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"A bank check, we're calling it today. It gives you all the information you need to actually verify the tenants information being provided to you through a secure and quick and easy way to verify the information" — Chad Guziewicz
Tar down the pipes. Months of unpaid rent. Expensive eviction processes. We've all heard — or experienced — the horror stories of tenants gone bad. That's why landlords try to assess prospective renters up front through a long process filled with pay stubs and government documents.
Good tenants find it cumbersome. And landlords have to sort through reams of irrelevant information — like what bill a tenant missed 7 years ago.
There ought to be a better way. Now, there is.
In this episode of Sync or Swim, we discuss a new kind of screening software that helps landlords get the right tenants in place quickly and easily. Our guest is Chad Guziewicz, Co-founder of Rentify.
Here's what we talked about:
Why you need a better financial stress test
Reading the data in imperfect credit scores
How tenants feel about the new system
Mitch Fanning [0:00:31.0]:
Okay, welcome back to Sync or Swim. I'm Mitch Fanning with Rentsync, and joining me today is Chad Guziewicz, co-founder of Rentify, a tenant screening rental software that does things in a basically a different way than your typical screening software, and we're gonna get into that in this episode. Chad, how are you doing today?
Chad Guziewicz [0:00:54.4]:
Very good, and thank you for having me on your show today.
Mitch Fanning [0:00:56.8]:
I'm glad we can get this going, so let's start off the conversation by having you kind of give us a quick overview of how you got started in the industry, and specifically how you got the idea for Rentify.
Chad Guziewicz [0:01:10.2]:
Perfect, appreciate that. And so, you know, I used to actually be a landlord, so I used to have a tenant place, and I remember those days, I actually ended up selling the building, but I'll even tell you why I really found it difficult to screen tenants and found and verify the information they provide to you such as pay stubs, their existing address, their previous landlord, whether their government income and all this kind of quick or stuff you need to verify when you're gonna move somebody into your place, and you know there's some stuff out there today for larger landlords and property management companies. But never for the little guys, the smaller guys that you know, don't have 1 to 10, 1 to 20, 50. Right, and I was going back and forth and back and forth on this. And I actually, at one time, I put a guy into our place that actually poured tar down our pipes, and by the time I had this guy out of the place, it cost me about 15 grand and it was kind of like, Okay, if you don't put the right. Tenants in at the beginning, this business is a lot of work, it really is, and the process takes forever depending on where you are in the world and what provinces or state, and I was specifically in Ontario, which is a tough place to actually evict people, right. And so a few years of doing that, I got out of the business and I got into a
software business called tire wizard, which is just today, and it's for the auto industry, but I actually maxed out that industry and I was in the parking lot of Kia Canada, with my partner, and we were talking about what other industries could we disrupt, like we did with the tire industry with the car dealers, and I said, Well, there was this thing I used to do call being a landlord and screening tenants. And we started talking about how could we do it differently than what's done today, which
is traditionally a credit check, and we started talking and looking into the FinTech world and this connection with banking came, and at the end of the day, with a bank check, we're calling you today, it gives you all the information you need to actually verify the tenants' information being provided to you through a secure and quick and easy way to verify the information and to screen tenants today, for most people, it takes like two hours with our system, now, it's done in five
minutes. It's just so much easier, faster, and more reliable information than you're looking for, and that's kind of how it was born.
Mitch Fanning [0:03:56.6]:
Yeah, it's funny, you and I both share the experience of being a small-time in our former life, a small-time landlord, I had four single-family homes, and I remember specifically having to do those credit checks and the costs associated with it, and not really understanding if it gave you all the information you needed. And you're right, it might be a cliche, but I definitely think your tenant is your asset, not just your house or just your rental property in general, I'm getting and getting the right tenant in there is obviously, I would say one of the key things to nail and we talk about the credit check and we'll get into the bank check and what that means in detail, but in your view, I've got my kind of opinion, but in your view, what's the issue with just looking at the credit score?
