Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Yardi Systems announced Feb. 16 that the multifamily software and services firm purchased Waltham, Mass.-based online resident screening company RentGrow in a continuing effort to bolster the Yardi Multifamily Suite, a collection of ancillary business solutions including portals, payment processing, utility billing, procure-to-pay, and call centers that are integrated into the core Yardi Voyager software platform.

“Yardi acquired RentGrow to meet a growing demand among multifamily housing providers to incorporate credit checks, rental payment history searches, background checks, and other applicant screening functions into their core property management system,” Yardi Systems president Anant Yardi said in a statement announcing the acquisition, the terms of which were undisclosed. “Adding RentGrow's technology to Yardi's integrated multifamily products will help our clients operate more efficiently, maximize net operating income, and manage risk.”

According to Yardi vice president of marketing Brad Setser, Yardi remains committed to systems interface options even as the company responds to a groundswell of requests for a fully integrated service suite from its client base. “Our clients have been showing increasing interest in operating their business off of one technology platform and in response over the past couple of years we have had a focus and commitment on adding products that will add value to our Voyager platform,” Setser says. “We do have many clients that use other service providers and recognize that some companies are interested in picking and choosing vendors, so we are also very committed to our interface program.”

RentGrow currently boasts a client base representing approximately 700,000 multifamily units across the United States, a figure that is likely to grow once the RentGrow service offering is fully integrated into Voyager. The integration process is expected to take one or two quarters to complete. RentGrow president Mike Lapsley says the acquisition was a right price, right time deal after a 20-year run as a screening provider in the multifamily industry. “Previous offers did not make sense to us either from a strategic standpoint or a valuation standpoint,” Lapsley says. “But we think the market is changing; we saw Yardi as a dominant technology platform in multifamily; and we think this alliance brings tremendous benefits to our company, our customers, and the industry."