Online payment platforms are a powerful tool for property management companies. Property managers are constantly handling payments, whether collecting rent from tenants or paying employees, business partners and maintenance workers. As such, adopting an online system that supports fast and frictionless payments can have far-reaching benefits.
Firms that offer online rent payment platforms are better positioned to meet customer preferences and can use these platforms to increase their employees’ productivity and morale. It is no surprise, then, that interest in online payments is growing. A report from 2021 found that interest in online rent payment services among property managers surged by 16%.
Online payment platforms help landlords deliver on tenant demand
Although one report found that consumers were generally satisfied with their property management companies, most respondents were not impressed enough with the level of service to recommend those companies to peers. By meeting renters’ payment preferences and exceeding their expectations, companies can go a long way to change that.
There has been a surge in demand for payment flexibility and seamless digital solutions. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said that it has become more important since the pandemic began for property managers to offer flexible payment plans, while 28% felt the same way about property managers offering digital tools to manage rentals. With online payment platforms, landlords can provide such functionality.
Property managers should also consider bolstering their online payments offerings with mobile options. In a recent survey on consumers’ bill-paying habits, mobile payment channels overtook online portals as the most preferred and frequently used payment channel, with 67% of respondents having paid a bill via a mobile device. In addition to mobile, it is important for property managers to support a variety of options, including traditional debit and credit card payments and digital wallets such as Apple Pay.
Money mobility benefits the back office
Money mobility benefits not just the user experience but also the back office. Because online rent payments can be fully automated, switching to an online platform can save landlords considerable time. After adopting an online payments system, one property manager estimated that his team saved 15 to 20 man-hours per week. It also led to happier employees because they spent less time on frustrating data entry.
Improvements such as this can have an enormous impact on a property management company. Staffing and retention are among the industry’s top challenges, and when it is hard to find and retain staff, every hour counts.
Money mobility can benefit property managers and improve back-office processes by making business-to-business (B2B) payments easier, faster and more secure. B2B payments are ripe for disruption due to the high volume of transactions still occurring on legacy payment methods. For example, an estimated 33% of B2B payments in the U.S. and Canada are still made by check — a slower, less dynamic and more expensive method than online payments.
If property managers were to ditch checks in favor of online payments, the impact could be considerable. Speed is one of the top areas that would improve, as online payment platforms can support faster or real-time payments. In a survey of treasury and finance professionals, 69% of respondents believed that B2B transactions benefit the most from faster payment capabilities. Since property management involves the making of payments to multiple entities, from maintenance workers to lawyers, having a better payment platform can go a long way, and money mobility can make all the difference.