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Charge It!: Why It’s Time to Start Accepting Rental Payments Via Credit Card

Charge It!: Why It’s Time to Start Accepting Rental Payments Via Credit Card

Credit cards are a powerful tool for consumers, made only more powerful by their convenience and popularity. Failing to accept credit cards as a valid method of payment for rental fees is to really miss out on a great opportunity to delight and accommodate your tenants. But there are so many more reasons to justify adding credit cards to your repertoire. Read on to learn why charging it is the way to go.

 

Convenience is king.

Manual is out. According to a recent study by Entrata, a leading online payment provider, 79% of renters prefer to pay rent online. And “why?” you might ask. Because it’s easy. What could be simpler than a few clicks of your mouse to button up this month’s payment? Buying new checks, sending payment by snail mail or dropbox. These are all things of the past. Not only do modern day tenants appreciate the convenience of online rent payment, but they’ve come to expect it.

The bar has been raised.

That’s right. The expectation is there. Gone are the days when you do your business your way and the customer is the one expected to adapt. Now tenants have options in the marketplace, and it’s up to landlords to listen to their wants and cater to their needs. If you are the only property on their list that doesn’t accept credit card payments, that kind of distinction could put you squarely in the wrong category.

Quick and painless.

The speed with which a credit card transaction takes place is virtually unmatched. Processors typically deposit funds directly into your account within a few business days. With some platforms it can take less that 24 hours to see that money materialize. This is a far cry from the waiting game of cash or checks, where the process could take weeks and is filled with risk in the form of bounced checks or “he said/she said”-style disputes.

Auto-pilot for Bookkeeping

When it comes to balancing your books, digital payment is a game changer. Essentially every action is tracked automatically, leaving an online paper trail and running record of transactions. And while it’s incredibly important as a landlord to have a detailed record of all payment activity, it’s just as helpful for tenants. The digital ledger can be beneficial to tenants looking to get a handle on their own flow of expenses.

 

All-in-all, if you’re looking for a way to optimize your back of house management, to keep up with the real estate Jones’s, and to provide your tenants with a streamlined and simplified experience, there’s no easier way than to start accepting credit cards as a viable method of payment. Not only do credit card payments afford you the most accurate, detailed, and accessible record of transaction and activity; but it also is a sign of transparency toward your tenants.

Renters are looking for a landlord who is efficient, trustworthy, and up to date on the latest trends and offerings in the market. This in mind, there’s only one way to go. Renters say – charge it!

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You didn't touch on the costs. All my residents are low income. Some will be in this situation forever and some are temporary visitors to the land of the poor and hungry (students, recent graduates, new entrants into the workforce). Many of the folks who are in the permanent low income category don't have bank accounts or credit cards. They live off government benefits provided on prepaid debit cards. 3% or so on a monthly rent is a pretty big chunk of cash for processing their rent payment. Some might call it exorbitant. If my residents can afford another $15/month on a $500 rent, perhaps I should find a cheaper payment alternative and increase the rent by $15. Rather, in the interest of better serving my low-income residents, I'll find a cheaper alternative and not raise the rent. It's always a good time to provide a better value - credit card payments, or rather the fees for credit (and debit) card payments - are not that.

  Charles Enman

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