To manage a successful property or community, it is critical that all payments are made in a timely manner whether they are meant for rent, HOA dues, or property maintenance fees. Property managers, landlords, and HOA boards have quite the task set out before them to ensure that their tenants and unit owners make payments promptly.
Property managers wear many hats and collecting payments is one task that many would love to hand off to someone else as it can become a loathsome chore when payments are perpetually late or forgotten. Unfortunately, it is often the job of a property manager to collect payments and manage the financial affairs of the community.
Here are a few methods you may find useful to help encourage your unit owners or renters to make their payments on time.
Make Paying Easy
Gone are the days of using “snail mail” to physically mail a bank check for rent or HOA dues. Although many property managers do still allow this method, many have moved on to more efficient and easier ways to pay rent or fees associated with the property.
There are currently a number of secure online rental apps that many communities are using not only for security reasons but to encourage an easy and prompt way to pay rent. These apps provide notifications when payments are due and allow for digital payment, often in a few simple clicks.
Much of our world has become automated, so remembering a monthly payment should be easy, right?
Well, for those tenants that need a little nudge, property managers can utilize an automated email reminder in the days leading up to the rent due date. This will be an unobtrusive way of reminding that may help some get their payment in on time.
While rewarding renters or unit owners who consistently pay on time may not be financially possible, this is a method that many find beneficial. These rewards, discounts, or small prizes are positive reinforcement and should be a good method to get this prompt payment behavior to be habitual.
For those who are late with payments, the opposite side of the coin may also be a motivator. Let your tenants know that while there may be a grace period once or twice, after that there will be a late payment charge added to their bill. This may be just the encouragement some may need to get the next payment in on time.
Use Clear Communication
Some late payers may need to be retold the guidelines of when and how to pay. Keep good communication going between yourself and your community members. Reminders are great but you may need to touch base personally by phone, text, or in-person to set expectations and communicate your rules about payments.
While this step is always the last resort, some tenants fail to make payments at all or habitually make late payments causing the property manager financial stress on their end. In these cases, it is a wise idea to catalog all late payments and let the courts know the situation so that it can be handled in housing court.