A batch of new online technology offerings is further streamlining the process of resident screening for both real estate agents and prospective buyers and renters.

The goal, say those using the technology, is to clarify and simplify a sometimes lengthy and complicated process, while simultaneously helping owners and managers better comply with established policies governing leasing criteria and security deposits.

“Property management companies and owners are constantly looking for ways to improve processes and reduce their exposure,” said Stuart Litwin, CEO of SureDeposit. He said streamlining multiple processes into one step “simplifies move-in further and minimizes errors” while helping agents and managers better follow fixed standards for leasing.

Such was the goal of a new technology from Allied Companies, a resident and pre-employment screening service in Dallas. The Internet-based resident verification program, ResidentCheck, provides detailed credit information, past ownership history and debt information.

A similar online screening process from RentPort called CreditRetriever provides data on a prospective resident’s credit, publicly available background data such as criminal records and a checklist of criteria to help agents approve or decline an applicant.

RentBridge, another service from RentPort, electronically gathers rent payment data and electronically reports it to national credit bureaus.

The newest technology solutions are bundling together these services. Financial information such as security deposit history is now being linked to background check solutions like ResidentCheck and CreditRetriever.

During the screening process, agents who use ResidentCheck will be linked to a security deposit enrollment form from SureDeposit. That enrollment form will automatically appear with the applicant’s data already entered when a leasing agent or owner logs on to Allied’s online resident screening process. A similar alliance between SureDeposit and CreditRetriever allows SureDeposit information to be available as part of CreditRetriever’s Internet-based applicant screening process.

The SureDeposit technology offers rental agents an alternative to security deposits and allows renters to pay a nonrefundable one-time premium surety bond to SureDeposit that is less than a standard security deposit. This surety bond gives apartment managers the same level of insurance as a security deposit. Coverage remains in force as long as the resident remains in one of the development’s apartments.

Another software solution for determining background history offers a one-step method of verification. The property management software company American Computer Software is working with First American Registry, a resident screening company, to provide property managers with a new software program that delivers a one-step method of verifying landlord or tenant eviction and credit histories and incorporating the information into a single database.

Under the agreement, property managers will be able to integrate information obtained from First American Registry’s National Registry Check–known as RegistrySCOREX– directly into ACS’ Management Plus property management software. Similar tenant and employment solutions are available from AmerUSA, Advantage Background and First Advantage, parent company of First American.

Most screening solutions can be bundled with management and accounting programs as well. ACS announced a deal with the Payment Service Network to automatically handle rent payment, management and accounting issues for agents and managers.

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