Benefits of Hiring a Property Management Company

Hiring a property management company can make landlording easier.

Landlording involves building a business to collect rent payment and generate income while providing housing to customers (tenants). Some landlords prefer to do everything on their own, and some prefer to take a more hands off approach and hire a property management company to do it all. And then there are some landlords that want to control some aspects of the business – like filling vacancies – while turning over other responsibilities – like maintenance and rent collection – to a property management company. In any event, the benefits of hiring a property management company come at a cost as they charge fees for their services. We’ll take a look at some landlording responsibilities and the pros and cons of doing it yourself or hiring a property management company.

Collecting Rent

As a landlord, there is nothing more important than getting paid through consistent on-time rent collection.

DIY+Know your tenant
+Use an online rent payment service like ClearNow to simplify process
-Deal with delinquent tenants
-Need to understand eviction process
Property Management Company+Enforce lease policies for late or unpaid rent
+Use online rent payment services like ClearNow to directly deposit owner proceeds
-Pay property management fee typically as a % of rent collected

Advertising/Listing Properties

Before you can collect rent payment, you have to fill your vacancy. Knowing where and how to place your ads are important tasks to finding the right tenant.

DIY+Easy to list vacancy online with high-traffic websites like Zillow.-Need to manage inquiries and property visits
Property Management Company+Expertise at rental marketing to fill vacancies quickly
+Have local real estate knowledge to help set competitive rents
-Pay property management fee

Final Considerations

The benefits of hiring a property management company to collect rent and advertise vacancies, in the least, will likely be based on finding a balance among effort, time, and money. If you can afford the expense of a property management company to free up time and reduce headaches, then that is a win for both parties. At the same time, many of today’s landlord resources have features that benefit both the property manager and owner, like ClearNow’s owner proceeds. As a landlord, you have choice to make the decision easier of whether or not to hire a property management company.

What is an ACH Payment for Rent?

Using ClearNow for ACH payment for rent is fast, easy, and affordable.

An ACH payment is an electronic funds transfer made through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network in the United States. Specifically, there is a withdrawal of funds from a bank account and a corresponding deposit to another bank account. The ACH network is a secure and efficient system used for processing various types of financial transactions, including direct deposits and bill payments.

When an ACH payment is initiated, funds are electronically deducted from the payer’s bank account and then deposited to the payee’s bank account. This method of payment is commonly used for recurring payments, such as rent, mortgage payments, and employee salaries. ACH payments are typically processed in batches and settle within a few business days.

ACH payments offer several benefits, including cost-effectiveness, convenience, and reduced reliance on paper checks. They are widely used by businesses and individuals for their efficiency and reliability in transferring funds electronically.

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 payments for rent easier to setup than ever before. ClearNow is one of the oldest (since 2000) and most well-reviewed (perfect BBB rating) online rent payment services. ACH payments for rent make the process of paying rent fast and easy by eliminating checks, postage, and stamps. With ClearNow, tenants just need to have sufficient funds to successfully pay rent on time.

Pros and Cons of Paying Rent by Credit Card

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of using a credit card for rent payment.

In today’s digital age, convenience and flexibility have become considerations in various aspects of our lives. With the growing popularity of online rent payment, paying rent by credit card is an option for some tenants. With most things, it offers certain advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at both:


  1. Convenience and Flexibility: One of the primary benefits of paying rent by credit card is its convenience. Credit cards eliminate paper checks and reliance on the postal service. It offers flexibility in managing your finances, as you can choose your payment date or set up recurring payments.
  2. Rewards: Most credit cards today often come with rewards programs that allow you to earn points, cashback, or other benefits on your purchases. By paying rent with a credit card, you can take advantage of these programs and potentially earn rewards. Over time, these rewards add up allowing you to redeem points for travel, merchandise, or even statement credits. Rewards provide additional value when you pay rent every month.


