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.
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.
In today’s turbulent economy there are times when credit cards come in handy. Obviously you can pay for many purchases–online and off–with them, but did you know that a new trend is emerging for landlords to accept credit cards for rent?
There are quite a few ways to pay one’s rent. Be it a residential space or a commercial one, most landlords are happy to accept checks, money orders, cash and even recently online payment. Online payment allows the tenant to pay their rent online the same way they pay their utility bills, cell phone bills, insurance payments and various other purchases.
The new trend sweeping the landlord/tenant relationship is paying rent via credit cards.
Credit cards offer quite a few benefits for both the landlord and the tenant. Like online payments, your credit card company keeps track of your payments; when the payment was sent and how much. What’s more, rent received via credit card are funds immediately available. The one downside is that should there be a problem between the landlord and the tenant, the tenant can dispute the charge. This will result in the credit card company or bank freezing the funds until the issue is resolved.
The upside is that a credit card payment for rent can be made from anywhere in the world with just one phone call to your landlord or management company. Many people these days have premium credit cards which allows them to charge large sums like rent payments without any difficulty. Something important to note here is that the merchant—the landlord–will have to pay a fee to the credit card company, usually 3 percent to 5 percent depending on the credit card. The landlord may attempt to pass this fee onto the tenant/cardholder as part of their rent. Whether tenants will accept this increase in rent is yet to be seen as rent paid by credit card is still in its infancy.
Some tenants/cardholders have secured premium credit cards with the specific intent of using that card strictly for paying rent. This makes keeping track of rental payments and any additional charges that much easier. What’s more, should the card be lost or stolen, one call will cancel the card and a new card will be shipped to the cardholder quickly; sometimes even over night. And, of course, like almost all credit cards, the cardholder is only liable for up to $50 of merchandise purchased if that.
Paying rent by credit card may be just the ease and convenience landlords and tenants have been looking for. Less paperwork, less chance of error and less reliance on bookkeepers and accountants. So next time the first rolls around consider asking your landlord or tenant if they’re amenable to accepting rent payment via credit card.
The Internet changes every day and so do the uses we find for it. From transferring funds to purchasing goods online to keeping up with friends via the various social networks. Paying rent online is just one more convenience for both landlords and tenants that the Internet provides.
Collecting rent can often be difficult for landlords. Some tenants are late, some are forgetful, some just don’t have the necessary funds on rent day. One solution that can help eliminate some of these scenarios is to allow your tenants to pay rent online. Many are already paying such bills and utilities, cell phones, insurance premiums and many revolving credit accounts using the bill pay function provided by their banks. By allowing your tenants to add their rent payment to their regularly scheduled payments you have a better chance of receiving your rent on time.
In days gone by, the landlord was a dreaded site when he came to the door demanding his rent. Tenants were threatened with eviction the very next day and many counties considered this legal. Today we have much more sophisticated landlord/tenant laws allowing many chances for the tenant to bring his rent current without the fear of eviction. What’s more, it takes more than on day to evict a tenant; in some cases up to 30 days.
If you’re a tenant and you find yourself unable to pay your rent the first thing you should do is contact your landlord and explain your situation. You may be able to work out an arrangement such as paying the half the rent now and half later in the month. If you’re a landlord and you find your tenant is late or short you should get in touch with your tenant and find out what the problem is. Without knowing exactly what the difficulty is there is absolutely no chance of finding a solution.
The beauty of paying and receiving rent online is that those funds have already been accounted for having been deducted from your tenants budgets. The other benefit is that these funds are available in your account immediately. So while your tenants may have cash flow problems you never will. Your rent will be automatically transferred and instantly available.
Collecting rent has other benefits as well. Your bank serves as your bookkeeper letting you know exactly how much you have in your current account at any given time and by whom it was sent. What’s more, you can check your available balance and incoming payments 24/7; a great help when you have several properties keeping you busy during the day.
When all is said and done online banking isn’t going away. Why not jump on the bandwagon and be the first to offer your tenants online rent payments.