When collecting rent from your California rental home, you have several options. Some are better than others, but it's important to weigh all factors before deciding which one is best for you.
To make your decision easier, we at Pinnacle Property Management have gathered all the relevant information regarding different rent collection methods. But, before you start, you may want to consider the below:
How many tenants/rental units do you have?
The number of tenants in your properties will play a big part in what type of collection method you choose. The more units and tenants you have, the more efficient using an online solution becomes.
How far you are from the rental property?
If where you live is far away from your rental property, you might want to consider allowing tenants to make payments online. This will make it easier for your tenants and you will avoid making long trips.
How much interaction do you want with your tenants?
Your personal desire to communicate with your tenants plays a key role in determining the best method to collect rent. If you want to communicate often with your tenant, a more personal solution might be for you. Otherwise, an online solution or property management company would be best.
How comfortable you are with technology?
If you have a smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can use any of the methods we describe. But, if you’re not a technical person and would instead like to collect checks or cash from your tenants, then you should consider doing so.
Consider Your Rent Collection Methods
As the landlord, there are several strategies you can employ to ensure that your tenants pay rent on time and without fail every month.
Here are five tried and tested methods of collecting rent from your tenants.
An excellent method to improve your cash flow. Many online solutions offer an automatic payment plan so tenants can pay you without ever having to hand over money physically.
Asking your tenants to pay their rent via PayPal or Venmo is another seamless and straightforward option, but it's not always convenient for everyone.
Alternatively, you can offer them the option to pay rent through rent management sites such as ERentPayement, RentMatic, or RentMerchant. Your tenants will appreciate being able to enter information once and forget about it until it’s time to sign another lease.
Collect By Mail
Mail can be an effective way to collect rent if you have reliable tenants. Typically, this method involves using a money order or cashier's check that is mailed back to you with a signed receipt.
Start by printing your pre-made, pre-addressed envelope from home. Mail it with a first-class stamp on it, along with a reminder to pay in full by that week’s end.
There are some big perks of rent collection by mail for example no office visits are required, and fewer phone calls between yourself and your resident. But some renters like to pay cash, so it's not ideal for everyone.
Additionally, if you use checks for rent payments, you also run into problems if a check does not clear. You essentially trust your tenants to send you money each month through the mail, meaning you have no immediate way to verify and report on your payments.
Use A Drop-Off Location
Some landlords choose to have tenants pay their rent through a drop-off location, such as an office address with a specific opening time. Establishing a drop-off location is ideal for collecting rent if you don't want to collect rent via mail or online.
It’s better to set up a business location for rent drop-offs near your property as it offers tenants a safe, convenient place to drop their money on time.
Collect Your Rent in Person
If you have a good rapport with your tenants, you may choose to collect rent in person. Collecting rent personally can be an excellent tool for forging stronger landlord-tenant relationships. Also, some people are uncomfortable with sending money electronically, so if you can meet tenants face to face, you'll create an added sense of security.
Use A Property Management Company
The best way to manage all aspects of your property, including rent collection, is to hire a professional property management company. Property managers specialize in collecting rent from tenants, ensuring that properties are well maintained, screening prospective tenants, fixing minor problems before they become large ones, and much more.
Collecting rent from your California rental doesn’t need to be a stressful task. Whether you use an online portal, collect it in person, or use a property management company. Once you have evaluated the method that suits your own personal circumstances and implemented it with your tenant, you will be in a much better position to ensure a healthy cash flow from your property.
But if you have any questions or would like to hire our services to manage your property, don’t hesitate to contact us at Pinnacle Property Management.