Rent Collection: The Good, The Bad & The Easy
With the housing market depressed, more and more people are waiting to see an improvement before they make a 30-year commitment. That’s good news for landlords and property managers everywhere. What’s now easier for landlords and tenants alike is rent collection thanks to the advent of online rent payment.
Whether you’ve got one unit or several hundred, you know exactly how difficult it is to coordinate and collect rent payments. Not everyone moves in on the first, so not everyone’s rent is due on the same date. Timely collection is another issue. Tenants forget to pay their rent, run out of checks, and have unforeseen expenses. One way to make rent payment and collection easier for both parties is to offer online rent payment via debit or credit cards. Let’s face it, the whole world is one line. Be it on their desktop computers, their laptops, their tablets or their smart phones. Why not make paying one’s rent as easy as paying one’s utilities, ordering a book from Amazon.com, or winning a bid on eBay, task millions of people already do countless times every day.
One of the best things about allowing your tenants to pay their rent online is that they’re already very familiar with the process so there’s very little education or ramp up time involved. And for the landlords, the benefit is more timely payment and almost immediate transfer of funds to your accounts, and who couldn’t use better cash flow these days? What’s more, it’s quick and easy for both parties and it can be done from any location with an Internet connection or WiFi.
In the past, it was the landlord’s or property manager’s duty to knock on doors trying to collect rent. Tenants were often upset by this intrusion into their privacies and many were unaware of their grace period if any. This was not only exhausting for the landlord, but often created a hostile relationship between the two parties which lead to an even greater degradation of the landlord/tenant rapport. Allowing your tenants to pay their rent online eliminates these awkward and often tense situations.
Tenants can even schedule their rent payment to be automatically transferred to your account. The main advantage of this is that those monies have already been accounted for having been deducted from renter’s budgets. This means that these funds are available in your account almost instantly for you to pay bills, pay for repairs and otherwise invest. The beauty of this process is that while your tenant may have cash flow issues, with automatic transfer you never will.
Online rent payment has other benefits as well. Given that all transactions go through your financial institution, your bank essentially handles your bookkeeping for you. This makes it easy to see exactly how much you have currently have in your account at any given time and by whom payment was sent. Additionally, you can check your available balance and incoming payments 24/7; a tremendous aid when you’re dealing with several properties.