November 13, 2018
Why Are Online Rental Application Processes Safer?
Sending a prospective renter a PDF and asking them to print it, fill it out, scan it and send it back to you has been the ‘tried and true’ method of rental applications for 20 or so years. But as more and more property firms and landlords adopt cloud-based solutions, there has been an increase in online rental applications. Sometimes people who are considering automating these types of processes ask us, “Is it safer than the traditional in-person paper application or the email-print-scan application?” In a word, yes. And here’s why…
It Gets Rid of Errors
The redundant manual entry of data causes the vast majority of errors. From transposed numbers to misunderstanding messy writing and a hundred or more other ways, errors are rampant in paper or email applications that are then re-entered into the property firm’s system. By using a online rental application process, the information is entered once by the applicant, and then automatically populated to leases, welcome packages, etc. No manual intervention is required.
It Eliminates Incomplete Forms
It happens all the time. You’ve emailed application forms, and now they are coming back to you. Great! But, hold on, some info is missing. Or confusing. Now you have to email them back and ask them to redo it. In the meantime, time’s a-ticking. Speaking of which…
It Saves EVERYONE Time
Sending applications, reviewing applications, possibly re-sending applications, manually re-entering information into your system… it eats up your time, as well as the time of your applicant. It’s obviously a win-win situation when you can make a process better for the customer as well as internal operations.
It Reduces the Risk of Identity Theft
All those paper and email applications (that often are printed out) … how are you storing them and disposing of them? Who can access them? Paper gets lost. And, if you are dumping old applications in a recycling bin, you risk personal data being used for fraudulent purposes. (If you are shredding old applications, see the previous point!) Conversely, an online rental application secures your applicant’s personal information, with end-to-end encryption, multiple firewalls, and permission-based access to information.
It Lowers Risk of Bias
Property firms must abide by the Fair Housing Act, which prevents landlords from refusing an applicant based on race, religion, marital status, disability, and other factors. An online form means that everyone answers the same questions and is evaluated in a fair and equitable way. For example, the Property Vista application form is Fair Housing compliant, and does not include any questions relating to race, religion, family status or ability.
No More “Slipping Through the Cracks”
Firstly, the property manager automatically receives a ping when someone completes online application. As well, your prospective renter receives an automated “We are reviewing your application” email. This gives the applicant peace of mind, knowing that everything is in progress. (And the person is less likely to keep looking around!). No more misplaced paperwork or forgotten emails.
How Property Vista Helps
Property Vista offers a suite of powerful property management tools that help you share and collaborate on information and daily tasks. This includes a Web-based and simple-to-use online rental application. Property Vista’s robust suite of tools reduce vacancies, cut risk and increase cash flow. Our software gives you everything you need to build opportunities and accelerate growth. Learn more about our suite of property management software!