Increase Convenience and Consistency with Online Rent Payments

Millennials are now the largest generation in the United States. At 80 million strong, it’s little wonder that they largely dictate digital and social trends. Even the multifamily housing industry isn’t immune to the demands of the millennial generation. Approximately 2/3 of millennials rent, and their desire to conduct many aspects of their lives online has inspired a new market segment known as “Gen C” or the “Connected Generation.” Millennials fully embrace technology and use it for everything from making purchases to staying connected with friends and family. Unsurprisingly, they expect to be able to pay their rent online as well. This is an important consideration for landlords and property managers.

Moving Towards an Increasingly Digital World

Regardless of the activity, Gen C uses digital platforms readily. In general, they tend to prefer digital methods compared to face-to-face interactions or phone calls. They don’t typically make payments using checks or money orders, in contrast to previous generations. The Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK) found that five million millennials didn’t have a checking account; later research discovered that they don’t carry much cash on the whole. According to CGK recommendations, the best way for businesses to attract millennials is to make it easy to pay with a credit card. This is also an important consideration for attracting Gen Z, consumers who have never known a world that wasn’t digital.

The way these generations are choosing to pay is transforming the way landlords and property managers receive rent. In the last ten years, renters have come to expect digital payment as one of their payment options. With more processes and systems migrating to the digital landscape, online payment is becoming the rule rather than the exception. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council/Kingsley Renter Preferences Report, more than 76 percent of renters now pay their rent electronically every month. The increase of online access through mobile devices and tablets has no doubt added to more renters utilizing these channels for payment.

Bridging the Generation Gap with Multiple Options

In contrast, Baby Boomers have been slow to embrace digital payments. Nearly half of renters 65 and older prefer to pay at the front office with a check or money order. For landlords and property managers, it’s important to be able to bridge the generational preferences. By offering as many choices as possible, you can ensure that you’re keeping up with the times while offering payment methods that work for tenants of any generation. 

The Advantages of Online Rent Payments

Providing multiple options also makes paying rent more convenient for your tenants, lessening the chances of late or missed payments. Most online payment systems allow consumers to set up reminders for when payments are due, and many of them allow for the scheduling of recurring payments. Paying by check is extra work for you and the tenant – plus, there’s always the chance that the payment can get lost in the mail or stolen. In a time where identity and mail theft are serious concerns, online payments are more secure for you and your tenants.

Online payments can keep your tenant more accountable for paying their rent on time. While it may take a couple of days for the payment to be applied to your account, receiving payment statuses in real-time eliminates the need to take the tenant at their word that they mailed it out on time. It’s also generally quicker to receive the ACH payment than waiting for the check to arrive, taking it to be deposited, and waiting for the check to clear. Another benefit of accepting online payments is that you’re able to see rent payment status in real-time. You’ll have accurate digital documentation available, allowing you to skip the paperwork and eliminate human error.

Ready to start offering online payments? Here’s a list of some verified services that make the process hassle-free. 

Online Payments Benefit You and Your Tenants

Regardless of their generation, your tenants will appreciate having multiple options for how they can pay their rent. Allowing them to pay online saves time, reduces stress, and increases transparency. Likewise, it’s beneficial to you because you’ll know when to expect the money in your account, and you’ll increase the chance that you’ll receive your money consistently on time. Offering online payments ensure you’re doing everything you can to make rent collection as easy as possible for you and your tenants.

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