Turbo Tenant....does anyone use it? Pros/cons

20 Replies

Planning ahead with a fixer up condo.
Several units in my complex are using "Turbo Tenant " for advertising and screening. Would like some BP community comments and Pro/Con assessment of this service. It's advertised as free (for now).

Andrew M
SE Virginia

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I'm also very interested in Turbo Tenant.  Or any other suggestions for online tenant management, from application through payment.   I use transunion smartmove for screening, and would need at least that level of data, I don't want an automated confirm or deny.

Thank you for your rapid response.  A couple of questions - do you give the same level of detail as transunion?  I've been unhappy with Cozy previously because the data is too "washed" and the process too automated.  For rentals I'd rather look at payment patterns of accounts myself.

How soon will you take ACH type payments?

Screening - I'm here because I feel Cozy ripped off my tenants during the screening process.  I also find their application very rigid, and it doesn't contain enough information.  Is application customizable?

Finally, can all data be saved/archived in an accessible form to my own computer?

@Charles Frankenhoff

Please see answers below:

A couple of questions - do you give the same level of detail as transunion? I've been unhappy with Cozy previously because the data is too "washed" and the process too automated. For rentals I'd rather look at payment patterns of accounts myself.

Yes - The formatting is slightly different, but the data should be identical to data you'd receive from TransUnion.  You can see full payment history (on-time, 30-day late, 60-day, 90-day, etc.)  We provide a convenient summary, but also the full report (which can be 10-20 pages). 


How soon will you take ACH type payments?

Our ACH payments are actually currently functional on a Beta invite-only basis.   Our payments take only 2 business days to settle.

Screening - I'm here because I feel Cozy ripped off my tenants during the screening process. I also find their application very rigid, and it doesn't contain enough information. Is application customizable?

Currently the application has limited field customization options, but most of our users have been very happy with the fields / data collected.  Tenants can upload as many additional documents or information to the application.  This allows flexibility for a variety of needs of our landlords.

Finally, can all data be saved/archived in an accessible form to my own computer?

Currently all information is available by logging in, and there are no fees to the landlord.  While most users simply keep the data online,  applications and screening reports are printable (some landlords will physically print these for paper records).  We plan to add the ability to export data to Excel / Quickbooks soon!

I'd rather access the data online, but I would, and I think I speak for most, need the ability to archive on my own computer.  PDFs and excel would generally work for that.  

Application data: I'll have to see what you collect.  I think what I want is pretty standard though.  Cozy's has too little data, I think for ease of input.  The sort of thing people say to ask for on this site, is enough.

I'll sign up and take a look.

I just tried TurboTenant for the first time and have had nothing but a bad experience. As I was drafting the listing, the TurboTenant website went down for a few hours. Since it was late at night, I had to wait until the next day to finish drafting. Finally drafted all content, uploaded all photos, made the application available online, and marketed online.  The listing showed up within a few hours on zillow, hotpads, trulia, etc, however.... the photos did not show up on any of the listings. Customer service says this happens frequently and they had to do a manual push to the syndicated websites. Waited several more hours until the photos finally showed up. After all this, I realized the rental price was incorrect. Another 12-48 hours for this to be corrected. Now the photos are missing again on all the syndicated websites! I had planned on an open house today but due to lack of responses to my listing, I am postponing until next weekend. 1 week of possible revenue lost due to the issues with TurboTenant. Will likely not use again unless TurboTenant can majorly resolve their issues.

@Sarnen Steinbarth can you look into this?

@Carol Kohn

Hi Carol,

Thanks for reaching out.

On Tuesday 2/28/17 Amazon Web Services - one of the largest online hosting providers of cloud applications and images, had a massive outage that affected thousands of sites, including TurboTenant.  (Other sites affected were reportedly, Netflix, Airbnb, Time, US Securities and Exchange Commission and many others).  Our customer support team was flooded with inquiries relating to the outage, and we updated our homepage and social media channels relating to this outage, while closely monitoring it for hours.

Here is a national article with more information:  http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-t...

The estimated total financial impact of this Amazon outage across the internet is upwards of $150 million dollars:  http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/03/...

Aside from a down time of approx 5 hours, 40 minutes, no images on TurboTenant were permanently affected, and all images have been restored on our users TurboTenant listing pages.

