ClearNow vs Zelle for Rent Payment

ClearNow vs. Zelle for rent payment
ClearNow and Zelle are online rent payment choices for landlords to consider.

Landlords have a lot of choices today when it comes to collecting rent online. Choices include focused online rent payment services to basic money transfer apps to full service property management software. They are not all created equal, so landlords should consider things like fees and initiating party before committing to a payment method. In this blog post, we will compare ClearNow vs Zelle for rent payment.

ClearNow for Online Rent Payment

ClearNow is a focused online rent payment service where payments are initiated by the landlord. Serving landlords and tenants since 2000, ClearNow directly deposits funds three banking days after the tenant’s debit day. For a monthly debit, ClearNow starts at $14.95/month. This fee includes the debit of one tenant. Additional tenants are $2/month.

Unique among all online rent payment services, ClearNow has an owner proceeds feature where property management companies can directly deposit tenant funds to the property owner’s bank account for just an additional $2/tenant.

Beyond online rent payment, ClearNow provides landlords with various reports including a Schedule E Helper report for tax time. With ClearNow, landlords can record income and expenses, screen tenants, and esign leases. In 2011, ClearNow was the first online rent payment service to allow tenants to report payments to Experian. So tenants can build a credit history with their ClearNow rent payments. Unlike other services, ClearNow provides telephone and email support, so you can talk with a person if you wish.

Zelle for Online Rent Payment

Zelle is a money transfer app that enables tenants to transfer rent payment directly to the landlord’s bank account. It requires both landlord and tenant to have a bank account that is part of the Zelle network. Generally speaking, money transfers occur within minutes, and generally Zelle does not charge sender or receiver (some Zelle banks do charge small businesses).

While fast and free, some landlords may not prefer Zelle as a method of rent payment. Tenants initiate the payment and may not pay rent in full thus making it difficult to recoup the full amount due or even evict if necessary. Some states prevent eviction if partial payments are made.

Additionally, depending on your bank, Zelle may limit transfers to $1,000/day or $5,000/mo.

Summary of ClearNow vs Zelle for Rent Payment

ServicePros and Cons
ClearNow+ Focused online rent payment service
+ In business since 2000 with an “A+” BBB rating
+ $14.95/mo for one tenant. $2/mo each additional tenant. Rent payments received in 3 business days.
+ Email and phone customer support
+ Tenants can build credit history for paying rent
+Automatic income & expense tracking for landlords
+ Enroll at www.ClearNow.com
Zelle+ General money transfer service
+ Same day transfer times
+ Tenant and landlord have to have bank accounts on the Zelle network.
+ Tenants initiate rent payment and can make partial payments.
+ Pricing is free for users with Zelle accounts. Zelle may limit total amounts that can be transferred.
+ Enroll through a bank that is part of the Zelle network.

Tenants Benefit from Online Rent Payment

Tenant Benefit
With online rent payment, tenants pay rent on time and can build credit history.

There is a lot of discussion about how online rent payment benefits landlords. In fact, online rent payments are a win win for both landlords and tenants. We all lead busy lives, including tenants. Anything that helps simplify and save time are welcomed. Similar to landlords, tenants benefit from online rent payment.

Never Forget to Pay Rent

The convenience of online rent payment is difficult to dispute. As long as tenants have funds in their bank account, rent will always be paid, and it will be paid on time. Most online rent payment services, like ClearNow, are automatic. This means once a tenant is enrolled, their payment is made on their designated debit day every month. Tenants do not need to schedule anything online. They just need to have sufficient funds in their bank accounts. Life is easy and simple when chores, like paying rent, are on autopilot.

Build Credit History

In the early 2000s, the largest US credit bureaus started adding rent payment information to an individual’s credit history. Initially, they offered credit reporting only to tenants who rented from the largest apartment companies. So there was still a large number of tenants missing out on this opportunity to build credit history because they were renting from smaller landlords. In 2012, Experian made a revolutionary step by allowing tenants using ClearNow’s online rent payment service to report their rent payments. For many tenants, rent is their largest expense. So when paying rent on time, tenants benefit from online rent payment. ClearNow along with other services enable tenants to build a credit history with online rent payment.

Build Credit History with Online Rent Payment

Build Credit History
You can build credit history with online rent payment.

Your credit history has never been more important. In today’s world, a good credit score can lead to lower cost loans, which can be a car loan, credit card interest rate, or home loan. Additionally, many employers are now checking credit scores as part of background checks on potential employees. While most people know that a good credit history is important, less well known is that you can build credit history with online rent payment.

