Unison leverages Skuid for its home equity sharing originations
Fintech company Unison is doing things differently when it comes to home equity sharing origination. While traditional methods require taking on debt in the form of a mortgage, Unison is enabling homeownership through equity sharing agreements. However, their unique business model meant that off-the-shelf solutions didn’t meet their specific requirements. They needed something tailored for them, so they turned to Skuid to build it.
With Skuid, we were able to not only establish KPIs but also effectively track them and support our users to stay within their KPIs.
Lead CRM Administrator
San Francisco- and Omaha-based fintech firm Unison is changing the way people approach homeownership. Rather than taking on debt via a traditional loan, HELOC, or refi, Unison allows individuals to access the equity in their home as cash. They can then use the funds however they’d like — for home renovations, paying the bills, or purchasing a big-ticket item. When it comes time to sell the home, Unison takes a portion of the change in its value, whether positive or negative. Currently, Unison is available in 29 states and Washington DC and has invested in homes with a total value of over $8B.
“We reduce debt and deliver a less risky way for homeowners, investors, and society to think about their most important asset — the home,” says Penny Juco, Lead CRM Administrator at Unison. But because Unison takes an unconventional approach to enabling homeownership, the tools on the market weren’t built for them.
Take loan origination software for mortgage companies, for example. Initially, the Unison team used one of these platforms to originate their equity sharing transactions. However, they soon found it couldn’t keep up with their growth or support their specific processes. It simply wasn’t designed for their particular use cases. In addition, the solution required them to put client information in two separate systems, which meant neither was the most up-to-date, and users had to cross-reference both to verify data accuracy.
“As our company grew and our processes matured, we realized we could not have the most efficient process with the previous vendor. We had to search for an alternative that provides the scalability we’re looking for,” Penny says. So, they turned to Skuid for help.
After the initial set-up and deployment, both of which went very smoothly, Unison got to work using Skuid to build their own origination application. Because the team wanted all activities, deals, and client information in one location, they decided to create the origination system within their CRM platform. However, some team members worried that the CRM fields users would interact with would span several different objects, resulting in a disjointed user experience.
Skuid was able to address this issue by layering a more streamlined UX on top of the native CRM. “Skuid is a key piece in our origination system framework,” says Penny. “Unison uses Skuid to create a more efficient and intuitive experience for our users.” By working with end users and other stakeholders, Penny built a detailed understanding of their workflows and required field views. The new origination system divides the page by “steps” in the process, which allows users to focus on one task at a time and follow a clear path to completion. Skuid has also significantly reduced the number of clicks needed to get from Point A to Point B.
This attention to UX and design led to high adoption rates of the resulting origination platform. “Engagement and adoption are high given its flexibility to create what end users want,” Penny says. “Our end users are able to work faster since we can place things in the order of what they’re doing, can remove noise and de-clutter, and display what matters.”
Since its initial implementation, Skuid has proven an incredibly valuable tool for the Unison team. Its powerful low-code capabilities allowed a single CRM administrator (Penny) to create a custom origination application that met the company’s unique needs and processes. Now, they’re training additional employees on the platform and may expand into use cases related to customer experience.
When asked what advice she would give to other organizations considering low-code solutions, Penny highlighted the ability to free up developer time to work on high-impact projects. “We recommend that they analyze the technical resources that they currently have and realistically plan out how many resources it will take not only to build the application but also to maintain it. Skuid allows us to allocate our developer resources to other needs.”
Prior to deploying Skuid, the Unison team hadn’t established key performance indicators (KPIs). The new application empowered them to not only set KPIs but also measure and support them. “With Skuid, we were able to not only establish KPIs but also effectively track them and support our users to stay within their KPIs,” Penny says.
And they’re already seeing positive results around critical metrics. For each page created in Skuid, Penny estimates the company saves an entire day’s worth of work.