A new generation of proptech apps is saving tenants time, money and hassle when applying for rental accommodation in a crowded market.
Against the background of Australia’s ongoing rental crisis, proptech apps can deliver tenants a winning edge in a tight market by saving them time, money and hassle when applying for a rental property.
Additionally, lease applications that are processed using cloud-based technology solutions benefit from a standardised approach that is consistently fair to each applicant, with the added advantages of responsible data management and robust cyber security.
Proptech Association Australia (PTAA) advocates for the adoption of property technology solutions that support best practice, great consumer experiences and the highest standards of data protection and regulatory compliance.
President Kylie Davis said there was a new generation of proptech apps that focused exclusively on delivering a better tenant experience.
“These apps dramatically streamline and improve the application process for renters by removing the need to repeatedly fill in manual forms and constantly resupply the same references, identity and income data in support of concurrent lease applications,” she said.
Regarding costs, most Australian jurisdictions have laws which prevent any person – such as a real estate agent or landlord – requesting or receiving payment from prospective tenants in relation to a lease application with the exception of a deposit, initial rent payment, or a rental bond.
“When there are numerous applicants for one property, there has to be a screening process,” Ms Davis said.
“Proptech apps help tenants to pull together all the right information and digitally lodge a complete application once and then apply for as many properties as they want. It’s a vastly improved consumer experience for the applicant that simplifies the admin, saving time and avoiding email tangles and phone calls.”
It is the position of Proptech Association Australia that consumers own their own data and there must be an appropriate value exchange for any fees charged and a reasonable basis for any personal information requested. For example, if a credit report is suggested to be purchased, that report should be owned by the applicant and be able to be used as often as the applicant desires.
Alternatives to rental apps include sending information as email attachments and filling out paper or online forms.
“There is the option for applicants to fill in multiple forms sharing their information and having that saved, stored and controlled by the real estate agency, or creating a personal account with one of these new apps, maintaining control over their own data, deciding who it goes to and when they want it deleted,” Ms Davis said.
Responding to the suggestion that manual processes relying on paper-based information collection methods were less invasive and offered better security than digital processes, PTAA board member and Instarent founder & CEO, AJ Chand, said: “While there isn’t any uniform method or required process, it’s usual market practice for property managers or landlords to request references plus proof of identity and income from a prospective tenant”.
“Proptech offers an efficient, transparent and secure solution for a tenant to participate in that process,” he said.
“Cloud-based apps are designed to adhere to the highest standards of cyber security and digital data management with multi-factor authentication and scheduled destruction dates.
“There is a lot of anxiety out there in the rental market because of the imbalance of supply and demand, exacerbated by the current cost of living pressures.
“In today’s digital world, choosing to use an app is the preferred method for a tenant who wants to be able to apply quickly for more properties and gives more choice, convenience and confidence in the rental application process.”