Rent…On time Every time
by David Pickron
History is littered with what, at the time, were considered “game changers.” Those game changers have become commonplace in our current world; when was the last time you marveled at the technological breakthrough we know as the wheel? Or the lightbulb? Or even the fact that we fly in airplanes all around the world? The likelihood is we dismiss or overlook these incredible technologies and innovations because we have become so familiar with them. We don’t see just how amazing these everyday conveniences are and how our lives are better for them.
In the world of landlords and property management, game changing circumstances might be even harder to identify as many operate by the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” rule. Having nearly 30 years of experience in this field, I have seen a lot of ideas come and go but nothing has struck me as a “game changer” more directly than the introduction of online rent payments. After all, if I’m not collecting rent, then I have no business being in this business. The following are the three main reasons I view online rental payment programs as a true game changer.
The System Collects Rent for You
For far too many years, I had a renter who consistently paid rent on the 5th of each month (or later) and was never charged a late fee, even though they should have incurred one every month. Why did this happen? First, I allowed it to. Second, I was always busy with other things and was genuinely happy when the check finally did appear. With the advent of rental payment programs, I was able to take back control of who is in my property and get paid on time, every time. Imagine your tenant receives an email from the rental collection system prior to the due date indicating that rent is due in 5 days, then 4, then 3, etc. If they don’t pay, the system automatically reminds them that rent is due. If rent becomes past due, the system automatically begins calculating and assessing late fees starting on the date indicated by your lease. If a tenant calls, seeking permission to make a partial payment or waive fees, you simply tell them there is no way to do that because the system won’t allow it; the system will only let them pay the full amount including late fees. It’s an easy way to play “good landlord, bad landlord” without getting your hands too dirty.
Rent Collection Consistency
As with all things in our industry, consistency is the name of the game when it comes to anything that can be regulated or overseen. This is especially true in regard to all interactions with your tenant, including collecting rent. In my early years I had multiple properties and each tenant paid differently. One would bring a check to my home, another would mail theirs, and I even had one that would go directly to my bank and deposit directly into my account (with my bank account numbers which I provided). I was scoring a 0/10 when it came to rent collection efficiency and consistency. Having the ability to effectively “set it and forget it” when it comes to collecting rent will allow you to be consistent in your practices and get paid consistently.
Benefit to the Tenant
Unlike the heartless, greedy persona that many use to describe their landlord, the overwhelming majority of us truly do want to provide some benefit to our tenants. Online rental payment programs allow our tenants to 1) stop writing checks, which no one wants to do anymore, 2) set up automatic payments so you get your money at the same time every month, and 3) reports successful payments to the credit bureaus, helping to boost their credit. Strangely enough, the things that benefit your tenant also benefit you. I challenge you to show me a landlord who doesn’t benefit from getting paid on-time on a more consistent basis; it’s a win-win for both parties.
Recently Rent Perfect had our own “game changer” moment with the launch of our own online rental payment system. Regardless of whether you use Rent Perfect for tenant background checks or to create your own custom leases, rent pay is available to all Landlords and Tenants. All landlords now have the ability to use the exact same process I use to manage the oft challenging tenant lifecycle. Designed with input from seasoned landlords across the country, this program was built to help you collect rent in a consistent manner to the benefit of every tenant… and yourself. When you are ready for a game changer for your business, we invite you take come make your life easier with rent pay.
David Pickron is a Landlord (short & long term rentals) and President of Rent Perfect. Their Online Lease Agreement allows you to send your tenant(s) a customized lease agreement, electronically & securely. They offer the most accurate & thorough credit & background screening available. Members of National REIA can take advantage of special pricing from RentPerfect; the solution for rental property owners and managers for screening & managing tenants. Learn more by visiting www.rentperfect.com.