Online Rent Payment by Credit Card

Online rent payment by credit card
There are pros and cons of online rent payment by credit card for tenants.

In today’s mainly paperless world, online rent payment has almost made rent payment by check, cash, and money order extinct. Instead, payment by ACH and credit card have become more popular mainly because they are convenient payment methods. Between the two, we’ll look at the pros and cons of paying by credit card.

Pros

  1. Convenient: You don’t have to go through the trouble of writing and mailing a check. If you can pay rent by credit card, you’ll provide your card information over the phone, online, or in person. The effort is minimal.
  2. Rewarding: Most credit cards today are tied to rewards. Such rewards can appear in the form of cash back or points. Every time you use your credit card whether it be for merchandise or online rent payment, you earn rewards.

Cons

  1. Access: Many landlords do not accept credit card payments mainly due to the high cost that credit card companies charge. So tenants need to find landlords willing to accept credit cards for rent payment. If you can’t find a landlord willing to accept credit cards, then find one who will still accept online rent payment by way of an ACH debit (direct transfer from bank account to bank account). An online rent payment service like ClearNow is beneficial for landlords and tenants who want to do ACH debits.
  2. Fees: Once you find landlords willing to receive rent payment by credit card, be prepared to pay a fee. Most credit cards charge based on a percentage (usually 2% to 3%) of the amount charged making it quite expensive. For example, a $1000 rent payment can realize $20 to $30 in fees.

How to Attract Grads to Your Rental Property

Attract Grads
If you want to attract recent grads, be tech friendly and provide great amenities.

One of the many tasks of landlords is to fill vacancies. If you can fill vacancies quickly, then that is a win for you. Factors such as location, rent amount, and amenities can affect how quickly you can fill your rental property. If you want to attract grads to your rental property, here are some tips to help close the deal.

Be Tech Friendly

Recent grads, also known as graduates or millennials, are very comfortable with technology and as a result, expect it to be an active part of their lives. You can start attracting grads as applicants with online advertising of your rental property. Zillow is one of the most popular places you can advertise. Additionally, online rent payment would be expected to attract grads to your rental property. Long standing services like ClearNow make online rent payment very easy for landlords and tenants. Taking the hassle out and making the payment process easy is attractive. And if you use ClearNow for online rent payment, your millennial tenants can build a credit history by having their payment data furnished to Experian.

Feature Great Amenities to Attract Grads to Your Rental Property

Great amenities can attract all tenants, even graduates. Here are some that are easy to implement:

1. Provide reliable and wide-ranging wifi. Easily accessing the web from every space of your rental property is attractive and reduces frustration.

2. Make your rental property pet friendly. Many millennials have pets; therefore, allowing pets may fill your vacancy faster. A financial benefit for you is the additional rent or fee you require for housing a pet.

3. Create social spaces. Outdoor fire pits and grilling areas are great social spaces for tenants. Having a dedicated place to entertain can be a strong renting point.

There are simple steps you can take to attract grads to your rental property. As a result of understanding their needs, you make filling vacancies that much easier.

Making Online Rent Payment Easy To Setup

Online Rent Payment Should be Easy to Setup
Online Rent Payment saves time! And, it should be easy to setup.

The best tools are easy to setup. Online rent payment saves time for everyone – landlord and tenants alike. At ClearNow, we strive to make online rent payment a piece of cake for landlords and tenants to setup.

Tenant Participation is Key

With ClearNow’s service, we make it easy for you to enroll your tenants in online rent payment. The process is straightforward:

  1. In ClearNow, you simply go to the ‘Add Tenants’ screen and enter a tenant’s name, email address, and property address.
  2. You then click ‘Send Email’ and our system sends clear email instructions for the tenant to enroll.
  3. When the tenant receives the enrollment email, they will enter their information in a secure online form, esign the form, and then upload a picture of their bank documentation (e.g. a picture of their bank statement, check, or direct deposit form). Tenants can do this all on their smartphone. No printer is required!

We Automatically Send Email Reminders So Online Rent Payment is Easy to Setup

We’ve learned over the years that people often need a few reminders to do things. So, with ClearNow, three days and six days after you send enrollment emails to your tenants, if they have not enrolled, our system automatically sends them reminders to enroll. That is one less thing for you to do!

Again, the best online rent payment service is the one that makes it truly easy for landlords and tenants to get setup.

Tools That Make Landlord Lives Easier

Landlording can be a time consuming job. Responsibilities such as screening tenants, signing leases, collecting rent, and maintaining properties take time and effort. Tools that make landlord lives easier become more important because they can save time. Saving time is like saving money. Here is a glance at some tools that every landlord should use.

