This year we started our blog for the primary purpose of helping independent landlords become more knowledgeable about the various aspects of tenant screening. 

The SmartMove blog is unique.  It’s your insider’s guide to information that is usually just for “the big guys.”  We share a great deal of TransUnion data, research and insights in our articles that is normally used by large property management companies.  Our goal is to be a useful resource for independent landlords by offering valuable rental market information and trends in addition to tenant screening services.

We’ve curated a selection of our most popular blog articles of 2016. Below you’ll find articles focused on tips and information to help make independent landlords’ rental property investment a success. From topics like avoiding common landlord mistakes, to tenant screening, and learning about today’s renter and landlord demographics, we have tips for everyone from first-time landlords to experienced property owners.  
tenant screening benefits

1. Top 11 benefits of tenant screening (Most Shared)

Our most popular article, with over 1500 shares in social media, discusses the benefits of online tenant screening. Some landlords don’t realize the vital role that tenant screening plays in protecting their rental property investment. Thoroughly screening your applicant with a credit, criminal and eviction check gives important information about their background and allows you to assess any potential risks of renting to them.

how to screen tenants

2. INFOGRAPHIC: How to Screen a Tenant (2nd Most Read)

There’s more to tenant screening than simply checking your rental applicant’s credit score. This infographic lays out the complete five-step process for screening rental applicants to help you identify the best fit for your property.

most common types of renters

3. INFOGRAPHIC: 5 Most Common Types of Renters (2nd Most Shared)

Shared over 1,200 times in social media, SmartMove’s proprietary research into the rental market identified the five most common types of renters. Learn who they are, how they decide to rent, the most important rental feature to them and more with our infographic.

top mistakes made by new landlords

4. Top Mistakes New Landlords Make When Picking Tenants (Most Read)

Learn about the top mistakes new landlords make when picking tenants and how to avoid those pitfalls from real estate investor Mark Ferguson. By knowing which mistakes to steer clear of upfront, you can set yourself up for future success as a landlord. 

top reasons to screen your tenants

5. Top 5 Reasons Landlords Should Screen Tenants

Tenant horror stories are everywhere. Often these experiences could have been prevented by thorough tenant screening upfront.  Read the top five reasons to conduct credit, criminal, and eviction checks on your applicants before making a leasing decision.

industry research on landlord characteristics

6. INFOGRAPHIC: 4 Most Common Types of Landlords (Featured on REALTOR Magazine’s Blog)

One way that SmartMove differentiates itself is through our extensive research about the rental market.  TransUnion surveyed over 4,000 landlords to get a comprehensive understanding of landlords. This infographic highlights our research into the four most common types of landlords in today’s rental market. Read about their defining characteristics, their rental process, and more.

how to read a credit report

7. How to Read a Credit Report for Landlord Tenant Screening

Wondering if your rental applicant will pay their rent on-time? A credit report is one of the best ways to answer this question. Learn about the five basic components of a TransUnion credit report and how you can use that data to make an informed leasing decision.

tenant screening report warning signs

8. 7 Warning Signs to Look for on Tenant Screening Reports (Most Shared on LinkedIn)

Our most shared article on LinkedIn discusses what information on a tenant screening report should really concern a landlord.  Each landlord will have different criteria in terms of what are deal-breakers when reviewing an applicant’s history, but there are certain items that are more significant tenant screening warning signs than others.  Read now to see which items should require special attention when picking a new tenant.

guide to owning a rental property

9. INFOGRAPHIC: Beginner’s Guide to Owning Rental Property

When it comes to purchasing your first rental property, there are a number of important factors to consider. See which steps you should be taking to help you acquire a healthy rental property.

new landlord tips

10. 9 Must-Know Tips for New Landlords (Most Tweeted)

Being a new landlord isn’t easy. Set yourself up for success on everything from finding and screening tenants to creating a rental agreement and collecting rent, with these 9 must-know tips for first-time landlords.

eviction research for landlords

The True Cost of an Eviction

No landlord wants to evict a tenant. Evictions are expensive and the total costs often go beyond the cost of the eviction itself. Learn about all the costs involved in a typical eviction and how proper tenant screening upfront can save you from costly evictions down the road.