How Paint Colors Can Improve the Marketability of Your Rental

24 Mar
2015

Home is where the heart is, that’s why some of the most important decisions when preparing a vacant rental is choosing the right colors. Paint colors directly influence mood. When choosing what color to paint the walls, put aside your personal taste since it may not appeal to the renter. Neutral colors are key for rentals and works with most furniture and design styles.

Paint 1

Selecting the right paint colors is an easy, affordable way to make a big difference with your rental property. Prior to showing, a fresh coat of paint should be on the to-do list, in addition to fixing any wear and tear or damage and shampooing the carpets. Continue reading

Social Security Number vs Taxpayer Identification Number: Understanding the Difference

16 Mar
2015

SSNHave you ever wondered what the difference is between a Social Security Number (SSN) and an individual Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), and how it is used when pulling a background screening report?

According to the IRS, a TIN is only available for certain nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents who cannot get a SSN and is used for administering tax laws such as filing tax returns and opening a bank account. Depending on the identification number, it is either issued by the IRS directly or by the Social Security Administration (SSA). TINs are a 9-digit number, beginning with the number “9” and formatted like an SSN.

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California Supreme Court Overturns Sex Offender Residency Ban in San Diego County

10 Mar
2015

by: Laura Mowry

Eviction RecordBack in 2006 California voted for Proposition 83 known as Jessica’s Law, in an effort to protect children from registered sex offenders.   In a shocking turn of events last week, the California Supreme Court lifted residency restrictions in San Diego County that previously prohibited sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park.  What this means, is that registrants may be able to take a San Diego County residence near a school, park or any other place where children congregate.

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California Attempting to Make Convicted Criminals a Protected Class for Housing

6 Mar
2015

By: Ryan Green

AB396Recently, The California State Legislature introduced a new bill which seeks to amend §12955 of the Government Code, to include a criminal record as a basis upon which housing discrimination is prohibited. Continue reading

CIC Launches New Employment Screening Platform and Enhanced Background Products

5 Mar

CIC Logo_Power of DecContemporary Information Corp. (CIC), the nation’s most reputable provider of background screening to the multifamily housing industry, is pleased to announce the recent launch of a new web-based employment screening platform and upgraded packages. This new platform offers bundled services at a cost savings and al a carte options to ensure clients hire the best candidate for any position within the organization.

Through a clean, simple web-based interface, organizations can order background reports 24/7 and view all online orders, both in-process and archived. With the ability to easily manage user permission levels, the screening platform gives you control, security and privacy within the organization.

Continue reading

Property Management: 21 Low Cost Renewal Concessions

2 Mar

by JOHN WILHOIT JR. on FEBRUARY 7, 2015

Republished with permission from Mr. John Wilhoit, Jr. To view the original article, please visit the Multifamily Insight Blog.

What is your customer acquisition costs? What does it costs the property to obtain a new lease? There is advertising, overhead and staff time- all part of the expense for obtaining a new resident. Then there is the customer retention costs.

Continue reading

CIC Celebrates 29 Years of Growth and Industry Excellence

24 Feb
2015

CIC Logo_Power of DecThis month Contemporary Information Corp. (CIC) celebrates 29 years of providing the multifamily housing industry with The Power of Decision. Established originally as a mortgage credit reporting agency, CIC has grown to become the industry’s most reputable tenant and employment screening provider, while expanding services to include a robust line of business and data solutions that protect the portfolios and interests of its clients.

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ApplyConnect Launches Tenant Screening App for Real Estate Agents and Landlords

17 Feb
2015

appApplyConnect, the industry’s most advanced tenant screening solution for landlords and real estate agents, recently launched a free smartphone and tablet app to enhance their users’ experience. This first-to-market technology saves landlords and real estate agents time, allowing the tenant screening process to be completed at the time of a showing. The app eliminates delays in the screening process and within minutes, residents can be approved and ready to move into their new home.

Continue reading

Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

12 Feb
2015

by: Laura Mowry

Improving your credit score may seem daunting, but there are numerous ways you can begin improving your score today. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, taking a look at what you can do day by day to improve your score will help you in the long run.

Continue reading

What Would You Do If There Was an Active Shooter at Your Workplace?

5 Feb
2015

by: Laura Mowry

Surviving an Active Shooter - Poster03

Source: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

Workplace preparedness for fires and earthquakes are commonplace, but with the growing occurrences of workplace violence, employers can potentially save lives with a simple 10 minute training video.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, since 2006, the U.S. averages an active shooter event with four or more deaths every 2.9 months. Understanding that these incidents are on the rise; the sheriff’s department launched a training video Jan. 29, to help prepare you and your staff.

