Tricon Residential: IT modernization helps industry leader keep pace with accelerated growth and continuous innovation
Tricon Residential is the fourth largest single-family rental company in the United States. Founded in 2012, the publicly owned company has a portfolio of over 20,000 homes in ten states. As one of the country’s fastest-growing real estate companies, Tricon has gained a competitive advantage by offering highly responsive, personalized customer service and translating it into profitable long-term relationships. The company recognized IT modernization as critical to further strengthening its market position.
Since 2016, the company has more than doubled its rental home portfolio. This accelerated growth highlighted the need to formalize and streamline processes, reduce costs, and optimize its operational efficiencies. With properties spread out over large geographic areas, Tricon was also in search of scalable solutions for managing, servicing, and maintaining their homes as well as a responsive communication platform for delivering a high-touch, seamless experience to its residents.
Challenges to pursuing these strategies included limited internal development resources as well as a lack of off-the-shelf solutions for the single-family vertical market. As the company expanded, Tricon partnered with a specialized team of solutions architects at Effectual to integrate their business requirements with DevOps expertise and take advantage of evolving Amazon Web Services (AWS) solutions.
- Improving operational efficiencies while scaling teams and services quickly
- Combining multiple data sources to create complete and holistic reporting
- Innovating continuously to optimize costs and meet market demand
- Creating a DevOps culture focused on automation, cross department communication and collaboration
During the last four years, Effectual has supported these goals by designing, developing, and deploying numerous solutions for the company leveraging the AWS Cloud. These include applying IoT capabilities, integrating smart home technologies, and utilizing AI/ML managed services for revenue enhancements.
Solutions & Benefits
One of Effectual’s first projects was to streamline Tricon’s existing rental process and leverage automation to integrate existing administrative functions with custom business applications. In addition, the team developed and launched a 200-home smart home pilot with BeHome247, a cost-saving program Tricon is rolling out to its entire portfolio..
Continuous Integration – Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)
To speed time to market deployments, increase reliable releases, and provide a secure environment, the team also created a CI/CD stack and pipeline that aligned new feature requests from ideation to deployment.
Performance & Functionality
In order to reduce AWS costs and increase scalability, Effectual streamlined Tricon’s application payments, built a performant dashboard, and deployed AWS S3 for highly scalable cloud object storage.
Monitoring & Logging
Last, by integrating all aspects of custom applications with CloudWatch, Tricon can now easily monitor and quickly troubleshoot issues without affecting their customer experience.
The success of these initial improvements has led Tricon to further expand its partnership with Effectual, including exploring new AWS services and developing additional custom applications to better serve its residents. The company is rapidly becoming an industry leader in new technologies.
“Effectual has been an extension of our team for several years, and we appreciate their focus on implementing scalable, innovative, and well-architected solutions in partnership with us. They continually go above and beyond to ensure that new projects are successful by asking questions and clarifying assumptions to truly understand our business objectives. We utilize their knowledge to evaluate new technologies and services to ensure that our technology stack is optimized.”Dawn Dalton, VP of Business Systems
Implementing Modern Cloud Management & Optimization
As the team addressed Tricon’s development requirements, it recognized the company was going to need ongoing management to monitor and maintain the security and performance of its AWS platform as well as to identify opportunities for cost optimization and business intelligence strategies.
With a growing estate of applications running on AWS continued, it became apparent that opportunities existed to improve the maintenance and security of Tricon’s environments. As a cloud-first, security-first Modernization Service Provider, Effectual provided the experience and expertise to keep the company on a path of continued innovation.
In particular, Tricon had experienced disruptions within critical business systems and wanted to improve their response time with greater visibility into what was causing errors. By establishing automated monitoring alert systems, Effectual has helped Tricon to respond quickly and resolve issues as they occurred, reducing downtime and improving customer experience.
Additional modern cloud management solutions implemented by Effectual include:
- Deployed Amazon Control Tower to establish guardrails and security control policies
- Used Qualys patch management to ensure EC2’s remain hardened after deployment
- Utilize automated secure configuration audit tools to assess the security posture of Tricon’s environment configuration
- To ensure continuous compliance, leverage configuration tools for generating automated alerts and email notifications against any changes that would compromise Tricon’s security posture or move the company into non-compliance (Tricon’s unique compliance and regulatory requirements determine the acceptable baseline configuration standards)
- Provide metrics along with recommendations for improvement
- Deployed DevOps Guru to alert our CloudOps team to operational issues as they are occurring, as well as to predict when they will happen in the future – allowing our development team to prioritize the most critical issues to focus on in the backlog
“We’re coming to resolution much faster now on issues. Before working with Effectual, it was taking us longer to figure out the root cause.”Gregg Knutson, Sr. VP of Information Technology
With consistent reporting, Effectual’s delivery team has also been able to uncover patterns affecting Tricon’s costs. For example, Effectual reviewed the company’s 6 month cost trends during a quarterly business review and identified an unutilized RI (Reserve Instance) that had become orphaned. Resolving the issue helped Tricon take advantage of the significant discount RIs offer – a key strategy for cost optimization. This proactivity is one of the most important benefits of having a long-term partnership with a Modernization Service Provider.
As a trusted advisor, Effectual’s overall goal is to set Tricon on a path of scalability and growth with the confidence it can securely and reliably serve its customers. This includes aligning the company’s business goals with new tools, methodologies, and strategies to support their growing business.
“We try to be a forward-thinking organization in terms of technology, and really want to leverage modern IT systems. With this partnership, we’ve deepened our ability to meet the growing needs of our technology roadmap.”Gregg Knutson