It can be easy to make allowances here and there to encourage quick renter or tenant responses. Sometimes (as you may have learned from unfortunate experience), it comes down to a decision to accept rent in any form, for example, rather than to wait for a late payment in its usual form. This can be a problem, though, depending on what security measures you’ve taken to protect customer information, financial and otherwise. If you let renters or tenants use online payment in addition in “hard copy” methods, are you making the right choice?
Have You Considered Only Accepting Online Payment?
Truthfully, accepting cash or checks in person is a much riskier option. You or your office might misplace them, which is an easy thing to do, particularly in a busy workplace. They can also more easily be stolen even if you think they are being kept in a secure location. “Of course, there are exceptions,” but isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? Consider instead some of these alternate methods to in-person rent payments.
Similar to cash use (that is, another offline form of payment) is the use of credit or debit cards. Yes, there are fees associated with their use that you will have to cover, and there are still issues of security. Despite this, though, the convenience may be worth it for you to at least look into. If this doesn’t seem like an appealing option to you, though, there are still more to choose from.
This is where online payment comes into play. Whether it’s via a service like Paypal, a recurring bank transfer/payment, or money orders/cashier’s checks, you can present your renters or tenants with these choices for payment or simply choose one to use across the board. “Within your software, your may be able to set up recurring payments, accept late and convenience fees electronically, and support money order, cash, or check payments too.” So, don’t forget that you may already have access to a highly functional payment system within your property management software of choice.
What if some of your customers insist on paying in cash, even after you present them with options? Consider the dangers above before giving in and allowing them to do it. Perhaps you could offer some kind of incentive if they choose to switch to another, more secure format. Perhaps they aren’t even aware of the security issues and all they need is an informative email relaying that information for them to change.
“When you’re chasing down a late rent payment, it might sometimes feel like it won’t matter what form it comes in: you just need to deposit the money as soon as possible.” Unfortunately, though, the haste to get the money in may prevent you from really considering all of your options, and the fastest one isn’t always the best for you or your customers. Since the best property manager is one that is well-informed, it’s in your best interest to educate yourself about the benefits and drawbacks of each of the above listed (and other) formats of payment before limiting yourself to one… or making them all available for use.
As mentioned above, the property management system that you use within your business may be the online payment system you need to best serve your needs. If you don’t have a software solution yet, then consider SKYLINE Property Management & Accounting Software. SKYLINE provides everything you could possibly need within a single system, keeping you from needing to scramble trying to find a piece of information or to collect rent payment. It streamlines the process from beginning to end, so whether you’re a commercial or residential manager, you can rely on this “all-in-one database” to help you along the way.
SKYLINE has a Financial Systems Module to aid in payment management and to offer accounting tools for your use. Where a person might make a critical error in one of these areas, SKYLINE avoids wasting time or resources by automating the process and monitoring property performance. Can you afford to go without such a powerful tool for your business?