Bringing Innovation in Real Estate
The rise in the Remote Work and necessity to provide flexibility for employees – required a new approach with the legacy VPN-reliant apps.
Transwestern’s internal initiative was to overhaul 30+ legacy IT systems – with the aim to bring in the modern toolset available to brokers and support teams. Some of legacy applications included Sage MAS 500, Yardi Property Management Software, MRI system, ACT! and the likes.
After reviewing many well-known software solutions like Oracle’s PeopleSoft, SAP and etc – the team concluded that just two systems will remain:
1. Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM
2. And Workday (as ERP)
Modernizing the fundamentals
Transformation is built into the culture at Transwestern. The privately held real estate company have been delivering a higher level of personalized service and solutions since 1978.
Transwestern operates through 34 US offices and global alliances with BNP Paribas Real Estate and Devencore.
The two applications identified were supposed to replace the rest of 30 systems that the company have used for several decades.
The main challenge for the Dynamics 365 team was to make the solution that follows Transwestern best practices:
· Deal approval
· Commission calculation
· Managing broker payouts
· Data migration from legacy systems
Multiple old user interfaces needed to be re-designed. Financial system communication must have been safe-proven and redundant.
Different security access must have been set for approvers at different stages of Deal approval, Payment, Commission calculation and broker pay-out.
The project composed of several stages. The new process was designed together with financial team on Workday side. Security access aligned by region and seniority level, so that a Deal would go to the right Approver.
The main functionality created enabled brokers to create deals and commissions, submit deals for approval with multi-level matrix of approvers (depending on the region and/or complexity of the deal size).
As soon as the deal was approved, invoices were generated and submitted into the financial system (Workday). After the invoices were paid, Workday would update the status of the deal and Dynamics 365 automatically compute how much money was received and how they were attributed to the deal. The system also generated reports tracking all sources of commission and which brokers needed to be paid.
Instead of the slow and painful commission calculation, the re-designed process made it possible to pay broker commissions on a weekly basis (or even hourly if needed). As soon as a cheque reaches the bank, the systems would identify the commission to be paid out to broker. The system also takes into consideration when outside brokers needed to be paid first.
Working together to drive innovation
The implemented solution drastically improved the transparency in financial flows, giving brokers more awareness and control of their deals and get a projection of their expected commissions. The system had proven to have high levels of efficiency, capable of making payments to brokers on a daily and even hourly basis, but the company preferred to set it on a weekly basis.