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Leading Financial Services Company Decreases the Time From Idea to Reality

Challenges

Development at a leading mortgage services company, a subsidiary of a larger mortgage services group, was not keeping pace with the business’s fast-paced growth model. As the central nervous system of the company, the online platform acts as a lead generator, connecting users to MLS listings, home specialists, loan products, and more. A unique feature of the company is that their team measures user engagement and adjusts the website frequently, making quick development essential to their critical business functions. Working with their parent company’s development team was not supporting their business model. In order to make changes to their website using the larger group’s development team, the company would have to issue a request and wait for approvals and planning, bogging down their rapid iteration process, and in turn, slowing their growth.

Solutions

While looking for assistance on a search engine optimization (SEO) initiative, the leading mortgage services company was referred to Fairway Technologies. Fairway successfully implemented updates on the company’s website based on an SEO audit. Following the SEO updates, Fairway completed a number of additional enhancements to the company’s website, most notably the responsive redesign of the company’s Search Results and Property Details pages. With 50% of the platform’s users connecting through a mobile device, the new responsive website augmented the mobile feature set and enhanced the user experience. It also made updates easy. With one codebase, updates to the application ripple across all devices—desktop, mobile, and tablet.

After working on these features together, the leading mortgage services company contracted with Fairway as an alternative to the parent organization’s internal development team. In Fairway, the company found a trusted partner that increased velocity and responsiveness, and matched its quick evolution. In the nearly two years since Fairway has worked with the company on a continuous basis, numerous projects have been undertaken, the largest of which was the Operations Transition (Ops Transition) project which was completed in April 2018 and included integration with Salesforce and Approved.io.

The high-level scope included:

  • Replacing the existing integrations with Microsoft Dynamics, and similarly managing leads and lead activities via the Salesforce API.
  • Removing the existing, in-house loan application functionality, and offering the company’s users single sign-on access into the Approved system where they can complete their loan applications and upload related documents.

The thriving relationship between Fairway and the company has evolved, not only as a result of technical expertise but also because of working processes that are in place. The Fairway team at the company follows Agile/Scrum methodologies. The company runs two-week sprints with a kickoff, daily stand up, sizing session, and a demo/retrospective. As part of the company’s team, Fairway releases every two weeks. To ensure version control, Fairway and the company have a source control branching and release strategy that supports integration, quality assurance, staging, and production environments. Each environment closely resembles production including the real estate data, which is updated routinely from Wolfnet. These processes and the intricate, intensive technical work Fairway has done for the company comprise a solution that supports their business goals.

Technical Highlights

The company’s online platform is a three-tier ASP.NET MVC web application with WCF services, Entity Framework, and ElasticSearch. Other notables are KnockoutJS, Twitter Bootstrap, Google Analytics, Bing Maps, OpenId, OAuth 2.0, and all the goodness that comes along with responsive design (i.e. support for web, mobile, all major browsers). The website integrates with numerous systems including Umbraco, Encompass, Salesforce, Approved, MS Dynamics, Optimal Blue, Bing Maps, IP2Location, Wolfnet, DigiMaps, and Social Sign-in with Facebook and Google.

Benefits/Results

As the company’s IT team, Fairway has decreased the amount of time it takes for an idea to hit the production environment. This short iteration time has generated more leads and increased the competitiveness of the company as a whole, allowing updates to be made at near lightning speed. In contrast to most consulting relationships, the company’s team has direct access to the development and creative team, increasing accuracy and speeding up delivery. With the Ops Transition, Fairway began the company’s move to the Cloud, which has removed the burden of maintaining on-premises servers and systems, and also made the website more secure and efficient. The new responsive website has expanded the company’s audience, improving the user experience and inviting users to take further steps into the system.

The fast iteration rate has also brought more users into the fold, allowing for rapid improvements as engagement is analyzed. Shedding the slow pace of internal red tape, the leading mortgage services company found a development team whose quick iterations and high-velocity releases matched their fast-paced evolution. 

About Fairway Tech

Fairway Technologies provides strategic consulting services and end-to-end technology solutions to solve the world’s toughest business challenges. From Fortune 50 multinational companies to startups, our innovative engagement model focuses on your company’s needs, helping to cut costs and freeing your team to innovate. Fairway’s 100% US-based team has decades of experience crafting elegant and effective technology solutions to make your business thrive.

At Fairway, providing genuine support and being attentive to our clients’ needs is a core value. Rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach, we dedicate our attention and focus to create the right solution for each client.

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Some of the top reasons people come to us are because they:

  • Can’t complete a project—either on their own or with another consultant who provides less value
  • Do not have the required skill set within their internal team
  • Want to outsource development so that their team can focus on operations
  • Have run out of time to complete a project

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