A Landlord’s Guide to the Top Online Rent Collection Tools
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January 1, 2024

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As a landlord of residential rental properties, one of the most important considerations is your rent collection process.

Online rent collection tools streamline the payment process and prevent delays or missed payments.

Some landlords believe collecting rent checks or even cash is a simpler way to manage payments, but these methods leave a lot of room for error.

Let’s discuss the benefits of online rent collection tools, key features, and the top tools available for landlords today.

What are the benefits of online rent collection tools?

Online rent collection tools offer landlords numerous benefits.

Accuracy

Online platforms maintain a digital record of all transactions, providing landlords with a straightforward and easily accessible history of payments. 

This helps landlords avoid discrepancies and disputes, as both parties can refer to a centralized and reliable source of payment information.

Time savings

Online rent collection tools reduce the time and effort required for traditional rent collection methods because landlords do not need to manually collect checks, visit banks, or handle paperwork.

Landlords can focus more on property management and tenant relations, while tenants can enjoy the convenience of quick and efficient payment processes.

On-time payments

Online rent collection tools often include automated reminders and notifications for tenants, reducing the likelihood of late payments and providing a more stable and predictable cash flow. 

Landlords also can set up automatic alerts for approaching due dates, eliminating the need for manual follow-ups.

Security features

Security is a top priority in online transactions, and reputable rent collection tools incorporate advanced security measures. 

Encryption protocols safeguard sensitive financial information, protecting both landlords and tenants from potential fraud or data breaches. 

The secure online environment also minimizes the risks associated with physical checks, such as loss or theft.

Key features to look for in your tools

Not all online rent collection tools are equal. When you’re searching for your ideal platform, keep these key features in mind.

Automation

Seek out tools with automated features that can handle the entire rent collection cycle—from sending out payment requests to issuing receipts. 

This not only saves landlords valuable time but also minimizes the risk of human error.

Payment options

The best online rent collection tools offer a range of payment methods, including credit or debit cards, electronic bank transfers, and in some cases digital wallets. 

This flexibility accommodates tenants with different financial scenarios and preferences, making it more convenient for them to fulfill their rental obligations. 

Landlords who offer multiple payment options also increase the likelihood of on-time payments.

Reminders

Many online rent collection tools can automate payment reminders to tenants, alerting them to upcoming due dates and potential late fees. 

These reminders are not only convenient for tenants but also contribute to a reduction in late payments—and minimize disputes related to forgetfulness or miscommunication about payment deadlines.

Integration

Choose tools that integrate with existing property management software or accounting tools.

This integration results in streamlined record-keeping, expense tracking, and financial reporting, and minimizes the need for manual data entry.

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Top online rent collection tools

Now that we’ve explored the benefits and key features, let’s take a look at the top five tools available today.

1. PayRent

PayRent’s simple, intuitive software streamlines the rent collection process for tenants and landlords.

Key features include:

  • Landlord dashboard displaying occupancy rates, tenant balances, and upcoming payments
  • Accepts credit cards and bank transfers from any U.S-based bank or credit union
  • Automated invoicing, rent reminders, receipts, past-due notices, late fee enforcement, and rent reporting
  • Can require tenants to set up scheduled payments
  • Downloadable reports

PayRent has three service plans: Pay-As-You-Go (with no subscription fees), Do-It-Yourself for $19 per month, or Go-Like-A-Pro for $49 per month.

You can estimate your monthly costs for each plan by entering your number of units and property type onto their website.

2. TurboTenant

TurboTenant offers full rental property management software, from getting leads to creating leases and collecting rent.

Here are the key features of its rent collection software:

  • Ability to set up automatic late fees
  • Automatic payments and email reminders
  • Automatic receipts
  • Payments dashboard for a full view of your payments

Collecting rent is free for landlords, but you can opt for a premium plan for $8.25 per month that includes lower screening fees, state-specific lease agreements, waived ACH fees, unlimited connected bank accounts, and more.

3. Apartments.com

Apartments.com offers free online rental payments and flexible payment methods.

Features include:

  • Automated emails to tenants about upcoming or late payments
  • Automated late fees
  • Tax documentation
  • Payment by credit card, bank transfer, or Google Pay
  • Option for tenants to split rent with roommates

Landlords also can use Apartments.com for its original features: Listing properties, screening applicants, and creating leases.

4. Avail

Avail, owned by Realtor.com, offers the following free features for landlords:

  • Online rent collection
  • Tenant portal
  • Property accounting
  • Background screenings
  • State-specific leases
  • Maintenance tracking

For $7 per month, landlords can access waived ACH fees, FastPay payments, and customizable applications and leases, and create property websites.

5. Zillow Rental Manager

Zillow’s online rent payments are free for landlords, and tenants who use the ACH payment method will not have to pay a fee.

Additional features:

  • Autopay
  • Credit and debit payments with a fee
  • Post listings
  • Screen tenants
  • Create leases

One of Zillow’s main benefits for landlords is the access to its millions of monthly visitors, which will help keep your rental properties fully occupied.

Landlord considerations for online rent tools

While many online rent tools have similar features and options, carefully review and weigh the costs to choose the software that’s best for you.

Keep these considerations in mind as you shop:

  • Security and data protection
  • Ease of use
  • Customization
  • Testimonials and reviews from happy customers

Ask the landlords and real estate professionals in your network which tools they use and would recommend.

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Your next great rental property begins with the right financing option.

Park Place Finance is a direct hard money lender nationwide with in-house capital. We’ve funded over $1 billion in loans over the past 17 years.

We offer investors fast closing times, flexible terms, and a dedicated account executive to support you throughout the process.

Fill out our simple online form to start with a DSCR loan, fix-and-flip loan, bridge loan, or construction loan.

We look forward to helping you find the perfect financing solutions for your investment goals.

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