Payment system for smaller properties?


#1

Hello,

I own a park with only 50 lots in South Texas and my tenants currently pay cash. I was interested in setting up something like PayLease but they only take multifamily with over 100 units. Does anyone know any other vendors that would do the same thing for smaller properties? Most of my people would need to pay through a WalMart or something similar.


#2

What I am doing is have my tenants deposit their rent into a bank account I set up for that purpose. I have given them deposit slips with their lot number on it so I can go online an see who made the deposit (not all banks have that online feature, but some do.)

Not only does it not cost me or them anything, it saves most of them the cost of having to purchase a money order, which they had to do before.

I’ve just started doing this in one of my parks and it seems to be working pretty well so far.


#3

I will check with both my banks to see if this is an option. It wouldn’t be the best one for me because some of my tenants do not drive and the banks are a good distance… but it is an option. Thanks for response.


#4

They can mail their rent with the deposit slip to the bank. And you can email them every month with a PayPal form for them to pay by credit card if they hooked up to the internet in one way or another.

Someone, some time ago on this forum said they give their tenants 14 deposit slip with their lot number written on them to their tenants every year. Seems like a good idea so that is what I am doing.


#5

I believe Appfolio will do smaller numbers - they use the Paynearme network, which I believe is also soon integrating with Buildium. Rentec Direct will do it as well for less than 100 units. Then there is Cozy and Rentalutions but they are for the really small guy - 1 or 2 single family homes.


#6

Also I know that is BS about Paylease and 100 units because I am a Paylease customer with a signed contract for only 95 lots, 27 of which are not even active - and Paylease knows it. Try insisting harder. - maybe your rep was lazy. Tell them you’re growing fast and want to be with them now, etc. etc.


#7

In my small park, I just use a drop box outside my managers house. He collects checks/money orders and drives down to the bank and deposits into my account t there. Old school, but a lot cheaper than paying for the Rent Manager, etc system. I do Quickbooks remotely for accounting.


#8

tip: If having them deposit directly, have them make the last two digits, the cents, be their space number so you can quickly see who has paid. In other words, if the lot rent is $300, make space #52 pay $300.52.


#9

Thanks for letting me know that! I will try to get someone by phone on Monday. Their response to my inquiry was by email so it was easy to tell me no. I think this service would work really well for me and my customers and I do hope to purchase another park within a year or so.


#10

Great idea. I was wondering how to distinguish between deposits.


#11

This is not really an option for me since almost all my customers pay in cash. I am trying to avoid having a large of amount of cash on hand now that they are all due on the same day.


#12

Thanks! I will check into those options.


#13

Your customers do what YOU tell them my friend - not the other way around. If it comes to paying via money order or not having a place to live you’ll be amazed at how they can find their way to the liquor store to buy a money order. I stopped cash COLD the day I took over both my parks. Zero negotiation.


#14

You are right. I am converting over from a former “Winter Texan” campground format to a business model more like a mobile home park operation with year-round residents, so I am still working it all out. Money orders are a lot more plausible now than before so they are a good option and available at the gas stations close enough to walk to from here.


#15

Sweet! I would guess a lot more than you think have bank accounts and/or pre-paid debit cards - and almost all, even those who are 50+ and on disability social security - have smart phones. So they can use the payment apps and they love 'em. When you see how many hours per month you save from electronic payments you’ll never go back. The resident gets an app on their phone, sets it up only once.

After that boom - money shows up in your bank, your accounting payment entry is completely updated for you so your books are up to date. No meeting the resident, no manual data entry on your end (no mistakes), no losing the money order, no trips to the bank. You’ll feel so empowered you’ll realize you could run 1,000 units this way all by yourself. The residents love it 'cause they can look up their own balance and statement any time and they have no anxiety about what they owe. Software sends them auto reminders to pay. You can lock them out of the app if they are being evicted so they can’t pay partially and “reset” the court clock etc.

See this example picture below - that’s a tenant ledger from this month. It was all “auto populated” - ie i did zero data entry. The monthly municipal parking tax charge posted automatically, then the late fee posted automatically 'cause she was late - then when she logged in on her phone she saw her total balance due, she paid on her phone and the payment showed up in her ledger on my end with its unique I.D. - and the balance was always up to date with no effort on my part. Rentec Direct I can’t recommend enough for small landlords 'cause their service is off the charts good, and their prices are low.


#16

@jsmith - apologies I was not clear. Rentec Direct is a cloud-based property management program whose claim-to-fame is ease of use and customer service + low price. THEIR e-payment solution (which I screenshotted above) is completely integrated to their software and seamless on your end. They do not use Paylease so you can not use cash. ACH and credit card only (ACH free, CC 2.75% but you can split it with the tenant if you want). They will let you run a total of one unit if that’s all you want! No minimums.

I am a Paylease customer but have not used them yet 'cause I hate Rent Manager’s interface soooo much. RM is much more powerful than Rentec but I’m looking into Resman now - it integrates with Paylease also and is a lot cleaner interface than RM.


#17

I also just considered setting up a merchant account. I use Campground Master as my software and it loads directly into my Quickbooks so I can just add that function and take credit cards for those that use them or they can buy those preloaded cards from Walmarts or something if they don’t use bank accounts. I just figured the PayLease would be a nice setup once I get things going but I can wait on that if they won’t take a smaller park. I do plan to do other parks after this one so maybe later.