Trans Union Smart Move

24 Replies

Has anyone used the Trans Union Smart Move for tenant screening?  Pros/Cons? Do you recommend??

Thanks,

Dan

I recommend it. They get updated info pretty fast. We had someone applying to move into a rental of ours and they were in the process of being evicted. 

Smart Move had the info, so we politely declined their application. 

They are pretty good but take what they say with a grain of salt. We had a tenant who is recommended that we reject due to a "derelict public record". When I looked at the public record she literally had a speeding ticket and a seat belt violation.... We rented to her and haven't had any issues. 

Brooks, Ryan,

Thanks for your response.

Dan

Hi @Dan Pohlman  and @Ryan Dossey    

I’m a representative with TransUnion SmartMove. To add a quick clarification – the recommendation provided by SmartMove is based on the applicant’s credit and income profile and how much risk you’re willing to accept in a tenant. We combine these criteria to deliver a custom recommendation for each applicant. 

The thing I don't like about "sponsored" services by this website is those services will have an interest to defend, support, or clarify their product.  Also, if enough traffic is generated employees will potentially create profiles to reinforce what a great product it is.   I'm not saying smart move does this, but the potential for this to happen is there.  Of course, it wouldn't stop a company who isn't partnered with BP from doing it as well.  Just my two cents.  

Andrea,

Thanks.  It seems that there is statistical data showing that someones credit score is an indication of responsibility.  My car insurance company just gave me a discount based on my credit score.  Obviously there are more considerations but I think your service would be helpful for the initial screening.  Thanks for your response.

Dan 

Bryan,

Good point.  Thanks.

Dan

Hi Dan,

We've been using SmartMove for about three years now. We require all interested lease-purchase applicants to sign up with them and we use the credit and criminal reports generated to make our decision. Before that we used a paper app form that was faxed or mailed in. We would pull credit ourselves. 

Here's what we like about SmartMove:

  • The applicant does all the upfront work and pays the fee. 
  • It can be done entirely online, 24/7. We've had folks go online to apply on the ride home from viewing the home. 

Here's what we don't like:

  • Their online portal is a bit clunky, particularly for multiple users of a single account.
We largely ignore SmartMove's recommendations about accepting/rejecting applicants. We still do our own verification of rent and collect applicant paystubs.  We are receiving no compensation for this posting (not that we'd be opposed to that!). 

    I use MySmartMove and really like it.  Btw - I am not affiliated with MySmartMove at all.  

    It is easy to use and provides a great service - you can specify whether applicant pays fee and will be notified immediately when the credit/criminal background checks are completed.  

    I'm sure there are other similar companies out there that do the same thing, but I don't have a compelling reason to switch at the moment.

    Jay

    Mitch,

    Thanks for your response.  Yes I like the idea that client does the upfront work and pays fee.  It would very convenient being able to do it 24/7 online.

    Dan

    Jay,

    Thanks.  Sounds like it has worked out well for you. 

    Dan

    Originally posted by @Andrea Collatz :

    Hi @Dan Pohlman  and @Ryan Dossey    

    I’m a representative with TransUnion SmartMove. To add a quick clarification – the recommendation provided by SmartMove is based on the applicant’s credit and income profile and how much risk you’re willing to accept in a tenant. We combine these criteria to deliver a custom recommendation for each applicant. 

    Andrea - I used MySmartMove to screen a tenant just yesterday. The credit score provided by MySmartMove was 720, however this potential tenant was very prepared and brought a copy of her credit score via creditkarma.com. The print out date from creditkarma  was 2/19/15 (yesterday also). On the print out her TransUnion score via creditkarma was 618 and Equifax was 582. Can you help me understand the different scores between TransUnion MySmartMove and TransUnion CreditKarma? 

    @Jay Helms  , I can help you with credit scores. ANYONE, any website, any individual, can create an algorithm to spit out a score. And guess what? They can advertise all day that they offer credit scores, because they do. 

    HOWEVER, most of these sites do NOT offer FICO scores. Here is one of many forum posts about FAKO scores. The reports are correct, the scores are proprietary made up math problems. You, your friend & I can offer scores tomorrow if one us could write a program to analyze credit.

    I don't know what SmartMove offers, but I know Transunion has their own FAKO scores. Always read the small print. More importantly, know how to do your own credit evaluation by looking at a report.

    Hope this helps.

