There’s no doubt that the Internet has profoundly changed the way we live our lives. From shopping, booking travel plans and even banking, the average person has embraced the ease and convenience of this technology at the speed of their desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones. With that said, there’s no reason why renters won’t find paying their rent online to be a natural progression of this phenomena.
The prevalence of online shopping and online bill paying is destined to grow exponentially as more technology becomes available to the masses and as the world becomes more digitally savvy. Add to that a recent trend toward renting vs. owning and the appeal of online rent payment is sure to increase.
Online rent payments are particularly appealing to the Millennial Generation. A range of young people from college students to newly marrieds largely comprise this group. They’re not only computer savvy having been raised on technology, they’re young enough to be renting for many years to come. Additionally, they expect to be able to handle all their bill paying responsibilities online and often find having to write a check to be an imposition.
Given these new studies, landlords and property managers are seriously looking into instituting online rent payment services. The feeling is that the benefit of online rent payment may be so great that it may cause the selection of one unit as opposed to another.
The benefits of online rent payment are numerous for both parties. Tenants enjoy the ease and convenience of knowing they can pay their rent from any computer or mobile device 24/7. What’s more, if they choose to elect to schedule automatic payments from their bank accounts, they need never think about the task of paying rent again. For landlords, not only do they no longer need to contact individual tenants for their rent, online payments are credited to their accounts instantly improving cash flow to make repairs, upgrades and otherwise invest. What’s more, since online rent payment will have to be administrated by a financial institution, landlords and property managers enjoy accounting expertise from the selected bank.
One important thing to keep in mind is that there is an issue of transaction fees. Will the tenant absorb the cost or will the landlord or property management foot the bill? This issue will need to be resolved before any online rent collection process can be put in place.
Another issue to consider is whether to accept credit cards. The card’s issuing bank charges fees and while the rent funds are almost immediately available in the landlord’s account, the fees imposed by the bank eat into profits.
Finally, before you institute an online rent payment service you will need to provide a website for your tenants to access in order to pay their rent. Make sure the site you build is user-friendly, easy-to-navigate and secure against hackers.