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Fight ID Thieves and Hackers Throughout the New Year

27 Jan
2015

by: Laura Mowry
Communications connectivity Identity theft and computer system hacking is on the rise and many Americans are unknowingly at risk. This threat to consumers comes in various forms, many of which you might not have given much thought. The holiday shopping season that just wrapped up routinely sees a spike in the number of identity theft occurrences and with the tax season just around the corner, consumers aren’t out of the woods when it comes to facing this debilitating crime.

Continue reading

California’s New AB 60 Driver’s License for Undocumented Immigrants

21 Jan
2015

By: Laura Mowry

 

California AB 60 Driver LicenseProperty Managers can expect to see a new form of identification from California residents with the implementation of Assembly Bill 60, which took effect January 2, 2015. The law permits undocumented immigrants who successfully demonstrate proof of identity and California residency to obtain a driver’s license upon successfully passing the vision, written and behind-the-wheel testing requirements.

Continue reading

Use of Marijuana in Multifamily Assisted Properties

15 Jan
2015

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a memorandum December 29, 2014 regarding the classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The memorandum states that the manufacture, distribution or possession of marijuana is illegal under federal law even if it is permitted under state law for medical or recreational purpose.

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CIC Integration with 365 Connect and the NAA Click & Lease Program Delivers Next Generation of Online Leasing

8 Jan
2015

365 Connect integrates with NAA Click & Lease ProgramThe integration of CIC resident screening with 365 Connect’s award-winning technology platform provides property managers with best-in-class leasing solutions that eliminate data entry redundancies to help qualified applicants move into their new homes faster. Continue reading

California Legislative Changes for 2015 Impacting Multifamily Housing

29 Dec
2014

The New Year is just around the corner and so are the new California laws that are about to take effect. Here at CIC, we want to keep you up-to-date on some of the changes that will directly impact the multifamily housing industry, this year.

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Deconstructing the FICO® Score

19 Dec
2014

By: Laura Mowry

Fico-vs-Vantage-credit-scoreAccording to the Fair Isaac Corporation®, in the 1950’s, Bill Fair and Earl Isaac founded the company, which introduced a new concept of credit scoring to credit grantors. In 1981, FICO® introduced the first credit bureau risk score. Today, the predictive analytics company works with businesses in more than 80 countries to determine creditworthiness.

Continue reading

Your Credit Score and the Holiday Shopping Season

15 Dec
2014

This year, according to the American Research Group, Inc., American shoppers will spend an average of $861 this holiday season. With the busiest shopping season of the year in full-swing, many consumers use credit cards to make their holiday purchases, without considering the potential consequences.

Continue reading

Three Expert Tips for Safe Online Shopping

24 Nov
2014

With theResident Screening Blog Online Shopping Safety holidays quickly approaching, online shopping provides consumers everywhere with a convenient alternative to waiting in long lines and braving the chilly weather. In honor of the busiest time of year for shopping, here are some expert tips from Experian to protect yourself while shopping online this holiday season. Continue reading

Information About Reporting Criminal Records From NCRA’s Legal Counsel

6 Nov
2014

As the nation’s most trusted provider of criminal and eviction data solutions for the multifamily housing industry, CIC wants help keep you informed of current industry affairs and developments. As such, the following is insight provided by Larry Henry, the National Consumer Reporting Association’s legal counsel.

Mr. Henry’s practice focuses on advising employers employment law matters, including issues related to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the law governing background checks. He is nationally known for his expertise in the FCRA and employment law matters. He is admitted to the Oklahoma and Iowa Bar Associations, all Oklahoma federal district courts, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

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ApplyConnect Celebrates One Year of Revolutionizing the Tenant Screening Industry

31 Oct
2014

By: Laura Mowry
 
tenant screening at no cost to real estate agentsApplyConnect, a revolutionary tenant screening service for landlords and real estate agents celebrates the first anniversary since the product launched in October of 2013. Throughout the first year, multiple product enhancements were released to continue to provide clients with the best possible solution for an easy-to-use, comprehensive alternative to traditional screening. Continue reading

Current CDC Guidance on Common Questions About Ebola

17 Oct
2014
Note that this is the latest information from health officials as of 5:00 P.M. EDT, October 16th, 2014

cdc logo

  1. If someone in an apartment building is diagnosed with Ebola, will other residents become infected as well? What are the real risks?
  2. Continue reading