Start Now with ClearNow

In the early 2000s, the big 3 US credit bureaus started adding rent payment information to an individual’s credit history. Initially, they offered this only to tenants who rented from the largest apartment companies. So there were still a large number of tenants missing out on this opportunity to build credit history because they were renting from smaller landlords.

In 2012, Experian made a revolutionary step by allowing tenants using ClearNow’s online rent payment service to report their rent payments. In the years that followed, Experian has allowed other online rent payment services to report rent payments.

How Can I Get Rent Payment on My Credit History?

There are a number of services that help tenants build credit history with online rent payment information. Unfortunately, some of them can be a little expensive. RentReporters charges a $94.95 sign-up fee and then $9.95/mo. Rental Kharma similarly charges a $50 setup fee and then $8.95/mo per tenant.

If you can get your landlord to use ClearNow’s online rent payment service (sign up at www.ClearNow.com), there is no fee for you as a tenant to have your payments reported to Experian. Your landlord will be charged $14.95/mo for the first tenant and just $2/mo for each additional tenant.

Online Rent Payment For Commercial Property

Finding an Online Rent Payment Service for Commercial Property Can Be Tricky
Finding an Online Rent Payment Service for Commercial Property Can Be Tricky

Unfortunately for landlords, many online rent payment services do not allow the owners of commercial property to use their service. Often, landlords discover this only in the fine print. Fortunately however, services like ClearNow (www.ClearNow.com) permit their customers to process rents automatically for a commercial property.

Many Online Rent Payment Services Only Support Residential Property

The number of residential properties outnumber the number of commercial properties. For this reason, most online rent payment services focus only on residential customers. For example:

Find an Online Rent Payment Service for Commercial Properties

Do not despair! As a matter of fact, there are online rent payment services for landlords with commercial properties. One of them, ClearNow, allows commercial rents as long as they are lower than $10,000/mo. While ClearNow requires a business owner to sign up in their own personal name, they can submit bank account information for their business. Online rent payment is a win win for landlords and their commercial tenants.

How to Collect Rent on Time

Collect Rent on Time
Landlords need to make paying the rent easy in order to collect rent on time.

Landlords rely on tenants for income. So for landlords to collect rent on time, they need to make paying the rent easy. Here are a few simple things landlords can do to ensure they get paid . . . on time:

Provide Convenient Payment Options

Traditionally, rent is paid on the first of every month. Not all tenants get paid around that time, which makes it harder to pay rent on time. Landlords willing to accept rent payment on a different schedule can increase the odds to collect rent on time. For example, if a tenant gets paid every two weeks, then collecting rent aligned with the tenant’s paydays creates a win win for everyone. Another convenient payment option is online rent payment. Here, tenants do not need to remember to write and mail a check, which takes time and advanced planning. Instead, rent is automatically withdrawn on the agreed upon payment day. Landlords benefit by having the funds directly deposited and eliminating a trip to the bank. An online rent payment service like ClearNow provides a choice of debit days that satisfy the needs for both landlord and tenant.

Provide Incentives

Anything to reward on time payment increases the chances to collect rent on time. Reducing the rent by a certain amount if the tenant pays earlier than the due date can be an incentive. Additionally, landlords who use certain online rent payment services like ClearNow and RentPayment can help tenants build a credit history by furnishing on time payments to the credit bureaus.

How Property Managers Can Attract Rental Property Owners

Managers Attract Owners
Property management companies need to attract rental property owners to grow.

Property management companies must attract and retain rental property owners. Without owners as customers, there is no property management business. How property managers can attract rental property owners does not have to be difficult. Here are some simple and easy to implement tips:

Provide Value

Property managers who stand out from the competition attract attention. If you provide value and make the lives of rental property owners easier, you can win business. For instance, property managers using ClearNow’s owner proceeds is a strong selling point. This feature enables property managers to directly deposit rent to the owner’s bank account at the same time managers receive rent from tenants. This online rent payment delivers funds faster. Rental property owners want to receive funds as quickly as possible. Finally, property managers can also attract rental property owners by helping them find other investment property. Property managers who do the research and provide owners with a list of investment leads save owners time and create value.

Seek Customer Referrals

One of the easiest and most effective marketing strategies is to ask existing customers for referrals. There is a good chance rental property owners know other owners. If you provide value, your customers will tell owners how effective you are with managing their rental property. Additionally, property managers can also find customer leads in local real estate clubs. Members of these types of organizations include rental property owners, which is the property manager’s target audience! While some club members self-manage, others are probably looking to hand off the task of management.

In conclusion, providing value and seeking customer referrals are just a few tips on how property managers can build business and grow revenue.

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.

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.

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!