"The way we empower them is with smarter solutions so they can take control of their financial future"
If renters and landlords could accurately assess each other’s trustworthiness along with the former’s financial situation, the residential renting market would be near utopian. For something as simple as renting a place that best fits a person’s needs and budget, it is unfortunate that the market continues to rely on undesirable, inefficient and one-size-fits-all renting prerequisites.
All too often, renters get rejected for many reasons - they can be self-employed with no simple way to demonstrate a steady income, students with minimal income who need housing, graduates at the outset of their career, or foreign nationals with
a visa and cash but no credit history, which have no bearing on their ability to pay rent. Even if they can successfully qualify by securing a lease guarantee which provides the landlord with the rent protection they deem necessary, the renter must still pay a hefty amount in the form of a security deposit, all the while being compelled to agree with inflexible rental terms and conditions.
These one-sided, rigid rental standards provide operational efficiency for landlords but disregard the personal circumstances of otherwise qualified and desirable renters. While cost effective, these standards mean landlords miss the opportunity to maximize their occupancy while keeping the coverage they need.
What is needed is a better, more viable framework to help connect fine renters with landlords and property managers. Enabling just that is TheGuarantors. With their leading-edge technology and data-powered platform, TheGuarantors offers personalized products to each renter offering smarter solutions so they can take care of their financial future. TheGuarantors help renters relate their renting aspirations and needs, as well as offering them choice in selecting the right financial product for their renting life. For landlords, this translates to safety assurance and peace of mind regarding leasing their properties. “By focusing on the renter and their financial well-being as they seek to qualify for their dream apartment and taking into consideration the assurance needs of the landlord, we ultimately make the landlord happy as well, because not only have we increased their applicant pool, but our happy customer is also their happy renter.” says Sean O’Donoghue, COO, TheGuarantors. And by doing so, the company manifests the much-needed mutual trust and transparency into renter-landlord relationships.
Interestingly, the founding story of TheGuarantors revolves around the struggle that its founder and CEO, Julien Bonneville, faced while trying to rent an apartment. As a French national who moved to New York in 2010 to attend business school, Bonneville found it nearly impossible to rent an apartment.Eventually he managed to rent a place but this entire experience inspired him to create a purpose-built smart solution that would simplify and rationalize the renting experience. His company, TheGuarantors, was launched in 2016, focusing initially on providing Lease Guatantee’s to renters and in the years since has evolved to bring a range of smart products to market.
Today, TheGuarantors continue to be the dominant player in New York where they started and now have a significant presence across numerous other cities in the U.S. As a trusted partner of renters, they aim to make their rent payment, financing, credit and protection related products accessible more and more renters across the U.S.
What underpins the success of any of TheGuarantors’ financial solutions is its machine learning-driven underwriting process
Empowering Renter-Landlord Relationships
TheGuarantors’ portfolio of solutions strikes the right chord in the real estate rental market because they go the extra mile in addressing the challenges and the needs of many types of renters. According to O’Donoghue, some of their customers include potential renters who may not have a credit history or only a ‘thin credit’ file (such as students, foreign nationals, and freelancers), making it nearly impossible for them to get the apartment they want. Then, there are renters who find it difficult to manage the security deposit hurdles. Besides, the way landlords and renters manage rental financials have evolved with changing macroeconomics, lifestyles, and of course, the pandemic. They want flexible solutions and choice that can connect all these dots. TheGuarantors swiftly manages to deliver the same via its well-balanced solutions.
Central to TheGuarantors’ solutions is its personalized Lease Guarantee offering, where the company serves the renter by bringing a financial solution that provides the rent coverage guarantees needed by the landlord. A Lease Guarantee is a surety bond purchased by renters, where the landlord is the beneficiary. More importantly, these guarantees are superbly affordable, at about 60 percent of a month’s rent for a 1-year lease. Once the renter buys the policy, they are qualified for the apartment they want, and the landlord is insured for the term of the renter’s lease, thereby eliminating the risk of default. Lease Guarantee is, therefore, a win-win for all parties.
TheGuarantors’ security deposit replacement scheme, on the other hand, helps the renters who can’t afford or aren’t willing to pay a hefty security deposit. Renters can effortlessly purchase a replacement product, typically around 10-30 percent of a month’s rent. Even existing renters whose landlords have partnered with TheGuarantors can leverage this product to get back their security deposits. “It’s easy to gauge how relieving this solution is to renters as it significantly reduces their move-in expenses, while simultaneously increasing the leasing velocity for landlords.,” says O’Donoghue. After all, it’s a no-brainer that putting a substantial amount of cash into a rental deposit is a financial stretch for many, and a wasteful use of funds for the renter, especially amidst a pandemic that has financially strained almost everyone.. While making individual renters feel more empowered with its financial products, TheGuarantors doesn’t undermine the needs of the landlords. “Not only do we perform detailed underwriting to ensure the risk is fairly determined for each application, as we aim to make our rent payment, financing, credit and protection related products accessible to more renters, Landlords—through their relationship with TheGuarantors— can in turn promote how their buildings provide tenants with access to this same range of products that will help them manage their financial futures,” says O’Donoghue.
In light of such sought-after offerings, TheGuarantors continues to win the trust of countless renters and landlords. Testimonials from happy renters across all demographics continue to shower on TheGuarantors. Landlords who try these products at a few properties, over time, go ‘all-in’ with their entire portfolio of properties.
Under the Hoods of Excellence
What underpins the success of TheGuarantors’ financial solutions is its machine learning-driven underwriting process. “We perform a level of underwriting that nobody else in our industry does. Using the data, we can take out any bias and make sure that the right people are moving into the apartment (from a risk perspective). At the same time, such smart underwriting enables us to work with users in real-time to drastically reduce their turnaround time. This is a powerful advantage from a user experience standpoint,” prides O’Donoghue.
An added assurance for both renters and landlords is the fact that all of TheGuarantors’ products are backed by renowned A-rated insurance carriers.
By rethinking insurance products and other financial solutions, TheGuarantors is effectively spurring a new, broad class of trustworthy renters. O’Donoghue remarks, “Everything we do at TheGuarantors, we do because we believe in empowering renters. We Believe in giving them the tools that will help them improve how they live. We empower them is with smarter solutions so they can take control of their financial future.”
For the Continued Interests of the Real Estate Renting Landscape
TheGuarantors’ engages directly with renters and landlords to understand the wants and needs of both parties. This enables the company to keep a close watch on real estate rental market trends and ultimately rollout solutions that provide real value. “We are a product company and, we strive to bring products that address the evolving needs of the renters and the landlords,” asserts O’Donoghue. This approach lets the company bring value to the B2B2C chain in its entirety, only to grow over time as they accumulate more renter and landlord data and continue to solve inherent challenges in the residential renting space.
As they move beyond automated underwriting processes and proactive fraud detection capabilities, TheGuarantors wants to deepen the impact of their offerings by creating a ‘lifetime engagement model’ with the renter. O’Donoghue explains, “While they (renters) move from building to building, we can travel with them, and by understanding who they are, what they like, what their preferences are, we can provide them with the protection, security and financial options they need to take control of their financial futures. We can introduce personalized financial products that best fit their circumstance. The possibilities and the opportunities are massive.”
Simply put, TheGuarantors strives to continually improve what it does best—being a renter- and landlord-friendly fintech company that helps transform the latter’s houses to the former’s homes. The future shines bright for the company.