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What Do You and Tom Cruise Have In Common?

I know, I know – where should I start, right? How about that line from “Jerry McGuire”? Yes – I’m talking about “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” As property management professionals, we invest a lot of time and effort into maintaining a positive cash flow, namely through the collection of rent.

And one of the best ways for residents to “show you the money” is with an online payment solution.

A recent PayLease webinar, “Online Payments in the Property Management Industry”, discussed how property management companies across the US are utilizing this tool and what it means for cash flow.

PayLease estimates it takes about four minutes to process each paper check. So for a 500 unit community that equates to 2,000 minutes, or 33 hours. That’s almost a full-time person for one week out of each month!

That’s just the time spent processing your rent payments. How much time do you spend calling residents who haven’t paid their rent? How much time is spent knocking on doors to collect rent? And how much time is spent preparing one or more sets of late rent letters?

According to one of the webinar speakers, effective management companies look at the “highest and best use” of their onsite staff. Is your staff’s time best spent collecting and posting rents? Or is it best spent taking care of resident wants and needs?

You should analyze what your lost opportunity cost is. What does that mean? Customer interaction opportunities you could have taken advantage of if your staff wasn’t busy knocking on doors or processing checks. What is it really costing you to not implement an efficient online payment system?

So next month when you look at your delinquency list and if the total outstanding rent is greater than “0”, ask yourself this question: “How easy is it for my residents to “Show Me the MONEY”?” and then, make the appropriate changes. Try it – it works!

Doug Chasick, CPM®, CAPS, CAS, Adv. RAM, CLP, SLE, CDEI, The Apartment Doctor™, has over 38 years of experience in the investment real estate industry, is a licensed real estate broker in Florida and Georgia and a Licensed Fair Housing Expert Instructor in Virginia.  Based in Melbourne Beach, FL, Doug can be reached by writing to or by visiting

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