17 NOV 2022, Snug.com
Snug is designed to make renting easier by improving access, affordability and privacy for renters.
The allegations contained in the Guardian article on 17 November 2022 are highly speculative, unsubstantiated and contain highly suggestive assertions which are likely to mislead the public about the actual service Snug provides.
The old way of managing applications puts price first and is stacked against renters who want secure tenure and transparency. Unfortunately, rent bidding can occur in a tight rental market. The old way of doing things enabled it, disadvantaging renters unfairly.
Snug knows that innovation in the application process is a key part of the solution to address these problems. The problems and concerns raised by the Guardian on behalf of renters are the same challenges our platform is designed to help address.
In an old-style application people may perceive price as a primary factor, and while it can be easy for property managers to select tenants on that basis, our research shows property owners value affordability, good references and longer term tenancies.
The Snug Match Score is based on far less personal information than would be collected in an old style application. We ensure useful information on renter preferences such as start date and lease term are prioritised to give owners better information and encourage more stable long term relationships. Renters can adjust the rent in their application in consideration of their individual circumstances such as a deferred start date or negotiated service inclusions such as modifications, gardening, pool maintenance. Snug’s innovation reduces the information burden, improves transparency, provides greater control to renters as well as real time visibility of their progress and ultimately faster application approvals. The Snug Match Score is just one indicator within a complete rental application that property managers may consider when presenting selected tenants to the owner. Renter’s now benefit from faster application response turnaround times which have reduced from 1 week to inside 1 day for the majority of applicants.
Our platform is designed to discourage the kind of rent bidding that is already happening despite being illegal in some states, and to prioritise factors such as start date and lease term in matching tenants to owners.
Furthermore, Snug’s innovations are helping to reduce discrimination in the rental market. Snug believes an objective, data-driven approach can help eliminate discrimination and subconscious bias in the rental sector.
Snug’s has designed a platform to facilitate a better relationship between renters and agents. The old approach is failing many renters and making life harder for people already struggling in the market.
Snug recognises the frustrations and financial challenges that renters face in this rental crisis in which a lack of housing has caused market rents to rise. Furthermore, Snug is working towards encouraging long term tenancies, with 13% of Snug rental applicants requesting longer leases of 2 or 3 years.
Part of our commitment to improving the renters’ experience is to continue to evaluate and analyse the platform based on how agents and tenants are using it. We are committed to making adjustments, whenever necessary, to help eliminate rent bidding. Snug has no foreseeable plans to implement further permissible data attributes contained conceptually in the patent application.
Snug empowers renters to receive notifications about property managers accessing their data as well as the ability to delete their profile data at any time. Snug takes data security and privacy very seriously and automatically deletes sensitive information and documents at 60 days to protect customer data.
Snug notified all members of Fairy Floss when the group administration was transferred in August 2017, and actively sought input from members in May 2018 when improving the Community Standards with over 96% of members surveyed supporting the changes. Fairy Floss has enabled renters to post over 42,000 rental listings at no cost in the last 12 months. FFRE continues as a safe, inclusive and more effective listing platform for renters with the improvement of the original group rules to the Community Rules and Moderation guidelines.
Snug is exploring how its application and matching system could address other issues in the housing market such as helping unlock the 13 million spare rooms across Australia and enabling randomised unbiased ballot processes for allocating rental properties. Snug welcomes open discussion, transparency and scrutiny around technology solutions in the housing sector and looks forward to working with stakeholders including renters, advocacy groups, property managers, government and the wider industry.
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