Streamline Your Rental Business: Embrace an Online Rent Payment Service After Tax Season

Use an online rent payment service to streamline your rental business.

As a landlord, tax season often signals a period of paperwork, calculations, and sometimes, a sigh of relief once everything is filed. But what comes next? Now is the perfect time to streamline your rental business. One effective way to do so is by using an online rent payment service for rent collection. Here’s why:

Efficiency with an Online Rent Payment Service

Bid farewell to the days of collecting checks, making trips to the bank, and manually recording payments. With an online rent payment service like ClearNow, funds are deposited directly into your account, accelerating cash flow, and saving you time and effort. No more waiting for checks to clear or dealing with late payments due to postal delays. You can better manage your finances and allocate resources more effectively. Instead of spending valuable time chasing late payments or reconciling accounts, you can focus on other aspects of property management, such as maintenance and tenant relations.

Accuracy

Manual record-keeping can lead to errors, but online rent payment services provide accurate and detailed transaction histories at your fingertips. Say goodbye to misplaced receipts and confusion over payment statuses. Everything is organized and easily accessible online.

Tenants Benefit Too

In today’s digital age, tenants expect convenience. Having an online rent payment option meets this expectation. Whether they prefer using credit cards, bank transfers, or digital wallets, landlords can provide tenants with a method that works best for both parties, enhancing the overall renting experience.

Don’t let the momentum of tax season fade away without taking proactive steps to streamline your rental business. Embracing an online rent payment offers numerous benefits and can elevate your rental business to new heights of success!

ClearNow vs Zillow for Online Rent Payment

ClearNow guarantees rent payment in 3 banking days. Zillow does not.

Today, landlords have a lot of choice if they want to collect rent online. There are quite a number of different services. Fortunately and unfortunately, the services do not operate identically and have some small and large variances that landlords like and do not like. This blog post will identify some differences between ClearNow and Zillow for online rent payment.

Deposit Guarantee with ClearNow

With ClearNow, rent payment is always directly deposited three (3) banking days after the debit day.  Banking days are business days (Monday through Friday) not including federal bank holidays. For example, if your tenant is debited on the first of the month and that is a Tuesday, then if there are no federal bank holidays that week, you would receive a direct deposit to your bank account on the fourth of that month (which would be a Friday).

The reason the direct deposit occurs three banking days later is that ClearNow uses the ACH Payment network.  With the ACH payment network, the tenant’s bank has two banking days to notify us if the debit fails (for reasons such as insufficient funds or a closed bank account).  Once that window has passed, the funds have cleared, and the direct deposit occurs to your bank account.

On the other hand, Zillow for online rent payment indicates landlords receive funds in three to five business days depending on the method the tenant uses. Zillow does not specify the exact timing based on the payment method. Landlords may find it difficult to manage mortgage or other bill payments when rent receipt is not exact.

ClearNow understands their customers value precision.  Throughout our email correspondence and in your ClearNow account, an exact schedule of dates for when you’ll receive funds is always communicated.

Roommates Can Pay Separately with ClearNow

With roommate situations, landlords eliminate the “middle person” when they allow each roommate to pay their pre-determined portion of rent from their own bank account. The “middle person” is the roommate who makes the rent payment in full from their own bank account. They are also the roommate who has to make sure each roommate has paid them. When each roommate pays individually, they just need to make sure they have enough funds to make their payment successful every month. ClearNow enables roommates to enroll separately to pay rent directly to the landlord. Zillow for online rent payment does not. They only permit one tenant per property to pay rent online.

Boosting Business Using Owner Proceeds for Property Managers

ClearNow’s owner proceeds can help property managers boost business.

Property management is a multifaceted industry that requires a fine balance between ensuring the property owner’s satisfaction and attracting and retaining tenants. While various factors contribute to a property manager’s success, one often-overlooked element is the ability to quickly, easily, and consistently deliver rent to property owners. ClearNow, a longtime online rent payment service, plays a pivotal role in helping property managers attract and maintain their business because of their owner proceeds capability.

Understanding Owner Proceeds

Owner proceeds are the rental income that property owners receive after property managers deduct expenses. The most common expense is the property manager’s fee. Other expenses can include maintenance costs. Managing owner proceeds effectively is essential for property managers to build trust and maintain a healthy relationship with property owners. When owners receive their funds in a timely and organized manner, it enhances their confidence in the property manager’s capabilities.

ClearNow’s Owner Proceeds

Since 2000, ClearNow has been serving property managers and tenants with its online rent payment service. ClearNow automates the rent collection process. Property managers can use ClearNow to directly deposit amounts owed to property owners. Here’s how ClearNow helps property managers attract business:

  1. Online Rent Payment: ClearNow eliminates the need for manual rent collection, making the process more efficient. This results in timely rent payments and increased satisfaction for property owners.
  2. Reliable and Secure: ClearNow has been serving property managers and tenants since 2000. This reliability is crucial in gaining the trust of property owners, assuring them that their proceeds are in safe hands.
  3. Professionalism: By using ClearNow, property managers demonstrate professionalism and competence in managing owner proceeds. This professionalism can serve as a selling point when attracting new clients.
  4. Time-Saving: Property managers can save valuable time by automating the rent collection process. ClearNow’s owner proceeds enables property managers to directly deposit the amount due to owners at the same time property managers receive their fees. This enables them to focus on other essential aspects of property management, such as property maintenance and tenant relations.
  5. Tenant Retention: Tenants also benefit from ClearNow’s ease of rent payment online, which can contribute to better tenant retention rates. Satisfied tenants are more likely to renew their leases, reducing the vacancy rates that can affect property owner proceeds.

