There are many tasks that one must manage when they are a landlord. Collecting rent is normally one of those recurring tasks that come up every month. However, with the novel Coronavirus at play, we know as Maryland property management professionals, this can make a routine task suddenly difficult.
Have you thought about as a landlord how you will collect rent during the pandemic? Are you going to accept checks, money orders, and cash that have traveled via the hands of residents, convenience store clerks, bankers, and more? If there was ever a time to make digital rent payments the new standard, it’s now.
Many cities have social distancing orders in place. Checks and cash are no longer ideal in a world where contactless payments have emerged victorious as the top way to reduce the spread of the virus when it comes to this necessary element of running a Baltimore rental property.
Thankfully, we live in a digital age that has transformed and streamlined the process of collecting payments in the rental business. Receiving the most return on your investment is only achievable when renters pay their rent in full and on time. While digital payments are increasingly important to remain socially distant and be mindful of the pandemic, they also make payments easier and more immediate.
Digital payment avenues are not the future—they have been the present for quite some time. If you've been avoiding the transition to digital payments up to this point—or didn't really have them on your radar—now is an ideal time to transition! As your Maryland property management partner, we're happy to advise you on collecting rent online while limiting—or completely eliminating—face-to-face resident interactions to reduce the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
Please note: This article is not intended to be used as direct legal counsel. When in doubt, you should always reach out to your attorney or your Maryland property management partner!
Moving to an Online Payment Platform
Offering an online payment option for your renters promotes social distancing measures and protects you and your residents by reducing the disease's opportunity to spread. It also benefits you as a Baltimore property owner when you don't have to wait for payments to arrive through the mail—especially if you have actively engaged one or more of your residents in a payment plan.
The other benefits of online payments are as follows:
- Payment protection: With no checks needed, they will not get stolen or lost in the mail, and checks will not bounce.
- Reduced late payments: Property owners no longer have to rely on the "wait-and-see method" for rental payments coming through the mail. It also allows renters to pay their rent that very day and not impact the landlord.
- Merge communication and payments: Some payment platforms can help you keep rental payments on schedule by sending a text or email reminder to tenants, letting them know rent is due.
There are several choices when it comes to selecting an online portal that will work right for you as a property owner. You will want to consider what you want your payment platform to do for you.
- If you only intend to use it for payments, consider Venmo or PayPal.
- If you want additional features and services, property management software solutions that include an option to collect rent online among other offerings may be ideal.
- Another option available to you is to work with Maryland property management and take advantage of their services and software for one low, flat rate.
Regardless of which route you choose, contacting different companies and asking for demonstration calls will help you clarify which option is right for you.
When you choose the right property manager, for example, it may end up actually costing your less every month than individual software—with the added benefit of their additional services thrown in! The major benefit here is that a Maryland property management professional acts as your buffer in challenging times like these—something software is incapable of bringing to the table.
Build Goodwill by Waiving Fees—for Now
If you choose not to work with Maryland property management when it comes to your payment offerings, you should know that the move to an online platform will probably come with processing fees. Waiving these fees early on for tenants as a motivator to adopt your new payment method will reduce resistance and net you some goodwill come renewal time!
COVID-19 presents uncharted waters for everyone. Anything a landlord can do to make the experience easier right now can help keep your renters motivated to stay on track with their rent payments. At Renters Warehouse BW Metro, we know that many property owners rely on their rental income to keep a roof over their heads—and to maintain the one over their renters!
Giving tenants the option to pay rent online is something they will enjoy and appreciate because it saves time, reduces stress, and makes their payments transparent each month. You benefit as a Baltimore property owner from the increased ease of digital record keeping.
Of course, you don't have to take on all the work during this time alone! Working with a Maryland property management professional like Renters Warehouse BW Metro can save you so much more stress than that of setting up online payments. Get in touch with us to learn more about how our comprehensive services benefit Maryland property owners!