are free for landlords and real estate agents), experience, and speed are also important. However, good data quality is essential if you want to accept high-quality tenants into your rental properties. Without quality data, you completely undermine the purpose of tenant screening and risk accepting applicants who do not pass your standards and pose a threat to your property. Protect yourself and your property with a screening provider using excellent, high-volume databases, upholding high security standards, and actively seeking a high accuracy rate. •

Becky Bower is a marketer and writer specializing in multifamily legislative trends. As ApplyConnect’s Communications Executive, she authors in-depth guides on how to manage, grow, and scale within the rental housing industry on ApplyConnect’s blog,

ApplyConnect is a Think Realty benefits supplier. Learn more about discounts and benefits available to Think Realty members from ApplyConnect at

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any of your applicants’ or tenants’ personal information on an unsecured, outdated computer waiting to get hacked. If your current provider doesn’t showcase high security measures, you are looking at a big red flag. Ask your screening vendor about their backup systems. In the event of a disaster or a power or internet outage, does your provider have an emergency recovery procedure to ensure that your business is not prevented from screening applicants for a day or more? LOW ACCURACY RATE Unfortunately, it can be tricky to figure out if your current provider’s data is accurate. When shopping for a new tenant screening provider, the best way to find out is to ask them to prove it to you. A provider should be able to show you how their matching algorithm successfully identifies your applicant (with an SSN, previous address history, date of birth, etc.), if their criminal record search also identifies and factors in aliases, and the initiatives they’ve taken to minimize false positives and maximize the numbers of real criminal hits. RED FLAG #3 DATA QUALITYWILL MAKE OR BREAK YOUR SCREENING PROCESS Data quality isn’t the only factor you consider when shopping for a new tenant screening provider, things like price (some services

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court records, utilizing databases that cover records nationwide, you ensure that your application process draws from quality data. Furthermore, do not neglect the quality of your criminal data! In addition to having a criminal database that scans nationwide, you want your provider to scan local databases frommultiple reputable sources as well. Be wary of screening providers that obtain their criminal records from only a few sources or non-governmental. By scanning multiple databases, you’ll be able to see importantinfor- mation, including if your applicant has any jail or prison records, is wanted or has any warrants, is on the sex-offender registry, or is present on the terrorist watch list (also known as OFAC). POOR SECURITY MEASURES With any tenant screening provider, it’s vital their informa- tion be secure and their technology up-to-date. You don’t want RED FLAG #2

etermining if your tenant screening provider has quality criminal and eviction data is essential if you want to main- tain a standard of accepting quality applicants. With faulty or subpar data, you leave your property open to potential threats, which can include lost revenue, extensive damages, lawsuits, and fines. To dis- cern if you need to shop for a new tenant screening provider, check if your current provider is showing these three red flags. SCAN IS SMALL OR LIMITED When screening an applicant, you want their eviction and crimi- nal history to derive from a large and reputable database. You want to see if your applicant has any eviction or criminal records nation- wide, not just from a few states. By choosing a tenant screening pro- vider that takes their eviction history straight from landlord-tenant RED FLAG #1 THE SCOPE OF THE EVICTION & CRIMINAL

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