    Hi @Jay Helms  

    A company may use dozens of different credit score models based on the requirements of different lenders in different industries. As an example, a mortgage company will get a different score than a company providing credit card loans, since they are looking for different types of credit history and credit factors. The TransUnion SmartMove model is a score developed specifically for the rental industry. If you have further questions or would like more details about interpreting the SmartMove report, please email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you. Thanks!

    Any updated posts on My SmartMove?

    Everything I've been able to find is quite dated and there seemed to be some issues and problems. I was looking forward to using this program to screen my next tenant. I'm getting ready to market a property and want to have the screening tools ready for when the applications come in.

    What are you currently using to screen your tenant applicants?

    Thank you for your input.

    I've been using Tenant Verification Services (TVS) for over 4 years. They updated their screening services to be a tenant initiated service where the tenant or landlord can pay. They have better reports with more detail now, especially the credit screening report. In the past TVS only gave a grade score, not detailed report -now you can see late payments, debts that went into collection and paid debts. I like to see the detail - lets me know if someone is responsible and if there statements match their reality (report).  I also use the local court system to double check or get more detail. 

    I can't tell you the number of times, we have had people with bad credit or criminal history apply to lease our apartment without mentioning credit or criminal issues.  We even advertise that we do background checks, yet they will tell you there should be no problems whatsoever with their background check. We value honesty - it's a huge factor in deciding who we trust. We also value people who are responsible - bad credit and lack of personal responsibility go hand in hand.  We've rented to people with bad credit who had a good story line that we were suckers for believing. Even speeding tickets can be an indicator of problems with being an adult - especially their attitude towards getting the ticket - IE was it the cops fault or theirs that they got the ticket. All the tenants we've had who also had speeding, parking or other minor violations are also the tenants that give us the most drama, late with rent and tell us some pretty tall tales. 

    We will need to find two new tenants this summer, so I will be updating our application and using some sort of service this summer. So far, I'm fine with continuing to use TVS but I might switch to a site that offers rental payment and management software also. 

    Originally posted by @Annette Schneider :

    ... We will need to find two new tenants this summer, so I will be updating our application and using some sort of service this summer. So far, I'm fine with continuing to use TVS but I might switch to a site that offers rental payment and management software also. 

    I have never heard of a site that offers the payment and mangement software all in one, what ones are there? I'm curious to look these up.

    We use it, but there is a gotcha that my wife found. Its something like if you run a joint application, it'll take two fees and if it qualifies the first person it won't report anything on the second person. Despite paying two fees.

    So she runs multiple applications so we get the full reports on everyone.

    I have used TransUnions' SmartMove program as recently as today.   It is convenient, and I have seen some of the criminal records which are not easy to read at times.  Luckily, I have a friend who is a retired detective who can translate the reports.  As with any program, it is always buyer beware.  I am not sure if there are any perfect solutions out there, but, I can have the prospective tenant pay for this service, and expect reasonable details, quickly and it is just another tool to use.  

    I have been using Smartmove, but the last tenant screening makes me think it is time to find another company. I have had discrepancies in the past with the credit report, but that happens when only one credit agency is reporting. 

    The issue I had this time is a tenant who filled everything out and the criminal report came back clean. I personally know that this tenant has multiple lower level convictions and one felony criminal conviction. None of this showed up on the report. I have a hard time trusting that any of the information is accurate if they cant find any of these past criminal acts. 

    What other screening services do you all like to use?

    Hi @Garrett Dinnel

    I'm a representative with TransUnion SmartMove. Some states may restrict the use of particular offenses in consumer reports. If you send me a note through BiggerPockets we'll be happy to look into this application directly. Thanks!

    I used Trans Union Smart Move as a prospective renter. I paid the $35 fee and expected an accurate report to be sent to the Real Estate (Linton) company listing the property I was interested in. From the replies on this site they seem to come from landlords who are unaware of the accuracy for the reports they are receiving. The Real Estate company called me because of the report they received. They wanted to ask some questions because something didn't seem right. The report they received was wholly inaccurate. The report stated I was making payments on three vehicles and I was making a thousand plus dollar payments on student loan debts. The software this company is using to generate reports must be antiquated in order to generate such an inaccurate report. Research your companies people. Consumer Affairs gives them a one star rating. I'm assuming and hoping the Attorney Generals Office will be investigating this corporation soon considering their poor track record. Best of luck! 

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