A Salesforce Rejuvenation for Apartment List


In an era where digital transformation defines the competitive edge, Apartment List, a leading online platform for rental listings, faced a critical crossroads with their Salesforce CRM. Initially embraced to drive innovation and operational excellence, the system, two years down the line, teetered on the edge of abandonment. This case study unfolds the journey of rejuvenation that not only salvaged but significantly enhanced Apartment List’s engagement with Salesforce, setting a new benchmark for operational efficiency and business growth. 

Background and Initial Challenges:  

Apartment List’s Salesforce org was a testament to ambition, aimed at leveraging the platform’s robust capabilities to streamline operations and bolster customer relations. However, this vision was quickly clouded by the complexities of excessive customizations and the entanglements of technical debt. The platform had morphed into an unwieldy beast, characterized by point-to-point integrations with custom internal systems, making it nearly impossible to adapt or evolve without substantial effort and expertise. 

The development-focused culture of the company, while innovative at its core, had inadvertently led to a Salesforce environment that was more a burden than an asset. The intricate web of custom developments had stifled the system’s flexibility, rendering it opaque and cumbersome for end-users and decision-makers alike. The looming Salesforce license renewal underscored the urgency for a solution, as senior leadership deliberated whether the investment in Salesforce was yielding tangible benefits or merely anchoring the company to an inefficient status quo. 

Caught in this tumultuous phase, Apartment List stood at a precipice. The choice was stark: either navigate through the maze of technical debt to rediscover the value of Salesforce or sever ties and retreat from the platform altogether. It was at this juncture that CloudROI stepped onto the scene, armed with a strategy not just to revive but to rejuvenate Apartment List’s Salesforce org, steering it back to its intended purpose as a catalyst for growth and efficiency. 

The Decision to Rejuvenate Salesforce

    Faced with mounting frustrations and a Salesforce org that seemed increasingly misaligned with its operational vision, Apartment List’s leadership was on the brink of making a pivotal decision. The system’s renewal period served as a critical juncture, prompting a thorough reassessment of its value and potential. The primary catalyst for this reevaluation was not just the financial investment but a deeper, more pressing concern: the apparent disconnect between the platform’s capabilities and the company’s day-to-day needs. It was this realization, coupled with the impending license renewal, that underscored the urgency for a change. 

    Strategic Intervention

    CloudROI’s Salesforce Medics team embarked on a meticulously planned intervention to rejuvenate Apartment List’s Salesforce org. This process was divided into eight critical steps, each designed to systematically address the issues and realign the platform with the company’s operational needs. 

    • Triage: The first step involved a swift triage to identify and prioritize the most critical issues plaguing the Salesforce system. This initial assessment focused on areas causing the most significant operational disruptions and user dissatisfaction. 
    • Health Analysis: Following the triage, a comprehensive health analysis of the entire Salesforce ecosystem was conducted. This deep dive aimed to uncover underlying problems, from bloated customizations to inefficient data flows that contributed to the system’s overall sluggishness. 
    • Revitalization Roadmap: With a clear understanding of the system’s ailments, CloudROI crafted a revitalization roadmap. This strategic plan outlined the steps necessary to transform the Salesforce org, focusing on both immediate fixes and long-term system sustainability. 
    • Stakeholder Alignment: Crucial to the plan’s success was aligning with key stakeholders within Apartment List. This step ensured that the revitalization efforts were in lockstep with business objectives and had the full support of the leadership and end-users. 
    • Efficiency Enhancements: The Salesforce Medics team implemented a series of efficiency enhancements. These quick wins were designed to immediately improve system performance and user experience, building momentum for the broader rejuvenation effort. 
    • Structural Overhaul: A structural overhaul addressed the core architectural issues within the Salesforce org. This phase involved reconfiguring the system to eliminate unnecessary complexities and streamline operations, laying a solid foundation for future scalability. 
    • Data Rehabilitation: Data rehabilitation focused on cleaning, organizing, and enriching the data within Salesforce. This step was critical for ensuring data integrity and accuracy, enhancing the system’s reliability for decision-making and reporting. 
    • Ongoing Care: Finally, CloudROI established a framework for ongoing care, setting the stage for continuous improvement and adaptation. This included regular system health checks, user training programs, and a support structure to assist Apartment List’s team in maintaining and evolving their Salesforce org. 

