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Automating Rent Collection

Robert Cain
Rental Property Reporter
October 11 2004

Do you have a love-hate relationship with the first of the month? That's when the rent is due. You love all that money coming in. You hate the uncertainty. Sitting by your mailbox and waiting to see whose rent will be on time and who you are going to have to send late notices to can be frustrating and irksome. Then you make up the deposits, take them to the bank, wait in line, and wait two weeks to see whose checks "aren't quite covered". Then the phone calls and notices begin.

There is an easier and more efficient way. I didn't know this, but some 30 percent of U.S. households pay at least some of their bills online right now. In fact many people prefer it. You may even do it yourself. I know that we pay some of our personal bills that way. How would you like to take advantage of that trend with your rental business?

ResidentPay provides you with just such an opportunity. With this system you can have tenants pay by credit card, electronic check, check imaging or automatic debit.

Credit Cards

Using a credit card also allows tenants to pay the rent when it is due, even if they are short of money at the moment. You get paid, they don't get a late notice or risk eviction, and everybody is happy. It can also include debit cards, meaning the money comes directly out of the tenant's bank account and into yours. They can have the advantage of using credit cards to get airline miles and other points. Think how many miles paying rent of $750 to $1,000 a month would get them.

Electronic Checks

This feature allows you to begin collecting rent by electronic check (ACH) in as little as seven to 14 days (Pending underwriting approval). Paying rent by electronic check is as easy as credit card, but, instead of entering credit card numbers and expiration dates, residents enter their bank routing and account numbers from personal checks on your web site or on a web site for that purpose by the company that owns ResidentPay, Property Solutions.

When a tenant pays by electronic check (ACH), money is transferred directly from the resident's bank account to your bank's settlement account within 24 to 48 hours.

Automatic Debit

With ResidentPay, tenants can, in addition to making one-time payments, schedule recurring payments to be made each month until the recurring payment is canceled. Recurring payments are more convenient for tenants and make rent collection much easier for managers and landlords.

Tools for Landlords

Several administrative tools are available for managing and monitoring the flow of electronic payments with ResidentPay.

Data Export: With ResidentPay, you can download all payment data during a particular period into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for inclusion into your current property management software application.

Payment History Reports: View a history of payments and filter history by date, payment type, resident, property, unit, or transaction status.

Eviction Holds / Manual Batching: Refuse payments from residents who are in the eviction process by either manually batching payments (sending out payments manually instead of automatically) or by denying login rights to the resident being evicted.

Bounced Checks (NSFs) and Charge Backs: Just like a paper check can bounce, so can an electronic check. View all bounced or NSF electronic check payments within the ResidentPay Administrative Area. If a resident contests a credit card charge, a chargeback can result. You can view all NSF and charge back information within ResidentPay software.

For further information about Property Solutions' software and services, visit Property Solutions' website at www.propertysolutions.com or call toll free at 877-826-9700.

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