After a stressful April and a cautious May there are reasons for property managers to be optimistic about residents continuing to pay rent this summer, a traditionally busy time of year for leasing, amid the pandemic and rising unemployment.
According to the National Multifamily Housing Council’s monthly Rent Payment Tracker, over 90 percent of the 11.4 million households surveyed nationwide paid all or a portion of their June rent after mid-month.
Here are a few measures that property managers and operators can take right now to protect their bottom line and maintain the cadence of online rent payments month-over-month.
1. Offer convenient digital payments
Apart from the long list of benefits of going digital, online payments are convenient and support current “touchless” rent payment requirements. Mobile-enabled digital payment options not only make it convenient for residents to pay on time but ensure that full rent payments continue to be made using ACH, credit or debit cards, with automatic payment scheduling available.
2. Offer flexible alternatives to paper payments
Technology exists to capture 100 percent of a property’s receivables electronically, giving residents the ability to choose from a range of payment options including secure cash payments with digital money orders via MoneyGram, plus emerging payment options like Domuso’s Online Certified and Mobile Check Pay, which saw a 600 percent increase in usage in April as residents and owners continue to shift to contactless payments.
3. Keep resident communication channels open
Given that millions of U.S households are facing a financial burden in the wake of the pandemic, property managers should proactively communicate with residents about accommodations that have been made or their willingness to create custom payment arrangements as needed. For example, a majority of properties on the Domuso platform continued to offer hardship accommodations in May in addition to absorbing credit card fees to allow more residents to pay on time.
4. Enhance protection from fraud
The rise in credit card use is likely here to stay. Domuso saw a 60 percent increase in rental payments using credit cards in April. As credit card usage continues to rise, property managers and owners need to be aware of the increase in credit card chargebacks, which Domuso eliminates with its zero risk chargeback protection for property owners.
5. Keep a pulse on market trends
Be on the lookout for any information you can pass on to renters in need of help, such as state housing assistance programs, federal government benefits, etc. Domuso supports the Resident Relief Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides rental assistance to qualified, responsible residents facing eviction, or even homelessness.
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