Customer: AMLI Residential
AMLI wanted to make apartment hunting easier for renters by providing apartment information online. Most of the information that a renter would need for an apartment type—including the location and amenities of the apartment community, the floorplan, and the rent—was easy to provide on a website. What was difficult to provide was information on the units of a particular apartment type that would be available when a renter wanted to move, because availability changes constantly as other renters move into or out of apartment units. AMLI would require the application to have the following features...
- Display the latest information on apartment availability to the customer.
- The Application would need to work on AMLI's website as well as apartment listing services
- AMLI also wanted the application to send emails when customers were interested in a property and keep track of which website refered the renter.
Expert Object developed the Check Availability service for AMLI. Check Availability combines user screens with scripts that work with AMLI’s database of apartment information. The Check Availability service displays a form that allows the renter to specify a moving date. After the user specifies a date, Check Availability obtains from AMLI’s database of apartment information a list of the apartment units that will be available on or around the desired date. If the renter selects one of the available units in the list, Check Availability displays a form that the renter can use to send an email to the manager of the apartment community. The email identifies the website that the renter used to select an apartment. The Check Availability service integrates both with the AMLI website and with the websites of the apartment-listing companies that work with AMLI, such as apartments.com:
Internet Lead Tracking
Customer: AMLI Residential
AMLI subscribes to a number of online apartment listing services to obtain leads for potential apartment rentals. When a renter selects an AMLI apartment from the website of one of these listing services, the listing service sends an email on behalf of the renter to AMLI. The listing services originally sent lead emails directly to managers of AMLI apartment communities. AMLI needed a way to manage the leads that it received from online apartment listing services.
Expert Object developed the Internet Lead Tracking system for managing leads from online listing services. The system includes the following components:
- An email processor.
- A database for lead information.
- A workflow manager.
The deployment of the Internet Lead Tracking system required only a minor change in the way that AMLI obtained lead emails from apartment listing services: instead of sending emails to the different managers of apartment communities, listing services now send lead emails to a single email address. The lead email processor reads each lead email, capturing information that it inserts into the lead database. The email processor then sends an email that notifies the appropriate apartment community manager that a new lead is in the database. The workflow manager manages the information in the lead database and allows apartment community managers and other AMLI staff to collaborate in tracking leads through the sales cycle. AMLI can also use the information in the lead database to compile statistical reports on leads.
Customer: AMLI Residential
Utility rebilling is a complex process that requires sophisticated methods to determine or estimate the utility usage of individual units in a multifamily apartment community. Like many multifamily property management companies, AMLI originally outsourced its utility rebilling by subscribing to a monthly rebilling service. Because of high subscription fees, AMLI decided to reduce costs by managing its own rebilling. AMLI needed a system that would do the following:
- Obtain data on apartment units from AMLI’s data warehouse.
- Calculate utility usage either from submetering data or from RUBS modeling algorithms.
- Update AMLI’s Property Management System (PMS) with utility bill information.
- Allow accountants and onsite property managers to work together to prepare utility bills.
Expert Object developed the Check Availability service for AMLI. Check Availability combines user screens with scripts that work with AMLI’s database of apartment information. The Check Availability service displays a form that allows the renter to specify a moving date. After the user specifies a date, Check Availability obtains from AMLI’s database of apartment information a list of the apartment units that will be available on or around the desired date. If the renter selects one of the available units in the list, Check Availability displays a form that the renter can use to send an email to the manager of the apartment community. The email identifies the website that the renter used to select an apartment. The Check Availability service integrates both with the AMLI website and with the websites of the apartment-listing companies that work with AMLI, such as apartments.com.
Internet Lead Tracking
Customer: LFG REFCO
In 1997, the delivery of retail financial services over the Internet was still in its initial stages. LFG wanted to expand its LEO futures order entry system to take advantage of the convenience and flexibility that the Internet promised.
Expert Object developed a complete Internet trading system for LFG. The system features the following:
- An order entry Web client that allows traders to place orders.
- A fill reporting Web client that receives fill reports from futures exchanges.
- A Web-based administration application that allows brokers and technical support staff to manage customer account information.
- A reliable and scalable server infrastructure that manages customer orders and order fills. The server applications communicate directly with futures exchanges through TOPS, CUBS, EC, and Globex.
The Expert Object system allowed LFG to offer Internet trading of futures to its customers. The system’s scalable architecture allowed LFG to grow from working with a small base of online customers to managing Internet orders for hundreds of clients.
Individual investors needed a way to view their portfolios in real time over the Internet. The challenges to present portfolio information to investors include:
- Information about an investor’s portfolio comes from a variety of sources.
- Futures commission merchants want to brand the portfolio information that their customers receive.
Expert Object developed the ClearView system. ClearView features a website that provides a secure connection to the sources of financial information that are necessary to compile portfolio information for investors. Investors use the ClearView Web client application to view their information. The ClearView system presents investors with individualized views of their portfolio information. The system allows for “private branding” of portfolio information so that it appears as a feature of the investor’s broker.
Changes in futures prices during the trading day affect the risk of an investor’s position in the market. Both the broker that makes trades on the investor’s behalf and the clearing house that manages and settles the investor’s trades want to minimize the investor’s exposure to risk. The broker wants to minimize the possibility of making margin calls to investors at the end of the trading day, when accounts are settled and cleared. As the guarantor of the futures exchange on which the investor trades, the clearing house wants to minimize the possibility that the trader will default on trading obligations. The clearing house also wants to reduce the risk of requesting variation margin payments from brokers as a result of intraday fluctuations in futures prices.
The management of the daily risk in investor positions requires complex analysis of both trading activity and price fluctuations. Brokers and clearing houses needed a tool that would help them perform this analysis. The tool would need to alert brokers or clearing house managers when an investor’s risk exceeded certain thresholds.
Expert Object developed RiskView—a Web-based tool that gives a broker or a clearing house the ability to view information on the position of an individual investor throughout the trading day. RiskView calculates the risk potential for trading accounts based on information about the intraday fluctuations in futures, account positions, and account margin amounts. Users of RiskView can organize how the tool displays risk information. Users can query account information for ad hoc risk analysis.