Online Rent Collection Do’s and Don’ts

August 13th, 2021
Online Rent Collection Do’s and Don’ts

As a landlord, you may have a love/hate relationship with the rent due date. While you love what it does for your cash flow, it can be frustrating to actually collect the rent. Whether you’ve been accepting paper checks in person or by mail or using an expensive online invoicing system, rent collection can be a tedious and frustrating process. That’s why allowing tenants to pay rent online is so beneficial, both for you and for your renters.

When you implement an online rent collections system, it is important for you to keep your focus on the positive and on all of the ways that your system can benefit renters. Whether you make online rent collection a replacement for in-person collections or an additional option, the way you introduce it matters. By framing this change as a win-win, you encourage your renters to use the platform on a regular basis.

Do’s for Online Rent Collections

Whether your tenants have asked for an option on how to pay rent online or you have come up with the idea on your own, it’s important to ensure that you communicate effectively and that you master the platform you choose. After all, if you want your tenants to use this option, you’ll need to make it an attractive one.

Provide tenants with good instructions

Your online payment provider may supply you with handouts, email templates, or video content to help spread the word to your tenants about the platform or you may have to create the information yourself. Either way, make sure that you have instructions that you can provide so that your renters will know where to go to find out more about the new payment option you’re introducing.

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Emphasize the ways paying rent online benefits tenants

In order to get the buy-in you want from your tenants, you’ll need to make them feel that the option to pay rent online is in their best interest. Emphasize how online rent collection gives them greater flexibility, financial security, and additional peace of mind. In addition, don’t forget to focus on the positive environmental impact of online rent collections as opposed to paper checks, mail delivery, or in-person payments.

Familiarize yourself with your payment platform’s features

Remember, you are the “expert” on the platform that you’ve chosen, at least as far as your renters are concerned. Therefore, it is important for you to know the platform and its options so that you can be a source of information for your tenants. In addition, by understanding the features of your rent collection platform, you can implement additional functionality like reminders and late payment notifications.

Set multiple reminders

Speaking of reminders, you don’t want to wait until the day rent is due to send a reminder to your tenants. Consider setting a reminder a week ahead of time, and then another one a day or two before the rent is due. You will also want to set a notification for the day rent is due as well as another notification the next day, especially if you are automating late fees.

Pay attention to the calendar

One of the things you will need to know when you start allowing tenants to pay rent online is the lag time between the receipt of their payment and the day it arrives as a credit in your bank account. It is important for you to check the calendar and see if the due date falls on a weekend or holiday. This can cause an additional delay and may interfere with your cash flow if you are not prepared ahead of time.

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Don’ts for Online Rent Collections

Although allowing tenants to pay rent online has many benefits, it is up to you to ensure that you use the technology wisely. Here are a few things to avoid as you implement online rent collections.

Don’t notify tenants at the last minute

If you want your tenants to make use of the option to pay rent online, you’ll need to let them know well before the due date for rent. Provide at least two or three weeks of advance notice and send reminders so that they will be ready to use your new platform when the rent is due. In addition, be ready to answer last-minute questions throughout the due date for those who are just now getting up to speed.

Don’t make online rent collections sound like a punishment

Avoid negative messaging when you let your tenants know how to pay rent online. Don’t say that it’s because of late payments or because people have behaved irresponsibly in the past. Don’t emphasize the convenience that it provides for you or the way in which it simplifies your bookkeeping. Make sure that you are focused on the positives for your renters so that they will feel excited and enthusiastic about the new process for rent collection.

Don’t “set it and forget it”

When you are first setting up your online rent collection system, you will need to input information, reminders, and other details. That does not end your interaction with the system. You will need to revisit it any time there is a change in the rental amount or if late payments cause a change in terms for a tenant. Make sure you are checking in regularly so that every renter’s account is properly updated as needed.

RentSpree’s online rent collection platform provides you with a flexible, secure, and user-friendly option for tenants to pay rent online. This is just one way that you can streamline your bookkeeping while providing a value-added service that tenants will love. Convenient online rent collection is designed to increase tenant satisfaction and retention, allowing you to keep your best tenants happy.