Using Information from Data Brokers? Beware the FCRA and the FTC …

9 Oct
2014

By Elizabeth M. Bohn

Reprinted with permission from Carlton Fields Jorden Burt.

iStock_000016048301_LargeAs sellers and Internet service providers gather increasing amounts of consumer information, the data broker industry has expanded. Identifying themselves as “market research” firms, data brokers buy, analyze, sort, aggregate, and resell public and non-public information and analytics about consumers to companies that use the data to target their marketing efforts. Continue reading

Selecting a Reliable Commercial Vendor – Doing Your Due Diligence

2 Oct
2014

Written by: Laura Mowry
 
Experian-Business-IQ-VideoWhen selecting a commercial vendor, it is important to feel confident that you are entering into a contract with a trustworthy company.  As the nation’s leading provider of data solutions to the multifamily housing industry, CIC is committed to helping clients vet companies before entering into business agreements.

Evaluating business credit data is an essential part of the vendor selection process. This allows you to analyze any financial risks before entering into a contractual agreement and hiring outside services. Conducting research before agreeing to work with a new vendor can save you a lot of heartache and money in the back-end, by avoiding contractor fraud, poor workmanship, or a vendor on the brink of bankruptcy. Continue reading

Promote Vacancies Using Unique URLs

29 Sep
2014

Written by: Laura Mowry

advertise rental vacancies with a unique linkApplyConnect, a revolutionary alternative to traditional tenant screening for landlords and real estate agents announced a product enhancement this week, providing landlords and real estate agents with a unique web link for use in advertisements. The link can be utilized by multiple renters and no longer requires landlords and real estate agents to create an invitation for each applicant. Continue reading

Three Tech Security Components to Protect Your CIC Credentials

17 Sep
2014

Written by: Laura Mowry

tips to protect against identity theft

The Home Depot® confirmed September 8, that a breach occurred with its payment data systems. This is merely the latest example of data breaches that have made national news headlines. As the nation’s premier provider of property management data solutions, CIC encourages clients to take proactive measures to protect devices and their CIC credentials. Continue reading

Credit for Renting

19 Aug

The Impact of Positive Rent Reporting on Subsidized Housing Residents

By:  Experian®  RentBureau®

apartment-housingFor many Americans, financial exclusion is a reality. These Americans, many of whom consistently meet their financial obligations as agreed, operate primarily on a cash basis and are exempt from mainstream financial services products due to limited or no credit history. Therefore, these individuals are dependent on high-cost, short-term credit, and they pay a premium for access to basic services such as utilities and telecommunications. Continue reading

Rental Payment History Reporting: In an Increasingly Competitive Market, Giving Property Managers and Millennials an Edge

15 Aug
2014
Written by: Ryan Green

CIC_logo_200x100The fourth annual national credit score knowledge survey, released May 12, 2014 by the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions, LLC, determined that millennials age 18-34 are far less educated about credit scores than other adults. With this generation trading home ownership for freedom of renting, their lack of knowledge of credit scores could prove to be somewhat risky for property managers. Continue reading

365 Connect Brings the Power of Decision to its Online Leasing Platform with CIC Resident Screening Integration

6 Aug
2014
Written by: Kerry Kirby

365 ConnectThe integration of 365 Connect’s Leasing Platform with CIC brings together best-of-breed technology solutions to simplify the process for property managers to lease vacant apartment units. The integration eliminates data entry redundancies to help qualified applicants move into their new homes faster. The solution allows prospective residents to apply online, pay application fees and send data directly to CIC for immediate decisions. It eliminates the burden and expense of traditional paperwork flow by automating the application process into a completely paperless environment. Continue reading

CIC Offers Clients Experian RentBureau® Rental History Reports At No Cost with All Experian Credit Reports

18 Jul
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

CIC tenant screeningCIC, the nation’s most trusted supplier of information solutions for the multifamily housing industry, provides Experian RentBureau® data at no additional cost to clients receiving Experian® credit reports. Providing property managers with the most comprehensive reports, CIC helps mitigate undesirable rental risks. Continue reading

CIC Now Offers Fraud-Defender to Clients’ Applicants: Increases Property Management Companies’ Revenue Stream

27 Jun
2014

CIC, the nation’s premier tenant screening provider, is pleased to announce that clients may now include Fraud-Defender’s industry-leading identity fraud research, remediation and recovery systems in their application process. By partnering with Fraud-Defender, property managers will automatically provide each rental applicant numerous consumer protection benefits, while increasing their revenue stream from each rental application. Continue reading

