It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of paperless payment software by multifamily owners and operators. And we can confidently predict that adoption will continue to rise post-COVID. It’s easy to see why.
Residents are looking for an easier way to pay rent, and properties are looking for a safer, more effective way to collect it. A 100% paperless office fills the bill. The solution, integrated with a community’s property management software and accounting ledger, eliminates in-office handling and processing of paper payments while allowing residents to pay rent the way they prefer.
Deliver the experience renters desire
As a property manager, your company needs to be tuned into the resident experience. Many renters today expect to be able to pay online with ACH or with a credit or debit card, money order, or a check. Over 76% of renters now pay electronically every month, and there is an ever-growing number of people who won’t even consider moving to an apartment that doesn’t offer online payments.
And renters expect to be able to pay through multiple devices at home or on the go—aka with smartphones—and to be able to handle it all through self-service capabilities.
Luckily, there are proven technology-driven offerings that can help you adopt a payments process that benefits residents, on-site staff, and your business. The convenience you provide residents can mean huge benefits to you.
Find a system that works for everyone
First, electronic payments reduce delinquencies and provide you more on-time payments.
Second, you can alleviate leasing staff workload and improve staff efficiency by 65% during the rent cycle. Much of your staff’s time may be being spent processing paper checks. You can eliminate the paper coming into your office with a lockbox solution. Residents mail checks that arrive at a remote facility where they are automatically scanned, extracted, and routed to post in real-time. The time saved leaves your staff free to focus on revenue-driving activities, residents, and operations.
Automatic processing can reduce the risk of theft and fraud associated with payment collection. Take money orders. Industry leaders agree that money orders represent the single largest risk of employee-related fraud. Residents often forget to fill in the payee name, making the money order easily negotiable by anyone. Even with trusted employees, it’s difficult to maintain complete control of paper payments. Some properties report having to replace 8-12 site managers per year due to money order fraud.
The right paperless solution takes compliance into account, reducing the time you spend ensuring compliance and paying attention to complex and changing federal and state laws governing payments.
There you have it: the paperless office is faster, easier, safer, and just overall better than the paper alternative.
One caveat: it won’t work optimally for you unless you do two things. You must educate staff on the importance of electronic payments and help them transition to the new policies. Same for residents accustomed to paper payments.
That’s absolutely doable, and you’ll be rewarded for the effort.
The take-home lesson: Go paperless!
RealPage has a comprehensive payment solution to help you build a 100% paperless office for your properties. Visit our site to find out more.