Why Online Payment is the Best and Cash is Not.
Rent collection is an essential factor when managing a property, so deciding what method you should use is critical. There are many ways to collect rent, but not all of them have the same benefits. You want a seamless and effortless rent collection method. Online payment is the best option out there. It is easy to document, and you will receive the funds quickly.
Collecting rent online makes the lives of tenants and landlords easier. It is more straightforward, accessible, and organized. Online payment has numerous benefits due to everything being stored online, which can be easily proved in court. Another advantage is the increased probability of on-time payments because the majority of online rent collection tools can send out reminders to tenants. With online payment, you wouldn’t need to worry about sending invoices and payments are deposited directly into your account. A great benefit is online rent collection tools have multiple payment methods like e-checks and debit/credit cards. Also, you don't have to share any account information with your renters, and neither do they. Online payments platforms will send you real-time notifications of transactions. Lastly, payments are processed faster with online payments.
If you have multiple properties, you will want to invest in property management software to help stay organized. Here is a list of property management software:
If you don't want to invest in property management software, here are some online payments options:
ACH Electronic Transfer
Not so long ago people were hesitant to pay online. They were skeptical about the internet’s security, but not anymore. Nowadays, people prefer digital payments. They are paying every bill imaginable online: mortgages, loans, tuition, and rent is no exception. Digital payments give tenants a hassle-free and timesaving experience. You have probably heard about ACH payments and might be wondering if you should use ACH to accept rent.
What Is ACH?
The Automated Clearing House is the primary system that agencies use for electronic funds transfer. It is a system run by the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) since 1974. With ACH, funds are electronically deposited in financial institutions, and payments are made online. This payment system provides ACH transactions for use with payroll, direct deposit, tax refunds, consumer bills, tax payments, and many other payment services. According to NACHA, “There were 6.6 billion payments made on the ACH Network during the 2nd quarter of 2020, reflecting a 7.9% increase over the same period in 2019.”
ACH is a frequently online rent collection method among landlords. The ACH helps people move money from one bank account to another. The way it works is that ACH payments are electronic payments that pull funds directly from a checking account. ACH payments are used instead of writing out a paper check or initiation a debit or credit card transaction.
- No need to write out checks
- No need to mail payments and pay postage
- Fast and easy. You get paid faster with an automated payment, and without waiting for a check to clear
- Automating bill payments. This will avoid late fees and missed payments.
- Security. Transactions can be initiated only after both parties have authorized their respective banks to cooperate.
- Minimize paper records that carry sensitive banking information.
- More environmentally friendly
- Makes money transfers easy with minimal labor and cost
- Has lower fees than credit card payments
- Easier to track payments since payee names appear on your bank statement
- You hand over information about your bank account, including your account number, which gives the other party access to your account.
- Auto payments are deducted whether or not you have the funds in your account, which can trigger overdraft fees
- Difficult to reverse
You now need to decide whether ACH is right for you as a landlord and, if it is, which platform will be the best for rent collection.
After learning more about online payments and why it is great to utilize in your real estate investing business, explaining why cash is lower on the totem pole is fairly simple.
Cash may be easier for people to use if they don’t have a checking account, but in this day and age not having a checking account could be considered a red flag. In most cases, it is free to have a checking account created, so not having one is considerably suspicious. Why would someone not have a checking account? It could be due to not having a job or banks could be rejecting them when trying to open an account.
Cash is also easily mishandled and lost, but difficult to track for both the payer and payee. As a landlord, you need a process to follow to ensure organization. Knowing who has and hasn’t paid in cash, when did they pay you, how much did they pay you, and more is crucial to your business. You must present a receipt at the time of payment at both parties' expense. Even when you have all the correct paperwork, it is still not as secure as online payment. A tenant could be adamant saying they left an envelope of cash and it would be unknown if it really happened.
When you have tenants paying in cash, especially rent, you run the risk of receiving counterfeit bills. Another reason to not accept cash is because of having large amounts of cash on you at certain times of the month. If others know you collect rent at a certain time and you collect only cash, you could be at risk of robbery.
These are just a few reasons why cash is not the best way to collect rent. As a landlord, you should always be on the lookout for ways to be more efficient and secure in your business. Taking online payments for rent is a great way to start!
If you would rather not have to worry about rent collection, consider working with a property management company. At CRM Properties, not only do we collect rent payments for you, but we also deal with all the tenant's complaints, handle maintenance issues, and fill vacancies.
Call our Business Development Manager, Amanda, today at 317-785-1924 to schedule a free consultation to get relief for your concerns or get your questions answered.