As a property manager, landlords entrust you with one of their most valuable assets—a property worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. In return, they expect their rent payments on time, every time.
But, if you’re like most property managers and rely on tenants paying their rent via manual methods like cheque, direct deposit, or BPAY, you’ve probably experienced rent arrears more times than you care to recall.
You’re not alone.
We recently surveyed more than 300 Australian landlords and found that one in three has fallen victim to rent arrears. It’s a stressful situation, particularly for those who rely on rental income to make monthly mortgage repayments, and it's not ideal for property managers either. After all, nobody likes chasing tenants, or explaining to landlords that their rent will be late again.
But it’s not all bad news. There’s a simple, low-cost and effective way to ensure tenants pay rent when it’s due—not days or even weeks after.
We’re talking about the direct debit.
Direct debit allows you to automatically collect rent from your tenants’ nominated bank accounts and credit cards at a pre-arranged schedule. That means your tenants won't need to remember to pay rent, so you can spend less time on arrears, and your landlords can know their mortgage will get paid. Everybody wins.
Traditionally, agencies have had to rely on tenants paying on time, and with the correct reference. But, as anyone in the PM business will know, timings and tenant references don't always quite work out.
Fortunately, with direct debit, that doesn't have to matter. With your tenants' approval, you can deduct rent directly from your tenants’ accounts. That means you—and your landlords—always get paid on time.
Managing cash, cheques, direct deposits, and other manual rent payments is a huge administrative burden. And let’s face it; your time would be better spent nurturing client relationships and building your rent roll, anyway.
Direct debit allows you to create set-and-forget payment schedules, so you can always know how much rent is coming and when. And, because there’s no need to worry about incorrect references, you can bulk receipt your rent payments with ease. No more hours of trying match payments between your bank account and your trust accounting system.
While direct debit has been popular for software and subscription services for some time now, it’s still a rarity in the world of real estate. During our 2017 survey, only 20% of the 300 Australian tenants we spoke to paid their rent via direct debit.
Crucially, however, 45% of tenants and more than 70% of landlords would happily choose direct debit for rent payments if given the option. So, if you’re looking for a way to differentiate your agency from the competition, it’s simple. Give the people what they want.
Console Pay - Console Cloud’s automated rent payment capability—can help you take control of rent collection. Here’s why more and more Australian property managers are choosing Console Pay as their preferred payment method.
Console Pay is powered by Ezidebit, Australia’s leading automated payments company, and integrates seamlessly with Console Cloud. When you sign up with Console Pay, your rent payments are collated and automatically imported, so you don’t have to download any files externally or worry about entering the correct reference numbers and amounts.
You can invite your tenants, in bulk, with a few clicks in Console Cloud and they will receive an invitation with a link to a simple online form to sign up.
Better still, funds are cleared into your account in just two business days, bringing an end to those awkward calls to landlords to explain why the rent you just disbursed has already been dishonoured. The time savings are enormous too, as rent receipting can be completed in as little as a few seconds.
Setting up and using Console Pay is quick and easy. But, if you have any problems, our specialist support team will be available to help at every step of the process.
Once you’ve signed up, collecting rent is just as simple. Tenants will receive a free SMS reminder to make sure they’ve got enough money in their accounts, and rent will only be transferred into your trust account once the funds have been cleared.
Console Pay is designed for agencies of all sizes. There’s no joining fee: just a charge of $1.50 per transaction for direct debit from a bank account or 1.5% for credit card. And you can choose to pass the cost onto your tenant if you prefer. Sounds pretty good, right?