First things first...I am always trying to come up with unique business ideas, and I am just sharing an idea with a potentil audience....so please try to keep an open and forgiving mind.
There is obviously a demand by home owners for better screening tools. Would you as a home owner be willing to offer a discount to renters if they provided a certain amount of information?
A discount could be offered for each piece of information.
scanned copy of drivers licence $10 discount
scanned copy of passport $10 discount
scanned copy of utility or cell phone bill with matching name to ID $10 discount
Now imagine a website that collected all of this information on the home owner's behalf. The potential renter signs up for the service (free for the renter). They upload all of their information that they are willing to share. This information is bundled together for the home owner to inspect.
The benefit for the renter is the service is free, and it will get them an immediate discount at participating home owner's homes.
The benefit for the home owner is that they can now go to one spot and find all the pertinent information, rather than spending their time playing private investigator by searching for the renter on Google, Facebook etc.
Obviously I have painted a picture with rather broad strokes, and the finer details would have to be addressed closer if the idea appears to be viable and desired by the home owner community.
I would love to hear from other home owners as to their feelings about a service like this. Additionally, I would love to hear what information would be most valuable to each of the home owners.
One other idea came to mind. A discount could be offered to a tenant for each reference that could be provided by past home owners. For example, Lets say that a renter has rented from a handful of home owners on the VRBO site in the past. For each reference that can be provided, a further discount could be offered. For example:
Each reference from a current VRBO home owner nets the renter a $10 discount.
The renter simply provides the home owner with the VRBO property number which hosted their previous stay, and if it can be verified by the home owner...the discount is given. You could limit the offer to a maximum number of references, to keep the costs perfectly in line with your expectations.
I know speaking from experience that I would gladly hand over $20 to the renter if he/she could supply me with 2 VRBO references which I could verify myself.