On-Site.com makes history with “live” rental information


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -– At 5 p.m. today, $172.80 made history.

Real estate technology firm On-Site.com makes it their business to tell apartment managers whom to rent to, and whom to pass on. The web-based service lets apartment hunters apply online and tracks where the resident is moving from.

Now the service also knows if they paid the rent on time.

For one apartment shopper today, leaving her previous landlord holding the bag caught up with her. This time, fortunately, the debt was showed as paid in full, and she was able to move into her new home.

On-Site.com is the first resident screening company to plug into RentBureau, an Atlanta-based start-up that collects rental payment information from apartment management companies. This database serves as a specialized "fourth credit bureau" for landlords, distributing valuable information on who pays the rent, and who doesn’t.

"This is really the holy grail for apartment managers," says Jake Harrington, On-Site’s business development manager. "The best predictor of how a resident will behave is how he has behaved before."

Resident screeners collect data from credit files, housing courts and even by calling the previous landlord for a reference. Applicants receive a score that gauges how risky approving them is. Some reports also include background checks from criminal records.

But never before has actual lease performance been available as a consideration. RentBureau automatically collects rental payment information every 24 hours from apartment owners and managers across the nation. This "real-time" aspect is key, since evictions or money judgments can take months to work through the system, and many never show up at all. Apartment managers are largely unable to report delinquencies to the three credit bureaus, and courts do not distribute public record information consistently. Some states like California even suppress housing court filings for a period of time, to give booted tenants a chance to get a fresh start elsewhere.

"Nine out of 10 ‘problem tenants’ are not actually physically evicted," notes Harrington, "But they are still headaches for the landlord. By identifying them upfront, the apartment manager can make a smarter, more informed decision to decline the application, or collect a larger deposit."

RentBureau has the potential to help residents who pay on time to establish credit since positive rental histories are reported as well. Showing that you pay the rent on time, month after month, is more impressive to an apartment manager than a great credit score.

The data is distributed free of charge to apartment management companies who contribute data to them. For a limited time, On-Site is bundling RentBureau searches for all its screening clients to demonstrate its relevance.

"Our initial figures indicate that these industry losses and the cost to recapture them total almost $3 billion a year" says Evan Jennings, chairman of RentBureau. "If managers can immediately confirm who these residents are, and how they paid their rent or didn’t, then industry losses will go down, resident quality will go up, and the bottom line will increase."

About On-Site.com

For smarter leasing, turn to the experts. We combine smart technology with personalized service to make it simple for apartment managers to attract, qualify and lease to quality residents. Our integrated solution ensures quality control from lead to lease, and everything in between: resident screening, document generation and archiving, community marketing and resident services.

On-Site.com media relations: (212) 566-7220