Collecting rent is one of the top pain points for independent landlords. Online rent payment services make rent collection easier for landlords and tenants. However, research shows only 31% of tenants pay rent online, and even fewer use proper online rent payment systems instead of money transfer apps like Venmo or Zelle.
Switching to online rent collection can help simplify your rental property business. With the right landlord software and a few optimizations, you can streamline rent collection and make your rental business finances easier to manage.
This article will cover the basics of optimizing and tracking rent payments using online rent collection tools.
Benefits of Collecting Rent Online
Collecting online rent payments with property management software like Baselane is faster, safer, and more reliable than traditional methods.
Online rent payments don’t rely on collecting and depositing rent checks or cash, saving you time. Unlike checks, which can take up to five days to post, online rent payments processed through Baselane are deposited directly into your bank account in as little as two days.
Since we use leading rent payment technologies, multi-factor authentication, and bank-level encryption to keep transactions secure, our online rent collection service is safer than using a check that can easily be forged, copied, or stolen.
Our rent payment app also makes it easier for tenants to pay rent online. Tenants can choose their preferred payment method (bank transfer, credit or debit card), set up automatic payments, and get monthly rent payment reminders and receipts.
How to Collect Rent from Tenants Online
While it’s possible to collect rent payments online using apps like Zelle and Venmo, they don’t have all the features you need as a landlord or property manager.
Most rent collection apps can’t send tenants monthly rent reminders, withdraw tenant rent payments from their bank accounts, or integrate with your rental property bookkeeping.
Baselane is a complete solution for rental property finances that takes care of banking, bookkeeping, and rent collection for landlords and real estate investors, all in one place.
When you use Baselane to collect rent online, the money is automatically deposited into your bank account and recorded in your online ledger. If you have multiple rental properties, our online rent collection tool can help you keep track of rent payments with automatic notifications and payment history reports.
Baselane’s online rent payment system makes it easy for tenants to pay online, too. They get payment reminders before and after the due date, flexible online rent payment options, and automatic receipts. They can also pay rent using their phone and set up recurring payments, eliminating the need to write and drop off a check each month.
Using Rent Collection Software
The best rent collection apps are easy to use and can be set up with just a few easy steps.
1. Sign up
Creating a free Baselane account to accept rent payments online only takes a few minutes. Landlords and rental property owners can open an account for free. You can even create separate accounts for each property (on the same Baselane account) to track your rental income and expenses like repairs and homeowners association fees.
2. Enter the lease details
Baselane lets you specify the monthly rent amount, any recurring payments (e.g., parking), and when late fees should be applied. If the lease is just starting, you can collect one-time fees, like a security deposit or move-in fees.
You can choose to accept or block partial payments for rent from tenants to avoid any delays during the eviction process. Baselane also offers tenant screening services to help make sure you’re renting to high-quality prospective tenants who pay rent on time.
3. Enter your bank account information
Baselane uses secure automated clearing house (ACH) networks to process direct deposit rent payments into your bank account. You can also open a landlord bank account directly with Baselane to receive payments and further simplify your finances for short-term or long-term rental properties.
Our rent collection app is free for landlords to accept full or partial payments for rent, security deposits, and other one-time or monthly fees. Tenants can send ACH transfers for free or pay minor transaction fees of 2.99% for debit or credit card payments.
4. Invite tenants to pay rent online
After entering your tenant’s information, Baselane will contact them with instructions on how to create an account to pay rent online using a debit card, credit card, or ACH bank transfer from a savings or checking account with any U.S. bank or credit union.
Once they’re set up on our rent collection app, Baselane takes care of the rest. We send tenants rent reminders, notify you when rent is paid or overdue, and automatically record rental income with integrated bookkeeping.
How to Optimize Online Rent Collection
Collecting rental payments online can save you time and money, but it doesn’t mean your entire rent collection process is optimized. We outlined a few steps that you can follow to make sure you’re gaining all the benefits of online rent payment apps.
1. Use property management software for all your real estate finances
The downfall of many online rent collection tools is that they don’t play nicely with other rental property management software to track rental income and expenses.
Rent collection apps like Baselane are integrated directly with your landlord bank account and bookkeeping, so you don’t have to move money and information across multiple places.
2. Turn on automated reminders for your tenants
One of the biggest benefits of collecting rent payments online is automating manual tasks, so you can spend more time building a real estate portfolio.
With rent collection apps like Baselane, you can set up automatic reminders for upcoming payments and unpaid rent. You can also schedule auto-late fees for tenants who miss the due date.
3. Encourage tenants to set up auto-pay
Late payments are a headache for landlords and tenants. You need the cash flow to pay bills for your rental properties, and tenants don’t want to be hit with late fees and lower credit scores if you report rent payments to credit bureaus.
With auto-pay set up in Baselane, your tenants can schedule automatic withdrawals to pay rent each month. Recurring rent payments help tenants avoid late fees and ensure you get rent paid on time.
4. Use reports to stay on track
Baselane online rent collection software provides real-time reports to see the status of your monthly rent payments and whether any tenants are overdue. This simplifies reporting online rent payments to credit bureaus for tenants.
Final Thoughts: Online Rent Collection
If you’re still chasing tenants for cash and checks, think about the time (and money) you can save if you collect rent online with Baselane.
Tenants can easily pay rent using a credit card, debit card, or ACH bank transfers from their savings or checking account. They also receive automatic reminders, receipts, and late fees to stay on track with on-time rent payments.
Rent payments are deposited directly into your external or Baselane bank account, and our integrated bookkeeping automatically tracks income and expenses. You can even access other property management services like tenant screening, background checks, credit checks, and renters insurance, all on the same platform.
The best part is you can create a free Baselane property management account to collect rent online in a few minutes. Simply enter the lease details, invite your tenants, and Baselane takes care of the rest.
The best way to collect rental payments is online. Tenants can use rent collection apps to easily schedule monthly or automatic online rent payments using a debit card, credit card, or ACH transfer. Landlords and property managers can use rent collection apps to automate reminders and late fees while tracking incoming and late rent payments with real-time reporting.
Online rent collection is the safest way to pay rent. Unlike cash or checks that can be stolen or forged, online rent payment methods transfer money from a tenant's bank account or credit card to a landlord's bank account. The best rent collection app will use secure payment technologies and bank-level encryption, like Baselane property management software.
The best rent collection apps are user-friendly and easy to set up. Creating a free Baselane account to accept online payments only takes a few minutes. Simply enter a few details about your lease, tenant(s), and banking information to start collecting rent online. Then invite tenants to add their credit card, debit card, or set up ACH transfers. We take care of everything else to put your rent collection on autopilot.