HomeScout website and take the data directly from it.
To avoid a really large number of properties that would not be used in the system, we decided to create a simple interface that would allow their team to enter a HomeScout URL of a property they would work with and then grab the information for it. While not completely automated, it meant that all the information in their CRM would be useful and easy to index and search.
We also planned to implement these listings as a “drag and drop” system on their emails, so that Fairway’s service team can create new templates using those listings quickly.
We developed a custom script that automates data retrieval from HomeScout and took information from it for future use.
On the CRM front, we created the structure (custom object) needed to store that information and the necessary connections with other objects in HubSpot. Then, a series of automations were created to use the information that the script brings to fill all necessary information inside the custom object.
The custom script turned out to be a robust, finely-tuned engine designed to fetch property data from HomeScout with just a URL input, effortlessly organizing it into HubSpot’s custom object.
The script works as a web scraper, navigating HomeScout’s website and extracting vital property information – prices, square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, and more. The data then appears in HubSpot, meticulously organized, and ready for immediate use.
Once the information is added to the system, creating an email is as simple as using the custom plugin inside the email editor, which creates the HTML structure inside the email template, complete with some filter options and small customization (to simplify the process and avoid unnecessary customization).