Online Rent Collection

13 Replies

We recently landed our first house hack/investment(!), and so far our inherited tenants have been a dream(!)... but I want to switch to online rent collection and I'm sort of shocked that there's no standard-bearer for this. From what I can tell it used to be Cozy but it sounds like some are disappointed with the transition to Apartments.com. So, Apartments.com, Rentler, Avail? Any stand-out favorite among the group here?

We use apartments.com and are satisfied. A little bit of a lag between when the renters starts the process and when it hits the bank , that is the only down side that we have seen. 

Thanks, @Matt Ziegler and @Domenick T. I like what I see of Avail but the application fee of $55 would no doubt be a turn off for some applicants, and the lack of cohesive branding and any social media presence/app I think will lead people to think less of it even if it’s owned by Realtor.com. Rentler (owned by Tenant Cloud) looks like a good option that’s moving in the right direction but I’m surprised that they charge for lease forms and don’t allow for digital signing.

Crossing my fingers. I guess it’s best just to get started and adjust course after if necessary.

I use Avail, so far I have really liked the simplicity of it. I'm a beginner with only one rental but I had over 32 applications for this rental and had 3 of them go as far as the $55 portion for the credit/background check. I did an "initial application" with just history, work status and proof, and personal info. From there I would then send the paid portion. I had no complaints from any of my possibles. 

I'd recommend giving them a shot. Plus you get a trial period for their "plus" membership. 

An App would be great, the desktop version on mobile(Samsung for me) isn't terrible but it's definitely not perfect. Hopefully an app for both tenant and landlord come sooner than later. 

We have 7 properties and used Cozy.co happily for two years.  When they were acquired by Apartments.com, we tried to stay with Apartments and simultaneously tested Rentler.com.  While Rentler charges potential tenants a higher application fee, we like Rentler's user-interface far more than Apartments.com.  We'd recommend you consider it.

Thanks for the suggestion, @Justin Fox . I'm hoping to find a product that won't charge my tenants for a bank transfer but I'll check out innago.

And thanks @Ron Brady . I think I saw in a prior post that you had just started using Rentler whenever that thread was active. Glad to see you're still using it. Has the lack of e-signing and any lease (let alone a custom one) been difficult? I realize I could use Docusign for this but I like seeing that it's been rolled into at least the features offered (if not for free) on sites like TurboTenant and Avail.

@Andrew Grams - You are right Andrew, lack of e-lease signing is a drawback to Rentler.  Our lease numbers are low enough that we use Eversign, free for 4 mailings a month. In a busy month, we will sometimes need to use another service or buy a subscription for a month. Not ideal, so your point is well taken.

Avail seems to be the best I've found.  I used Cozy but the move to apartments.com sucks.  

as for the $55 app fee, I market it as,

"The $55 application fee will be returned to you via first month's rent" 

this promotes that only a tenant who believes they qualify per your rental qualifying standards will apply. 

@Andrew Grams

I use Buildium for my 16 properties. It’s very economical for what you get. Rent collection, property management. Each tenant gets a portal to pay their rent, buy renters insurance and make maintenance requests. I started with it when I had very few properties. The application process is very easy too. If you plan on adding more I would recommend a PM software like this. Tenants will definitely take you more seriously. It has saved me a ton of hassle.