I was very intrigued and i had made an operational change and took someone out of the workflow. So there i was we previously had rents mailed to a PO box. I thought we were genius. We still had the rent is in the mail , missing mail for two weeks and legit lost mail, it began to get frustrating when i was the one at the forefront.
Initially i started with a check scanner doing them myself. Wow , cut out the bank trips and mobile deposits. We probably had about 30 % EFT which we always push ( no fee to the tenant) i think its 50 cents for us. I didn’t want to cut off the people who might not have a bank account. Buildium had been talking about it forever but then voila! PayNearMe . I think its probably like the PayLease thing. Tenants get a payslip they can pay at CVS, 7 11, ACE cash express, Caseys general store.
We rolled it out as an option for month one and two to see if works then told everyone we would stop accepting mailed in payments. I was worried about a few of our non tech savvy people or people who did not want to pay the 4.99 fee. Almost without any issues we have gotten almost everyone switched over.
Buildium also has a feature where you can login as the tenant, so you can input their account info and make the EFT monthly on their behalf through their account. Im not sure if its intended to be used this way, you could set it up as recurring fixed rent payment but the variable water amount prevents this from happening. So the tenants said we can make their payment each month ( and we just pull it from their check ) . We may need to supplement this with an addendum just to cover ourselves so monthly, the VA will process the handful of people this way.
We had someone who sent us a handful of postdated checks while they go out of town for winter ( to a warmer place , smart!) so with him being out of country, i think this processing method will work for them. Im sure we can make them figure it out and have someone do it on their behalf but we do try to help people especially when its a matter of us getting paid.
Overall i am grateful for this system. No more mail , it auto posts to ledgers (cutting out two steps!) . We are still double checking allocations, like if someone over pays . Im still not sure if we risk underpayment then have to evict but those accounts can be disabled. For the short term we have been using it, im sold.
We had our first hiccup which was a tenant said they paid and then we didn’t see it. Lo and behold, it was on the previous tenants ledger ( this was our fault for not providing the correct one) but were able to adjust postings on buildium to get it squared away ( and get the tenant the new ledger).
Im not a cheerleader for Buildium. I really like it , there are some limitations say if you inherited an owners financed note for tracking for tracking P and I. I like for me its easy and they are always rolling out features and innovations. Maybe this year I will start trying to push e leases if i can , have to research that feature more.
Im going to stick with it going forward ( switching is a PITA ) but have looked at Appfolio and Rent Manager. I really like Appfolio, it reminds a lot of Buildium but there is not a pain or pleasure hurdle that is high or low enough to do transactional cost ( PITA of switching ) but overall i dont know if i would regardless.
Every time i look at RM , it seems very user unfriendly, like i have to understand what im doing . Almost like im not smart enough to use it but i think its for that reason more robust and add ons and such for those that are more advanced. I am around 90 units in there.
One other side benefit i kind of sort of do ( probably not supposed to but have it all separated out from business). I have a personal account setup in there for two separate things . I can send my VA a scan of my water bill ( water dept doesnt do online billing) and then she can generate a check. I can also track a personal account with my own chart of accounts ( where i create an account, for vacation, or personal tax escrow etc). So on a personal account, while i see an amount in the bank , i can pull a GL report on it and see what that balance is compromised of) Kind of stupid maybe but i have liked this little feature which you can pretty much do with any accounting software but i dont want to go to 10 places.
I just wanted to share this because I wasn’t sure if it would work but thankfully someone talked about it and i ran with it. I am very happy and it is very possible and we have not received any type of complaint as far as I am aware with the options we have provided. I cant say we won’t modify or fine tune the system as we see how it goes over the next year and or add additional properties but at this point , looks to be the course forward.