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Is Multifamily Finally Saying Goodbye to Checks?

The multifamily industry has a reputation of being slow pokes when it comes to adopting technology. Between rent checks, applications and leases, there are a lot of paper documents circulating around your typical leasing office. But according to PayLease’s 2014 Market Survey, many multifamily firms are finally getting their online technology up to speed, especially when it comes to online rent payments.

If you aren’t familiar with our annual Market Survey, every year PayLease enlists New Heights Research to poll hundreds of multifamily and HOA firms about their usage of online payments. We look at the results from the property management industry overall, and also by portfolio type and company size. This year’s survey revealed some promising trends for multifamily. Some of the highlights:

  • 62% of multifamily firms now accept online rent payments, up 8% from 2013.
  • For the first time, multifamily firms outpaced HOAs in the rate they added online payments.
  • 32% of companies who made a change to their payment collection process added online payments for the first time.
  • 14% of firms increased the number of online payment solutions they offer.

A big round of applause for multifamily firms for finally jumping on the online payment bandwagon! What’s equally exciting is the interest we’re seeing multifamily firms take towards driving utilization of online payments. In 2014, PayLease fulfilled a record number of requests for our free marketing programs, helping drive our clients’ online payment utilization rates to impressive levels.

With fewer rent checks to process, community managers have more time on their hands to focus on bigger priorities, like fulfilling vacancies (which, by the way, happened to be at a record-low in 2014). Offering online payments and seeing traction from residents using the service is finally becoming the norm for the industry.

The tides are turning! It will likely be many more years before checks are truly a thing of the past, but multifamily made a huge leap in technology offerings during 2014, and 2015 is looking bright.

Download our 2014 Market Survey for more revelations about online trends in the multifamily and HOA industry.

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