  1. Transaction Fees: One of the significant downsides of paying rent by credit card is the transaction fees. Some landlords or property management companies may charge a convenience fee or a percentage-based transaction fee for credit card payments. These fees can significantly increase the cost of paying rent and might outweigh the benefits gained from rewards or convenience. It is important to consider the fees associated with paying rent by credit card before deciding to use this method.
  2. Debt Accumulation: Using a credit card to pay rent requires discipline and careful budgeting. If you’re not diligent in paying off your credit card balance in full each month, you may accumulate debt and incur high-interest charges. Falling into credit card debt can have long-term financial consequences and negatively impact your credit score. It’s crucial to assess your ability to manage credit card payments effectively before opting for this payment method.
  3. Landlord Acceptance: Not all landlords or property management companies accept credit card payments. Before making the decision to pay rent with a credit card, ensure that your landlord or rental agreement permits this form of payment. If credit card payments are not accepted, you may need to consider alternative methods, such as traditional checks or other online payment platforms. For example, ClearNow is an online rent payment service where you can pay rent by ACH.

Paying rent by credit card can offer convenience, flexibility, and the potential to earn rewards. It is important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if this payment method is right for you. Consider factors such as transaction fees and landlord acceptance. Ultimately, the best approach is to assess your financial situation, personal preferences, and the specific terms and conditions associated with your rental agreement.

The Convenient and Secure Way to Pay Rent with ACH Rent Payment

There are benefits of paying rent by ACH or direct debit over paper checks.

Paying rent can be a hassle, especially if you have to remember to write a check or make a trip to the bank every month. However, with ACH rent payment, you can simplify the process and save time benefitting you and your landlord.

ACH stands for Automated Clearing House, a network that facilitates electronic transactions between bank accounts. The ACH payment network drives direct deposits and payments for US bank and credit union accounts. By using ACH rent payments, you can authorize your landlord or a third party like an online rent payment service to withdraw rent directly from your bank account on a regular basis. Here are some of its benefits:

Convenience of ACH Rent Payment

When you pay rent by ACH, you no longer have to worry about forgetting to pay your rent on time. The payment is automatically withdrawn from your account on the date you specify, so you can focus on other things. You just have to remember to have sufficient funds in your bank account for the rent payment.

Security & Accuracy

ACH rent payments are more secure than checks because there is no physical document that can be lost or stolen. Additionally, they are protected by federal regulations, and your bank will notify you of any unauthorized withdrawals. As long as you have sufficient funds in your bank account, your rent will be paid accurately and on time. There is no need to worry about errors or delays caused by mailing a check or waiting for it to clear.


ACH rent payments are typically less expensive than other payment methods, such as money orders or cashier’s checks. This can save you money in the long run.

The easiest way to use ACH rent payment is with an online rent payment service. For example, ClearNow will help you and your landlord get set up so you can pay your landlord rent by ACH. Each of you need to complete an authorization form and submit it with your bank documentation. The process to get set up is fast and easy.

In conclusion, ACH rent payment offers many benefits to both landlords and tenants. They are convenient, secure, and cost-effective. If you are tired of the hassle of writing checks or making trips to the bank, consider switching to to make life easier.

Common Mistakes Landlords can Make

Common landlord mistakes
There are ways to avoid common mistakes landlords can make.

Whether you are a new or seasoned landlord, landlords are humans. And humans make mistakes. There are some common mistakes landlords can make. Avoiding these mistakes can make achieving success easier.

Poor Tenant Screening

Finding the right tenant is essential to making landlording successful. The ideal tenant is one who will pay rent on time and live in the rental property with care. Tenants who do not pay rent (on time) or destroy the rental property take up a lot of a landlord’s time. In these unfortunate cases, landlords have to track down rent or consider eviction which is a time consuming process. Taking the time to review a tenant’s rental and employment history can provide long term benefits. And conducting criminal background checks and credit checks will give landlords additional insight. Tenant screening services like TransUnion’s Smartmove make it easy for landlords to screen tenants. Having a good tenant screening process in place saves landlords time and contributes positively to the business’ bottom line.

