New Features to Help You Collect Rent Online
by Ryan Coon
At Rentalutions, we have one goal: helping landlords save time managing their rental properties. One way we achieve this goal is by making it easy for landlords to collect rent online.
Collecting rent online saves you time, keeps everything organized, and is really easy to set up. On the other side of the transaction are your tenants, and they want to pay rent online. In fact, the ability to pay rent online is one of the most requested tenant amenities.
In our quest to provide you with the best landlord software possible, we continue improving our platform. In recent months, we overhauled how landlords create online rental listings, request online rental applications, and create online lease agreements.
This week, we released an entirely new online rent collection interface. The enhancements to this part of our product give you more flexibility, freedom, and control of your rent payments. For example, you can now easily extend month-to-month leases, add automatic late fees, change your notification settings, and edit multiple payments at once.
We’ve spent months building and testing this new rent collection interface, and we are confident you’ll love all of the updates.
Flexible Online Rent Collection
Since launching Rentalutions in 2013, we have learned that every landlord collects rent payments differently. Rent is not always due on the 1st day of each month; sometimes it’s the 15th, 20th, and so on. Landlords charge security deposits, move-in fees, move-out fees, pet deposits, pet rent, parking fees, and more.
With our updated online rent collection interface, you now have the flexibility to set up payments exactly how you want.
When you add a monthly pet fee or parking fee, this amount will automatically be combined with the rent payment. Your tenants can log into their accounts, view payment details, and easily schedule ACH or credit card payments directly within their Rentalutions accounts.
After creating a series of rent charges for your property, you can preview the charges before sending them to your tenants.
Automatic Late Fees
One of the most effective ways of ensuring rent is paid on time is by clearly outlining late fee penalties in your lease, and following through with enforcement. To make this really easy, we now allow you to configure Rentalutions so that our system automatically adds late fees if rent is not paid by the date you specify. To configure automatic late fees, you simply input the amount of the late fee and the number of days past-due a payment must be before a late fee is assessed.
Don’t worry, if you’re feeling lenient, you can always delete these charges after they have been created.
Landlords will frequently rent out single family homes, condos and apartments for an undefined period of time, in which the tenant’s move-out date isn’t set upfront. These leases are commonly known as month-to-month, and our system easily handles these situations.
What about a lease that automatically continues monthly at the end of a traditional twelve-month lease period? You can easily set this up. We’ve got you covered.
What if the rent amount increases during the month-to-month period? You can easily change the monthly rent to be charged during the month-to-month period. We’ve got you covered.
What about [insert question about your situation]? You guessed it, we’ve got you covered. Our product experts have thought through dozens of different scenarios and have designed our new online rent collection interface for maximum flexibility.
Customize Your Notification Preferences
It’s now even easier to tell us which emails you want and which emails you don’t want to receive. You can even choose to be cc’d on emails that are automatically sent to your tenants. Specifically, you can now decide which payment notification emails you’d like to receive:
- Get notified when your tenants make a payment
- Get notified when payments deposit to your bank
- Get notified if a payment transaction changes, e.g. for insufficient funds
You can also determine when your tenants are notified of payments:
- Specify if and when we remind your tenants that a payment is due
- Automatically send a reminder the day of and the day before a payment is due
- Specify if and when we remind your tenants that a payment is late
Set up Online Rent Payments Immediately After Signing Your Lease
Are you one of the thousands of landlords who love our state-specific lease templates? If so, you probably want an easy way to set up online rent payments immediately after signing your lease electronically.
With this latest update, you can set up the charges in mere seconds. All of the information from your lease, including rent, deposits, and fees is automatically transferred into the rent collection part of the product. You simply need to review and confirm that we’ve got it right.
Set up Online Rent Payments with an External Lease
Don’t want to use our attorney-reviewed, state-specific online lease agreements? Not a problem. You can still use Rentalutions to collect rent online. In fact, we even allow you to upload a copy of your lease agreement that was signed outside of our system. By uploading an external lease, you and your tenants will easily be able to access the lease 24/7 because it is securely stored in the cloud.
Edit Multiple Charges at Once
Our product team loves taking advantage of the latest breakthroughs in software development. We used these latest advancements to allow you to edit the characteristics of multiple charges at once. With just a couple of clicks, you can select the charges you want to edit and change the due date, amount due, mark charges as paid, and even delete charges.
No mystery, just magic.
Record Outside Payments
From time-to-time, landlords want to use technology, but tenants are slower to adopt the latest and greatest (Rentalutions!). We still want to help you stay organized and keep track of payments, so we allow you to quickly mark charges as paid outside of Rentalutions for bookkeeping purposes.
If a payment was for only a portion of the full rent amount, then you’ll want to record cash/check payments from the interface. This ensures that your Rentalutions account always has the most up-to-date information.
Better Bank Account Management
For a variety of practical and legal reasons, many landlords connect multiple bank accounts to their Rentalutions accounts. With this latest update, we’re giving you even greater flexibility and control over how you manage these bank accounts.
Assign your Bank Accounts to Buildings
Many landlords choose to have a separate bank account for each property in their portfolios. It’s now really easy to select which bank account is assigned to each building, which ultimately determines which bank account receives the rent payments for the property.
Give your bank a nickname, e.g. “Security Deposits Savings Account”
Based on very specific feedback from landlords, we now give you the ability to give each bank account a nickname. Rather than seeing “Bank Account XXXXXX-48”, we now let you give it any name you want. Landlords have already started adding nicknames like, “Security Deposit Savings Account for 345 LaSalle Condo”.
Online Rent Payment Transparency
We believe that you should know exactly what is going on with your property, your tenants, and your rent payments. Our new Payments Overview page is designed to show you clearly what payments are fully-paid, partially-paid, and unpaid. There should be no confusion about who has made payments and what portion of the rent remains outstanding.
In the above screenshot, the circle graphic shows you that the April 1st rent payment is roughly 80% paid so far. If payments are processing, the circle will be yellow.
To keep track of what’s going on with your rental properties, we allow you to easily see if tenants have created Rentalutions accounts and if they’ve added payment sources (such as a bank account). All of this is to ensure we are being as open and transparent as possible.
Online Rent Payment Processing Times
One of the many benefits of collecting rent online is that it is faster than waiting for a paper check in the mail, depositing the check in your local bank, and waiting for the check to clear. Unfortunately, though, online rent payments are processed through the outdated Federal Reserve ACH payment system which means they are not instantaneous.
Rent payments collected through Rentalutions are deposited into your bank account within 2–3 business days of the tenants’ payments. We continue working with our banking partners to reduce these processing times. We’ll be sure to update you with major developments on processing times.
As mentioned in the intro paragraph above, we continue working hard every day to improve your experience with our platform. We’ve rolled out improvements to our online rental listings, online rental applications, and online lease agreements in recent months. Along with this update to the online rent collection interface, we have completed an entire overhaul of the landlord interface. This project started in November when we updated the landlord interface.
Going forward, our team is continuing to improve the experience for the 20,000+ landlords who use our platform. We are also beginning a major update to the tenant portal. Stay tuned for more exciting updates. We’ve got a lot planned :)
We love building beautiful software that helps you save time managing your rental properties. We couldn’t do this, though, without feedback from landlords like you. The feedback that we receive helps us prioritize different to-do’s and helps ensure we are building exactly what fits your needs. If you’d like to share feedback and suggestions, or if you have any questions, please contact us.
If you’re not already using Rentalutions to manage your rental properties, sign up here!