    Through this structured approach, CloudROI’s Salesforce Medics not only aimed to cure the immediate ills of Apartment List’s Salesforce system but also to ensure its robust health and vitality for years to come. The subsequent pages will detail the implementation of this strategy and the remarkable transformation it heralded for Apartment List. 

    Implementation of the Salesforce Medics Strategy 

    The rejuvenation of Apartment List’s Salesforce org was a meticulous process, guided by the strategic roadmap and executed with precision by CloudROI’s Salesforce Medics team. Each step was designed not just to address the immediate challenges but also to lay down a robust foundation for sustained efficiency and growth. 

    Automated Case Handling System 

    The implementation of an automated case handling system marked a significant leap towards operational efficiency. By streamlining the customer service process, Apartment List was able to reduce response times and improve resolution rates, significantly enhancing customer satisfaction. 

    Custom Commission Structure 

    The creation of a custom commission structure within Salesforce was a critical move to incentivize the sales team. This solution provided clarity and transparency in commission calculations, directly impacting sales performance and motivation. 

    Custom Integration with Primary Website and Looker.io 

    To tackle the spaghetti mess of data and enhance decision-making capabilities, CloudROI implemented custom integrations with Apartment List’s primary website and Looker.io. These integrations facilitated seamless data flow and analytics, empowering the team with actionable insights and a holistic view of business operations. 

    Challenges Overcome 

    Each solution implementation came with its own set of challenges, particularly in aligning with Apartment List’s custom-dev-focused culture. Overcoming political hurdles within the organization required not just technical expertise but also strategic stakeholder management. The complexity of untangling deeply integrated systems demanded a nuanced approach, balancing the need for immediate improvements with the vision for a scalable future. 

    Key Solutions and Their Impact 

    The combination of these targeted solutions transformed Apartment List’s Salesforce org from a source of frustration into a powerful engine driving the company forward. The automated case handling system and custom integrations streamlined critical business processes, while the custom commission structure directly contributed to a more motivated and effective sales team. 

    Quantifiable Benefits

    The rejuvenation of Apartment List’s Salesforce org yielded significant benefits: 

    • Operational Efficiency: The automation of case handling and enhancements in user interface design led to a marked increase in operational efficiency. Tasks that previously took hours were now completed in minutes. 
    • Salesforce Adoption: With the system’s overhaul, user adoption soared. The Salesforce platform became an integral part of daily operations, embraced by the team for its ease of use and impactful contribution to business processes. 
    • Technical Debt Reduction: The structural overhaul and data rehabilitation efforts significantly reduced the technical debt, paving the way for more agile and responsive system enhancements in the future. 

    Future Outlook 

    Buoyed by the success of the Salesforce rejuvenation, Apartment List is now poised to expand its use of the platform. Plans are in place to migrate additional business processes onto Salesforce, leveraging the platform’s robust capabilities for even greater operational efficiency and business insight. The in-house Salesforce team, guided by the principles and practices established during the rejuvenation process, will continue to evolve and adapt the system to meet the company’s dynamic needs. 


    The collaboration between Apartment List and CloudROI’s Salesforce Medics has not only saved a critical business system from abandonment but has transformed it into a vital asset for the company’s future growth. This case study stands as a testament to the power of strategic intervention and the potential for Salesforce, when properly aligned with business objectives and expertly managed, to drive transformative business outcomes. 

    Project Info

    • Industry:Consumer Goods and Retail, Manufacturing
    • Services:Managed Services
    • Key Feature 1:Salesforce Platform
    • Key Feature 2:Salesforce Cloud
    • Completed Date:02/29/2024