My job entails discussing rent with property managers – lots and lots of property managers. Every conversation I have seems to uncover some tactic about rent payments I have not yet considered. I must admit, I seriously underestimated the creativity of property managers as it pertains to rent payment solutions. (Yes, I just called property managers creative.)
For example, one property manager I recently met has his bank send an ATM deposit card (tied to his checking account) to each of his paying tenants. The tenant then takes rent money directly to that bank’s ATM machine for deposit. How does this property manager know which deposit to apply to which home? He changes the rent, subtly, to match the property’s address, so 123 Main Street’s rent might be $1,001.23. I wonder how that month-end deposit matching process goes with 20, 50, or 100 units to reconcile. It seems like a lot of work to me…..but it is creative.
Another creative solution I often hear about are fees, which I blogged about in October 2014 here. Last night, I was talking with a 40+ year property management veteran and he swears by “on-time discounts.” For example, his tenants’ rent might be $800. If tenants pay on or before the first of the month, they get a $75 discount on their rent – no excuses on the second of the month; they pay the full $800 rent.
This creativity in rent payment solutions begs the question: How is there such low adoption for online rent payments when it truly simplifies these processes?
At RenterUp, we realize that changes in behavior are challenging, yet we hear from hundreds of property managers who have creatively deployed hundreds of different solutions. Responsible tenants yearn for a simple way to pay rent and property managers would do well to look for a simple solution. It helps with tenant acquisition and tenant retention. Make rent easy!