Online Rent Payment

To really save time and eliminate headaches, landlords should collect rent online. Collecting rent by check, depositing the check, and waiting for funds to clear are time consuming and inconvenient tasks for everyone involved. With so many choices today, landlords can easily find an online rent payment service and be up and running quickly and with little effort. For example, ClearNow has been serving landlords and tenants since 2000 making the entire rent payment and collection process efficient and easy. Tenants benefit from online rent payment, too, as they just need to have funds in their bank account. No other effort required!

Electronic Signatures

When it comes to leases or any document that needs a signature, landlords should use an esignature service. With esignatures, you eliminate the need for printers, paper, and time to meet. Electronic signatures come in especially handy when multiple people need to sign a lease, like in a roommate situation. Each party can sign on their own device at their own convenience. Once signed , everyone gets a copy of the lease. Similar to online rent payment services, there are a lot of esignature services today. eSignToday is an affordable esignature service that charges a flat fee of $0.50 per signature. DocuSign is a service that charges on a monthly fee and caters to those who need frequent signatures.

The list of tools that make landlord lives easier can be lengthy. While we have touched on just a few here, know there are many more available to save landlords time and eliminate headaches.

Ways to Decrease Tenant Turnover

Decrease Tenant Turnover
There are simple things landlords can do to decrease tenant turnover.

Having vacancies with rental property is a cash flow killer for landlords. Finding ways to decrease tenant turnover help minimize revenue loss as well as the time and expense of preparing property for a new tenant. There are simple things landlords can do to keep tenants and thus keep business running.

Find Quality Tenants to Decrease Tenant Turnover

During the tenant application process, tenant screening becomes a critical component to finding quality tenants. Quality tenants will not guarantee but can increase the chances that rent is paid and rent is paid on time. There are various tenant screening services available for landlords to choose from. Taking the time during the application process and screening tenants will help reduce tenant turnover.

Sign Longer Term Lease

If tenants can commit to a longer term lease, then landlords do not have to face frequent turnover. In exchange for a longer term lease, tenants can try to keep the rent at the same amount for a longer period of time. A longer term lease can be a win win for both landlord and tenant.

Maintain Good Relationships

Good relationships make life easier. Having good communication and understanding between landlord and tenant can go a long way. Tenants may be encouraged to renew leases or tell friends about other properties the landlord may have. Word of mouth referrals are one of the most effective marketing strategies.

In addition to good communication, landlords can provide services that make a tenant’s life easier and thus decrease tenant turnover. For example, online rent payment with ClearNow can put the headache of paying rent on time on autopilot. Additionally, in unit washers and dryers are hard to compete with units missing such luxury.

Finding quality tenants, signing a longer term lease, and maintaining good relationships are easy ways to decrease tenant turnover.

How to Comply with the California Rent Reporting Law (SB 1157)

California Rent Reporting Law SB 1157
California has passed the first in the nation rent reporting bill, SB 1157.

In the fall of 2020, California Senate Bill 1157 (“the California Rent Reporting Law”) became law. Starting July 1, 2021, landlords who own subsidized multifamily housing units must offer their tenants the option to report their rent payments to a major credit bureau. Fortunately, ClearNow allows landlords to comply with this law and offer their tenants the benefit of reporting their rent payment.

Does The California Rent Reporting Law Apply To Me?

If any of the following applies to you, then this law does NOT apply to you:

  • You do not own rental units in the state of California.
  • You own 15 or fewer rental units.
  • Your tenants do not receive subsidies at the local, state, or federal level for their housing expense. In other words, you are not operating an “assisted housing development” as defined by Section 65863.10 of the Government code.

How Can ClearNow help Me?

If you need to comply with the California Rent Reporting Law, ClearNow can help you. ClearNow online rent payment has an incredible built in feature: Tenants who pay through ClearNow can elect to have their rent payment reported to the Experian credit bureau.

Better yet, signing up for ClearNow is easy. Simply go to www.ClearNow.com and set up your property’s account. Then, you can let your tenants know that if they wish to report their rent payment to a major credit bureau they will need to pay rent to you through ClearNow online rent payment. Best of all, ClearNow is very affordable. The first tenant who pays through ClearNow costs $14.95/mo and each additional tenant is just $2/mo.

New government laws can be terrifying to business owners. However, with regards to the California Rent Reporting Law (SB 1157), ClearNow offers an easy-to-implement and affordable solution that is a win-win for both you and your tenants.

How to do ACH Rent Payments

ACH Rent Payments
ACH Rent Payments are safe, convenient, and inexpensive

The ACH network is the most widely used, bank-based electronic funds transfer network in the United States. Millions of employees receive their salaries through ‘direct deposit’ via the ACH payment network. The ACH network does not charge a percentage of each transaction amount like credit cards. Instead, the ACH network charges a small fixed fee for each payment made. The ACH network is safe, reliable, and inexpensive. These attributes make ACH rent payments a great payment method for landlords and their tenants.

