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Phase 1: Pre-Installation Planning

Back to HomeKeeper Onboarding Guide

Congratulations! You're on the way to getting your own instance of HomeKeeper. It's important that you follow the steps outlined in these phases carefully. If you are not already using Salesforce, you will also obtain Salesforce licenses (either by purchasing or receiving as a donation from Salesforce's Power of Us program)

This phase starts when you sign your HomeKeeper member agreement and ends once you have a Getting Started meeting with HomeKeeper staff. In this phase, you will:

  • Identify your organizational goals, including a timeline for historical data entry as well as goals for managing current applicants and homeowners
  • Make sure you're collecting the information that'll allow you to get a Social Impact Report.
  • Evaluate your program's unique training needs
  • Identify all staff who'll need training on HomeKeeper
  • Identify customizations needed for your program, your location and your workflows
  • Identify any special circumstances for your installation, including migration or extra customization
  • Answer any of your questions and make sure you know what to expect

The pre-installation planning phase should be a point when you meet with other staff and your supervisor so your entire organization has an idea of what's going on with HomeKeeper. You also should know we determine the order of installation by the order we are able to finish Pre-Installation planning.

1. Obtain Salesforce and licenses (if you don't have this already)

Most of our HomeKeeper users are non-profits using Salesforce for the first time. We also have user organizations who already had Salesforce, or for-profit organizations or cities (who must purchase licenses). Please follow the instructions for your situation. If you're not sure what to do at this point, let us know and we'll help guide you on how to proceed. If your organization is already using Salesforce, skip to Phase 1, Step 2.

Nonprofits should also decide if they would like to use Salesforce for their fund development/donation, because this will determine what to sign up for (as outlined below).

Note: To facilitate adoption, HomeKeeper training includes basic Salesforce user training and resource recommendations. Salesforce has a free learning tool called Trailhead (check out HomeKeeper recommendations at

If you're a non-profit AND would like to manage donations in Salesforce, you'll sign up for Salesforce (Non Profit Starter Pack, using the Household Account Model).

1.1. Sign up for Salesforce using the most recent version of the Non-Profit Starter Pack.

You can apply for a Salesforce 30 day trial here (select Lightning Enterprise Edition + NPSP)

Then, use your new Salesforce login to apply to for 10 free Salesforce Licenses.
Make the Trial a Permanent Account. Either apply for a grant or purchase your licenses from Salesforce.

Here are instructions to apply online for 10 free Salesforce licenses. The application includes a readiness section, organization and contact information, as well as requires that you upload your 501c3 documentation.  

1.1.1. Install HomeKeeper in your system

Inform HomeKeeper once you have an active, permanent Salesforce account. We'll send you a link so you can install the HomeKeeper app!

2. Complete the Data Collection Checklist (Homeownership, only)

One of the most exciting parts about HomeKeeper is that one platform is helping programs across the country collect the same information, so that the benefits of long term affordable homeownership programs can be demonstrated across the entire sector. To do this, programs have had to make some tweaks to their programs to match apples to apples. To make sure your data can compare, before you start using HomeKeeper, we ask that you review the HomeKeeper Data Collection checklist and add the appropriate fields to your application and note whether you're doing all of the procedures listed. Different programs implement the procedures differently, so we'll make it a point to discuss the checklist during our Getting Started meeting.

We do this in an effort to understand:

  • What information might be missing in your files historically
  • That you've added the necessary fields to your application going forward

Follow this link to fill out the Data Collection Checklist online.

Note, you can save your progress on the form with your e-mail address and a password. If you'd like to finish a hard copy before you enter the online form, you can download one here.

3. Meet with your staff to submit the Getting Started Survey

HomeKeeper's used by a wide variety of Homeownership programs, so we ask that you complete a Getting Started Survey so we know your unique training and customization needs. Expect:

  • Questions about what your program does and whether you'd like to track certain activities in HomeKeeper
  • To share the steps in your application process, plus details like  the names of your programs and locations you serve so we can add these to HomeKeeper for you

Follow this link to fill out the Getting Started Survey online.

Note, you can save your progress on the form with your e-mail address and a password. If you'd like to finish a hard copy before you enter the online form, you can download one here. Once you finish the survey, you'll be asked to provide 3 times you and your staff are available for the Getting Started Meeting.

4. Schedule a Getting Started Meeting

Once you've completed the above forms, we'll need to set up a Getting Started Meeting. Please send us three times when you and your team would be available (for an hour long meeting).

5. Attend the Getting Started Meeting

Once you've completed the above forms, we'll need to set up a Getting Started Meeting. Please send us three times that you and your team could be available for an hour long meeting. During this meeting, expect to discuss:

  • Your hopes and goals for HomeKeeper
  • The format of your current data management system (Are you drowning in paper? Lost in Excel files across your Server?)
  • A plan for getting your data in (Who's the lead, what's the timeline)
  • Any missing data or procedures
  • Details about your program so we can train you for what you do
  • What's covered in Orientation
  • Your next steps

Once we've had the Getting Started Meeting, you'll be ready for Phase 2 of the HomeKeeper Onboarding Process, which is Installation and Customization. See Phase 2 to learn what your to-do's are in that process.

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