3 Foolproof Ways to Drive Online Rent Payment Utilization

Once you see the light and begin processing payments with an online payment provider, you start to realize that receiving less physical checks and money orders means less manual work for you and your staff. You wonder how you can get more tenants or homeowners to start making payments online. Maybe you strive to be as efficient as Rainey Realty who collects 100% of their resident payments online, and no longer pays a bookkeeper to process rent checks. If you want to start seeing more (or all) of your payments in your accounting software in real-time, may we suggest the following three foolproof ways to drive utilization…

Step one; start incurring the transaction fees.

Whether you’re using PayLease or a different online payment provider, absorbing the fees on behalf of your residents is the number one way to increase utilization, trust us! If it’s free for the tenant, you will see a majority of your residents switch and ditch their checkbooks. You may be worried that the cost to incur will exceed the cost to process manually. Yes, you are adding a cost by paying the convenience fees, but you are deleting a much higher cost to manually process a paper check. We encourage you to do some research on your end and find out how much it’s costing you to process a check manually, and then compare that to the cost to incur the fee on an e-payment. Roy Rainey of Rainey Realty did the math, and decided it was worth it; “we decided to incur the costs of e-checks, which is a nominal cost. We probably pay around $300 per month in the e-check processing fees. But since everyone pays online now, we are not paying a bookkeeper to process rent. The tradeoff is worth it, especially because our system is 100% accurate and we can see all of our payments in real-time.”

Step two; implement a system like CashPay, so that those who are unbanked have a quick, secure payment option.

With CashPay, residents can pay their rent using cash from over 25,000 CheckFreePay® retail locations which include major retailers like Walmart and Kmart, as well as smaller supermarket chains and mom and pop shops. This way, payments will automatically appear in your accounting software, and you never have to see or deposit a money order. Allison Treadwell of Franklin Management expressed to us that “each month, the number of CashPay transactions [they] receive increases and the number of money orders decreases. Residents have expressed their satisfaction with the convenience and the security of this payment option.” She also stated that their “managers are extremely happy with CashPay too, since the reduction in money orders has saved them a tremendous amount of time each month.“

Step three; get the word out!

Make sure your residents or homeowners know they have the option to make their payments online. After all, no one will use the system if they don’t know about it, so it’s important that you use the right marketing tools to notify your residents. A good payment provider will offer you free materials to help communicate your new payment feature. Email blasts, for instance, are a quick and effective way to make announcements, or drop a custom door hanger on the doorknob of each unit on your daily walk throughs or site visits if you manage multifamily properties. Have your payment provider create custom flyers for you to display in your property’s on-site office, business center, gym, pool, common areas etc. Get creative and use e-payment fliers and counter top stands to make eye-catching displays. Do you currently mail statements, notices, newsletters, etc. to your residents? If so, custom inserts are an easy way to include e-payment information in the mailings you already send out. For single family portfolios, direct mailers are a proven method of communication to residents and/or homeowners.

PayLease provides these marketing materials and more to our clients for free, so be sure to take advantage of these effective marketing tools if you are a current client. Contact your client account rep or email marketingsupport@paylease.com for more info. We’ll send you sample mock-ups using your logo and URL for approval and then fulfill, and ship the order to the address(s) you request. Letting residents and homeowners know the good news has never been easier!

There you have it; incur transaction fees, implement CashPay, and get the word out with custom and effective marketing materials, and you will be sure to see an increase in utilization and a decrease in manual payment processing. Become as efficient as Rainey Realty who told us they “don’t have to employ as many people as [they] did before using PayLease, so [they] are actually saving money. Needless to say the benefits have been tremendous for [their] company.”

Written by Victoria Rees and originally posted on PayLease