ACH Rent Payment is Safe

Using the ACH payment network, property managers schedule rent payment so that funds move automatically from a tenant’s checking account to the property’s checking account. Federal Regulation E (the Electronic Funds Transfer Act of 1978) safeguards consumers against the inappropriate movement of funds from their account.

Easy To Use Web-Based Rent Payments

Traditionally, using the ACH payment network meant learning ACH software and transferring files back and forth to an ACH processor (a bank or a company specializing in ACH processing). Fortunately, Web-based solutions make ACH rent payments easier to setup than ever before. ClearNow is one of the oldest (since 2000) and most well-reviewed (perfect BBB rating) ACH rent payment service.

Methods to Pay Rent Online

Pay rent online credit card
Two online rent payment methods for tenants include credit card and ACH.

Finding a way to complete chores in the fastest and most painful manner is a win. When it comes to the chore of paying rent, tenants who can pay rent online achieve speed and ease. The two most popular methods of online rent payment are credit card and ACH.

Pay Rent Online by Credit Card

Paying for goods and services by credit card is very popular in certain markets, such as dining and consumer goods. In these markets, credit card payment in person or online is highly accessible. In the real estate rental market, however, credit cards are not popular. Many landlords do not accept credit card payments mainly due to the high cost that credit card companies charge. Fees are typically based on a percentage (usually 2% to 3%) of the amount charged making it quite expensive. For example, a $500 rent payment can cost the landlord $10 to $15 in fees. Even though the fees are high, there are services that enable tenants to pay rent online by credit card. Tenants who can pay rent by credit card will benefit from rewards they can earn with their card company as well as cover them if they are short on cash when rent is due.

Pay Rent Online by ACH

The Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network enables the electronic transfer of funds between bank accounts. One of the most popular uses of an ACH payment is with direct deposit for payroll. Most employers will pay employees as a direct deposit to the employees’ bank accounts using the ACH Network. Rent payment by ACH is much more popular than credit cards partly due to the reasonable cost. There are many online rent payment services that enable tenants to pay rent online by ACH. These services will differ on factors such as cost and features. For example, ClearNow does not charge tenants to pay rent online (landlords pay the fee) and will furnish rent payment data to the Experian credit bureau for those tenants wanting to build a credit history.

Tenants who want to make their lives easier should look into paying rent online. There are online rent payment services that offer credit card and ACH as payment options.

Rent Check Lost in Mail?

Check Lost in Mail
Check Lost in Mail? Here’s what to do.

Were you waiting for a rent check in the mail from your tenant? You contact your tenant and they say that the rent check was sent. You are facing the dreaded ‘Rent Check Lost in the Mail’ issue. Never fear, we are here to walk you through what to do next.

How Long Has the Rent Check Been Lost in the Mail?

First, learn when the rent check was mailed. Unfortunately, the US Postal Service is not always prompt. Mail sometimes does take longer than usual to get to you. If the rent check is within a few days of when you normally would receive it, you might want to wait.

Cancel and Resend

When too much time has passed, the safest thing to do is to cancel the missing check. Have the tenant contact their bank and cancel the check. Be aware that banks often charge a small fee to do this.

Next, have the tenant resend a new check to you.

Consider Online Rent Payment

Why not remove the stress and time spent dealing with lost or delayed rent checks? With online rent payment services like ClearNow, once your tenants are setup, rent payment is made automatically. Whether you’re out of town, or the post office is unreliable, rent appears in your bank account – no more rent check lost in the mail.

Online Rent Payment and Roommates

Online rent payment and roommates
Online rent payment makes roommate situations easy when paying rent.

Landlords and tenants want a fast and easy way to collect and pay rent. Online rent payment is the answer for both parties. In roommate situations, landlords may require a single payment or permit each roommate to pay their pre-determined portion. Paying rent electronically makes roommate situations super easy.

One Roommate Pays for All

Some landlords require full payment of rent from a single person in a roommate situation. By collecting rent from one person, the landlord increases her chances of getting paid in full. She also saves time on hunting down the remaining rent payment from various roommates. Online rent collection is still the easiest method for collecting and paying rent even if just from one tenant. ClearNow and many other online rent payment services cater to landlords with roommate situations.

Each Roommate Pays Individually

Landlords who permit each roommate to pay their pre-determined portion of rent from their own bank account eliminates the “middle person”. That “middle person” is not only the roommate who makes the rent payment in full from her own bank account but also the roommate who has to make sure each roommate has paid her. When each roommate pays individually, they just need to make sure they have enough funds to make their payment successful every month. Each online rent payment service has different features on how they handle roommates and payments.

Whether you have each roommate pay individually or a designated roommate pays for everyone, collecting and paying rent online makes the entire process fast and easy!