Old School Methods

Among the common mistakes landlords can make include doing things the old school way. Today, the internet and smartphones are a significant part of our lives. Applying technology makes landlording easier, and it can create happy tenants. For example, instead of collecting rent the old school way by cash, check, or money order, landlords should use online rent payment. By collecting rent using a service like ClearNow, landlords save time and eliminate trips to the bank. At the same time, tenants just need to have funds in their bank account. Tenants don’t have to write and mail a check or meet the landlord to hand over cash.

Lack of Organization

Whether you are a full time or part time landlord, landlording is a business. And with any business, you want to be profitable. How do landlords know if they are profitable? They need to stay organized and keep good records. In addition to knowing profitability, landlords have to file tax information to the IRS at tax time. So maintaining good records make this information filing to the IRS easier. Lack of organization is one of the common mistakes landlords can make. Accounting software makes organization really easy. There is a lot of choice for landlords for tools for managing income and expenses. Landlords should take the time and see which software works best for their needs.

ClearNow Reviews

ClearNow reviews
Reading positive and negative reviews help us make decisions.

ClearNow is an online rent payment service that enables landlords to collect rent payments from their tenants electronically. By “electronically,” ClearNow processes ACH payments. Tenant bank accounts are debited the amount of rent due. Three banking days later, rent is directly deposited to the landlord’s bank account net of ClearNow fees. The service offers several benefits for landlords and tenants, including convenience and reliability.

ClearNow has been serving landlords and tenants since 2000. In addition to the number of years in business, another way to evaluate the effectiveness of a business is to read reviews from its users. You can find ClearNow reviews online and from various platforms, such as Yelp and

The majority of ClearNow reviews are positive, with many users praising the convenience and reliability of the service. One reviewer on Yelp writes, “Used for years.  Solid online rent payment with great telephone customer support.  Once you use this, you won’t go back to collecting a check through the mail.” is a resource for smaller landlords. Their Q&A forum is very active and contains discussions among landlords on a variety of subjects. If you search for “ClearNow” on the forum, you will find various ClearNow reviews. For example, one landlord comments “I prefer ClearNow. Yeah have tried several of the online property management software systems. They all seemed to be more geared towards the big guys and were too complex for me. I wanted something to be simple for collecting rents online and tracking expenses. ClearNow does both and I love it.”

Some reviewers mention ClearNow fees can be higher than other payment methods. However, many users feel that the convenience, customer support, and reliability are worth it. Another MrLandlord reviewer states, “I’ve used ClearNow for over 15 years now. Best decision ever. And there has never been a price increase.”

How to Winterize Rental Property

Winterize Rental Property
Preparing rental property for cold weather is important and easy to do.

As winter abounds, landlords should take the appropriate steps to prepare their rental property for cold temperatures. Doing so will help keep tenants comfortable and ensure the safety of the property and its occupants. Landlords who winterize rental property are taking steps to protect their investment while keeping everyone safe and happy.

The first step in preparing a rental property for cold temperatures is to inspect the building’s exterior. Specifically, landlords should check the condition of the roof, gutters, and windows. Any evidence of damage should be repaired immediately to prevent further damage and energy loss. Adding insulation to walls, ceilings, and attic can reduce energy costs and maintain a comfortable temperature.

Moving on to an interior inspection, landlords should make sure the heating system is in good working order. This includes checking for proper ventilation, ensuring the thermostat is functioning correctly, and making sure there are no drafts or leaks. Having the HVAC system inspected and serviced by a professional in advance of the coldest months will ensure it is running at peak efficiency.

Finally, landlords should remind tenants to take the necessary steps to stay safe and warm during the colder months. Using heavy curtains, sealing off drafts, and keeping the temperature at a comfortable level are ways tenants can help winterize rental property. And landlords can keep tenants safe at home even when it comes to paying rent. With online rent payment, tenants can stay safe at home in the winter and eliminate mailing or dropping off rent in person.

Renters Insurance Wizard for Landlords and Tenants

Renters Insurance Wizard Intro
Another tool designed by ClearNow to help landlords and tenants.

