VerticalRent (www.verticalrent.com) has been making quite the splash across the United States for independent landlords owning between 1 and 50 units. Serving landlords in all 50 states, we have reached a milestone in our quest to simplify the lives of rental property investors seeking a powerful and no-cost solution to their tenant screening needs. In celebration of our 50-state coverage milestone, we have decided to improve upon our existing tenant screening system dramatically with the introduction of VerticalRent 2.0 – available late September 2014.
We have re-defined the direct-to-consumer tenant screening model by offering an easy-to-use, powerful, and no-cost platform for landlords. Our goal is to give landlords the tools they need at their finger tips to make informed leasing decisions before handing over the keys to their investment property. The direct-to-consumer model we have built our platform around simply means that your prospective tenant (the applicant) retrieves and agrees to share their application information with you (credit report, credit score, criminal report, eviction report, and rental application).
Our FCRA-compliant process has not changed fundamentally. What has changed is that we’re giving you visibility into each “leg” of the applicant-tracking process. You are kept informed from the moment you send the e-invitation from VerticalRent, to the moment the prospective tenant has saved and completed their application package. It's a 5-step process: Sent > Opened > Paid > Saved > Finished:
Improved tenant screening progress visibility
In this upcoming feature blog post, we are going to give you a sneak preview of what’s to come in late September. The first step is to either invite an applicant to the platform, or you could even use our “Apply Now” button and sprinkle it across your online ads. We give you that flexibility as the landlord. Let’s take a look at the re-defined process from an invitation perspective.
Inviting a prospective tenant to screen is quick and easy. You need a few pieces of information:
Simple options to invite an applicant
You can invite the prospective tenant by either e-mail or SMS text message. The Invite by Text Message (SMS) feature is new in VerticalRent 2.0.
As the landlord, you have the ability to customize which reports you want to request from the prospective tenant. You can collect a rental application, Experian® credit report with VantageScore®, criminal report, and/or eviction report at no-cost to you:
Choose the tenant screening reports you want - no-cost to you
We also allow you to customize your invitation by providing an optional welcome message and property address. We also offer additional options to charge a rental application fee (directly deposited into your bank account), or even pay for the reports on behalf of the applicant:
Pay on behalf of your applicant
Once you invite a prospective tenant to screen, you are kept informed of each step in the applicant process. We even track the exact time each leg is completed:
Real-time tracking for each applicant
Your prospective tenant receives an e-mail or SMS text message requesting the screening reports you've chosen. They have the option to open or decline the invitation. If they decline the invitation, you are notified immediately.
When the applicant opens the invitation, you are notified with a progressing green bar on the applicants screen:
Track when invitations are opened
The prospective tenant is guided through our applicant tracking system (www.appsingular.com) to complete their rental application and agree to share the consumer reports with you:
AppSingular is our applicant tracking system
You are notified when the prospective tenant has paid. You even have the option to send an electronic note to the prospective tenant now that they have opened the invitation and paid:
Communicate with the applicant once they begin the progress
Further along, the prospective tenant completes their rental application and authorizes to share it with you. They provide an electronic signature and continue to the next step of retrieving their credit report. We have partnered with Experian® for credit reports with VantageScore®:
Applicants verify their identity and retrieve Experian® credit reports
Each of your applicants are required to answer a set of security questions to verify their identity with Experian®.
Once your applicant finishes retrieving their credit report, they authorize you to obtain their criminal and eviction history. Once the applicant is finished, you are notified that the reports are available, and your applicant can proceed to view their own credit report, send a note to you, or simply logout:
What your applicant sees when they are complete
On your end as the landlord in VerticalRent, your applicants page indicates all reports are ready to view:
What you see when applicants are completed
Everything starts with the rental application, credit report, criminal report, and eviction report. We give you the tools you need to make an informed leasing decision:
One centralized page to view all tenant screening reports
Taking it a few steps further, you can approve or decline the applicant. When declining an applicant, we assist you in creating an adverse action letter to keep you compliant as a small landlord. When approving, we provide several options:
Manage your lease with VerticalRent when you find your next tenant
Thank you for taking time to read about the upcoming version of VerticalRent - available late September. In the coming weeks, we'll have more blog entries giving insight into VerticalRent 2.0.