Customer Spotlight: Viking Associates

Viking Associates

Profile

Units Managed:
1,700

Markets Segment:
Multifamily

On-Site Products:
Screening

Headquarters:
Cherry Hill, NJ

“With On-Site I feel more confident about what we’re doing.”
Viking Operations Manager Katrina McNamara

 

Katrina McNamara still remembers all the hoops she had to jump through when screening applicants. As Operations Manager for New Jersey based Viking Associates, McNamara spent most of her day behind a desk, reviewing applications.

Before switching to On-Site in 2012, Viking relied on raw credit and criminal reports that were nearly indecipherable. Adding insult to injury, there was no way for Viking to pre-define their rental criteria, which meant Viking had no way of knowing that leasing agents were complying with the company’s rental standards. As a result, McNamara had to personally approve every application that came through the door.

“We were using another vendor for resident screening which required us to review the criminal check and credit report, scrutinize the information, break it down and make a decision as to whether or not the applicant was qualified,” explained McNamara. “We had to spend time on each and every one. Basically, there were a lot more grey areas and a lot more work to arrive at a decision.”

The sheer amount of time and paperwork involved in the move-in process was frustrating for McNamara and even more so for her applicants. Move-ins were measured in weeks instead of days, setting a bad precedent for applicants eager to move into their new homes. Not to mention the lost rent. At an average prorated rent of $33 per day and a delay of one week, Viking was losing $231 on every application.

After spending years wrestling with their application and resident screening process, Viking decided enough was enough and made the switch to On-Site.

Screening automation saves the day

Thanks to On-Site’s consolidated and easy to understand rental reports, McNamara now spends less time filtering through raw reports and more time closing leases. Unlike a traditional credit report, which includes a black box credit score designed for auto loans and mortgages, On-Site’s rental report includes a rental score tailored to the business of leasing. Combined with On-Site’s simple thumbs up, thumbs down recommendation, McNamara and her team can quickly and confidently evaluate their applicants.

More importantly, On-Site’s software allows Viking Associates to set pre-defined rental criteria based on company policy.

McNamara also praised On-Site’s ability to customize the rental criteria for each individual property in Viking’s portfolio.

“I love how it’s customized to our business priorities—you can set your own parameters based on what is acceptable to you,” said McNamara. “Our On-Site representative worked closely with us to set up the program and showed us how certain factors can affect the score.”

On-Site takes Viking’s criteria and makes recommendations automatically, removing the human element from the decision process. Site level staff can approve or deny an applicant based on On-Site’s recommendation without the rubber-stamp from management and without risk of violating the Fair Housing Act.

“If leasing staff get an applicant in the office on a Saturday, they don’t need me to review it,” said McNamara. “We’ve set it up so that if the applicant meets Viking’s criteria, leasing staff can approve him on their own. And if the applicant doesn’t meet our criteria, leasing staff can’t approve him—it’s that simple.”

On-Site’s scoring system also allows leasing staff to approve less qualified applicants with an additional deposit. Both the scoring system and the deposit amounts are fully customizable.

“It’s no longer a subjective decision whether to approve an applicant,” said McNamara. “Plus, On-Site’s Renter Relations department saves our staff from having to explain the rental reports to applicants and potentially saying the wrong thing which could get us into a Fair Housing violation.”

“I love how it’s customized to our business priorities—you can set your own parameters based on what is acceptable to you.”
Viking Operations Manager Katrina McNamara

Ongoing support

Though it was On-Site’s automation that drew Viking to its services, it was On-Site’s dedication to excellent customer service that sealed the deal.

“Our On-Site rep has been wonderful—just awesome,” said McNamara. “She’s great at teaching—we can call her any time with questions and she’s always there to help straighten things out if we aren’t sure how to do something. I can’t imagine how we used to work without On-Site.” 

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