Chad Guziewicz [0:04:55.0]:
You know what the number one issue is, I don't understand it. You look at it and you just don't understand what it means. Like really, at the end of the day. It's a huge document. I try to look at it. Try to understand it. I just don't get it, I don't understand what it means. And especially if you're a small-time landlord, what does it really mean to you at the end of the day, really, at the end of the day, what you're trying to find out from a tenant is, do they pay their bills like a responsible
person will pay their bills, they're gonna pay their landlord, and that's really what you're looking at, and that's kind of what a bank check and not to get to with detail with it yet, it's telling you, it's telling you, Yes, this person will pay all... They pay all their bills, they're paying everything on time and there's no issues, and that's really what you're trying to understand, at the end of the day, my credit check will tell you if somebody didn't pay a bill maybe seven years ago... How is that relevant to you today?
Mitch Fanning [0:05:51.3]:
100%, 100%. So let's get into it because maybe let's drill into or doubleclick into what a bank check or a financial resume is in your system and really why it's important.
Chad Guziewicz [0:06:06.3]:
So these are some of the main factors. So today in Canada, I think it's actually today where they're actually doing a stress test, now, if you go to buy a house, if you're a firsttime home buyer, so now they're creating more tests to make sure you can afford the property, you know, landlords today have never really thought, Can the tenant I'm putting into my property afford my property, you know, at the end of the day, the largest expense for anybody today is the rent, then it's gonna be the largest expense they have, so you wanna make sure they can afford the place and you're setting them up to be successful in the end, that's what you're doing, it's not always on the tenant side to make sure that they can afford the place, just like the banks don't expect you when you go to buy your properties to make sure you can afford it when they're loaning you the money, you should also do your due diligence on the tenants to make sure they can afford the place, it's a
great fit and it's a match, and that's really what we're trying to do for landlords is help match up the right people with the right land, with the right landlord, so in the end, you're making the best decisions for your property and for the tenant, and trying to help solve some of the hypes and crisis because essentially we're putting people in, they might not qualify or not, and then you create a bad situation for landlords and for the tenants.
Mitch Fanning [0:07:31.3]:
But also too, on the flip side, you're also... Because the credit score doesn't give you that complete picture, you're also giving potential residents the opportunity to find a good place, and maybe their credit score isn't good, but they've been paying their bills and everything else they've done is from a financial standpoint, is... Okay, and good. And you're giving those people an opportunity from an affordability standpoint to actually maybe get qualified or get approved for that place too, so on the other side, you're also doing a good job there.
Chad Guziewicz [0:08:08.0]:
You've got it. Exactly, and that's also what we're doing. It's really easy to write to somebody that has a perfect credit score, but what happens when you have anybody below and they might be...Might be multiple reasons why they don't have a perfect credit score, but our system will actually tell you just what you said, No, this person pays the bills, they're responsible, they should be in here and they're actually a perfect match for your property. You said exactly correctly. I don't think I could have said it any better than you did.
Mitch Fanning [0:08:34.1]:
So I mean, let's get into what from as far as your system or Rentify shows what makes an ideal tenant... And maybe I'll start by saying, when I was doing my research for this conversation, one of the unique use cases that I thought was interesting was that if you don't allow pets and you look at their bank records through your system, and they've gone to PetSmart, that's a good indication that they may have a pet, and so what is your... In addition to, do they pay their bills? What is some of the things that your systems showing that kind of gives the landlord an indication that they're the right fit for their property?
Chad Guziewicz [0:09:27.2]:
Yeah, that's actually a great question. We actually have a tagging system that actually will let people know if they... And it depends on how many times, obviously, you go to PetSmart, we can let you know that if they say no pets and actually they're going every month and buying pet food constantly... Obviously, they have a pet, obvious, as can be... Right, and really what happens is our system, a landlord will ask a bunch of questions to a tenant, and what they're doing is taking those questions and matching it up with the back data, so hey, yeah, they say they work at this property... Well, I can actually see them getting their paychecks... Yeah, our system goes in and actually looks for the rent payments and matches up to the answer, they tell the system, yes, now I can see the rent payments coming out exactly at your time, everything matches up, and it's really just taking the information that the person provides to you and making, invalidating it and giving you the information you need to make the best decision for your property, and we don't tell landlords or score anybody say This is the right person as a landlord, you're gonna know in the end who's right. For your property, we're providing you the proper information to make the best decision.