ClearNow has launched Renters Insurance Wizard ( to help landlords protect their rental property. We designed this tool for landlords. This tool helps tenants to buy renters insurance. Landlords will know when tenants purchase this type of insurance and of any policy changes like cancellations.

Renters insurance is an inexpensive insurance product that can protect both tenants and landlords. It is the tenant who purchases the policy, and it can cost as little as $12/month. The premium paid depends on various factors, including but not limited to, rental property location, type of property construction, deductibles, and coverage limits. It protects the tenant from damage to their personal property, liability from guest injury, and living expenses if their unit becomes uninhabitable. And for landlords, it protects them from liability and can reimburse them for certain tenant damage.

To get started with Renters Insurance Wizard, landlords take these simple steps:

  1. Create a free account.
  2. Invite tenants to enroll.
  3. Know when tenants purchase or cancel policies.

ClearNow is a very low-cost and easy solution for online rent payment where tenants pay rent online and landlords and property management companies collect rent online. Since 2000, ClearNow has focused efforts on developing tools and services to help landlords and tenants. Renters Insurance Wizard is the latest tool and is another win win for landlords and tenants.

How to Do Online Rent Payment

How to do online rent payment
Paying and collecting rent is really easy when it’s electronic.

Rent is an unavoidable expense that most of us have to pay. Landlords rely on it as their primary source of rental income. What if there was a way to make the rent payment and collection process easier and more convenient for tenants and landlords? How to do online rent payment is easier then you think. There are a lot of services for landlords and tenants to make rent collection and payment easier.

Online rent payment is a convenient and secure way to pay your rent. It is a way to pay rent without having to write a check and mailing it or going to the property management office to drop it off. So it saves time and money. Instead of paper, online rent payments are electronic in the form of a credit card or ACH transaction. With ACH transactions, there is a debit to the tenant’s bank account and a corresponding credit to the landlord’s bank account.

How to do online rent payment is pretty easy:

1) Find out if your landlord accepts online rent payments. There are a lot of online rent payment services for landlords.

2) If your landlord accepts online rent payments, ask your landlord how to get set up with the service he/she is using. Also, ask about associated costs, if any. For example, with ClearNow, tenants can enroll only after the landlord has set up a ClearNow account. ClearNow does not charge tenants to use its service.

Tips for a Long Distance Landlord

Long distance landlord
Tips for a long distance landlord can be as simple as online rent payment.

There are a variety of reasons why a landlord may not live near their rental property. Job relocation may force a physical move but you don’t want to sell your home. So instead of leaving the property empty, you’re willing to rent it out. Another reason could be inheritance. You may have inherited a property in another state and wish to rent instead of selling it. Regardless the reason, we’ll share a few simple tips for a long distance landlord to make landlording a success.

Organize a Local Team

As a long distance landlord, you are not physically present. To handle situations that arise, you need to rely on people who can be present and help you quickly, honestly, and successfully. Having an electrician, plumber, and handyperson that can address a situation quickly (and bill you later) will give you peace of mind. Adding to that local team could be a landscaper who will ensure your property looks good and is cared for. An alternative to organizing a local team would be hiring a property management company. It is important to interview a few to compare their services and fees.

Use Technology

Technology can make the lives of long distance landlords easier. Something as simple as communicating with tenants by text or email can be easy and effective. Online rent payment is another very simple yet powerful technology that makes the rent collection process easy. ClearNow is an online rent payment service that has been serving landlords and tenants since 2000. Rent is automatically deposited to your bank account making rent collection easy and efficient.

Find Great Tenants

Having a tenant you can trust, that will take care of your rental property, and pay rent on time is every landlord’s dream. Screening tenants become even more important for long distance landlords. Taking the time to review applications, interviewing tenants, and performing background checks become essential in an attempt to finding great tenants.

Simple tips for a long distance landlord include having a local team in place, using technology, and screening for great tenants. Today, landlords can be successful even when they do not live close to their rental property.