As we settle into what could be the dawn of a new way of doing things post COVID-19, it's essential to plan how you'll interact with tenants carefully. Some in-person conversations may become video or phone calls, and vital documents (like a lease) may be distributed electronically rather than by physical pieces of paper. As an expert provider of Leesburg property management, these are techniques we're already using as part of our day-to-day operations.
Another tactic that's been a long-time staple of the services we provide is online rent collection! If you're a DIY landlord, switching your method of rent collecting if you previously relied on an in-person process is not only a caring move but also a smart one! There are many reasons why making rent payments easier is a good thing, but property owners have never had a better opportunity: online payments are becoming commonplace—and are a great way to avoid virus spread.
The Benefits of an Online Rent Portal
- Online rent portals created through landlord software are an excellent opportunity to quickly secure your rental income.
- You save yourself the time of going to the bank, and you also don't risk misplacing necessary checks or forgetting to document the payment.
- The online portal seamlessly collects the rent from your tenants and ferries it into your account.
These portals have a variety of features, but some will even send your tenants rent due date reminders! This can help forgetful tenants who, while they intend to pay the rent, might forget without the reminder. There are also announcement features that push notifications to all your tenants, saving you time—and you can quickly access a tenant's rent payment history on the portal if they ever dispute whether you've received their rent or not.
Waived Fees Get Reluctant Tenants Onboard
While these portals provide many advantages over turning checks in through the mail or in person, they do often come with a small processing fee for payments. You can start getting your tenants onboard by waiving that fee for them for the first few months of using the portal. You can let part of their rent pay the fee, which amounts to a small cost for you that may have big benefits as your tenants adjust to the new online payment system. Let them know how long you'll be waiving the fee, so they know that it's an expected part of their future payments. Better yet, roll the additional cost of the fee into the rent during renewal or new lease signings!
Tenants who are not great with technology may want a tutorial, like a quick video that shows them what buttons to push. However, you'll actually be surprised and pleased by the simplicity and clarity of these online payment systems. Your tenants will figure it out quickly, and if they make a mistake, you, as the landlord, will have some permissions in the program to refund mistaken payments when managing errors.
Your tenants are probably trying online payments more anyway as a result of COVID-19, so learning how to pay the rent on time online is great! Remind them that, for some software portals, the confirmation email that says they've completed their payment can be a source of peace of mind and support their own record-keeping!
Future Tenants Start the Lease Using the Rent Portal
The nice thing is that at some point, you'll be signing on new tenants, and if you've rolled out your new online portal, you will know how to explain it to them. You can just set the rental rate to include what you need for the fees, and teach them how to access the portal on a phone or laptop at the time that they sign the lease.
Your tenants will grow more and more accustomed to online payments, as many landlords are already using online payment platforms as part of their Leesburg property management services. This is a great time to get on the train since many younger tenants will be relieved, given how much more common paying online has become compared to dealing with checks or money orders.
Property Management Provides This for You—and So Much More!
One great way to grow your landlord business and save some money and time at the same time is to work with the right property manager in Leesburg. At Gunn Property Services, we use portals to efficiently manage all the different properties under our care! You can see why choosing a property management partner will make the transition easier on you as a landlord.
We also provide a wide variety of other valuable services, from helping you to find tenants, to maintaining your rental, to mediating any contract breaches or issues with tenants. Working with a property manager makes social distancing easier for you since you don't have to visit or engage with your rental property at all!
Ready to get to know the right Leesburg property management company for hands-off, profitable property income? Contact us today!