I use a 3rd party rent collection company for collecting rent, utilities, late charges, etc. This practice has solved a ton of problems for me. Edison Micro Utilities was the company I used but I had far too many problems with them. Let’s just describe their operation as “primitive” and leave it at that.
After a long search, I now use a company called ista North America and the difference is amazing. They are a worldwide company based in Germany so maybe that is the reason for the strange name:-). What I like about them is the ease with which residents can make their payments. They can get their payments in by:
Western Union or MoneyGram
Direct charge to a bank account over the telephone (24 hour automated system) or online.
Direct charge to a credit or debit card.
Some residents use a pre-paid VISA card
The cost is about $3.00 per resident and both I and each resident can check account status online. I plan to have the company add the monthly fee to the resident’s bills the next time I raise the rent.
Here is a success story I want to share with everyone:
One of my residents is a truck driver who was always late. I knew she would eventually pay but, while I liked the late fee, I prefer to get all my money at once. After swearing time and again she would never own or use a computer, I finally convinced her to buy a laptop and make her payments online. She is now on time with her rent and she doesn’t need to come home in order to find out the amount owed. She’s also doing a great job of telling other residents how easy it is to use a computer!
The collections minus the per resident charge are wired to my bank account on the 20th of each month.
They also send out late notices and track my water/sewer usage for each unit. This could potentially spot leaks or broken lines.
The only glitch I have experienced was when Hurricane Fay temporarily knocked out their North American processing center in Jacksonville, FL. God certainly seems to hate Florida and I simply do not understand what you Floridians see in that state!!!
Contact Sean Dicks at (800) 753-7872 or go to ista-na.com.
Wheat Hill Mobile Home Community