Oracle NetSuite + CTR + Ylopo Working Together!
NetSuite ERP Supports Long-Term Growth for Expanding Digital Marketing Firm
Working with CTR, Inc.*, Ylopo used NetSuite Cloud ERP to eliminate its order-to-cash challenges, improve financial oversight, and take advantage of new business opportunities.
Operating in an industry that has been around since Chicago’s Baird & Warner Real Estate opened its doors in 18551, the real estate brokerage community is continually reinventing and reimaging itself to adapt to changing industry, consumer, and competitive trends.
With 97% of all homebuyers2 now using the Internet to search for homes, the digital trend has been one of the biggest forces of change for brokers. Knowing this, Howard Tager co-founded Redondo Beach, Calif.-based Ylopo with the mission of helping real estate brokers generate more business and promote their teams, brands, and listings across the digital landscape.
Monopolizing its Space
With 80 full-time employees and 100 full-time contractors, Ylopo (the last five letters of the word “monopoly” spelled backwards) is a complete digital marketing solution for real estate agents and mortgage lenders. It serves up its offerings on a subscription basis, has no direct competitors in its space, and provides a “middleware” that lies between an organization and its existing customer relationship management (CRM) solution.
“We started with the top 20% of the largest U.S. real estate companies as our customers, and quickly realized that the costs of switching CRMs is high for them. You can’t just ‘ask’ them to move over to a new CRM,” Christopher Soto, CTO, explains. “We also did not feel like we could compete effectively with established legacy technology providers.”
Taking a different tack, Ylopo decided to focus on the digital marketing space and build innovative technology solutions that would help its customers acquire and nurture new business leads (i.e., home buyers and sellers). “We push and pull data to and from their respective CRMs,” said Soto, “whatever they might be using.”
Over time, Ylopo would add small and midsized brokerages to its client list, along the way building out a platform that was just as relevant for the individual real estate agent as it was for the national real estate franchisee.
As Ylopo grew, its own technology requirements outgrew the QuickBooks solution that it had been using since its inception. The company also needed a more efficient and effective order-to-cash process, which was manually intensive and time consuming. “We had a part-time bookkeeper managing our QuickBooks environment,” said Soto. “We were using QuickBooks online, and she was processing charges manually using Stripe and then booking entries in QuickBooks.”
The manual processes not only took time to orchestrate, but they also prevented Ylopo from getting the financial reporting it needed for good decision-making. “We were running everything through QuickBooks and one-off Excel spreadsheets, and manually through Stripe,” said Soto.
When a customer credit card was declined, for example, the company had no formal process for collecting on that debt. Or, when a customer upgraded to a new membership level, the actual billing didn’t reflect the higher price that was owed. “From a collection standpoint,” said Soto, “sometimes we would just forget.”
New Solution Wanted
Fed up, the company went in search of a new solution in 2017. “We got to the point where we were missing out on opportunities,” said Soto, “and we were also frustrating our clients because we couldn’t respond to situations quickly enough.”
When shopping around for a solution, Ylopo looked at NetSuite Cloud ERP, Oracle Cloud, and a subscription-based option from Zoura. “It came down to Zuora versus NetSuite,” said Soto, “and NetSuite won.” For implementation help, Ylopo turned to CTR, a company that Soto had worked with in the past.
“In a prior life I worked quite a bit with Oracle, and CTR was there through most of those initial implementations and the addition of new modules,” he said. “We’ve had a good, long-standing relationship with CTR, which is always good about providing an unbiased opinion of which platform is the best fit.”
A Strong Implementation Partner
Today, Ylopo is using NetSuite ERP for its financials and order-to-cash process. The company plans to expand its use of the platform in the future. Soto said CTR helped Ylopo implement the ERP from a best practice standpoint, knowing that the platform would solve most of the company’s order-to-cash challenges.
CTR also helped Ylopo readjust its chart of accounts as it moved those files from QuickBooks to NetSuite. Soto said this was critical because the company’s chart of accounts was configured by its bookkeeper and was not ready to be directly implemented into NetSuite. “CTR has also been a steward in helping us understand what we can derive from NetSuite from a native standpoint,” Soto added, “so that we’re not customizing where we don’t have to.”
More recently, CTR has been helping Ylopo customize the ERP to meet its unique needs. “We probably have one of the most complicated billing cycles around,” said Soto, “and CTR has been helping us identify those issues and implement solutions to them using custom modules.”
ERP Supports Long-Term Growth
Having experienced explosive growth over the last 18 months, Ylopo is bracing for even more growth and success in the future. With its NetSuite Cloud ERP in place, the company not only has a handle on its financials and order-to-pay processes, but it is also positioned to leverage new opportunities as they emerge.
“Because we’re on NetSuite, it’s been easy to scale, which will pave the way for our growth,” said Soto. “We have long-term visions of how we will continue to expand our usage of NetSuite.”
*CTR, Inc. is an Oracle and NetSuite partner established in 1998 serving both North America and global clients. We are SuiteSuccess certified and an Oracle Platinum Cloud Select partner. Please visit our website for more details or reach out directly to learn more on how we helped develop YLOPO and other clients to choose and grow with NetSuite.
1 Information source Inman News https://www.inman.com/2015/11/06/for-uss-oldest-brokerage-success-is-about-always-looking-forward-2/