As a landlord, you may have seen the title of this article and had a minor panic with everything in the news lately concerning COVID-19 and the impending threat of rent strikes in major metropolitan areas. However, we're happy to report as exceptional providers of property management, Charleston, SC, landlords, that what we're going to cover in today's blog is a move that will benefit both you and your renters!
While plenty of states are continuing forward with their phased approaches to reopening, we're still recommending that you approach how you interact with your renters with a dash of healthy caution. Recognizing that non-essential interaction with other people could still spread the novel Coronavirus, many people are opting to continue voluntarily sheltering in place and spend very minimal time in contact with other people.
To that end, as you serve your tenants as a landlord, you're probably wondering what you can do to ease burdens that the pandemic may have created, support your renters during their rental payments, and keep your income coming in smoothly. Thankfully, you have an option that can address all three: make paying rental payments easier by moving to an online payment platform!
As a team that provides the best property management Charleston, SC, offers landlords, we know that the usefulness of online payment methods isn't just a spinoff of COVID-19. This option has serious staying power because it benefits you and your renters before, during, and after any crisis! Let's discuss how landlords can mobilize and put this option to work for your residents.
Moving to Online Payment Platforms
As the local experts in property management, Charleston, SC, landlords, we already have a good idea of the best way to collect rent during a pandemic because we offer this option to our renters!
Online portals are a great alternative to traditional payment methods for your tenants for many reasons:
- They minimize human contact by transferring funds electronically, keeping transactions smooth and clear.
- They help you to keep track at a glance of who has already paid and who has not, allowing you to maintain a connection with tenants who are behind on their rent.
- They give you the option to personalize email or text reminders when the rent is late.
While online portals are especially useful during COVID-19, they have a host of other benefits you can tap into even during normal circumstances.
- You can use the same portal to accept maintenance requests, create a ticket system that helps you address items promptly, and maximize the use of your handyman or repair vendor's time.
- The right portal also allows you to send notifications, such as a reminder about globalized changes to parking or services, which cuts down on community confusion if you own multiple properties in Charleston.
- Your portal saves you time and energy when it comes to staying organized too! You'll never have to shuffle through paper notes you've made concerning renter requests. Instead, you can quickly sift through messages stored digitally, maintaining a 100% response rate and helping you keep track of documentation.
Ease Tenants In With Waived Payment Fees
While some tenants will readily be excited about moving their rent payments online, others may see online payment fees as something like a rent increase, even if these fees are minimal.
- One way to entice tenants to start using your online portal during this time is to point out how they save postage and the potential of face-to-face interaction if they normally drop off a check.
- Another option is to say that the first few months of online payment fees will be waived.
The speed with which the money arrives in your account will be worth the small inconvenience of paying your tenants' online payment fees for a few months.
Another tactic we consider to be effective as providers of property management, Charleston, SC, landlords, is to roll platform fees into the rental rate you charge. This effectively removes it from the renter's radar, and reduces the likelihood that it will become a point of contention.
You can experiment with your best strategy long-term, but the key is to give tenants a few months of time to adjust, potentially incentivizing the transition to online payments along the way. This provides an additional bonus in the form of building and maintaining goodwill between you and your residents.
Property Managers Offer Payment Perks and Other Benefits
Software is excellent in the right hands, but the advantages of full-service property management, Charleston, SC, landlords, are arguably more significant.
For not that much more than you pay for landlord software, you can work with a property manager who already utilizes the benefits of online portals combined with their other professional services. What's more, your property manager handles much of the communication involved in building better relationships with tenants. They manage vendors and get them out to handle maintenance requests, they help you recruit and retain tenants for the long term, and they help you collect rent.
At Charleston Property Company, we pride ourselves on offering the kind of value property owners need to help you get on top of the impact of this pandemic to survive and thrive. We have many years of experience in property management, which allows us to handle situations well even when we're making modifications to protect our community.
Do you have more questions about handling this current crisis with care while still managing your rental property business well? Consider downloading our Collecting Rent in a Crisis Handbook, which is full of valuable tips to help protect and preserve your properties and your income during this time.