How to Streamline Apartment Collections with Convergent Billing
Apartment renters are used to paying several monthly bills in addition to their rent, including electricity, natural gas, water, trash pick-up, and other fees.
If you’re billing your residents separately for these items, you could be leaving money on the table. You can streamline and improve your collections by implementing convergent billing. Convergent bills combine rent and these other charges into one monthly bill—and results in added convenience for residents as well as your on-site staff.
Convergent Billing Increases Collection Rates
The industry average collection rate for utilities is about 85 percent. Using a convergent bill, with all resident charges combined in one, can boost those collection rates to 97-99 percent of the billed charges. Faster collections mean fewer delinquencies. Having all charges in one bill can increase collections and speed receivables.
For the property owners/managers, convergent billing means property managers no longer have to track rent and utility payments separately. A convergent billing system integrated with property management software also enables automatic posting of final utility charges on the final account statement at move out rather than manually posting these charges after the fact. Being able to provide accurate billing while the resident is still on site improves the collection rate and reduces the amount of deposits refunded.
Additionally, one bill means one check. Residents tend to write one check for all charges, reducing the number of checks that must be processed by the site staff—another time and cost savings.
Electronic Billing and Payments Further Reduces Costs
Switching from paper to electronic billing and payments processing has an impact on the environment as well. And going electronic further reduces costs in the billing and payment processes. Property owners who provide electronic convergent billing and electronic payment options eliminate paper, envelopes, printing, postage and transportation (going to the bank) costs from the process. The time site staff spent on printing and distributing statements, collecting and processing payments, and making bank deposits can now be spent on other important activities at the site.
Additionally, residents love the convenience of being able to access and pay their bills online at any time and from anywhere without having to make a trip to the office. Some convergent bills also provide a customized message area to enhance communication with residents. Owners/managers can use the message space on the bill to send notices to residents based on lease expiration, global reminder messages, or messages aimed at specific residents.
If you haven’t considered convergent billing, consider contacting a resident utility billing provider.
After all…keeping residents satisfied and reducing the time on-site staff spends on billing and collecting payments will result in bottom-line improvements. It’s money in the bank and a much shorter drive to get it there.
Are you using convergent billing? What results have you experienced?