Pickmee is a little bit of an outlier in that we do free pre-verification (also referred to as pre-screening) for every single tenant who comes through our platform.

It doesn’t matter if you’re applying for a property or just creating a profile, we’ve always been free for Tenants, and everyone gets all the features. So what are our core beliefs that underpin this (arguably expensive) decision?

Everyone deserves a fair opportunity

This one really comes back to our values, and shouldn’t need too much explanation. As part of our objective to support the rental community to elevate the rental industry in New Zealand, we knew from the get-go that Pickmee needed to be accessible. To everybody.

We are clear that we verify every single tenant because we are working to make the tenant application process fairer. For us, this means ensuring that every tenant has the same opportunity to provide an impressive, detailed, pre-screened Tenant CV when applying for any property in New Zealand. The only way to give everyone the same opportunity is to provide every tenant with the same feature set, and make our service freely available to all kiwi tenants. To take this one step further - it doesn't matter if you come through to Pickmee direct or via an application. Pickmee is totally free for tenants, and you can manage and share your Pickmee Tenant CV universally.

Basically - our philosophy is there should be no financial burden that would compromise the fair treatment of tenants applications.

Every tenant should have visibility and control over their own information

Traditionally, tenants have submitted an application and never really been sure what 'comes back' for Landlords or Property Managers who complete their screening checks. The tenants’ lack of visibility over their own credit scores, references and background checks has meant that many tenants are continuously missing out on rentals and have no idea why. Landlords and Property Managers are not required to give a reason for declining an application, and so often tenants are left in the dark.

That’s why we wanted to help every kiwi tenants to have transparency and visibility over their own personal information. This helps them ensure that the results of the checks are accurate, and understand why they may be missing out on rentals. If there is something in the screening that presents a challenge, it also gives the tenants the opportunity to proactively address the issue by starting an open conversation with the Landlord or Property Manager. All this can only be done if everyone's looking at the same information.

Finally, we also wanted to help tenants avoid frequent credit score searches, which can impact their credit score (most people aren't even aware of this). This is why we collaborated with highly regarded NZ credit bureau Centrix, to co-design an approach for credit score searches which enable Tenants to request their consumer credit scores without impacting their score. The result is a tenant’s credit score is never affected by Pickmee’s search.

Landlords & Property Managers should not be penalised for implementing fair screening practises

When only one or two applicants are screened, this can result in deserving Tenants being overlooked, and Landlords and Property Managers potentially missing out on more suited tenants.

When we first started Pickmee, we noted that the traditional selection process for a Landlord or Property Manager involved making a short-list of applicants based on “gut-feel” and only screening one or two tenants. This is because many screening providers who advertise themselves as “free”, actually make revenue by charging a per-application screening fee; meaning the more applications you screen, the more you are charged.

That’s why we wanted to make sure that Pickmee’s pricing doesn’t change depending on the number of applications. We ran some clever calculations to figure out a method of monthly, consistent subscription charge that enables us to provide unlimited screening at a single fixed price (which also ultimately ends up cheaper than many of the other providers). Basically - no barriers to equally screening every tenant.

OK - So if we believe verification should be accessible to everyone, why does Pickmee claim to help tenants “get ahead of the queue” or “stand out”?

Not everyone is on Pickmee (yet) and so for now, if you present a Pickmee Tenant CV you will stand out from the crowd. In an early survey we ran, 84% of Private Landlords said they’d be more likely to notice an applicant who presents a pre-verified Tenant CV (compared to those who fill out a traditional application). If you want to help us in our endeavour to empower every tenant in New Zealand with a Pickmee Tenant CV, send your friends the link www.pickmee.io/tenants so we can help them too!Finally; we’re tenants ourselves, and while we're making bold moves, we’re never going to get it perfect. The best we can do is have open and honest conversations with our community. If you have feedback or ideas, please reach out to us, we are keen to learn from you!