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How to find the best rent payment app for your communities

The best rent payment apps improve community operations and the resident experience. Learn how to choose the best app for your community.

Finding the best rent payment app for your residents can be a tough decision. After all, collecting rent is the most important operational process for your business. And anytime you start using a new technology to collect rent, you don’t want any issues that could interfere with getting paid.

Plus, renters are ultimately the ones using it. So your decision also needs to factor in the user experience for your renters. Because if it’s not easy for renters to use your app, they won’t. And, that can also make their satisfaction levels with your management company dip.

The best rent payment apps equally benefit renters and property managers. Here are some considerations when you’re choosing the best rent payment app for your community.


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Why rent payment apps are so valuable in property management

You might wonder why using an app would benefit rent collection. Your renters are already paying rent online, so why do you need anything else?

It’s because community apps make any apartment-related task much easier. From rent payments to controlling smart devices in your units, they improve the resident experience and streamline operations.

The best rent payment apps make it easier for residents to pay you

For starters, apps simplify the rent payment process for residents. One way is because they remove the biggest friction point associated with paying online: the login process.

Once a resident downloads the app, they are continuously logged in. This allows them to pick up their phone and instantly initiate a payment without remembering any long and complex passwords.

They can also securely store their payment data, saving them the added step of opening up their wallet. These conveniences speed up the entire transaction making it a breeze to pay rent.

The best rent payment apps help you better manage your communities

Making it easy for renters is definitely a perk of community apps. But, there’s an even more important reason. The best rent payment apps give property managers several benefits that help run their community.

Not only do they facilitate better digital communication between on-site staff and residents, they improve day-to-day operations, and deliver a better living experience for renters. Here are some common uses of community apps:

  • remotely controlling locks and thermostats within a unit
  • filing and tracking maintenance requests
  • registering guests
  • package notifications
  • reserving community amenities
  • paying rent
  • community event management
  • giving residents discounts to local businesses

If I have the best rent payment app, will my residents use it?

Community apps are the go-to way renters interact with their community. When your community offers a well-rounded app, renters will definitely use it. How can you be sure? Just take a look at this blog post that profiles usage statistics among 20 communities using Zego Mobile Doorman.

With the best rent payment apps like Zego Mobile Doorman, residents connect with their community through their preferred mode of communication.  Of course, that’s on their mobile devices.

Americans now check their phones 96 times a day – that’s once every 10 minutes, according to new research by Asurion. Giving your residents the option to interact with your community through their smartphones impacts satisfaction, retention and your NOI.

Apps are a better experience for mobile users

You might wonder why you need an app if renters can just use their smartphone browser to get to your online portal. Sure, that works. But it’s a less-than-ideal user experience.

A well-designed mobile app works faster than a mobile-optimized website. There’s less content to scroll through and that leads to a faster loading time.

Plus, the content on your app is solely for resident needs. With an app, you’re giving your residents a faster way to access services that are targeted specifically for their needs. These are two elements that help improve the resident experience.

The best rent payment app features for on-site teams

In addition to the functionalities we listed earlier, the best rent payment apps offer features that enhance productivity for on-site teams and engage residents. Here’s what the ideal community app offers.


Tailored branding: The best rent payment apps are fully customizable in their appearance. You want the interface to reflect the unique branding of your property or your full portfolio.

Custom content tiles: Don’t get a cookie cutter app that doesn’t allow flexibility. Make sure there are custom content tiles. This will let you showcase anything from building-related initiatives, links, integrations, documents and  more.

Resident communication features

Incoming resident access: Renters who haven’t yet moved in should use your app for move-in related items. This streamlines the move-in experience and encourages community engagement even before day one. Your app needs to offer them a way to chat with community managers, read FAQs, reserve amenities and review checklists.

Digital walk throughs: Create a digital and trackable record of the resident move-in experience.

Smart lease renewals: The best rent payment apps simplify the entire lease renewal process. From presenting multiple offers with pricing and deadlines, to sharing contracts and completing e-signatures, the process should be entirely available within your app.

Resident messaging: There’s no more effective way to reach residents than through their smartphone. Your app can connect with residents using real-time and  scheduled messaging capabilities pushed straight to mobile phones.

Resident surveys: Getting feedback from residents is critical for retention. Survey them about anything using your app. Survey features should allow you to ask custom and targeted questions and easily showcase responses.

1:1 Virtual appointments: If you want to see residents face-to-face in instances you can’t actually be face-to-face, an app can help. Connect live with residents for maintenance needs,  leasing questions and other key points for connection.

Insights for on-site teams

Usage metrics dashboard: Gain insights to any trends at your community. Features like Zego Mobile  Doorman Usage Metrics Dashboard track and analyze resident engagement within your

Shift notes: Apps make it easier for team members to stay in the loop about the community. Apps provide onsite team members with a dashboard to update incoming staff with important information from the previous shift.

The best rent payment apps increase digital payment adoption rates

Community apps certainly deliver a long list of conveniences. And to top it off, there’s an unexpected bonus for communities using an app.

The best rent payment apps give communities a boost in digital rent payment adoption. Since the average multifamily property only receives about 30% of its rent payments digitally, community managers are thrilled to see that number increase.

Lincoln Properties, one of the top 50 multifamily companies in the US, touts a 72% adoption of digital payments largely because of their mobile app.

To improve resident engagement and digital payment adoption, make sure your app has the following:

checklist for the best rent payment app

The best rent payment apps continually communicate when and how to pay digitally

Why do apps boost adoption? When residents engage with these apps, they’re much more likely to pay their rent digitally, because they’re already in the app and the button to pay is one click away.

Plus, when you don’t have an app, it’s up to your community managers to inform residents about their digital payment options. For less tech-savvy residents, community managers may even need to walk them through the digital payment process with the hopes they’ll continue to pay that way in the future.

If your communities have an app, communication about paying digitally becomes automated. Thanks to push notifications, residents have continuous reminders and instructions about paying their rent digitally. When residents open the notification, it will take them to the exact place they can make a payment. This is a bonus because it removes the extra effort they have to put in if they’re not sure where to go.

Residents want to use an app

Lastly, the simplest explanation for why communities see more digital rent payments after launching an app is that residents want to pay that way. They already understand that mobile apps offer conveniences that aren’t found in a traditional online environment. And they’ll jump at any process that eases the friction of paying rent.

We heard this sentiment from renters themselves. A third-party study conducted on behalf of Zego found that 20% of renters currently pay rent with their community’s mobile app. But almost half of renters would pay their rent using an app if it were offered at their community.

More considerations for finding the best rent payment app

The best rent payment apps improve many aspects of the resident experience. And that includes paying rent. So it’s no wonder that you even see digital payments increase once you have an app renters like to use.

If you’re looking for more ways to better the rent payment experience for you and your residents, we have plenty of tips. Download our ebook, The Property Manager’s Guide to Common Rent Payment Mistakes and How to Fix Them.

Ready to Improve Your Digital Payment Adoption?

To learn how we can help you implement these best practices, schedule time with a Zego™ team member for a quick demo of Zego™ Pay.

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