Credit Risk

How Property Managers Modernize the Application Process

How Property Managers Modernize the Application Process

April 09, 2019 | Dianna Morton

In today’s increasingly digital environment, it's important for property managers to know who the millennial renter is and how to reach them. They represent the largest segment of the American workforce1.  Additionally, they represent the greatest rental market opportunity. So property managers must understand how to engage these new applicants and modernize their application process.

Millennial Renters are Different

Millennial Renter Profile

  • Digital Natives: They prefer – and expect – to easily access goods and services via mobile devices.
  • Mobile First: The confluence of Millennial consumer preferences and the rise of mobile marketing have redefined retail sectors, and ultimately, it will extend to the rental market.
  • Professional Nomads: They embrace non-traditional career paths and the Gig Economy – by both need and choice. They tend to be professional nomads who move from employer to employer, city to city and industry to industry more frequently than past generations.
  • Convenience Seekers: Finally, they select service providers based on convenience, not brand, as opposed to legacy brand equity or loyalty.

Property Managers Struggle with Employment Verification

A recent study found 31% of property managers use employment and/or income data to evaluate potential renters2. Alternatively, we know property managers are trying to modernize the tenant screening process to accommodate this next-gen renter. That's because Millennials expect a frictionless application process. Therefore, property managers need to quickly verify income and employment information for contract/freelancer applicants. Above all, it should generally be done on a mobile-first platform.

“Getting job verification from employers tends to be a struggle for property managers,” says Tyler Sawyer, Vice President Rental and Real Estate Sector at Equifax.

“There's a number of different solutions that we've seen and are a part of as well, but property managers said about 50-percent of the time they're struggling with this verification process. For example, one of the biggest issues is time. It may take 5-10 days to get this information back. If it could be automated, then people could make decisions a lot faster.” Sawyer said.

Alternative Data Helps Transform the Application Process

Many Gig Economy workers can have thin or limited credit. However, alternative data can be key to knowing more about these next-gen renters. Specifically, it can leverage:

  • Employment Data
  • Income Data
  • Asset Data
  • Communications and Utility Payment
  • Bank Account History Data (deposit and withdraw patterns)

For more information on alternative data solutions, read “How Renters and Property Managers Should Take Advantage of New Technology to Engage the Next Generation of Renters” in Mediaplanet's "Renting in America" campaign.  


1 Frey, Richard (April 11, 2018). Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Retrieved from 2 Blotkamp, Walter (March 2018). Property Manager and Landlord Tenant Application Information Gaps. MMR Research commissioned by Equifax. Retrieved from MMR qualitative and quantitative property manager research.