CIC’s Industry-Leading Resident Screening Now Available Through ResMan® Residential Property Management Software

13 Jun
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

CIC_logo_200x100CIC, the nation’s leading provider of resident screening for multifamily housing, is pleased to announce this week, integration with ResMan®, a product by Ensoware, LLC offering clients a cloud-based residential management application. CIC’s integration partnership with ResMan ensures clients benefit from a software solution that promotes growth for management and suppliers, as well as gives property managers the ability to make informed decisions with industry-leading screening solutions. Continue reading

CIC’s Resident Screening Professionals to Lead Learning Zone Session at 2014 NAA Conference and Exposition on the ‘Five Legal Pitfalls to Avoid’

4 Jun
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

NAA-2014_bigAttendees at the 2014 National Apartment Association (NAA) Education Conference and Exposition are encouraged to stop by booth #1609 to find out more information about CIC’s best-in-class resident screening and integration partnerships. Industry involvement remains a top priority for CIC and among sales and marketing team members Caryn Bennett, CIC compliance manager will be on-hand, assisting at the National Credit Reporting Agency (NCRA)‘s exhibit, located at booth #457. Continue reading

CIC Partners with Identity Guard®, an Industry-Leading Identity Theft Protection & Recovery Service Company

2 Jun
2014

CIC, the nation’s most trusted tenant screening provider, now offers Identity Guard®, a leading identity theft protection and credit monitoring service. For nearly three decades, CIC has proudly led the tenant screening industry in data security and wants to offer their customers an opportunity to sign up for Identity Guard. Identity Guard offers added security measures to monitor credit activity and public records, help protect personally identifiable information (PII) and help identity theft victims recover.  Continue reading

ApplyConnect Simplifies Tenant Screening for Landlords & Agents, Launches a Multiple Invite Function

21 May
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

[1C] Postcard Adding Co-AppA recent product enhancement launched this week for ApplyConnect, a revolutionary tenant screening solution which delivers comprehensive reports at no cost to landlords and real estate agents. ApplyConnect now has a multiple invite function that further simplifies the screening process. Continue reading

ApplyConnect Delivers Comprehensive Tenant Screening to Association of Realtors and Offers a Revenue Share

12 May
2014
Written By: Laura Mowry

Offical Applyconnect Logo

CIC, the nation’s premier tenant screening provider for the multifamily housing industry, announced today an opportunity for Associations of Realtors to earn a monthly revenue share from ApplyConnect tenant screening reports. This mutually beneficial marketing partnership makes it easy to earn a passive source of revenue for the association while providing a valuable service to its membership and protecting their clients’ rental properties. Continue reading

CIC Announces Participation at NAA Education Conference & Exposition

5 May
2014
Written by: Bill Bower

NAA-2014_bigCIC, the nation’s leading provider of resident screening solutions, is pleased to announce participation at this year’s National Apartment Association (NAA) Education Conference & Exposition, which will be held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, June 18-21. Continue reading

Exercise Caution with Internet Explorer and your Emails

28 Apr
2014
Written by: Chad Walters

Microsoft announced over the weekend a vulnerability in the Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) application that affects all versions from IE 6 to IE 11. This is how it works: Hackers set up a website that installs malware when you visit it. If you’re duped into visiting the website while using the Internet Explorer program, malware seeps into your computer and gives a stranger total control. You might not even notice. Continue reading

CIC’s Online Systems Not Vulnerable to the Heartbleed Bug

24 Apr
2014
Written by: NAPBS

heartbleedCIC’s online systems (Securecontinfo.com, RentProtect and ApplyConnect) are not, and were not, affected by Heartbleed.

For the Ready2Apply Online Rental Application System, we took immediate action to ensure our servers and network appliances were patched and not vulnerable.

The security of your data and your applicants’ personal information is our top priority. CIC is actively involved with the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. Their Data Breach Subcommittee released this helpful article: Continue reading

Legislation Affecting the Screening of Tenants

15 Apr
2014
Written by: Caryn Bennett

The consumer reporting industry, despite what critics, media and the general population may believe, is a highly regulated business. Although this article should not be perceived as legal advice and is certainly not a comprehensive list of new legislation, we will do our best to highlight bills, ordinances and mandates across the U.S. that have recently come to our attention. Continue reading

Receiving FCRA Certification

10 Apr
2014
Written by: Caryn Bennett

NCRA FCRA CertificationIf reading a study guide and passing a 30 question test could save you thousands of dollars in potential lawsuits and legal fees, you and your staff would all do it, right? Continue reading

