Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County
Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County Uses RingCentral Texting to Help More People
RingCentral’s built-in texting and electronic faxing capabilities have improved our ability to help our future homeowners through the process. That means everything to us. After all, everything we do at this organization is about them.
Director of Development
calls to update a team of volunteers—now handled with 1 group-text
unified communications solution for business calls, texts, and online faxes
For decades, Habitat for Humanity® of Anderson County—an affiliate of the international Habitat for Humanity organization—has been helping low-income residents of Anderson County South Carolina achieve the dream of homeownership.
Homeowner applicants provide “sweat equity” to Habitat Anderson—working on the construction of their own homes or the homes of others, as well as volunteering in the organization’s ReStore. Then, when construction on their property is complete, the applicant will take possession of the new home, and Habitat Anderson will provide them a no-interest mortgage.
Since its founding in 1986, the organization has helped approximately 80 Anderson County families become homeowners—improving their financial stability, educational outcomes, health, safety, and community involvement. Indeed, many of these homeowners become Habitat volunteers themselves to pay their good fortune forward.
An outdated phone system was falling short of the mission
Kylie Herbert, Director of Development for Habitat Anderson, explains that the organization was finding it increasingly difficult to function with its legacy phone system.
“We all had desk phones and essentially no mobility for business calls,” Kylie says. “If we weren’t going to be at our desks, our only option for staying accessible to coworkers, volunteers, donors, corporate sponsors, and our future homeowners was to give everyone our personal cell numbers.”
Also challenging, Kylie adds, was the fact that the staff had no ability to communicate by SMS text from their business numbers. “Everybody texts now, and it’s often the quickest and most reliable way to reach someone and get a response. We wanted that ability in our business phone system as well.”
Habitat Anderson found both the mobility and texting capability the team was looking for—as well as many other benefits—when the organization switched to RingCentral.
Strengthening relationships using RingCentral texting
Of all the RingCentral features Habitat Anderson uses to improve its operations—including mobile business calling, voicemail transcription, and online faxing—Kylie says her team has found the greatest benefits from RingCentral’s built-in SMS texting capability.
“We’ve found that so many people prefer texting to a phone call,” Kylie explains. “Having the ability to receive and send text messages on our business number, right from the RingCentral app, means we’re able to communicate more reliably and easily with everyone—for example, to send volunteers an update about our construction schedule or to reach a future homeowner with an opportunity to earn sweat-equity hours.”
One thing that’s great about RingCentral texting is that when we have a last-minute change to tomorrow’s construction time or location, we don’t need to make 12 phone calls, one to each person on that volunteer team. We can let everyone know with one group-text—and we can send that text message from anywhere, using the RingCentral app.
Director of Development
Improving operations with additional RingCentral features
As Kylie explains, Habitat Anderson’s staff has found numerous other tools on the RingCentral platform to increase the efficiencies of their daily workflows and—even more important—to better serve the organization’s future homeowners.
“Often an applicant will come to our office with what they think is a completed application for a our affordable homeownership program, but they’re still missing a document or two. We used to have to send them home and ask them to make another trip. But with RingCentral, we now have other options. If the document we need is from a utility company, for example, the applicant can call and ask the company to fax it to us, and we can receive that digitally through the RingCentral app.”
Kylie adds: “Sometimes the applicant can pull up information we need on their phone. And now we can have them just text it to our business number, which is a capability we didn’t have before RingCentral. These features are helping us make the application process quicker and more convenient for our future homeowners—and that means everything to us.”
Finally, Kylie notes, she and her team use RingCentral’s voicemail-to-email and voicemail-transcription features to ensure they’re always alerted to important messages, wherever they happen to be, and that they’re able to easily forward a voicemail to the right person.
“Even if I’ve set the RingCentral app on my phone not to ring through outside of business hours, I can still see my voicemails because they come right to my email inbox,” Kylie says. “I can skim the voicemail transcription—and I find the text translation is usually spot-on—so if it looks like something that needs answering right away, I can respond. Or, if I want a coworker to hear the message, I can just forward the email.”
Kylie concludes: “These might sound like small things, but they really help us do a better job of being there for our applicants and stewarding them on their journey to homeownership. And I promise you—that is not a small thing.”
Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County aims to transform the lives of our future homeowners. By making it so much easier and more convenient for our team to communicate with those future homeowners, RingCentral is truly helping us in our mission.
Director of Development
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