While you may think of online rent payment as a value-added service to offer your tenants, in reality, it offers you a host of advantages as well. By providing you with more options for notifications, more security and fraud protection, and round-the-clock availability and access, you may wonder how you ever managed with manual rent collection, bank deposit, and bookkeeping methods.
Providing a platform for your tenants to pay rent online requires you to familiarize yourself with the various options available, then sign up and communicate with your tenants. What follows are some of the most popular platforms for invoicing and online payments. Compare them to find out which ones offer the benefits you’re looking for and which ones will easily integrate with your current property management system.
RentSpree offers online payments as a part of its fully integrated suite of services designed for the unique requirements of landlords and property managers. RentSpree offers you the ability to view your payment history and other details right from the RentSpree dashboard. This provides a seamless approach that carries renters through from their initial application into their monthly payment process, all within the RentSpree platform.
Powered by Stripe, the industry standard for online payment processing, you’ll experience a reliable, powerful, and easy-to-use platform. This offers increased security and peace of mind, both for you and for your tenants.
PayPal is one of the best-known online invoice and payment providers. You can set up recurring invoices for payment each month, then transfer payments (minus processing fees) to your bank account. While PayPal offers reliability, it does not offer integrations with other aspects of your property management setup.
Square provides a service similar to PayPal, allowing you to invoice renters each month. Like PayPal, Square charges processing fees both when you receive the payment and when you transfer it to your bank account if you do so outside the standard transfer window.
Zelle is a popular choice for direct payments from one bank account to another. You’ll need to provide an email address or phone number associated with your Zelle or bank account for renters to use, but you will be unable to invoice through Zelle. In addition, Zelle doesn’t work with all bank accounts so it may not be an option for all of your renters.
Venmo is a popular payment platform for person-to-person payments. However, Venmo’s terms of service forbid its use for commercial purposes, so you risk delays or loss if you use the platform to collect rent payments.
ManageCasa provides a payment option that allows renters to pay via check, debit card, credit card, and ACH transfer. The service is free for owners with one to three units and with a monthly service charge for those with four or more units.
7. Zillow Rental Manager
Zillow Rental Manager offers payment options for both monthly rent and initial security deposits. Payments are free for renters when they use the ACH payment option, while payment with debit or credit cards incurs a small fee.
PayRent is an online payment platform that offers three pricing options, depending on the number of units you own or manage. In addition, PayRent charges fees for credit card processing and charges varying amounts for bank transfers.
9. Apartments.com (formerly Cozy)
Formerly known as Cozy, Apartments.com offers rental management services including online rent payments. Renters must pay an extra transaction fee (2.75%) if using a debit or credit card to pay rent, or may pay with their bank account at no additional charge.
Avail provides a variety of options for online rent payment geared toward both landlords and renters. They offer autopay and a credit reporting service to provide a value-added incentive for renters to use the platform.
Buildium offers online payments both from renters and to associations and vendors. In addition, the Buildium platform can be used to collect application fees and deposits during the approval and onboarding process.
ClearNow provides a variety of options for online rent payment, including credit bureau reporting for on-time rent payments. ClearNow fees are based on your debit day, which means that to experience the biggest savings, you may be limited in your ability to obtain funds, with access only a few times each month. This can have a significant impact on your monthly cash flow.
How to communicate with your tenants about paying rent online
Once you’ve decided which platform you’re using, reach out to your tenants with the information they need to pay rent online in a timely manner. Your communication should be:
- Timely: Be sure to notify your tenants about their new rent payment option well before the rent due date. This will give them time to ask questions if needed and opt-in as required.
- Positive: Make your messaging enthusiastic and positive so that tenants know this is a good thing for them. In order to get increased buy-in, you may want to make online rent payment optional, at least for the first month or two, rather than making it a requirement.
- Repeated: Don’t just send out one email or letter with information about online rent payment. Send out repeated information, including video walk-throughs, testimonials, or other materials so that tenants are reminded of this service and encouraged to use it regularly.
RentSpree is designed to make every aspect of your property management experience easier. Tools like online rent payment provide you with ways to simplify and streamline your processes while delighting your renters with added convenience. Manage the entire lifecycle for each tenant from initial application through onboarding and month-to-month payments, all from your RentSpree dashboard.