An increasing number of property managers are reporting renters’ rent payments — both as a way to attract applicants and to help renters build their credit. At least that’s what new research from the Tenant and Employment business at TransUnion suggests.
More than a third of property managers familiar with the practice who TransUnion surveyed said they now report rent payments — and almost half of them began doing so in the past 12 months. While the increase is credited to the ease of reporting made possible by new technology and servicers, around 52% of survey respondents also reported they see reporting as a way to encourage renters to pay on time.
The research — which was conducted in March 2023 and included survey responses from more than 150 multifamily property management executives from mid- and large-sized firms, and 3,301 current renters — shows a clear trend: Both renters and property owners see tremendous value in reporting rent payments.
But perhaps the most significant insight from the data is that many property managers see their relationships with their renters as more than transactional. The top reason they cited for reporting rent payments — at 86% — was to help renters strengthen their financial position through stronger credit scores, which opens up wider access to financial services and goods such as home ownership.
And the practice appears to be working. For example, Gen Z renters, who make up the larger portion of today’s renter profile, have rent payments reported nearly twice as frequently as other demographics, and 80% of those who do said their credit scores at least somewhat increased as a result.
Table 1. Rent payment reporting and impact on credit score by generation.
Rent payments reported
Credit score increased
“I think we’re seeing a change in perspective among property managers in that they increasingly see rent payment reporting as an important and attainable value-add they can provide renters: A new amenity that can not only support good payment behavior but also be valuable in new renter acquisition,” said Maitri Johnson, Vice President of Tenant and Employment Screening at TransUnion.
The data backs it up. The report found 58% of renters are more likely to rent from someone who reports rent payments, with higher representation among younger generations. In addition, 82% of all renters said they would be more likely to pay rent on time if their payments were reported. However, the key for property managers that do report rental payments is to make it known. Too many renters are unsure whether their payments get reported, according to the research.
“Having rent payments reported is an attractive option for most renters, so property managers that participate should really leverage that benefit in their advertising and highlight it in their lease agreements,” said Johnson.
For those property managers who aren’t reporting rent payments, getting them to commit to doing so came down to business value. Eighty-five percent would do so if it meant attracting renters who pay on time.
However, it’s also largely contingent on how easy the process is for them. Only 43% believed the process would be easy or very easy. While that’s a 15% jump from the previous year, it still indicates property managers want and need solutions, like TruVision™ Resident Credit, to make the process less daunting.
For even more insights from the study, download More Property Managers Embrace Rent Payment Reporting: Here’s Why. Or if you’re ready to start using rental payment reporting to attract better tenants and collect more rent on time, contact us today.