We are still working with 3rd party listing sites to ensure that they are again able to correctly pull image information from our Amazon cloud hosted servers.

Again, all images on your TurboTenant property listing website should be fully functional.

If you'd like more information free to reach out to me directly  with any additional questions related to this massive internet-wide outage and the steps we are taking with our 3rd party sites to correct it.

As a side note, and to commemorate this Amazon issue, I'd be happy to send you an Amazon Gift Card for the hassle, simply reach out to me directly :-).

Sarnen
Founder / CEO
TurboTenant

Luckily, I had one potential tenant request a viewing last weekend and the tenant fully qualified. Now that my place is rented, I thought I would give a review of TurboTenant (TT).

I will not rehash what I posted previously as it was just unfortunate timing that I signed up the day that the website went down due to AWS server issues. 

As stated previously, it does take time for the listing to show up on the major listing sites like Zillow and Trulia. In my case, updates to the description/rental price took about 24 hours. 

Pros: 

  1. Tenant flyer. The best feature, by far, is the printable flyer. It has a QR code and a tiny URL (handy for posting to Twitter). Very nice presentation and layout on the flyer as well.
  2. The application process. The QR code on the flyer makes submitting applications via a mobile device very easy for applicants. Especially since some potential tenants only have internet access on their phones. The questions on the application itself are fairly all inclusive, and there is an ability to add a few custom questions. A nice feature is the ability to add attachments/photos like drivers license, paycheck stubs, etc.
  3. Tenant screening. Although TT is a bit higher ($5) than other screening providers, the layout of the screening report is very easy to read with a recommendation on whether to accept or reject the applicant. I do like that it shows the actual credit score on the screening report (compared to some other tenant screening services). 

Cons:

  1. Long wait time for synching to syndicated websites. Once all the kinks were worked out with the website being down, a simple edit to the description and monthly rent $ took about 24 hours to show up on other sites. Once the property was rented, it took a full 48 hours for the listing to be removed from the syndicated websites. Next time, I will publish on Zillow first, then TT to ensure timely updates. TT does syndicate to sites that Zillow does not, so I see no harm in posting to both (my opinion only).
  2. It would be nice if there was a way to easily preview the application template. I had to search through the help pages to find this info. Would be especially helpful if custom questions are added. 
  3. The printouts of the applications and screening reports are not well formatted. The content is cut off at the top and bottom. On a side note, as a temporary workaround for those wanting PDF exports, I use the "print to PDF" functionality on my computer to create PDF files for the applications. @Sarnen Steinbarth I keep all my accepted tenant applications on a cloud drive (I am sure alot of landlords do the same), so it would definitely be a nice feature to download to a PDF.
  4. The process for publishing rentals and working with applications is not very intuitive. It would be helpful to have more step by step guides on the website. I found myself combing through the help center/faq's in order to complete my first listing. 

I will use TurboTenant from now on, however, in the future I will definitely post on Zillow first simply for the speed of listing changes. 

Oh, and I am still waiting on that Amazon gift card Sarnen... 

@Carol Kohn

Thanks for the feedback. 

Real quick on this comment:

Would be especially helpful if custom questions are added. 

You can add custom question to the application from the settings area.

The gift card was sent out firs this this AM, if for some reason you don't see it please message me privately.

Thanks for using TurboTenant.

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@Account Closed

Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

TransUnion is the largest tenant screening provider in the US, used by almost all large property management companies and software providers, including TurboTenant, Buildium, CA Association of REALTORS, and even BiggerPockets.

Saying that their reports are watered down is simply not true.

Perhaps you are referring to a different service, that takes TransUnion data, and then purposefully redacts or waters it down?

@Account Closed

I’m a representative with TransUnion SmartMove. SmartMove removes the applicant’s social security number for their privacy and to relieve the landlord of the responsibility of securely storing this sensitive information. Additionally, in a traditional credit pull the landlord must input the applicant’s SSN to receive their credit report. SmartMove uses a process that allows the applicant to enter their own SSN into SmartMove’s system and then “push” their report to the landlord. For landlords, this reduces the paperwork and long approval process required to initiate a credit inquiry on a consumer. If you have any other questions about our service feel free to send me a note on BiggerPockets. Thanks!