Direct debit is becoming an increasingly popular form of rent collection for agencies because of the many benefits it offers not only to Property Managers, but also landlords and tenants. One of the challenges agencies often face, is how to sell the benefits of direct debit to their tenants and get the majority of their rent roll to pay using this format. Below are 6 proven tips and tricks that Ezidebit have found to work:
TIP 1: INCLUDE THE DIRECT DEBIT REQUEST WITH YOUR LEASE AGREEMENT
We have found that starting off on the right foot with your tenants is the best way to ensure they use your preferred payment method. Quite often, this means setting up direct debit for rent collection at the start of the lease, rather than mid-lease.
TIP 2: SELL THE BENEFITS
Quite often, agencies request their tenants to pay by direct debit without actually letting them know the benefits. These can include, convenience and payment security.
TIP 3: BULK ON-BOARD YOUR TENANTS TO DIRECT DEBIT
In some states, legislation allows you to change payment method mid-lease. This means you can take advantage of bulk on-boarding services that some direct debit providers offer. This is a proven method when it comes to tenant on-boarding and in some cases, we have seen over 40% of tenants invited take it up within the first month.
TIP 4: PICK THE RIGHT DAY
Picking the right day or time of year to send out the agreement when using bulk onboarding is just as important as selling the benefits. Our experience has found that Monday is a great day to reach out. People are more active on their emails and greater uptake can be obtained at this time of the week when compared to Friday for example. (Just remember to ensure that there are no national public holidays occurring when you send the request.)
TIP 5: OFFER THE SERVICE FOR FREE
Direct Debit not only offers benefits to your tenants and agency, but also to your owners. Consider looking at the costs of direct debit vs. the benefits and costs savings made elsewhere. You might find that you can sell this as a great service to your owners and pass on the transactional fee, or save enough money with the efficiencies gained to absorb the transactional fee. In a survey carried out by Console to 300 tenants, over 69% said they would switch to direct debit if it were free.
TIP 6: OFFER AN INCENTIVE
Special incentives are a great way to increase the uptake of tenants to direct debit. Get creative with these to entice your tenants, think discounts on carpet cleaning services, freebies etc. Use those industry contacts.
Ultimately, you need to team up with a direct debit service provider that will help you along the journey to getting all tenants paying by direct debit. Console Pay is powered by Ezidebit and offers a free tenant on-boarding service.