Mitch Fanning [0:10:50.5]:
Yeah, exactly. And so, going off on maybe a quick tangent for a second, the other thing I thought was interesting, and this isn't maybe a use case, but is a scenario when in the peak of the pandemic, and the government said basically, it's okay not to pay your rent, your system, saw that in fact that they had stopped paying the rent through your system, is that... Can you kind of expand on that? That was kind of an interesting scenario there...
Chad Guziewicz [0:11:26.8]:
Yeah, we actually said, Yeah, when the government said, Don't pay any rent, we saw them stop as soon as the government said start paying again, you could actually see the payments come back out again. It was actually quite fascinating to watch the human behavior of somebody because for whatever reason they stop doing that, and it's just the information you would never see anything like that in a credit check is just impossible, and it's really a fascinating world to see things that are relevant to your property like that, and that is a great change that I would have never thought that would happen. But it actually started happening. It's just crazy.
Mitch Fanning [0:12:10.0]:
Now, the other thing we should I wanna speak to is the whole notion around privacy, obviously, if you're getting these records, people, specifically people who are prospective residents or tenants are gonna say, Well, it's a little bit invasion of my privacy, maybe... How are you guys dealing with the whole idea or concept around privacy with your software?
Chad Guziewicz [0:12:37.9]:
That's actually... I was waiting for that question, I was excited to get that question because we get it all the time, right. So two things I'd like to start with today, people of the standard today is to give out your sin number through email, which is the most unsecure way of sending something you can never change ever. So somebody gets your sin number, it starts doing things, it's a big problem, people are sending paystubs, all this kind of information again through email, which is the most unsecure way of transferring information. The difference from our system, that's very important, it's not being transferred to email, it's all being done securely, and what happens is not to get too technical with everybody, but we separate the data with the person's information, and we only show the relevant information to the landlord, so we don't show them every single transaction are. We only show the stuff that's relevant, and then after 30 days, we anonymize the person's information, so you can't see the name and the address matching up to that individual.
Mitch Fanning [0:13:42.8]:
Okay, so the other side of it, and we kinda started to speak to it was obvious that...And your system benefits the landlord, and we spoke a little bit about the idea that if somebody didn't have a perfect credit score, this system from a renter standpoint would help them in that respect, what are some of the other benefits to the tenant... Why would this be a good thing for the renters in general other than that, or was that the main benefit?
Chad Guziewicz [0:14:12.9]:
It also speeds of the process, so for tenants that are good or a good shape and wanna share their information, instead of taking a twohour process for them, and for the landlords, we always forget on the tenant side, imagine you're attendant today and you wanna buy a place, you have to apply to 10 different people in 10 different ways, with 10 different amounts of information with our system, you log in, use your bank card, your password, but nobody gets any access to it and you share all the information that matters. So now instead of going and gathering, Oh, this landlord wants this and this landlord wants that and this landlord wants this, it's all done simply through our system and making the process faster, so they get ahead of the list that are taking longer to do this kind of information I wanna do manually.
Mitch Fanning [0:15:01.9]:
Yeah, I think that's important. I'm remembering when I was a tenant, and I don't necessarily know if it's an issue anymore, but I remember when a landlord would ask me about, could they do a credit check? And getting dinged a whole bunch of times and having to give that information was a little bit of a pain because you were concerned as a prospective renter, if you were gonna get dinged a little bit more, the normal on your credit rating essentially. I could see that on my end, I would have easily just given this information, it's faster, it's also faster on their side, so
Chad Guziewicz [0:15:37.9]:
And with our way, you don't get your credit dinged, it doesn't hurt your credit score, and that's another benefit I provide you brought that up because it's also another benefit for the tenants, their credit score isn't getting hit every time a landlord's running, 10 people are hitting your credit score every time to run credit. Right, so with our system, that's not happening.
Mitch Fanning [0:16:00.7]:
So, before we close off and get to my... And I typically, I think is my favorite part of the conversation, which is the quick turn around, is there any other... What else should we cover, what are the other things that you'd wanna cover at this point that we maybe haven't brought up?
