Show Me The Money, Effective Rent Collection

Rent collection

Contacting residents regarding unpaid rent can be difficult.  To prevent the need for collection calls, we often incentivize timely rental payments.  However, apartment communities continue to have individuals that do not pay their rent on time.

Tasking a team member with the responsibity to follow up on the individual with  unpaid rent generally has the following results;

-A notice or door hanger was placed on their door.

-Left a voicemail message.

-Sent an email.

For too many staff individuals, the possibillity of a face-to-face conversation about unpaid rent creates anxiety.  Its viewed as a potential confrontation, a conflict to be avoided if possible.

Explaining the Payment Policy

A resident needs to understand how the apartment community handles unpaid rent. During the leasing presentation, the process of rent collection should be explained, as well as the steps to collect unpaid rent. Signing a lease is a commitment to pay rent, and provide the payments timely. If a resident does not meet their responsibility, it creates the need for action on the part of the management team.

Management staff must be understand the importance of this function as an administrative responsibility. During the hiring process; a future employee should role play a scenario involving rent collection.  Can they maintain eye contact and ask for the rent?

Additional training will provide guidance and policy but if the individual doesn’t have personal confidence, they may not be the best candidate to handle this responsiblity.

Payment Convenience

Personal contact will bring results in rent collection. No one wants to be reminded that their rent is unpaid. There are a number of proactive initiatives to assist in rent payments and collection.

-Utilitizing automated payments.
-Posting notices reminding residents of the rent due date.
-Making phone calls or emails suggesting how much residents will save by paying timely.

Efforts to collect unpaid rent are time consuming and costly. Thousands of dollars are paid to attornies and court systems to execute evictions. Can a property establish a goal to reduce the time invested in rent collection as well as the expense. If the amount of time producing late notices, copying files for the legal process and knockng on doors could be reduced by 25%, what could be accomplished with this three to four hours per week?

Improving rent collection provides funding for property expenses, reduces legal expenses and saves time for the team members that prepare the late notices and court proceedings.

Lori Hammond
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