Whether you’ve got one unit or 100 units, being a landlord or a property manager is no easy job. You’re constantly dealing with repairs, upgrades, complaints, counter-complaints and perhaps the worst part, collecting rent on time. And all from numerous tenants at various properties. Keeping who has what problem straight at which location is enough to make the average person’s head spin. One area that can be greatly improved is rent collection thanks to online rent payments.
No one has to tell you that the world has gone digital. As ecommerce expands, collecting rent electronically is fast becoming a new trend. Every day, millions and millions of people pay bills, make purchases, buy movie tickets and more online. And with prescheduled payments deducted automatically from tenants accounts, landlords enjoy the immediate transfer of funds to their accounts while tenants enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that their rent is definitely paid on time.
Besides a mortgage, a monthly rent payment is probably the single largest expense any individual or family is responsible for. And it’s important to both landlords and tenants. Online rent payments eliminates the possibility of forgetting to write the check or even forgetting to mail it. Of course, you then have to worry about having a stamp and on top of that, the payment can still get lost in the mail. A harrowing experience for both parties involved. Paying rent online takes the hassle and the worry out of paying rent for both sides. It offers tenants the benefit of paying their rent in just a few keystrokes from any computer or mobile device, and it offers landlords better cash-flow and easier bookkeeping.
Naturally, some people will resist paying online. This is often the case with many senior citizens. If some of your tenants do not wish to pay rent online you must be prepared to accept the traditional mode of payment; the check. This means that whatever accounting software program you choose to manage your rent payments must be adaptable to both forms of payment. Of course, you’ll want to back-up records of your rent payments–be they checks, cash or online–in case of a computer malfunction. While online rent payments can clearly make collecting and accounting for rent payments much easier and a faster, a software glitch can wreak havoc with your books without proper backup.
When instituting an online rent payment arrangement, the issue of transaction fees must first be settled before any program is put in place. Will the tenant pay the transaction fee or will that responsibility fall to the landlord or property manager? Many financial institutions offer extremely affordable programs that wave the typical fees if the rents are deposited in an account with that institution. Important Note: If you chose to deal with a bank or other financial institution please be aware that holidays and weekends will interrupt the processing of deposits.
As a final note, you will need to create a corporate website where you’re tenants can go for information and to pay their rent online. Be sure to hire a top notch web developer who can create an intuitive, stable, secure site free of opportunities for hackers.