Why AI for tenant screening is a bad idea!

The vendor to our management software just announced that they are introducing enhanced AI (artificial intelligence) in the screening of tenant applications. At Full Service Property Managmenet we are fired up at that announcement, but not for the reason you think.

As more companies adopt this method of tenant screening it will continue to separate and elevate FSPM above the rest. We have successfully employed a tenant screening method that does not rely on AI. Our 35 years of leasing experience has shown where the rubber meets the road — the personal interview and the Verification of Rent (VOR). In fact, a credit report says absolutely nothing about rent.

Sure we pull an applicant’s credit. We have a fiduciary responsibility to. And we use the credit report to mitigate risk in the application. But it is not a primary factor. It is secondary.

For companies to use a credit report, and especially AI overlayed on a credit report, to help determine qualification is putting too much emphasis in the wrong place, in our humble opinion. Other companies will depend more and more heavily on a computer’s decision.

In fact, one company already does! Our last PM that we hired years ago used a computer to approve/reject an applicant. The results were disastrous. The good news is it caused us to start FSPM! So we’ll stick with 35 years of positive results, thank you very much!!