In the property management industry, attracting and retaining clients relies on several factors. Efficient management of owner proceeds is a key element. ClearNow simplifies the rent collection process, ensuring timely and secure disbursement of owner proceeds. This not only benefits property owners but also helps property managers build trust, demonstrate professionalism, and save time. In an industry where reputation is paramount, ClearNow can give property managers the edge they need to attract and retain business.

Start the New Year with ClearNow Online Rent Payment

Start the new year without checks. Pay and collect rent electronically!

A new year means a fresh start! Landlords and tenants can begin 2024 with ClearNow online rent payment to make their lives easier.

Online Rent Payment Benefits

The benefits of collecting and paying rent online for landlords and tenants are plentiful. To start, there are no checks to write or collect. And without checks, landlords don’t have to deal with deposits, which are another time consuming activity. Even with mobile deposit, you need to sign the back, take pictures, wait, etc..

And with more than 20 years in the business, ClearNow can list additional benefits:

  • Tenants of all ages love paying rent electronically. Some have expressed that they no longer receive checks when they open a bank account! Others love the convenience of remembering one thing . . . to have sufficient funds in the account. That’s it!
  • Better record keeping! Services like ClearNow allow you to see any historical payment activity in a report by time or address.
  • Faster access to funds – Rent is deposited three banking days after the debit day. And during this time, ClearNow will let you know if the debit fails and the reason. Most cases of failed debits are due to insufficient funds.

It is Easy to Get Started

ClearNow is a service that has helped landlords and tenants with online rent payment for more than twenty years. It is easy to enroll online. Visit www.ClearNow.com and get started on a positive change for the New Year!

Landlord Tips for Raising Rent

Raising rent is not a quick and easy decision for landlords.

As a landlord, one of the most challenging aspects of managing rental properties is determining when and how to raise the rent. It’s a decision that requires careful consideration, as you want to ensure a fair return on your investment while also maintaining good relationships with your tenants. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with some landlord tips for raising rent responsibly and effectively.

Can You Raise Rent?

Before you even think about raising the rent, it’s crucial to understand your state and local rental housing laws. These laws vary from place to place and may impose limits ranging from if you can raise the rent to how much and how often you can increase rent. Familiarize yourself with the specific regulations in your area to avoid any legal complications.

Should You Raise Rent?

As you consider a rent increase, evaluate your expenses related to the rental property. Consider factors such as property taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, recent renovations. Understanding your expenses will help you determine whether a rent increase is necessary to cover your costs and generate a reasonable profit.

Additionally, comparing your current rents to the fair market value can affect your decision to raise rent. This is especially true if your rents are below market. Look at comparable properties in your area to gauge the going rate for similar rentals. This information will give you a better idea of whether your current rent is below market value and if an increase is justified. A tool like the Rentometer rental price comparison tool can help you compare the market rent in your area.

How & When You Raise Rent

Landlords can generally raise rents when the existing lease ends. Local rental housing laws will dictate when and how to communicate increases in rent. Open and transparent communication with tenants is important. Once you’ve made the decision to raise the rent, be sure to notify your tenants well in advance of the effective date, typically 30 to 60 days in advance, depending on local regulations. Provide a written notice that clearly explains the reasons for the increase and how much the new rent will be. Encourage your tenants to ask questions and address any concerns they may have.

To soften the impact of a rent increase on tenants, consider raising the rent gradually over a period of time. For example, if rent is increasing $400 for the year, you could raise it $100 every quarter. This approach can make the rent increase more palatable and reduce the chance your tenant looks elsewhere to rent. If you use an online rent payment service, then you can easily adjust the amounts to debit your tenants. The goal is to find a mutually agreeable solution that allows you to cover your expenses while accommodating your tenants’ financial circumstances.

Conclusion

Raising rent as a landlord is a significant decision that should be approached thoughtfully and responsibly. Landlord tips for raising rent include understanding your local laws, evaluating your expenses, researching the market, and communicating openly with your tenants. These tips can help you navigate the process successfully. Remember that maintaining positive relationships with your tenants is essential for long-term success in the rental property business. By following these tips, you can strike a balance between protecting your investment and being a fair and considerate landlord.

Prepaid Debit Card for ACH Rent Payment

Prepaid debit cards are one type of card payment.

There are different kinds of payment cards. Probably the most popular one is a credit card. With credit cards, the card owner is given a short-term loan and expected to pay it in full when due. Debit cards link to a checking account. So when the card holder pays with a debit card, funds are immediately withdrawn from the linked checking account. Unlike debit cards, prepaid debit cards do not link to a bank account. Instead, the card holder deposits money into a stand alone prepaid card account. When the card holder uses the prepaid debit card for ACH rent payment or other purchases, the card company deducts funds the owner’s account.

For tenants who pay rent through an online rent payment service, they may be able to pay by credit card, debit card, or prepaid debit card. Not all online rent payment services accept all types of card payment. For example, ClearNow does not accept credit cards or debit cards, but it can debit some prepaid debit cards. Tenants who want to use a prepaid debit card for ACH rent payment should first check with their card company to ensure their account can accept an ACH debit.

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.

ProsCons
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.

ProsCons
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:

Pros

  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.

Cons

  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.

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.