No more checks, money orders or cash (Buildium and PayNearMe)


#1

@mobilehomepark put my thinking hat on a little over a year with this post of his: Rent manager and paylease testimony

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.


#2

That’s awesome, Jack. I’m glad you made this thread, we will definitely have to look more into this for our operations.


#3

Thank you for sharing! I use Buildium and have been considering doing this as well. Cutting my manager out of the rent collection process would be a win win for everyone. The manager would still be available too to help people with any technical issues they face.

Roughly what portion of your residents pay online vs with PayNearMe?

How did the first month go after the switch? My biggest concern is with older residents who aren’t tech savvy and are resistant to new things.


#4

Id honestly have to check , im guessing might be 35 EFT rest retail cash. It might be closer to 50/50 . If its of importance, just let me know and ill pull a report have to run and get ready for my first father daughter dance! Ill be glad to do it , i just see the summary for online payers and you have to pull the report for retail cash. I think there is a slight variance by property as well.

Thank you guys for responding on here .


#5

Nice thread. I use Rent Manager, but agree with everything that you said. If you’re a big player, perhaps RM’s level of customization would be useful but I find it to be overly complex for the number of lots that I have. I would switch to Buildium if their PayNearMe network had a retailer close to my park where tenants could pay in cash. Rent Manager uses PayLease (which in turn relies on CheckFreePay) and has WalMart as an eligible payment location.


#6

Ok went back through and checked here is the people who are paying using Pay Near Me

One property pays 56% retail cash
One 29%
One 36%


#7

Did Pay Lease not get the message that Frank has been saying to buy parks by walmarts all these years, we are all buying parks at war marts and now they cant pay there? Just kidding. But same here, we are all by wal marts and the option of vendors , everyone has at least 2 or 3 within 5 or 10 min of their home.

We have some elderly residents and they were also able to get it. On our implementation we sent these pay slips out monthly. Then finally we said ok this is the last one. We got a call from CVS someone had a torn off bar code and colder read it, we tried to see if we could email or fax them a copy but he was able to find a replacement one we had sent him . Its really easy to pull up on your phone but again , if you have dealt with people who might not have an email … doesnt do you any good. Maybe we could laminate a copy and provide with initial lease setup but at this point i do not see this is required.

Butt @Matt223 brings up a good point. I would check your nearest location for CVS, Ace Cash Express , 7 11 , Caseys General Stores . Some areas may not be accommodating. I would say rural but i know sometimes in IL or MO you will get the caseys general stores. And it might be worth checking with their platform to see if they have intentions to roll out with other vendors at some point or not.

That being said, they have some app on a phone that you can do stuff as well but that isn’t helpful when you are dealing with a non tech savvy. We mail an invoice every month that has the water charges ( variable) so they would bring this with a payslip for the exact amount.

Ah yes, one other thing that came out. We had another tenant who uses no water and gets minimum water charge each month and same lot rent. We did a rent raise and he kept paying his old amount and we had to tell him that there was a rent increase ( he did miss our notification ) . But not a real issue.

There is downside of funds being held for what seems like a long time. it might be 5 days might be 7 . So just double check this. When we weighed on our system i would still take this every day including sunday for the simplicity of the whole process.

I think it will also be worth noting at some point there is probably the risk of certain types of frauds that might occur as with payment methods change but no issues at this point.

My biggest concern was the older residents . I walked to CVS on the first go around with a payslip to just make sure they know ( it has instructions for a cashier to do what they do even if they dont know…) I was thinking to try and walk them through it. Then before i could even tell, we had one of our senior residents who i was most worried about had ALREADY paid this method!!

He actually mailed us a letter asking that we dont change the way he has to pay rent when we said we may mandate it but currently was optional. So that was my testimonial. Im sure you will get then hangup but between about 90 households it worked out.


#8

Here is what you get on page 1 And then page 2 will provide all the locations. The other potential benefit, you take this payslip to a family member or someone else who can help you and boom they can pay on your behalf. (the greens have blanked out info specific to tenant and property. BUT if you want someones pay slip to pay their rent, i will email you one , just let me know :slight_smile: