So I decided to use NTNonline as my tenant screener. They check credit, criminal, eviction, employment, and residential history. They also make phone calls to verify the information!! The only problem is that they require me to send PDF applications from tenants to them. They also charge $50 per application, which is fine.
I really don't want to have tenants fill out paper applications and then scan/email or fax it to me. It's soooo 1995. I'd much rather send the tenant a link to a "tenant application webpage". There, the applicant could fill out all the necessary info including:
- Social Security Number
- Driver's License Number
- Residential History
- Criminal History
- Employment History
And then, at the very bottom of the form, there would be a credit card checkout form to pay the $50 fee.
And then... the webpage emails me a PDF of all this information, which I would send to NTNonline for screening.
I have already seen tenant screening sites like cozy.co, ***********, and mysmartmove. They simply won't work for me (various reasons for each website).
So, does anyone know a good way to make a webpage form like this that charges credit cards and creates a PDF?
I have used Resident Research in the past and they work great. For a one time fee, (mine was $100), they create a webpage for the application that has everything on it you want asked, it allows the renter to upload a copy of their state issued ID or DL, copies of their paycheck stubs, etc. Resident Research will then complete the background check for you. They run the credit, the criminal, and call the employers. You can check the status online by logging in or they email when complete. It works great!
Check out: https://www.residentresearch.com/
@Michael Dowd , that's a great website! Thanks for the referral. So how much does it cost for them to screen a single application?
So I think I have found a solution (unless I go with residentresearch.com.. thanks @Michael Dowd !)
I need to automate the process where the tenant fills out an application and a PDF is generated and a $50 fee is paid:
I'll make a low-cost wordpress site (about $50 per year) that has two pages:
Homepage: rental ad for the property. Lists the features, rental cost, pictures, etc. At the bottom of the page, there will be a big blue button that says "APPLY NOW", which takes them to the application page.
Application page: This is where the tenant can enter his/her name, address, SSN, residential history, employment history, etc. They can upload copies of their driver's license and paystubs. At the bottom is a button that says "SUBMIT - $50", which takes them to my Intuit Payment Network checkout screen. The data from the form is sent to GravityPDF, which is a Wordpress plug-in that generates PDFs. The PDF is emailed to me and the tenant.
Intuit Payment Network checkout screen: Simply checkout screen that charges $50, paid by credit, debit, or bank ACH transfer.
Once I get the $50 payment, I send off the PDF to NTNonline.com, and they give me a report within 48 hours.
If you're curious about GravityPDF, you can try their demo here:
@Matthew Trotter , the cost depends on what all you want them to do for you. For us, it was about $30/applicant to do the checks. Very easy to integrate into our site when needed. They made several changes to the app page based on our feedback.
Any update on how your tenant application workflow turned out?
I've been looking into automating the tenant application process using an interactive pdf app, and I haven't found a simple solution. I just started building a WordPress page for my company (I'll have to try out the GravityPDF plug-in you mentioned), integrating pdf forms would be a big help.
I know this post is rather old, but in case you went ahead with your plan to have a PDF of the application emailed to you, I would be very careful. That PDF would contain everything needed to steal someone's identity. Email is not secure, which means that it could be intercepted.
Additionally, you are gathering the information from a Wordpress website. If the form isn't encrypted, it also is easily intercepted (though it will be open once it gets to the email stage regardless, unless you use encrypted email). Plus, unless you are diligent about updating Wordpress, it will be easy to hack as flaws are exposed (which is what the updates fix). You see this happen a lot with spam hitting Wordpress websites.
I am not a lawyer, but I would be very careful about going this route.
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