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The Unbelievably Easy Way To Streamline the Rental Application Process

CoCo Pierce

Housing associations must complete many administrative tasks daily to ensure everything runs smoothly. One of these crucial tasks is tenant onboarding. Onboarding is typically a lengthy and time-consuming process consisting of many steps, including application submission and review, lease signing, securing deposits, and more. 

When done manually, tenant onboarding not only takes a considerable amount of time but also is sensitive to errors and draws employees' attention away from more pressing tasks. But there's a better way - robotic process automation (RPA). Real estate agents can implement RPA to extract and process standardized information with ease. So let's dive into how. 

Why Use RPA in the Tenant Onboarding Process?

RPA bots, often called digital workers, mimic the way humans interact with software to perform high-volume, rules-based tasks. In simple words, RPA excels at those tedious, manual tasks that humans don't want to do and are also not very good at. RPA bots dramatically speed up processing times and reduce costly errors. 

Use Cases - How RPA Streamlines the Residential Application and Leasing Process

Here we'll look at the top ways you can leverage smart bots in the tenant screening and onboarding process. 

Application Filtering

Property managers and landlords use tenant screening criteria when assessing potential tenants. Conducting tenant screening helps minimize some of the risks involved in being a landlord, like late payments, non-payments, property damage, and evictions. 

The exact criteria may vary between landlord or property management company but typically include qualifying (positive) criteria and disqualifying (negative) criteria. For example, qualifying criteria may include things like good financial history, a clean background check, a clean eviction check, stable employment, sufficient income, and positive reference checks. Some of these can be checked further by other automation bots on this list. 

Disqualifying criteria works a little differently. For example, property management companies might reject an applicant outright if they don't need the initial screening criteria. For example, maybe the applicant has a pet, but you don't allow pets. Or perhaps you do allow cats and dogs, but the potential tenant has a bird - how many quiet birds have you met? A noisy pet might be a no go in a highly populated area where it becomes a nuisance to other tenants. 

Other reasons applicants may fail the screening check is if they are a smoker and you have a non-smoking unit, or they are applying for too many people to live in the space. 

Sifting through the screening criteria for each applicant can be time-consuming and result in costly delays if you miss something crucial. This is where RPA comes in. With the Applicant Filtering bot, you can filter out tenant applications based on predefined criteria without lifting a finger. Here's what it does:

  1. Log in to Forms Software.
  2. Retrieve new applications.
  3. Move applications that don't meet the criteria to the "Rejected" folder.
  4. Move applications that do meet the criteria to the "Accepted" folder.
  5. Add Applicant to Applicant Tracking Google Sheet.
  6. Update exceptions and results log.

Applicant Credit Check

Credit checks are an essential part of the tenant onboarding experience. Property management companies need to see if the potential tenant has had problems paying bills in the past because they want someone who will reliably pay rent every time it's due. Luckily, an RPA bot can gather all the credit check information for you. Here's how the smart bot works:

  1. Log in to Applicant Tracking Google Sheet.
  2. Filter applicants who do not have credit checks.
  3. For each applicant, log in to Credit Bureau and pull a credit check.
  4. Print to PDF and save to the applicant folder.
  5. Update Google Sheet.
  6. Update exceptions and results log.

Applicant Employment Check

Rent is money out, so applicants need money coming in. An applicant that currently has a job, meets the income threshold for the property, and has a stable employment history (no significant gaps) increases the chances of being paid on time. 

  1. Log in to Applicant Tracking Google Sheet.
  2. Filter applicants who do not have employment checks.
  3. For each applicant, log in to the employment check website and pull the report.
  4. Print to PDF and save to the applicant folder.
  5. Update Google Sheet.
  6. Update exceptions and results log.

Applicant Criminal Background Check

Applicant criminal background checks are a vital part of tenant screening. By identifying criminal history, property management companies can avoid tenants with a history of property damage or other relevant illegal activities. Property management companies or landlords often don't have a total ban on renters with criminal backgrounds, but a lengthy criminal career or specific convictions may be grounds for rejection. 

Real estate agents can ease the burden of criminal background checks by letting RPA handle the process. The Tenant Criminal Background Check bot works like this:

  1. Log in to Applicant Tracking Google Sheet.
  2. Filter applicants who do not have criminal background checks.
  3. For each applicant, log in to the background check website and pull the criminal background check.
  4. Print to PDF and save to the applicant folder.
  5. Update Google Sheet.
  6. Update exceptions and results log.

Benefits of Smart Bots in the Residential Application and Leasing Process

  • Complete audit trail - You never know when you will need to perform an audit, and it helps to have all your information organized when you do. 
  • Save time with boosted processing speed.
  • Have more time to spend on higher-value activities. 
  • Reduce costs with a low-cost digital workforce. 
  • Improved efficiency and boosted productivity.
  • Improved tenant-landlord relationships
  • Reduction in costly errors that delay the tenant onboarding process.
  • Improved compliance.
  • Flexibility.

Wrapping Up

Advanced automation tools like RPA bots help save time and money in the otherwise tedious and laborious residential applicant and leasing process. Why do all of the manual work yourself when a digital worker can do it for you in a fraction of the time?

Hire Perfect. Hire Bots.

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