Utility Billing Solutions for this Decade
We can’t all have the latest technology all the time. Smartphones, 3D televisions, Pinterest, self-parking cars, e-tablets, Google+, Draw Something. Chances are the average person could claim three or four of the seven listed. Adoption of technology will always have its laggards. However, in the case of utility bill and collect, failure to innovate can be costly for multifamily properties.
Every month, 5 million U.S. apartment residents are billed for utilities in addition to rent. Approximately 750,000 to 1 million of those residents get a return envelope enclosed with their utility bill and are required to write a check and mail their payment to a third-party utility billing company—where the payment is held until the monthly lump sum is transferred to the property, minus the service fees of course. In the old days, this system was a good solution to reduce administrative workload in the leasing office; but it substantially underperforms when compared to modern convergent billing integrated with electronic payment services.
“Electronic convergent billing simplifies the process on all fronts,” Peter Voelkel, owner of Holly Station and longtime investor in the multifamily industry, “It provides residents with a full breakdown of monthly charges on one, user-friendly monthly statement. It frees up wasted time on the part of the staff and improves collections for the property. Overall, it’s a win-win for residents and management.”