In today’s competitive rental market, property managers always need to be one step ahead of the competition. Processes must become increasingly efficient, heightened risks must be addressed and reduced. The right online application solution is a great way to achieve both results – affordably.

There are a number of options available and not all online rental applications are created equal. The rental application process is what will help protect you from unwanted problems, such as evictions, late rental payments and property damage down the line.

Convenience and Customization

Today’s renters typically shop for apartments online and what better way to expedite the process then by having an Apply Now feature on the property’s website, online advertisement or to simply email the renter a unique hotlink to the property’s online rental application.  With the renter paying their application fee online it eliminates having to collect cash and money orders.

When choosing an online application system, look for the option to auto-populate data the renter entered directly to other forms such as the lease as this will save a tremendous amount of time and money by eliminating data entry redundancy.

Built-in Screening Solutions

The most comprehensive solutions will offer a tenant screening component that is either built-in, or can be included through a simple integration. Property managers are encouraged to carefully evaluate the solution offered, because the tenant screening process is one of the most crucial portions of the application process when it comes to mitigating risk and undesirable rental problems down the road. Property managers are encouraged to include a comprehensive credit, criminal and eviction records search before approving any renter for a vacancy – including the process in the online application will give you further peace of mind and save additional time by further eliminating data entry redundancies.

Stay Protected from Legislative Changes

With the current political climate, legislative changes are happening frequently. It can be daunting for property managers to keep up with state and local policy changes. The problem is that there are severe consequences for companies who fail to stay compliant with these changes. To avoid a potential lawsuit, it’s imperative to stay up-to-date or trust that the provider of your online rental application is taking care of this for you.

Checklist for an Online Rental Application Evaluation

  • Is the application user friendly to prospective renters?
  • Does it take less than 15 minutes on average to complete the application?
  • Can the renter pay the application fee online?
  • Is the application up-to-date with current state and local policies?
  • Can you easily manage user controls?
  • Are there data entry redundancies that can be eliminated?
  • Is there a tenant screening option? Can you trust the data?
  • Does your rental application offer an opportunity for revenue generation?

If after answering these questions, you are looking for additional peace of mind, increased efficiency and solid protection from liabilities associated with state and local legislation, as well as tenant screening – it may be time to make a change to your application process. Making the switch to an online rental application such as CIC’s Ready2Apply can be just the change your company has been looking for!

By: Laura Mowry

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