Let me take you back to 20th century’s property management for a minute…Property managers are walking from door to door, frantically knocking and collecting rent payments in ‘cash’. Unfortunately, it’s not going as smooth as they had previously hoped.
Although some landlords and managers stereotype renters as fiscally irresponsible people, one thing is sure- a bulk of tenants lead very hectic lives. A typical day might include waking up on time to drop kids at school, rushing to work, running a couple of errands during lunch time, before winding up with evening meetings and extracurricular activities. Of course it’s understandable that rent may actually be last thing on such a renter’s mind. That’s why the 20th century property manager, in our case scenario, may end up with quite a couple missed payments. And that translates to additional trips to renter’s apartments, not to mention consequent frustrations.
Strange as it may sound, there are many property managers stuck in the same cycle. While they may not be actually knocking on tenants’ doors, they are facing pretty much similar challenges. They are forced to consistently follow up on payments on a monthly basis, with tenants giving excuses like:
- “I’m sorry. I forgot..”
- “The bank is too far…”
- “I couldn’t find time to pay..”
Well, while some of these excuses are already a bit cliché, many tenants are genuinely worried about time and convenience of payment. Although timely rent payment cannot be guaranteed, providing a convenient system helps improve response and compliance. And that’s exactly where the 21st century system of online payment comes in.
So, let’s see why you should implement an online payment system:
Tenants Prefer Online and Electronic Payments Over Cash
Whoever said cash is king must have had a poor understanding of consumer behaviors and preferences. According to a 2014 TSYS online survey, cash is the least preferable form of payment. While 43% of Americans would choose to pay via debit cards, 35% prefer credit cards, and only 9% are comfortable with cash.
Well, who wouldn’t prefer paying via a smarter, simpler method, as opposed to looking for a wallet, counting the cash, paying, and then recounting change all over again? Cashless forms of payment mean less paper lying around, increased security and stress-free automated payments. That’s why Property Matrix has integrated both debit and credit cards, consequently granting tenants exactly what they love.
Increased Security For Both Tenants and Landlords
Paying via cash is gradually being considered as ‘suspicious’ because of the relative anonymity it grants its handlers, as opposed to online transactions, which leave digital trails. While online payment systems are also threatened by criminals who use stolen identities to infiltrate burgeoning cashless systems, cash is still substantially less secure.
Tenants who withdraw rent cash through ATM, for instance, are particularly vulnerable of skimming attacks, which have grown tremendously over the last couple of years. Data released by the FICO Card Alert Service shows a 546% increase in ATM skimming from 2014 to 2015, affecting both bank and non-bank ATMs spread out across the U.S.
And if, on the other hand, you’re worried about cashless fraud, you might be pleased to learn that online payment systems are increasingly marrying technological intelligence with human intelligence to boost overall security. Systems are now leveraging a knowledgeable human activity review to support machine learning that tracks and blocks anomalous changes.
Rent Can Be Paid Remotely
By now, you’re probably aware of how hectic it might be tracking down tenants who are hard to contact. While some may be frequent travelers or extremely busy workers, others are just hard to come by. We all know that type of tenant who’s never around. Checks in probably a day or two in a month, then vanishes for weeks. Collecting rent from such a person, of course, could be a nightmare- unless you’ve already implemented an online payment system.
Online payment, especially when automated, allows tenants to pay rent from just anywhere, including space. An astronaut at a space station can pay his rent thanks to automated invoicing and subsequent deduction from his account, without even having to keep tabs with the whole process. It’s that simple and straightforward.
All Payments Are Easy To Track
One of the most trying and frustrating times for any landlord or property manager, is being pulled into a payment dispute, especially when you don’t have reliable records to help settle the matter. While some disputes arise from malicious tenants attempting to evade their bills, a bulk of them are caused by poor record keeping. Failing to issue a payment receipts for instance, could result in confusion about the trail of rent payments made every month.
The best way to save yourself from such headache, especially when you’re dealing with multiple tenants, is having them pay online. You’ll be able to look back to every tenant’s payment history, paying keen attention to amounts paid, and amount still owed. Tenants can also log in through their portal to track a detailed breakdown of their payments, in terms of charges incurred, rent paid, and other utility payments. In the long run, such a systematic system of tracking considerably reduces the chances of any payment disputes.
Evidently, a comprehensive online rent payment system is not only beneficial to landlords and property managers, but also tenants. So, if you’re yet to leverage one, now should be a good time to start implementing Property Matrix in your property management firm.