Seven Tips for Motivating Residents to Pay Electronically
Paying rent, utilities, and other residential charges electronically saves property management companies money and increases residents’ convenience and satisfaction. But just accepting electronic payments is not enough. The ultimate goal should be to eliminate on-site staff payment processes while continuing to drive awareness and encourage residents to take advantage of this convenience.
The first step is to provide a broad range of payment options—check conversion, debit and credit card, recurring payments, etc.—both online and on site. Choose an electronic payment partner who can give you the total solution.
Next, based on your company culture, create and execute marketing plans to increase resident awareness and electronic payment penetration. Establish a goal (60% electronic online payments in 12 months, for example) and work toward it.
Consider these ideas:
- Sponsor a contest among site staff to see who can sign up the most residents within a given timeframe. Think of what incentive would work best for your team.
- Enter residents who sign up for electronic payments into a drawing for a gift card or other incentive. Make it fun, interesting and, most of all, easy.
- Include signing up for electronic payments as a regular part of your move-in process. Make it easy for residents to sign onto your resident portal and get started immediately.
- When residents come in to renew their leases, use that opportunity to encourage them to sign up for electronic payment options. Enable them to set up recurring payments for added convenience.
- Create posters and portal “ad” messages motivating residents to pay online: pay your rent from the convenience of your living room; don’t miss a rent payment while you’re traveling, etc.
- Distribute flyers regularly to ensure that residents are aware of how to make payments online.
- Probably most importantly, embrace electronic payments as part of your corporate culture. Adoption starts at the corporate level and spreads down to the site level.
Marketing electronic payments to your residents is an ongoing process. But the added convenience and greater customer satisfaction make the effort well worth it.