So you’ve made the step to offer your residents online rent payment options. You’re ahead of the competition down the street still trying to organize their spreadsheets and deposit checks on-time! But convincing your residents to use online rent payments can be a trickier feat.
Millennial renters will get it instantly; many have never even seen a checkbook before. But some renters are averse to using their debit cards online, afraid to submit personal information through the Internet. When people discover the ease and flexibility of paying their rent online, everyone (property managers and residents) will be much happier.
How do you get your renters to sign up for online rent payments? First, explain to them the benefits of online rent payments—you can securely pay rent from anywhere with your mobile device; no late fees when checks go missing; you always know the status of your payments.
Still not convinced? Try an incentive to kickstart the process. Here are some tips for running a raffle to get more of your residents using an online rent payment platform:
Step #1 – Decide What to Offer
The benefits should speak for themselves, but sometimes renters need a little motivation. This is where you should think long and hard about what you want to offer in your online rent payment raffle. It should be useful. Here are some ideas:
- Monthly gift certificate drawings for all residents who pay rent online (think local restaurants, coffee shops, etc.)
- $50 off next month’s rent
- Free one-time carpet cleaning
- Upgrade an amenity like a shower head or add a ceiling fan
- Depending on your budget and if it would be of interest to your residents, you could give away something fun like an iPod shuffle ($49) or a Google Chromecast ($35).
If you run one raffle and don’t see a lot of success, try a different prize the next time around until you find the winning incentive.
Step #2 – Market the Raffle to Your Residents
Use any method you can think of to get the word out about your raffle. Make it sound fun and exciting and more people will be engaged. A couple ways to reach renters:
- Send an email or text message
- Add a message on your website
- Leave a flyer on a door or post in a common area
- Tell your renters in person!
You might want to consider marketing heavily a week before rent is due. This adds urgency and with the first of the month coming fast, it’ll be fresh in their minds.
Step #3 – Announce the Winners!
Often, people hold a contest and only let the winner know when they’ve won. In this case, you’ll probably receive a number of phone calls and emails asking “who won?” So don’t forget to announce the winner publicly so everyone knows.
Congratulate the winner in your newsletter, and try to get a quote on how much they love using the online rent payment option. You can use this in your next contest. The social proof will help drive new residents to begin participating and keep the excitement level high.
With these tips hopefully you can motivate most of your residents to pay rent online and start enjoying all the extra time you will have during rent week.
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