Choosing a rental screening provider: Your cheat sheet

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Rental screening providers are not created equal. They come in all shapes and sizes—from providing basic credit, criminal and eviction information all the way to providing statistical models, resident insights, predictive forecasting and ability to meet your legal and compliance obligations.

It can be hard to tease out the differences, but it is important to know the facts. Quality screening providers, like TransUnion, can help you increase your net operating income by enabling you to reduce the likelihood of:

  • Evictions/skips
  • Property safety issues
  • Turn costs
  • Length of resident tenure
  • Litigation and related costs

The question is no longer whether or not you’ll use a provider, but which will you use.

In a recent webinar I went over the four types of resident screening providers and the value each can bring to your business.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet on the value you can expect from different types of rental screening providers:

1. "Just the facts”

  • Lowest level of sophistication
  • Sell basic reports
  • Typically small
  • Tend to perform well in specific regions of the country

2. "The Commoner”

  • Most common type in the industry
  • Just above the basics
  • Promote price, ease of system use or integrations, but it’s not clear how they provide better results
  • Could be offered by a property management software provider

3. "A Step Above”

  • Seek to offer a quality screening product
  • Better data coverage than the commoners, plus additional ways to match and return data
  • May be able to provide some enhanced reporting to help better manage screening

4. "Best-in-Class”

  • Highest level of sophistication
  • Rare
  • Expertise is less in software development and more in data, analysis and forecasting
  • Focus on the numbers and how to manage to goals
  • Provide much deeper insights into applicants and residents
  • Leverage vast amounts of data to develop predictive, accurate solutions
  • Typically employ resources dedicated to understanding the needs of the rental industry

 

Choosing a rental screening provider pyramid

 

It’s tempting to think all rental screening providers are basically the same, but don’t be misled. The most sophisticated providers will help you benefit your net operating income by leveraging predictive insights. I encourage you to learn more about advanced rental screening solutions from TransUnion at rentalscreening.transunion.com.

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