Chad Guziewicz [0:16:16.4]:
Well, one of the things I always say, and I've been saying a lot, we are the first company obviously to start bank checks, and I believe in the next five to 10 years, this will be the standard. There will be multiple people doing it because the information is so much better than what a credit check is doing today, there's nothing wrong with doing a credit check, but I believe... This is where the industry is gonna go. It's like that Aha moment as everybody starts seeing it and going, move forward, if credit... If this bank statement or bank check was around 20, 15 years ago, I think this would have been the standard instead of credit checks. I honestly believe that this is where the future is going, it's like when everybody was like, Oh, Netflix, I think people are really gonna like staying at home and watching videos or going to blockbuster, this is that aha moment in this industry. Oh yes, this is the right thing.
Mitch Fanning [0:17:16.1]:
No, exactly, and just to kind of maybe underline that point, one of the other things that I really liked about your system when I was doing the research was it could identify when the... I think it was the ending balance or the beginning balance for the next month, and really that's a leading indicator of whether they can actually... They have enough money in their account to pay rent, was it the ending or was it the beginning balance or was it.
Chad Guziewicz [0:17:45.6]:
Yeah, we give you at the end of the month, the average average balance, and then you can know when the check comes up on the first, how much money you'll be there so that you don't bounce the checks anymore. So it's really giving you a good indicator, okay, 'cause there are some people that have negative 500 a month, obviously, they may have an issue in the future if they're not managing their cash flow correctly, and we are literally telling you a good... Even month, how
much money they have on average... For 12 months.
Mitch Fanning [0:18:17.4]:
Yeah and I think that's really the source of truth, and going back to what you had said initially, is the probability of them being able to pay for their rent each and every month, and so that's... Again, maybe going back into circles, but a credit score won't tell you that information, so I definitely agree that you are doing something that's unique, and I can definitely see it being a best practice moving forward.
Chad Guziewicz [0:18:44.4]:
Yes, I agree, 100%. And there's just so much more information that people need, and then over time, it will become the standard and you know what... You know what's the funniest thing? One of the last things I wanna bring for tenants, a lot of tenants are starting to really like this process because it's so much easier... I was actually shocked when we first started testing this out if tenants... The number one thing is, Well, tenants do this, and now we're starting to see that they're actually liking this process better, we're starting to start to tell us This is way easier than what we were doing before.
Mitch Fanning [0:19:17.6]:
It's interesting, so going into closing this up into our quick by around, so I'm gonna ask you a few questions and you answer and say 30 to 60 seconds. So, Chad, are you ready?
Chad Guziewicz [0:19:22.2]:
Mitch Fanning [0:19:27.3]:
Alright, so question number one, what do you believe that others might disbelieve?
Chad Guziewicz [0:19:38.5]:
There's a big report coming out about aliens, so I'm kind of looking forward that the US military... So that's kind of... I always thought they might be, but now there's a big report coming out, so we'll find out...
Mitch Fanning [0:19:50.7]:
Alright, well, I'll look for that. So the second question is, what have you changed your mind about lately?
Chad Guziewicz [0:19:58.0]:
So, one of the biggest things was my brother tried to convince me to buy Bitcoin six years ago, and I was like, Oh, there's no way that was gonna turn into a thing, and I've recently changed my mind about cryptocurrency, so that's one of the things... And if I wanna listen to him, I would have made a lot of money at the time.
Mitch Fanning [0:20:16.7]:
Well, you and Ray Dalio have also changed your mind, who's a big hedge fund guy, so... Interesting, alright, so just last question really is, where can people find you on the interweb, and specifically, how does somebody start with Rentify?
Chad Guziewicz 0:20:30.5]:
It's trustrentify.com, and they can just go to our website and register and get started. It's really simple and easy, and if they have any questions, they can always reach out to our team or sales... Or sales manager.
Mitch Fanning [0:20:44.1]:
Okay, perfect. Well, chat, thank you so much for doing this. That's another episode
Chad Guziewicz [0:20:46.1]:
Thank you for having me
Mitch Fanning [0:20:50.1]:
Absolutely and keep swimming guys.
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