asking the right background check rfp questions

Doing business is complicated. Keeping up with every area that needs attention can be overwhelming, and sometimes, it’s necessary to bring on help to get things done. As a business, knowing the right time to do this is an essential part of maintaining your profit margin.

Many businesses and entrepreneurs working in the real estate and rental industry will find that there are times when using an RFP to connect with the right helper will be essential. Choosing landlords, tenants, and screening services can all be very time-consuming processes, so putting effort into RFPs can really pay off.

Why does asking the right background check RFP questions matter so much? What are the right questions? Let’s address these concerns so that you can get your RFP right!

A Table Of Contents For Background Check RFP Information

What Is An RFP?

Not all business owners are completely familiar with an RFP, and that’s okay! This term gets used in some industries more than others, so there’s a good chance that you haven’t had to deal with this particular document just yet.

An RFP is also known as a Request For Proposal. RFPs are not specific to one subject matter, but they all have the same end goal: to bring in proposals from various service companies that are willing to help with the problem at hand.

A builder that needs to bring on stoneworkers may do an RFP to find the right fit; a large school being built is likely to send out multiple RFPs to find the right contractors, electricians, and more. Anytime that a business or individual needs to find the right fit for their project, an RFP is a great way to do just that.

What Is The Benefit Of An RFP

Why would a business owner want to use an RFP to find the right business partnership instead of just researching competitors on their own?

The main answer to that question would be that they want to save time, but that’s not the only reason that using an RFP can be beneficial. RFPs typically include specific details about what type of job needs to be done, what the budget is, and other important details. When prospective companies read the RFP, they will immediately know if they are a good fit or not.

Companies that are looking to add pre-employment screening services to their company’s HR practices, for example, often use an RFP to find out if the screening companies offer the specific characteristics that they are looking for.

By sending the RFP out rather than researching companies directly, you are only going to be in contact with those companies that can actually do what you need to be done. Since there are likely to be many that cannot meet your qualifications for a particular job, this weeding out step is very helpful.

In particular, business owners have reported that they enjoy using RFPs because:

  • They can contact a large number of possible contractors at the same time.
  • They save a lot of time and money in the search process.
  • Their most pressing questions are answered more quickly.
  • They build more relationships with various companies, even if they don’t use them for the next immediate project.

Overall, a Request For Proposal can make the selection process more efficient, which helps all of your work move along at a faster pace.

How Are RFPs Used In Rentals And Real Estate?

How Are RFPs Used In Rentals And Real Estate?

We work in the real estate industry, so the function of RFPs within our scope of interest is going to be our focus today. Even if you don’t plan to work in rentals or real estate, the rest of the information that we cover can be adapted to your industry as well.

Finding The Right Brokers

The first way that you might see RFPs used in the industry is when a business, individual, or other entity is looking for a broker to help them expand their holdings. Sending out an RFP with the type of broker they are looking for as well as details about the deals they hope to find can help them to get the right partner for their future growth.

Finding The Right Commercial Landlord

Commercial businesses often expand the spaces that they rent or even move their locations altogether. When planning their next steps, many businesses send out an RFP to local real estate commercial landlords, brokers, and other people in the industry.

These types of RFP usually detail the exact type of commercial space they are looking to lease. By sending out a blast like this, they can connect with the brokers and landlords that are managing properties that match their qualifications very easily.

Finding The Right Tenants

Another way that RFPs can be used is to get the right screening service or management team on board to help you find tenants for the housing aspect of your business. Some investors that own a few different apartment buildings, for example, may send out an RFP to find the right screening service.

An RFP, in this case, would serve to ensure that the screening service or management system used has all of the background check and quality check provisions that the investors want to be covered during screening. If we here at Rent Prep saw an RFP that we felt we matched, we would be able to pitch our services to the company according to their release information.

Finding The Right Builders

Finally, real estate investors in the industry will frequently use RFPs to hire builders and contractors for specific parts of their projects as they develop new lots, condos, rentals, and neighborhoods.

As with the above, an RFP ensures that the investor has a better chance of being satisfied with the team they create because the RFP asks the important questions before the project even begins. No time wasted!

Asking The Right Background Check RFP Questions

No matter why you are planning to send out an RFP, you want to be sure that you are asking the right background check RFP questions so that the RFP brings in the right type of proposals. If your questions and information don’t match your goals, you’ll be left scratching your head and needing to spend more time on the job.


Before you create your RFP, think about what your goals are for your project. Why are you looking for a new business partnership? What do you need the partnership to provide? How do you plan on incorporating their work? Break down your expectations so that you can build the best RFP.

If you were looking for a quality tenant screening service, you might ask yourself these questions:

  1. What are your specific screening requirements?
  2. Do you need things to be done in a specific amount of time?
  3. Are you looking for a service that uses their own online portal or one that can integrate with your existing systems?
  4. Do you want a company with experience in a specific type of screening management?

These are just a few questions, but they’ll help you set up some good ideas about what you need to consider before you create your own RFP

Writing The RFP

How To Ask The Right Background Check RFP Questions

Once you’ve done some brainstorming about the “whys” and the “whats” for your needs for the RFP, it is time to write the RFP! We’ll cover the top five areas that we think are essential to include in any RFP to ensure that you get all of the information that you need as efficiently as possible.

1. Compliance

The first area that you should ask about is compliance. Does the company have the ability to meet your standards? Will they ensure that their systems are in compliance with local laws and regulations? Find out how the company can help you stay in line with the law.

When working with screening companies, this is especially important because there are a lot of rules about the questions that you can and cannot ask during screening. It is essential that any company you work with stays within the legal bounds.

2. Experience

Find out how much experience the company in question has to offer. Have they worked with clients of a similar scale to you before? Do you want to have a company that charges more for their experience, or are you willing to work with a less expensive company that is still learning?

Mention your position on this clearly in the RFP.

3. Integrations

If you have your own systems set up that you want the provider to be able to join into, you will need to mention this clearly in your RFP. Many companies are set up to function within their own systems and may not be able to export the data or items that you need into your system without additional work being involved.

When you’re trying to put together a background check RFP for finding a great tenant screening service, you may want to consider using the systems that the screening company has already developed as it is likely to be more streamlined than any internal system since screening companies dedicate a lot of time to developing high-quality systems.

4. Timeline

Another important factor to work into your RFP is your expected timeline to start working together. By including this and asking about the company’s ongoing timeline and projects, you’ll be able to find out if the company will have the right amount of time to dedicate to your project.

If you’re going to be in need of a high-volume screening service, it will be especially important to ask how quickly the company can integrate your needs into their current programs.

5. Quality Control

Finally, ask the companies to provide information about their methodologies and quality control check routines. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, but the best companies and contractors will have a system set up to check for mistakes along the way.

In the screening industry, for example, we make sure that we only bring in data from reliable databases, and we assign representatives to monitor the results at set intervals along the way to ensure that all of our data is as accurate as possible.

Asking about the quality control practices will help ensure that you end up with a better final project!

Get Your RFP Out There!

While it is important to spend some time to make sure that you are asking the right background check RFP questions to find the best screening company for your needs, it is also important to get your RFP out into the world sooner rather than later.

Once you have a decent RFP ready to go, send it out! As you get proposals, you can follow up with interesting companies about the things that you still would like to know. Plus, most proposals will include more than just the requested information, so you may not need to ask very many follow-up questions to make your decision at all.

The key is that a background check RFP is going to help you find a screening service, and that will make your business easier!