Re-designed Tenant Mobile Interface, Rental Applications and Renter Profiles
At Rentalutions, we strive to make renting easy for everyone. More individuals in the United States are renting than ever before, and the Urban Land Institute estimates that nearly 60% of all new households formed between now and 2030 will be renters. We are excited to design and build software that helps all of these people!
As the Head of Product at Rentalutions, I’m the first to admit that our tenant interface hasn’t always received the attention it deserves. That changes tomorrow, December 13, 2016. Tomorrow morning, I will sit down at my computer, type a few lines of code and, within minutes, your Rentalutions account will be transformed.
The code that I type will publish the 51,523 lines of code that my team and I have been working on for months, setting off a technological chain of events. Within seconds, each of our servers, which are located in secure, private data centers across the country, will be updated with the new code.
When you load your browser, your browser connects with one of our servers and, once the page loads, you’ll see a new interface that will forever change how you manage your rental journey.
So what’s changing? Well, a lot. This new interface is more intuitive, functions better on mobile devices, protects your sensitive information, provides you more control of your applications, saves you time and saves you money. This is just the start. Keep reading below to learn about each of the enhancements and what they mean for you.
New Account Layout
The next time that you log in to your Rentalutions tenant account, you’ll notice a new layout. The main navigation bar is now on the lefthand side. This menu is designed to automatically get out of the way when you don’t need it, and to re-appear when you need it. Your account settings menu is now in the top righthand corner, where you’ve come to expect it.
You’ll also notice a few cosmetics tweaks too. First, you’ll notice our handsome blue menu on the left. Second are more distinguished icons throughout your account, so that you can easily navigate to where you need to go.
Improved Mobile Experience
Over the past few months, we have spent significant time studying how tenants use Rentalutions. It was interesting learning that 70% of tenants access their accounts from mobile devices.
As a result, we designed the new tenant interface with a mobile-first approach. Our platform is now the best way for tenants to manage their rental journey from a mobile device. This includes applying for properties, managing multiple applications, signing leases, paying rent, and submitting maintenance requests.
Protecting Your Information
We continue using 128-bit, military-grade encryption to store your sensitive personal information. By applying for properties with Rentalutions, not only is your data secure, but you have complete control over who has access to it.
You are able to share your rental application with landlords whose properties you are applying for, but you can just as easily revoke access at any time. The shared applications are also automatically archived after 30 days, so you don’t have to worry about prospective landlords having access to your information indefinitely.
Finally, we never have, and never will, share your social security number to anyone. In fact, your SSN never even hits our servers at Rentalutions. As soon as you enter this into your Rentalutions account, the social security number is encrypted and transferred directly to TransUnion.
When we launched Rentalutions a few years ago, we focused on helping landlords easily request rental applications online. We recently revisited how tenants complete these applications, and how we can improve the experience.
During our research, we learned that the average tenant looks at six different rental properties, and ultimately submits applications for two.
Each of these applications, though, typically requires a separate application fee. This made no sense to us, and we’re doing something to change it. The application, credit report and background check information is yours, after all.
We think you should be able to complete these forms once, pay one application fee and share those forms with as many landlords as you want. This will save you countless hours of writing the same information over and over. It will also help you avoid paying multiple application fees (within 90 days).
In addition to a mobile-friendly interface for you to enter information, we are now giving you an easy way to upload and manage attachments. Common application attachments include pay stubs, tax returns and employment offer letters. If you want to delete anything that you’ve uploaded, you now can.
To share your completed rental application with a landlord, all that you have to do is type in the address of his or her property, provide the contact info and we’ll take care of the rest.
After sharing your rental application, we give you all of the tools that you need to manage your multiple rental applications in one place. On the same page, you can also view all of the applications that landlords have requested from you. It’s easy for you to view the status of applications and to add roommates to your applications.
We understand how important your credit score is, which is why we work hard to help you protect your credit score. We worked closely with TransUnion to ensure that the credit reports we obtain only trigger soft inquiries, not the hard inquiries that damage and lower your credit score. Upon obtaining your credit score, we also pass along suggestions from TransUnion for how you can improve your score.
One of our ah-hah moments during this whole process was realizing that renters don’t just fill out multiple applications at the same time (when applying for multiple properties), but that they often have to write out the same information year after year. That’s why we are automatically generating a Rentalutions Renter Profile for you.
This profile is a beautiful representation of the best things about you as a tenant. You can easily add a profile image and cover photo, along with a brief bio that let’s potential landlords know a bit more about you than simply where you’ve lived and how much you earn.
Your Rentalutions Renter Profile is a living document that can easily be updated as your rental situation changes. Your Rentalutions verified rental history will automatically be added.
In addition to building these updates for your Rentalutions account, we overhauled our email communication around these important tasks. Going forward, you’ll see more direct communication between you and your landlord and prospective landlords.
We are committed to making renting easy by developing elegant software for landlords and tenants. We spend countless hours every week brainstorming, designing, wireframing and writing lines of code. If you have any feedback or suggestions for what should be next, please let us know.