05:10 AM

TransUnion National Rental Survey Finds Large Property Managers Able to Raise Rates and Attract Reliable Tenants

LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - Jun 24, 2011) - A new TransUnion survey found that a higher percentage of large property managers (persons managing 201 or more units) were able to increase rental prices last year compared to small property managers (managing 200 or fewer properties). Sixty-four percent of large property managers said rental prices on their units have increased. Thirty-six percent of small property managers indicated an increase.

The survey of 1,252 property managers across the country took place in early June and is being released during the 2011 National Apartment Association Education Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas. The breakdown of survey respondents included 1,085 small and 167 large property managers.

"Finding reliable tenants at an optimal price point is paramount for this industry. Both segments saw success with rental increases last year," said Mike Mauseth, vice president in TransUnion's rental screening business unit. "However, what is even better for the industry is that the majority of respondents said that they are not having problems finding residents even with the increases."

More than two-thirds of all respondents (67%) said it is not difficult to find residents in today's economic climate. When you break that down by market segment, 57% of large property managers are having no difficulty, compared to 69% of persons managing 200 or fewer properties. When asked to compare conditions to a year ago, 27% of large property managers said it was more difficult to find qualified renters, while only 18% of small property managers held this same opinion.

Despite improved conditions in the rental market, the far majority of both small and large property managers continue to be concerned about attracting profitable/reliable residents for the remainder of 2011. Nearly 65% of all respondents said they are concerned or very concerned with only 35% stating they are not concerned.

"A reliable tenant ensures property managers are both solvent and profitable; conversely an unreliable tenant can cost property managers thousands of dollars in lost rent and property damages," said Mauseth. "That's why it's important for property managers to conduct due diligence on their prospective tenants. They can do this by using rental screening services such as TransUnion CreditRetriever, www.CreditRetriever.com, for large property management companies and SmartMove, www.MySmartMove.com, for small and independent property managers."

Other key points from the survey include:

  • Nearly half of property managers (47%) are seeing an increase in applicants moving to rental units from foreclosed properties.

  • More than 89% of survey respondents had 10% or less vacancy rates. Nearly two-thirds of small property managers and 11% of large property managers had no vacancies. Almost half of large property managers had 1-5% vacancy rates.

    • Nearly 21% of respondents said vacancy was lower than the same period one year ago; 14% said it was higher while 66% said it was about the same.

    • Almost 24% of respondents believe they will have less vacancy next year while 8% thought it would be higher. Approximately 68% said it would be about the same.

  • More than 87% of respondents conduct credit checks on all of their applicants. The breakdown between large (90%) and small (87%) property managers is very similar.

  • Approximately 76% of respondents conduct criminal background checks on 100% of applicants. However, there is a more pronounced disparity in the percentage of large (90%) and small (74%) property managers conducting criminal background checks on all prospective tenants.

For more information about the survey and TransUnion's rental screening solutions, please visit

www.transunion.com/rentalscreening or Booth #1670 at the National Apartment Association's Education Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas. TransUnion provides rental screening solutions to both large property management companies and independent landlords. By applying analytic scoring models to comprehensive credit and criminal background data, TransUnion provides property managers with screening tools to make faster, more well-informed leasing decisions. As a result, property managers can improve their resident profile to increase cash flow and decrease costs.

About TransUnion

As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion reaches businesses and consumers in more than 25 countries around the world on five continents. www.transunion.com/business