While other industries adapted quickly to online payment systems, many property management companies still insist on paying and receiving money with old-fashioned paper checks. However, as more millennials – some of whom have never even written a check – move into rental housing, wider ranges of payment options have gained traction. Online payment systems deliver so many benefits, among them:
- Offering tenants a welcome convenience
- Reducing late rent payments
- Slashing time spent processing payments
- Simplifying the accounts payable and receivable processes with vendors and owners
No more excuses
“The check’s in the mail” is a refrain so common it has reached the level of cliché. And in truth, over 5 percent of mail really doesn’t arrive, either because of a bad address or (less commonly) being lost in the postal system. Other reasons for late payments include questions about extra fees and uncertainty about the point at which late fees accrue.
A tenant portal can answer all these questions 24 hours a day, and the system features online payment capabilities, letting renters see everything they owe and pay it on the spot (more on that in the next section). If they pay late, the late fee shows up immediately, so they don’t neglect to send it or have to call the office for the amount.
Accept credit cards, checks, ACH and more at no cost to you
With an online payment system, you can accept credit/debit cards, electronic checks/ACH, consumer checks and money orders. Renters choose their own convenient way to pay. They can also easily schedule recurring payments, allowing them to take a set-and-forget approach to making monthly rent payments.
While many property managers resist accepting credit cards due to fees, online rent payment software from Propertyware builds a modest “convenience fee” into the online payment, redirecting the fees away from the property manager. Consumers, mostly accustomed to such online convenience fees, rarely complain about the minor addition. You enjoy the convenience without any cost.
Take a big burden off your staff
Online payments don’t just benefit your tenants. They act as a boon to your staff as well because the payment information goes directly into your accounting system, eliminating data entry and reducing opportunities for errors and misunderstandings.
Of course, some tenants will still elect to mail or drop off paper checks even after you’ve launched online payment options. However, online solutions still eliminate the endorsing, copying, filing and trips to the bank that traditionally weigh down property management staff during the first week of every month. In fact, new check scanning systems can reduce time spent by over 40 percent.
Owners and vendors love online payments
An online payment system allows you to easily accept funds from owners and disburse to them as necessary. Owners can check their balances and make contributions by credit card or ACH. Because these online payments and disbursements integrate with your accounting system, your staff can skip the data entry. And email alerts keep owners up to date on financial status.
Vendors love receiving payments and payment notifications right on schedule, with the money deposited directly to their account of choice. Move your work order and invoicing system online as well to virtually eliminate the mountain of paperwork once associated with property maintenance.
What makes online payments such a strong addition to your arsenal as a property manager is that it benefits all four major constituencies involved in the business: you, the tenants, the owners and the vendors who service the properties. Everyone wins, and the technology more than pays for itself in time savings alone, not to mention the goodwill you build with all parties involved. Learn more about setting up an online payment system for your properties.