After 22 years at the helm, Tenant Profile Network (TPN) Credit Bureau’s CEO Michelle Dickens has decided to step down from the role, citing personal reasons, the company announced on Wednesday.
Dickens who co-founded the business at the age of 24, will however, stay on as a company shareholder.
Being faced with the poor payment behaviour of tenants was the motivating factor behind Dickens’s idea to start the company.
Then a young property manager, she wanted to track tenant behaviours and build a network that would allow landlords and estate agents to share rental payment trends among themselves.
“From the outset, Dickens has been determined to turn tenant behaviour into smart data to benefit landlords, investors and estate agents — as well as tenants themselves — to uplift the industry as a whole,” TPN says in a statement.
Today, TPN has a database that includes residential and commercial sectors and has developed into a comprehensive authority on tenant behaviour in the country.
TPN notes that its data is used by “all the major commercial banks, 70% of South Africa’s listed Reits and industry bodies” and even by the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb).
“The company currently has more than 19 000 clients in the residential, commercial, business and education sectors,” TPN says.
“Over 22 years, the business has revolutionised the property industry with the introduction of a number of innovative solutions such as the creation of the rental payment profile, a global first.”
Apart from the creation of its rental payment profile database, TPN has also introduced its residential lease pack product – which includes specialised lease agreements together with inspection forms, resolutions, mandates – as well as a payment behaviour product for private and public schools which tracks the payment behaviour of parents.
“Around 1 000 schools collaborate with TPN to reward paid up parents with positive updates on their credit profiles,” TPN says.
“These rewards have motivated a change in consumer behaviour, encouraging parents and guardians to settle school fees on time which, in turn, has allowed schools to keep teachers employed and their doors open during the pandemic.”
The company’s board says despite her departure, Dickens will remain a part of the company’s DNA.
“Expressing their regret for her departure, the board said they are grateful for her service and fully support her during this time,” TPN adds.