Access to screaming fast Wi-Fi and mobile apps that manage everything from fitness plans to doctor appointments—the modern renter relies on technology to stay on budget and on schedule. Being able to make payments from the road (without pesky paper checks) is the new norm. If your property isn’t already accepting online rent payment, why not? It’s mutually beneficial for your residents and your business: it’s convenient, saves time, reduces labor costs, and improves cash flow consistency. Here are five major benefits your property management business could realize by allowing your residents to pay rent online.
Why Manage Rent Collections Online?
1. Control management fees. Online rent collection reduces overhead for property management teams. Reducing operating expense means you can keep property management fees low, a definite advantage for your property owners. 2. Improve customer service. With less time devoted to collecting and processing rent checks, your team can focus on marketing efforts and building better relationships with residents and owners. 3. Minimize past due accounts. With multiple electronic options that include paying rent with a credit card, e-check, or PayPal you can reduce late payments drastically. Using mobile alerts to remind residents that rent is due (or the due date is quickly approaching) often triggers payment immediately if your system is optimized for mobile devices. 4. Enhance security. Online payments eliminate risks associated with cash payment policies. Your insurance company may even reduce your coverage rate if you aren’t keeping cash on-site. 5. Simplify dispute resolution and create an audit trail. Online rent payments create a digital paper trail. When a resident claims he or she made a payment, you can check the system instantly to verify or disprove the claim. A fully integrated property management software package also updates owner statements, assesses late fees, and tracks split payments automatically. Secure rent payment processing and owner disbursement processes automate workflow without compromising sensitive private data. With a single click, your accounting team can get a snapshot of who has or hasn’t paid, enabling better-informed financial decisions.
What Do Your Residents Expect from an Online Rent Payment Portal?
Past surveys have revealed that it’s common for residents to assume the best properties offer online payment options. Along with 24/7 availability, renters expect online payment portals to:
- Be user friendly and easy to navigate
- Include itemized monthly statements that list extra fees and services separately
- Allow multiple payment options like credit and debit cards
- Enable automated recurring payment setup
- Come without processing fees, especially if online payment is mandatory for all residents
Why Do Electronic Payment Options Matter?
According to MarketPlace.org, roughly half of all U.S. consumers paid bills online in 2013. That number continues to grow as more companies add mobile options and financial institutions embrace digital banking solutions.
Based on information from Pew Research and the Federal Reserve:
- 56% of consumers pay at least one bill online per month via online banking
- 90% verify account balances and recent transactions
- Almost 70 million U.S. consumers do their banking online
There will always be those renters who prefer to bust out their checkbooks on the first of the month, but the above stats about banking behavior suggests people are more comfortable with digital transactions than ever before. If you don’t currently offer your residents and owners the advantages of online rent payments, it might be time to seriously consider it.
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AppFolio, Inc. develops Property Management Software that helps businesses improve their workflow so they save time and make more money. Appfolio submits articles & blogs including topics of Resident Retention, Improved Owner Communication, Time Management, and more.