Millennials are dominating the rental market and using their size and influence to dictate digital and social trends. At more than 80 million strong, the generation is changing the multifamily housing industry from the nation’s largest portfolios to medium and small property management companies.
Their desire to live, work and play online has inspired the new market segment “Gen C,” or the “Connected Generation.” This group embraces technology to buy, communicate and connect via digital interactions. Whether paying bills or catching a ride, “Gen C” often pays through digital platforms, usually mobile devices.
The Centre for Generational Kinetics notes that millennials are paying for products and services different than other generations. In 2016, the research group cited that five million millennials didn’t have a checking account, and a more recent study showed the generation carries very little cash. The centre says that businesses that want to attract and retain millennials must make it easy to pay with a credit card or through an on-line portal.
On the heels of the generation is Gen Z, which is multifamily’s next target renter group and one that doesn’t remember a time before the digital world.
Today’s renters expect to use electronic payment technology
The arrival of these generations and their digital briefcases is transforming the way property managers receive rent. Rent payments are going paperless and online, a less risky proposition than manually receiving checks and standing orders or processing credit or debit cards in the leasing office.
In the last 10 years, renters have come to expect to have access to at least one electronic payment technology. It’s becoming the rule rather than the exception.
The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)/Kingsley Renter Preferences Report revealed an entirely new trend, showing that over 76 percent of renters now pay electronically every month. No surprise considering that online access has increased given the multiple devices and channels available for all consumers.
The ‘tipping point’ of payment options for generations
Conversely, downsizing Baby Boomers, who have been a growing contingent in multifamily, have been slow to embrace automated payments. Nearly half of the 65+ age group prefers paying at the front office.
For property managers, companies caught at the cusp of this generation’s “tipping point” must continue to provide as many choices as possible to maximise revenue while still keeping up with technology.
Implementing a configurable and comprehensive online payments solution removes the risk of on-site, paper-based payments and the horror stories that go along with them. In addition, online payments enable properties to track, manage, and report every payment to keep ledgers in order with as few errors as possible.
Enabling residents to pay rent online also ensures the property is getting the rent it deserves with less fear of bouncing, lost or stolen paper payments, a big plus when a property or portfolio is counting on that revenue to grow business.
Inspired Property Management have invested in creating a on-line portal where all tenants can view outstanding invoices and make payments. The on-line portal makes paying and processing payments online simple, seamless and secure.