Illinois HB 4778 Threatens Property Managers with Additional Restrictions

7 Apr
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

Rep. Chris Welch, introduced Illinois House Bill 4778 back in February of 2014, in an attempt to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act, which would mean big changes for property managers and the tenant screening community. If the legislation passes, additional restrictions will be enforced on property managers throughout the state. Continue reading

Take Control of Your Tenant Screening Report

4 Apr
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

Offical Applyconnect Logo

 

Feeling empowered is a wonderful thing, particularly when it comes to finding and moving into your new home. Thanks to technology and ingenuity of many people aiming to make the process less cumbersome, the modern-day apartment hunter has numerous resources at their disposal to empower their big move. Continue reading

NAA and NMHC Joint Legislative Program Outlines this year’s Regulatory Priorities at 2014 Conference

28 Mar
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

Cap-Con

With the apartment industry’s $1.1 trillion contribution to the U.S. economy, which supports more than 25 million jobs – it’s important for the multifamily housing industry to stay in the know about ongoing legislative matters. To help industry experts stay in the know, the National Apartment Association (NAA) and National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) held their annual conference March 9-12, where the regulatory priorities of 2014 were outlined. Continue reading

Ready2Apply Offers Property Managers a Customizable Solution to the Hassles of Rental Applications

13 Mar
2014
Written By: Laura Mowry

CIC, the nation’s premiere tenant screening firm, is pleased to announce that Ready2Apply, a convenient online rental application and lease generation solution, has been updated to improve overall usability. With the new changes taking effect this week, Ready2Apply helps property managers quickly and efficiently process qualified tenants by eliminating data entry redundancies. Continue reading

Leveraging the Power of Technology Helps Property Managers Fill Vacancies Fast in Multifamily Communities

11 Mar
2014
Written By: Laura Mowry

365 ConnectDeveloping a strong online presence is crucial for property managers looking to advertise vacancies, but it can be difficult to make sure that visibility is targeting the right renters and valuable opportunities aren’t being overlooked. Fortunately for property managers, there are valuable tools, which leverage technology to not only get your properties noticed, but they help expedite the rental process. Continue reading

Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know

10 Mar
This article originally appeared on http://www.ftc.com
By: Lesly Fair

When someone mentions the FTC, the EEOC, and the FCRA in the same sentence, it may sound like a ladle of alphabet soup.  What’s really being served up is a new joint publication by the Federal Trade Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that talks about how the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the mandate to comply with anti-discrimination laws intersect when employers use background checks in personnel decisions. Continue reading

Washington Regulation Update – Keep up the pressure

5 Mar
2014
Originally Seen at www.NCRAinc.org

The two bills pending in Washington State legislature reported over the last couple weeks did not make it to the floor by the required timeline and time is running out for them, it is crucial to continue the pressure on the State legislature as some senators are pursuing options to overcome the opposition by our allies. Continue reading

Three Simple Ways to Drive Applicants to your Vacancies

27 Feb
2014
Written By: Laura Mowry

Filling vacancies is a continuous struggle for property managers, and apartment hunting is no small task for renters. With so many properties and websites to sort through, renters are looking for a quick and easy way to move into their new home. Continue reading

A Position on Washington HB 2537 and SB 6291 “An Act Relating to Tenant Screening”

26 Feb
2014

Update: On Feb. 27th the bills did not make it out of the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing, and Insurance Committee. The bills are therefore (likely) dead.

The Problem:  There have been reports of some consumers who have experienced delays in obtaining rental housing due to the costs associated with consumer reports obtained by property managers and landlords to qualify the consumer’s tenancy. The state of Washington’s Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RLTA), which regulates the relationship between landlords and tenants, acknowledges that screening reports are an important part of this relationship.  Further, the Washington State Legislature has “…found and declares comprehensive tenant screening reports are a necessary and fair solution for both applicants and landlords”[1]. Despite the importance of these documents to all parties, legislation now pending in the Washington state legislature (H.B. 2537)) would both lower accuracy and increase the potential for fraud in these documents, exposing both landlords and the prospective tenants to incorrect housing decisions.      Continue reading

CIC Celebrates 28th Anniversary as Nation’s Fastest Growing Tenant Screening Firm

20 Feb
2014
Written by: Laura Mowry

28th AnniversaryCIC, a nationwide leader in tenant screening for the multifamily housing industry and wholesale data market announced today that February 16, 2014 marked 28 years of industry excellence, delivering innovative solutions to protect its clients’ properties and investments. Continue reading

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