As Australia enters a period with its lowest residential vacancy rates in more than four years, Australians more than ever are having a hard time finding a home for their families.
As the rental market becomes more competitive, it’s important to ask: “What are landlords and estate agents looking for, anyway?”
We set out to answer this question, conducting a month-long survey of landlords across Australia. In this survey, we asked landlords questions about their experiences renting, and the challenges they’ve faced finding quality rental tenants.
Landlords were more than willing to share their experiences: The average phone survey lasted around 13 minutes and web surveys took participants about 10 minutes on average.
In these conversations, several landlords voiced their concerns about the clarity and thoroughness of the background checks their estate agents perform, with only 23% receiving a copy of background checks completed.
16% of the landlords who were aware of tenancy blacklists said that they have had clear red flags (such as criminal history) surface after their estate agent claimed to have completed thorough background checks.
As rental demand increases and agents feel the pressure from their bosses to increase their rent roll and place tenants as quickly as possible, it becomes difficult for them to complete expensive and time-consuming background checks on all rental applicants.
This means that some applicants’ potentially glaring red flags will go unnoticed, furthermore, individuals and families who are trustworthy get overlooked as their application doesn’t have the local references that the agent requires, putting them in the “too hard” bucket.
What if the agents aren’t asking for the right information?
What if most applicants already have all the data they need to prove themselves trustworthy already stored away online?
In a real-world example, after Reputationaire co-founder Dee spent six weeks in Airbnbs due to her Indian rental references putting her into the “too hard” bucket after arriving in Australia.
She had the idea to present recommendations from her Airbnb hosts to her estate agent to unconventionally prove trust and secure a rental.
We believe Dee’s story is just one example from a huge number of people in Australia who’s rental applications are being overlooked since their application doesn’t match current verification standards.
We’ve found out these antiquated, biased, and often unfair checks and requirements are not serving the entire community as they should.
At Reputationaire, our mission is to go beyond the established vetting and verification processes, helping both the applicant and the agent fast track trust.
We provide a platform that enables rental applicants to prove trust to landlords and estate agents by harnessing their online reputation from sites they already use, such as Airbnb, Linkedin, and Facebook — as well as conventional certifications like blockchain-verified police checks.
If you’re a landlord or estate agent, you can quickly request to view your tenant applicant’s verified online ratings helping you empty your “too hard” bucket, while increasing your diversity and inclusion statistics.
We’d love to help ensure that you find the right tenant, every time - visit our website to find out more and read case studies from the estate agents who trust Reputationaire to help them identify quality rental tenants.
Written by Kurt Joyce. Kurt is a marketer and copywriter based in Tasmania, Australia, specialising in organisational culture and trust.
Do you work for an organisation looking to better identify quality candidates? If so — check out our services — we’d love to hear from you.