Are you looking to switch to online rent collection but not sure what to expect? You’re not alone. Many property managers want to automate this process, cut out the paper stream, and streamline the way they accept rent payments.
Fortunately, there are options available to improve the lives of your residents and staff by switching to accept rent online. Below are a few things you should know when you’re considering switching to online rent payments.
Setting Up Your Account
You can set up an account to accept rent online with just a few simple steps, and quickly start taking advantage of the benefits an online system provides.
When you start to accept rent online, you will need to enter some information about you as the landlord, your rental property, and your tenants. This process is also known as Know Your Customer (KYC) and Know Your Business (KYB).
Before you may accept rent online or deposit collected funds into your account, payment processing companies will require your bank account information so they can verify that you are who you say you are.
It takes about five minutes to input this information, but it can take up to 3-5 days for the company to verify the authenticity of your documentation before giving you access to its online portal.
Notifying Your Residents of the Transition
The first step to switch to online rent collection is to notify your residents of the change. Tell them:
- What day they can start paying rent online
- How they will pay rent online (e.g., through their resident portal)
- Any fees associated with paying online and what forms of payment you accept (e.g., credit cards, eChecks, etc.)
- When and how they should pay their rent if they cannot pay online (e.g., if they do not have an email address)
When you’re ready to make the switch, you need to notify your residents at least four weeks in advance. This ensures that they have plenty of time to familiarize themselves with the new system and make any adjustments needed.
When rolling out your new online rent collection system, include a personalized message. Explain why you’re making the switch and what they can expect from the change. Let them know that you are available if they have any questions or concerns.
Expect Delays After Switch to Online Rent Collection
If you’ve been collecting rent the old-fashioned way, then you probably already know that there are delays involved.
It takes time for checks to arrive in the mail or via dropbox. It takes time for residents to pick up their invoices and reminders from your office. And it takes even more time for your accounting software to process that information and keep your records up-to-date.
All of these delays will be amplified during the transition to online rent collection. Be patient as residents get used to paying online and logging in for the first time.
In the meantime, encourage them to pay with paper checks or cash so they aren’t late on their payments. Once they become familiar with their new system, they’ll be able to pay on time without any hassle.
Advantages of Collection Rent Online
Online rent collection has certain benefits for property owners. The most significant is the elimination of paper checks in the office. Paper checks are a hassle to manage and process, especially if you own multiple properties.
With an online rent payment system, all payments will be securely processed in one place instead of having to keep track of dozens of checks arriving in the mail each month across different locations.
In addition to reducing paperwork, online rent collection can also reduce the administrative burden on your staff and allow them to focus on higher priority tasks like managing property maintenance requests or addressing tenant disputes.
Other benefits of online rent collection include:
- Faster processing
- Ability to offer tenants more than one payment option
- Easy integration with external platforms to aid accounting
- Monthly statements of income from online payments
- The flexibility for tenants to pay rent anywhere, from their phone or computer
Rent collection is an essential part of the property management process. A streamlined rent collection system can make it easier than ever to collect rent, keep track of late payments and reduce the risk of nonpayment.